Winter Solstice on Halifax Harbour

The low sweeping light provided by the rising sun of winter solstice over Halifax Harbour has led to some interesting paintings. Working from the car studio in sub zero temperatures allowed views of light effects silhouetting buildings or even the chance appearance of a sun dog.

Fennerty Lake, Nova Scotia

Yesterday, in the pouring rain we traced an old path following the brook that leads into Fennerty Lake. I have painted along there many times and it didn't seem to matter what the weather was or the season of the year. There was always something to interest me. we walked down the old path from the end of the road and picked a path down to the brook. Changes are everywhere including my painting. Perhaps it is the sound of running water that draws me back.

Lake Martha, Nova Scotia

Yesterday I had the opportunity for a short hike along the shore of Lake Martha at Mount Uniacke. The site is close to home, part of the Nova Scotia Museum, and a favourite over years. As I walked the path that traces the shore I noticed the tree that caught the sun in the painting above.

This set my mind wandering around the province and other short hikes that lead me to the Village of Scotts Bay. Wow, all this in a frozen landscape.


As a young parent and art student finding time and subject matter to make art was a daily challenge.
I had heard that it was important to work with things you knew and I certainly knew pots and pans. While making the drawing of pots it became apparent that a drawing could be just as much about the drawing marks as the representation of any thing. A door had opened and I walked through.

Painting at a Beaver Pond

Painting on site at favourite spot not too far from home is pleasure I have enjoyed to this day. It has become increasingly hard to find site though as suburban development and logging increasingly make finding sites difficult. It is always interesting to watch the seasonal changes while responding with paint on canvas and this particular site involved walking from a lake and then up a brook until reaching the widening that had been created by the beavers. The water was held back by the beavers dam blocking the water creating a pond and marshy area all around.

One Hundred Years Ago

The peaceful calm of todays harbour near the site of the Halifax Explosion masks the unexpected horror experienced at the site and over the city one hundred years ago.

Of course everything was different then and the bridges didn't exist but when you stop and spend a moment near the site a strange chill will come over you. Drawing and painting can take you many places you didn't expect.

Painting on Site

Painting on site while travelling around is part of my art practice. There is a long and storied history of artists working on site and the results are always interesting but it seems that personal insights into painting seem to be gained by actually painting. Sometimes the result even represents the site in some way allowing the experience to transmit to the audience.

Sketching Under the Bridge

Both sides of Halifax Harbour under the MacKay Bridge provide interesting spots for sketching. The ships that tie up at the wharves are varied in shape and purpose creating readymade interest and the history of human activity in the area is long and storied.