I have a show coming up in Edmonton at the Naess Gallery from the end of August to the end of September 2014. This show will feature cityscapes. In order to get Edmonton subjects I have been painting in Edmonton twice in the past month. I was there last week for 4 days and it was a fabulous time.
The first reason that it was so positive is that it was the first time I have ever painted on a busy sidewalk, smack in the middle of downtown in any city. I was a little apprehensive but it turned out to be a great experience. Many people stopped and everyone was extremely positive.
The second reason I enjoyed was the actual paintings I did. I’m very happy with the results. I have long been a proponent of plein air (on location) painting but I continually discover new joys in doing it. In fact I recently came across a quote that sums it up nicely for me: “Plein air painting gives us the improvisational spirit, something that an artist may not get in a comfortable studio. By planting your feet on the ground, you feel the power of “earth energy” and a new-found honesty. Plein air strokes take on pioneer wisdom. While challenging, even daunting, the new complexity tests your ability to think things out.”
These are the 3 paintings I did on location.
This painting of the Hotel MacDonald was started at 5:45 in the morning. The sun was just rising and that orange glow caught part of the building. 10 minutes later the light completely changed so I kept this particular view in my mind. I enjoyed the challenge of integrating the darker shape of the trees. I was lucky to find this little unused door way where I could keep out of the way of the pedestrian traffic.
In the afternoon I moved down Jasper Ave and was quite inspired by this scene.
The next day I moved to Whyte Ave and found the shape of the historic Dominion Hotel building very attractive. The sidewalk was very crowded since this was the first day of ‘Art Walk’.