In this series I've concentrated on painting cottonwoods. These sturdy prairie trees are either hated or loved here. Yet they are an important part of the riparian forest and house many different species of birds and animals. I've been painting the seasons as well. In this winter one the trees are dormant, but the cycle will start once more.
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36 x 48" Acrylic on Cradled Board
This is the Oldman River Bottom where I learnt how to paint. I was fourteen at the time and thought all painters went outside to paint. Even then I was a voracious reader, and my books told me about the impressionists who painted Plein Air. I thought everyone went outside to paint. So I dragged my easel and acrylic paints outside. It was, and still is, a great way to educate yourself. In that environment, the coulees can be 30 C or hotter in the summer with gusty winds, I learnt to paint fast. I learnt how to edit and mass in forms. I learnt how to see.
Those cottonwoods in Lethbridge survive despite the extremes they are faced with, including drought and flooding.
This painting is available through the artist. $3300. Please contact me if interested.
Acrylic on Canvas
Constable is a favorite painter of mine. In fact, one of my first paintings was a copy of a Constable. My mom still has this painting hanging in her house.
In 1852, Delacroix recollected that ‘Constable said that the superiority of the green he uses for his meadows derives from the fact that it is composed of a multitude of different greens’. Greens are often a difficult colour to control. Of course this meant that I took it on. This painting only started to work when I grayed out the greens. I like the dance of the placement of the trees. You can feel the evening summer sun on your face.
Acrylic on Canvas
I walk the dog a lot in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, which is one of Alberta's newest parks. It is located along the north shore of the Bow River between Calgary and Cochrane, and consists of more than 1,300 hectares of foothills parkland. This image is from there.
To me the trees looked animated, where the two on the left were leaning in to gossip about the tree on the right.
Often you find Cottonwoods in groups, as they grow where water sources are available.
Acrylic on Canvas
This started as a study of the types of bark on Cottonwoods. Texture in the trees are quite interesting.
In German Fairy Tales there are stories where tortured souls are trapped in the twisted trees. When I see gnarled and contorted cottonwoods, I can almost believe this to be true.
Currently this painting is in the artist's studio.
This is one of the first Cottonwood pictures I painted. I wanted to capture the wind in the trees. The paint is applied thickly in order to build up the chroma of the painting.
This picture was published inAcrylic Works 1- Ideas and Techniques for Today's Artists- and is available for purchase at My studio.
Cotton Woods On the Bow Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 36
You can purchase this painting through me.
The Golden Hour 20 x 24$1000
Talking about golden--in this painting I tried to capture the Golden Hour. I love that evening light. There are a lot of layers in this painting which makes it difficult to photograph.
And the Living is Easy Acrylic on Canvas
First Snowfall at Nosehill
24 x 30Acrylic on Canvas
Nosehill Park is a fifteen minute walk from my house. I go there a lot to walk the Husky. On this particular day it was cold, but the light was beautiful. Immediately after our walk I went home and painted this.
The under-painting for this piece is Indian Yellow and a self leveling medium. I was trying to imitate a shellacked board that one of my painter friends had given me. The shellac gave a beautiful surface to work on--the paint just guides--but it was not compatible with acrylic paint. I often see other techniques that artists use in oil and then try to adapt them to acrylic painting. Acrylic is the language that I speak, but in the end the concerns all painters have is the same.
Snow Shadows 20 x 24Acrylic on Canvas
In this painting the shadows are more important than the trees. I love this time of day and the elongated shadows. Snow is a lot of fun to paint as it isn't ever white.
Fall in Bow Valley Ranche 9 x 12 on Board
I painted this piece Plein Air with my good friend Natalie.
When I paint outside the painting becomes about that day--it immediately comes back to me. Bow Valley Ranch is a park that is midway between Natalie and my houses. I liked the way the hills alternated to take you back towards the Rockies. The mountains were sitting back quite a ways as it was a smokey day from northern fires. The blue-gray of the wolf willow contrasted with the yellows and oranges of the bushes.