Inspired by family members who loved working in the Canadian Arctic, I jumped at the chance to visit the tiny hamlet of Cape Dorset, Nunavut when the opportunity arrived in late spring (May 2014). My trip wouldn't allow time for me to paint, but there was endless opportunity for me to use my camera (new at the time) the very small, very light, but full frame Sony A7r with a 35mm Zeiss lens. This was also my first camera to have a panoramic feature. It was tempting to make every photo a panoramic one, such was the breadth of the landscape before me.
Here is #6 in my series of 8" x 8" oil paintings about the shadows, snow & structures at Scotsdale Farm, a heritage site on the Bruce Trail, in Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada. The iron effigy of the horse head, stands silently, in shadow, by the empty barn. In the sunny background, a car drives by. More symbolism for such a small regional landscape painting? The horse faces left - representing reflection & looking back. The car faces right symbolizing looking ahead. That it has moved out of the picture frame symbolizes movement forward and leaving the horse behind in its dust..err..exhaust.
Painting No. 5 (please note: now sold) in my oil series - One Cold Winter's Day - Scotsdale Farm. Scotsdale Farm, a heritage property now owned by the province of Ontario, is a beautiful Bruce Trail farm property with American Colonial architecture just north of my Williams Mill studio in Halton Hills . Standing down by the barn, I turned and looked back across, what in summer I imagine is a lovely green lawn, but is now covered in snow boldly banded in shadow. One strongly edged tree stood directly in my line of vision . It stood out in the circle of trees. I have given this 8" x 8" painting the title "Centre of Attention" but perhaps "Poser"is more appropriate?
By 6:15 a.m. this morning, I was out of the drive through at Tim's and on my way to the studio. I finished this little 8" x 8" oil painting of the bird feeder at Scotsdale Farm by 11. Don't be fooled I did not get this painting done in just a couple of hours. Although, I paint with confidence and rarely go back on what I do - these 8 x 8's still always take 8 - 10 hours of solid uninterrupted painting to complete. This is the fourth in my series of 8 x 8 inch paintings based on my January 2nd , 2010 visit to Scotsdale Farm with the Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS). It was - 25 degrees C. that day and we experienced everything from bright sunshine to grey snow swirls.
Scotsdale Farm is a heritage property on the Bruce Trail, just north of Georgetown and my Williams MIll Studio in Glen Williams, Halton Hills, Ontario.
Finished this 8" x 8" oil painting of Scotsdale Farm, on the Bruce Trail in Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada. two Muskoka Chairs wait for summer time. Another of the interesting little white buildings to be found on the farm. The white clap board contrasts wonderfully with the dark trees, cast shadows and smooth snow. I don't know the significance of the bell? Decorative? An old school bell? Used to call farmhands to dinner? Can you suggest a better title for this work?Read More
Up and out early to my studio in the Stone Building of the heritage Williams Mill this morning, I was painting by 7:30 am. This little painting 8" x 8" oil painting of the stone silo at the province owned heritage site, the Scottsdale Farm. This beautiful old stone silo is on the Bruce Trail (a popular walking trail - part of the Niagara Escapement in Ontario, Canada).
I love the architecture of the American Colonial Buildings at this farm which I visited for the first time January 2 of this year with my plein air painting group OPAS. With three works of art inspired by this visit completed already, and other ideas lined up ready and waiting - I guess a Scotsdale Farm series is in the works! The photo below is very glossy as so fresh off the easel & it was still too dark out to take outside in more even light. Not a bad start to my day! And here is a better picture of "The Fourth Tree" - also a Scotsdale Farm painting.
Finished January 31st, this is an 8" x 8" oil painting on canvas. The long shadow lets us know exactly what the fourth tree - by the little white shed at the Scotsdale Farm - looks like. Cold, crisp winter day in Ontario. That snow didn't stay for long though. Pretty to paint, but more attractive when gone.
Doing my best to stick to schedule and keep the art work coming. Exciting to see the new art work begin to line up in my Williams Mill studio.
Scotsdale Farm has a wonderful array of white American colonial style buildings that are as wonderful to photograph as paint. It is part of the Bruce Trail, in Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada, and is not too far a drive from my studio north of Mississauga.
Minus 32 degrees celsius with the wind chill did not deter 8 members of the Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS) from meeting at the heritage Scotsdale Farm, on the Maureen Smith trail area of the Bruce Trail in Ontario.
This was my first visit to the lovely American colonial style farm buildings, and my need to explore and photograph, took precedence over my need to paint. Long tree shadows crossing over white clapboard buildings, a stone silo dusted in snow, and weather vane topped cupolas made for inspiring photo taking.
As there was so much to see, it took me a while to settle down to draw with my Cray pas oil pastels. But by the time I did, the weather changed - everything going grey. Still beautiful, but we all became a little more conscious it was winter. Shadows disappeared, and snow swirled off the roof tops, as in the little 8" x 8" oil pastel drawing on canvas I did, and am quite fond of, even though it was quickly produced, for the grand jaunte it represents.
By drawing on location, my feet buried in the snow, in a farm pen that I had to climb over a fence to get to, for the view I wanted, I can still feel the crispness of the air, and replay the image of the snow swirling past the silo I was drawing. The paintings of Scotsdale Farm that will be created in the comfort of my Williams Mill studio - these paintings, will certainly benefit from the plein air experience.