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Showing posts from May, 2013

33 on 33: Day Seven

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And it's so sad
The army's good times have all gone

–TMBG, "The Army's Tired Now"

Today's stop for 33 on 33 was in Consecon. You generally can't miss a town that has its name on a water tower, but if you were to visit between 1939–1953, when Wellers Bay was home to the Consecon Air Weapons Range, you might've known you were in Consecon by the sound of bombs, rockets, and explosive projectiles fired at various targets in the area. I think the south shore of the County was similarly bombed as well...
Water not bombs.
Today it's known as Wellers Bay National Wildlife Area and this was lovely morning to paint there. The name "Consecon" is derived from a Native word for the local and plentiful pickerel...or a similar one meaning the opening of a waterway (choose your own side on the debate). You can get more information at the kiosk I parked near, which features a big map of PEC (the orange dot on the left is where I was today; here's my o…

33 on 33: Day Six

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Stop to appreciate it
Let's hear the boyfriends say it

–TMBG, "It's Kickin' In"
My roughly-scheduled stop today for 33 on 33 was at Salem Road (here's my up-to-date Map of Progress) and, having noticed this interesting site over the past few days, I parked by what I thought was simply an old barn which is now the County Depot, selling grain and other farm supplies to farmers and locals alike.

It turns out the "barn" (which I ended up painting today) was actually the old Consecon train stop, dating back to the 1800s; part of the now-defunct railroad is now the Milennium Trail. The smaller building by the road used to be a weigh station where farmers would get weighed before getting a load of grain from the nearby grain elevator. The attractive checkerboard pattern is a holdover from the days this place serviced the Purina company (there are still Purina products available in the Depot).
The Purina Chow resemblance is not coincidental.
The current prop…

33 on 33: Day Five

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Turn it up
The guitar
I can't hear
The guitar

–TMBG, "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)"

My scheduled stop for 33 on 33 today was Highway 19 (here's my up-to-date Map of Progress), but I didn't find anything interesting in the vicinity so I went down the road a bit to this hydro station because I love the aesthetic of these things.
This gate swings out.
It was pouring rain this morning when I left home, so I was prepared for a day of painting inside the van, but it stopped by the time I arrived so I set up outside and got going. My other plan for the day was having my old friend, singer/songwriter Jeff Jones, come out from Toronto and play some of his original songs while I painted: a getaway from the city for him and some company and entertainment for me.

He said he'd be at my location around 11AM, but by then I was very nearly finished my painting for the day (with only about an hour's or so work left to do on it). When he arrived we caught up and then …

33 on 33: Day Four

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I'll be in the back, and I don't need the help
I'm good here in the back, I'm good all by myself

–TMBG, "Memo to Human Resources"

Krista decided to come with me today since the Gallery is closed on Tuesdays and she wanted to hang out. I told her she'd be bored, but she assured me that she had projects to work on and she'd be okay, so off we went.

My rough plan for 33 on 33 had me at Smokes Point Road today and I ended up right at the intersection of it and Highway 33 (visible in the second pic) after noticing an interesting old fence and gate. This spot also appealed to me practically: there was ample flat ground off the shoulder for me to park the van and be safely out of traffic's way.

The sky was cloudy and rain was forecast for the afternoon but the van was perfectly parked to give me a view from inside the van that would be very similar to my outdoor setup.
Pretty normal so far.

Of course, it did start to rain, gently at first, so I went insid…

33 on 33: Day Three

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Have you heard the blackbird's song? Summer days, all summer long
–TMBG, "Lullaby to Nightmares"

I was supposed to be somewhere near Taft Road today but none of the scenery spoke to me, so I went further north up the road, perhaps a bit too close to the cemetery from yesterday, but the intersection of Highway 33 and Old Portage Road and County Road 64 looked pretty interesting, so I parked the van and checked out the area.
I like good design.
I first walked across the street to have a look at the great sign for Westfall Memorial Park, then walked around to the various buildings at the vicinity of the intersection. Despite its unintended prominence in the photo above, I have absolutely zero interest in painting any sign with that County logo on it.

I like backlighting.
The image above would make an interesting painting, but I would have to use that photo as reference (which is my normal MO) and I have to work from life for this project. I could have painted the traffic ligh…

33 on 33: Day Two

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I was out by myself in the graveyard
I was doing an interpretive dance
When I felt something heavy and pointed
Strike me in the back of my neck
–TMBG, "Turn Around"



When I loosely mapped out the 33 stops for my 33 on 33 project, I just tried to space them out somewhat evenly, planning to choose the specific locations on the day, but I'm starting to get some vague ideas of my next stops as I drive back and forth each day. Yesterday's choice of the Murray Canal was obvious, since it was the westernmost end of Hwy 33 in PEC, but I noticed the Carrying Place Cemetery and made a mental note to check it out for a possible location for Day Two.
Great sign.
So, on my way out this morning, taking note of the scenery between the Murray Canal and Taft Road (general area of Day Three) just in case something else caught my interest, I stopped by and I wasn't disappointed. There was another cemetery close to the canal, but this one had lots of grave marker diversity:
Variety is a…

33 on 33: Day One

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My evil twin, bad weather friend
He always wants to start when I want to begin
–TMBG, "My Evil Twin"


Today was the first day of my journey across Prince Edward County via Highway 33 for my 33 on 33 project.
I started at the northwestern point of PEC at the Murray Canal, which links Lake Ontario with the Bay of Quinte. There's a swing bridge connecting Carrying Place in PEC to Trenton on the mainland*.

I woke up just before sunrise, allowing me ample time to have a coffee and properly wake up, eager to start this thing, but a quick look at the thermometer outside gave me the shivers –literally. Over the past few weeks winter has made so many re-appearances it would make Lt. Columbo blush. It was about 5°outside at Small Pond when I left and not much warmer when I arrived at my destination. 
Day One thumbnail sketches.
I set up my gear and started sketching potential compositions (above) while wearing gloves, no less, and roughed in the painting in oils, but the cold and t…

33 on 33 Route Map

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The County of Prince Edward, Ontario
Following up on my previous post about my 33 on 33 plein air painting project (which begins this Saturday), I've included a map here, highlighting the route along Highway 33 –AKA Loyalist Parkway– that I'll be taking through PEC, starting in Carrying Place in the northwest. This map will be updated with a new green dot daily over on my website.

Since moving here from Toronto three years ago, I have become more interested in, and my affection has grown for, my surrounding landscape, currently enjoying what seems like a County-wide burst of wonderfully fragrant lilac blossoms.

My decision to embark on this journey (see the "previous post" link above) has struck many (including myself) as weird and uncharacteristic of my normal painting habits; I'm normally a studio painter and I work from photographs I (mostly) take myself, and I've hardly ever gone outside to paint from life. However, working in the tradition of plein air …

Regent Classics

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8.5" x 11", digital, 2013
For about a year, now, I've been in charge of scheduling and screening the classic movies at The Regent Theatre in Picton, PEC, and it's been a blast. It started out as me taking over the classic movie matinées at the end of the month for seniors, but I soon created two streams, Vintage and Modern, so that I could also show movies in the evening to people who worked during the day without repeating myself. I have an arbitrary cut-off date for the separation of the two, but it's not carved in stone.

Of course, to help promote these, I've created posters incorporating the most striking versions of the movies' posters into my design which is minimal and easy to read (especially now that both screenings are on the same day), allowing the beauty of the studio posters to shine. That said, I've used the text-only teaser poster, rather than the gorgeous one masterfully illustrated by Bob Peak (below), for Star Trek II because I need…

learn

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15" x 22", watercolour, 1996, private collection

This was the first painting on which I wrote using charcoal (the others are listed and linked to here). It was bold thing for me at the time, and I didn't know if I'd like the effect, but I wanted a word and charcoal seemed to be the best medium for writing on watercolour. Turns out I like it.

The woman in the painting is actor Fairuza Balk from a photo in a magazine. The close-up  distortion appealed to me. She already had the nose ring, but I added the Egyptian-like swirl under her eye, but I don't remember why...



Sheep Going Out and Coming Back

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14" x 17", ink on Bristol board, 2005, private collection
14" x 17", ink on Bristol board, 2005

Again based on photos my father took, this is my uncle and cousin in their home village of Nošpal, in Macedonia, taking their herd out to pasture and bringing them back at the end of the day.






Breakfast at Macaulay's

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approx. 28" x 77", oil on wooden door, 2013, private collection
Near the end of January this year Krista and I visited Macaulay House in Picton to meet with Jennifer Lyons and discuss how Small Pond Arts could get involved with the local museums of PEC. We were given a tour and became excited about the potential ways we could involve our art there. Krista devised a lantern-making project with a few local artists which turned out very well, indeed. These lanterns were to be unveiled during Doors Open PEC in April.


Additionally, the museums were having local artists decorate actual doors for the event which they would then auction off, the proceeds going to the museums. That's all I needed to hear, so I asked if I could get a door to decorate, and, on February 25 I brought home this lovely (and extremely heavy) door: 
Heavy!
Sanded!
Obviously, the door would need to be prepared, so Krista and I each had a go at sanding it down so it could be primed with gesso.
Primed!
Th…

Laundry

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17" x 14", ink on Bristol board, 2004

The young girl on the right is my cousin, Dana, who also appears in my painting of my sister's Christening. This is in Macedonia, but I'm not sure if she's in the village our mothers grew up in (Velushina) or in her dad's village. It's interesting to see the girls dressed in traditional Macedonian costume because I think it's just for day-to-day work (like doing the laundry).




Drinking Boy

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17" x 14", ink on Bristol board, 2004

Based on a photo my father took, this is one of my cousins in Macedonia, having a refreshing drink.