The Art Spirit


“It is harder to see than it is to express. The whole value of art rests in the artist’s ability to see well into what is before him.” Robert Henri.

As I get a bit older I begin to realize that I am more then ever compelled by the challenge of painting pictures. The trick is to see the picture before it is painted. Often this picture is clear, composition, colour, tone, even brush strokes. All in place – you just sit and do it. Other times it is a struggle – the vision is not as clear as it could have been and in getting it down the flaws appear. Here is when the challenge takes place, you start exploring, changing and revisioning the painting – hopefully with success.

I have started this diary of painting because as I talk to people who like my work they are interested in the process – where did the vision come from, where is the scene or model, how long did it take?

In retrospect, it is often hard to describe. And time does pass. As I am painting almost everyday, and my painting appear in galleries months later the original vision and the picture usually become disconnected.

My hope is that if I can describe the pictures as I do them it will form a record to those who buy to understand how and when these pictures came to be.

I can’t promise to show all that I do or provide exhaustive information as I am a painter and would rather paint then write but I will do my best.


This weekend I was at my brother and sister inlaw’s cottage and did a couple of 8×10 sketches Sunday morning he first was a winter scene from a photo of a red painted barn in a snowy landscape – a very graphic composition with bright blue shadows on the snow. The tiny red farm provides a touch of detail and interest.

purple swamp

The other sketch is a small island in a swampy area of Chemong lake. The back lit scene is painted in very warm colours with the tall thin trees reflecting in the water in the foreground.

algoma large

I have been working on a big canvas 30 X 40 for the last couple of weeks – I have wanted to do a large iconic image of the fall in Ontario – I have always been a Group of 7 fan and wanted to do something from the Algoma area. This image I developed from a group of photographs to create a painting with depth and drama. I am almost finished here, just a few more touches and it will be done. I also did a small sketch of the scene to figure out the composition and colour. I will be donating that one to an auction later this month.

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