There is a very enthusiastic group of plein air painters that meet at least once a week to paint on location. I have painted with them on occasion and it’s always a most enjoyable experience. Last Friday, Oct 3, a call went out that CTV wanted to do a human interest piece on this group and more bodies would be welcome.
Susan, my wife, and I went along. I’ve passed the boat launch many times but never been in so I was very surprised to end up in this beautiful little gorge with large rock cliffs on 3 sides and a bit of a rocky beach on the other side. The Elbow River cuts right through it. It was a little cool but after a while the sun came out and it was transformed into a beautiful warm spot. The feeling of being enclosed by the cliffs lent it an unusual air.
I have painted on location many, many times in the past couple of years and I always enjoy it a great deal but this time, for some reason was special. I looked for a long time at the various possible subjects until one just jumped out at me. The colour was mostly a dark grey with accents of orange in the rock so I knew that I would mostly be using Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. There was a bit of early snow.
Feeling very comfortable that I had a plan of attack firmly in mind I
began painting with total abandon. The only analogy I can use is that my brush ‘danced’ on the paper. I felt completely free and in the moment. It was like I was just the vehicle that enabled this painting to come into being. The paint was flying and as you can see it was dripping all over the place. The painting is very accurate to the actual scene but I think it has a tremendous energy. But for me it’s really the fact that it’s a record of a wonderful, almost spiritual moment.