Painting in Gaspe

 

I spent a few days earlier in the summer on a tour through Quebec City and then on to Tadoussac. Tadoussac is the place where the Saguenay River joins the St. Lawrence River. It is a paradise for a painter – every direction is a painting to be done. Deep blue water, rocky cliffs and big, big skies. The town itself has it’s charm – specifically the white clapboards and red roofs of the hotels and churches perched up above the cove.

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The surrounding bluish green hills, and sparkling water created many opportunities to work on landscapes full of light and atmosphere. Of particular interest to me on this trip was the rendering of distance – far shoreline, distant mountains, clouds. With these paintings I hoped to work on the effects of light and colour seen across a distance. Using similar motifs but changing the tone I was able to practice these effects. Here are some of the results.

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In the Fields

 

I was talking with a friend last night about painting outside. His view was it was a challenging process that many would not want to tackle. I have painted out of doors for years and I would recommend it to any artist. One of the ways to make it easier is to be as portable as possible – small paint box with paint already squeezed out. I don’t take tubes into the field. Small boards or canvas at the ready, a section of 2 or 3 brushes. I bring a couple of dry cloths to wipe brushes between colour. I don’t use any mediums so that minimizes things to carry – I have a really light easel and a small fold up stool. All of this fits into one shoulder bag. I can walk for miles with it.

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A few weeks ago I was painting a farm from the side of the road, the owner walked up and asked me if I wanted to come in and paint. He gave me a free run of the property and I have returned to spend some pleasant hours in his fields.

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My first paintings out of doors were as unsuccessful as my first paintings indoors – but keep at it, good things will happen if you stick with it.

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