Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cottle Lake

I am working on another painting now. It is of Cottle Lake - a small lake in Linley Valley in Nanaimo. I am carrying on with my yellow sky theme and am putting in a suggestion of an arbutus - even though arbutus trees don't grow on the shore of the lake - only on the rock bluffs above the lake.

Here is a photo of a photo of Cottle Lake taken a couple years ago. It is a lovely sunny early spring day - no leaves on the alders yet. We used to walk up to Cottle Lake all the time. However, the lake is now part of a city park and dogs have to be on leash so there doesn't seem to be much of a reason to go there anymore.
Here is an unusual painting by Emily Carr. She calls it "Happiness." I think it is a pine tree against the golden light of ...what? Sunrise? Sunset? Summer sun? Whatever it is, I love the golden colour. Also the brush strokes and the tree trunk with its branches. I am  planning to use this colour scheme in my Cottle Lake picture. It's very helpful to know what colours I can use to paint the the trees and reflections while keeping the yellow and ochre sky. The pale turquoise is very appealing.

I have finally finished taking my biaxin prescription for my sinus infection and deafness. It gave me a stomach ache plus nausea and even dizziness and did not improve my asthma - but I'm not deaf anymore thank goodness.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rocks and grass

Today i worked on the rocks and lower part of the trunk. It's getting there.

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4 - some branches added

I worked for a couple of days adding in the arbutus branches. Arbutuses are very strange trees. Not only do they loose their red bark and yellow leaves all summer long, but they can be more than half dead and still keep growing. They also have unusual branching patterns - which can result in a series of interesting curves at the end of branches. They never seem to grow symmetrically - always reaching for the sunlight.

In this painting I am trying to show all these things. I am intentionally having a lot of blank yellow sky on the right to emphasize how asymmetrical this tree is - as it leans toward the water. However, the sun is past noon and the light is now coming from the right side. I'm wondering about the anchored sailboat. I think it adds a lot complexity to the painting and sort of restores the sense of balance.  My next idea is to darken the roots of the grass and put some rocks in the ground below the tree to try to stabilize it a bit.

The other interesting thing about arbutuses is that always grow with fir trees - often entwined with each other. I call them arby and firby! In this painting, there is no nearby fir tree - but the trees on the other side of the inlet are firs. I am almost tempted to paint a few fir bows on the right hand side - as appear in the photo - but am reluctant to mess up the tippy design.