Wednesday, 7 January 2015

BASIC BLACK: 41/4 X 6 (Part Three)

So, where did we last leave off..........

31. As my notes indicate this watercolour sketch was made from the top of the ski hills at Horseshoe Valley Resort looking down into a forest preserve known as the Copeland Forest. I spent many a lunch time break sitting at the top of the hills learning how to interpret the mass of green of the forest.

32. The best times to sketch in Algonquin Provincial Park is early spring, and early autumn. In between these times it's either too buggy, or really cold. Unfortunately the weather sometimes doesn't cooperate and often you're forced to make your sketches from inside your vehicle. This particular time up we encountered rain and fog. But, all was not lost as the fog and mist yielded some interesting results.

33. The small sketchbook is ideal when cross-country skiing remote trails, and you don't wish to pack a lot of weight. Here I am at the top of a hill doing a small sketch. Some of the hills would be well skied and icy, so the last thing that you want is a backpack with some weight to it that might shift while heading full tilt down a hill with a curve at the bottom.

34. I remember this day. Not the best of days, cold and cloudy with the threat of snow causing us to ski full tilt to avoid being caught in a snow storm. Still, I couldn't help but stop for a few minutes to do this pencil and watercolour sketch of the frozen over spruce pond just off the trail.

35. In March of 1999 I challenged myself to completely explore Algonquin, and to put together a sufficient quantity of sketches and paintings to produce a book. This pen and ink of Smoke Lake covered in snow and ice was the beginning of many sketches and paintings to be made over a period of three years.

36. Outside my studio window was a large Maple tree. Close by were several bird feeders. Woodpeckers, as well as both Red-breasted, and White-breasted Nuthatches would land on the Maple tree and hang upside down for minutes at a time. Both species became the subjects of several paintings and etchings.

37. I had this idea for a painting, and occasionally while shovelling snow I'd dig up some leaves 
which I'd bring into the studio and make studies, attempting to work out in my mind what the final painting should look like....................

38. In late March, early April, of 1999, despite a late spring and ice still on the lakes in Algonquin I began to make a collection of sketches of Algonquin Provincial Park.

39. Smoke Creek  Watercolour Sketch  April 1999

40.  Canoe Lake,     Watercolour Sketch   April 1999

41. Smoke Lake    Watercolour Sketch   April 1999

42. I love to paint Birch trees simply because it's impossible to paint a bad birch tree. 

43. I definitely remember painting this little watercolour sketch. It was a warm summer day. We were on the last leg of the Track and Tower Hiking Trail where, just off of the trail, there's a very small lake. I took a few steps off of the trail and began to sketch and paint, when all of a sudden there was a crashing in the brush behind me. All that I could think of was that it was a bear, and as it got louder I stood up to run when suddenly a man burst out of the bushes. Apparently he had become lost and had been wandering aimlessly for a time. He was glad to have found us, and his way back to the trail. I was glad that he wasn't a bear.

44. Winters can be long in this country so in April, despite the fact that there was still ice on the lakes I went back up to Algonquin to continue my sketching.

45.  Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin   Pen and Ink Sketch    April 2000

Almost finished scanning Basic Black: 41/4 X 6.............

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