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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #39/#40

#39 - "Vancouver Skyline"
Original Oil 6x8"

10/05/30 (1:30pm)
When I was out in Vancouver teaching a workshop recently, I had the opportunity to spend a day plein air painting with my good friend and fantastic watercolourist David McEown.

For the first painting, I found I was really captivated by the city skyline in the far distance. I kept looking around to find less complex subjects, and being drawn back to this. The obvious challenge here was simplification, between boats and lots of people on the beach, about a gazillion boulders on the shoreline, and of course the city buildings, I really had to sort out what was essential to convey my inspiration. In the end this was it.

#40 - "West Coast Blues"
Original Oil 6x8"
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This study was done from the same spot but looking across the water toward Lighthouse Park. It was raining lightly and pretty socked in. David has hundreds of days of plein air under his belt, and he approaches it in a very soft, meditative way. He says there are moments painting outdoors when the observer and the observed become one, when all sense of separation is gone. That was the space I tried to rest in while painting this one.

Here's a shot of David painting. Little bugger did 4 to my 2. For those of you on the West Coast, he will be instructing at the FCA's Gabriola workshop this September along with Mike Svob, Brent Heighton and Deanne Lemley. If you're going, you're going to love him!


  1. I love the rocks, so warm and colorful, and the soft skies and the distance. Beautiful colors. These are great.

  2. I love the colors. Very Nova Scotia even though it's the other coast.

  3. Wow, Vancouver skyline: Those are colors you can't get from photographic reference... So subtle and sensitive your rendering is, very inspiring!!