It is mid-September here in my part of the world and that means that autumn is arriving in a hurry. There is an exciting burst of color that will soon give way to 7 months of greyness. Fortunately images captured, can be images savored (and perhaps painted), during the long wait til spring.
In this post I share 5 more (mostly) black and white photos captured in one beautiful September afternoon beside the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, Canada.
and finally, not really a black and white but pretty much mono chromatic except for the rust. This collection of hardware was just sitting on a rock beside the river.
Also see another 5 black and white photos from this shoot in Down by the River (Part I)
This afternoon (2014 September 6) I got down by the edge of the North Saskatchewan River. the main purpose was to throw the ball into the water for my retrieving-crazy dog, but I also had my camera with me. Between throws I took a number of shot of the things that caught my eye. After processing as black and white images, here are a few of them:
See more related images in Part II
For the second year, the first week of July has been an opportunity to escape the city and normal responsibilities for the serenity of the countryside and the inspiration of being around like-minded artists.
A group of 12 painters gathered at the Lazy M Lodge in rural central Alberta for five days of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
My main goal for the week was to focus on painting but I knew my eye would be drawn to many more sights than I could attempt to paint. Therefore my camera would be close at hand and be put to good use capturing references for current and future landscape paintings as well as for some things that are just more suited to photographic images than paint.
My goals for the week were pretty loose but I did want to focus on landscape painting and I did want to work larger and looser with acrylic than I had done the previous year. So I did away with the backpack and pochade box and working on by 9 by 12 inch boards. This year I wouldn’t be packing my gear – I brought some medium size (22 by 28 inch; 56 by 71 cm) stretched canvases, a portable easel and a (5 foot long) folding table. I pre-mixed my acrylic paints half-and-half with a heavy gel to help hold the texture and to extend the working time. I also would use a couple of stay-wet, sealable palettes for color mixing. I used a split-primary color palette and would do mos of my painting thick and with a palette knife)
Of course, my eye was looking not only for landscapes that I could paint quasi-en-plein-air but also for inspirations for future studio abstract paintings. I re-visisted my long-exposure with camera-motion technique to generate some of these ideas:
A project that the group of 12 painters undertook during the week was to produce this composite canvas (4 feet square) to be left at the Lazy M Lodge:
It wasn’t a highly productive week in terms of completed canvases. In fact I completed only 2 (and one is not a keeper). I got a good start on another couple of canvases forming a landscape diptych. Nonetheless, it was a very beneficial week – the rest and rejuvenation benefits can not be understated.
For more photos visit my Lazy M 2014 Flickr album.
In my previous post I shared 5 abstract photos from a 2014 February 17 photoshoot. Here are another 5 from that particularly creative and productive batch.
As with most of my previous abstract photos, my basic technique is to use a long exposure (made possible by a neutral density filter) and then move the camera in a particular direction during the exposure. Post processing to emphasize color and contrast is usually also required.
Someday, I am looking forward to using some of these photographic images as inspiration, starting points for large paintings.
After a few months where cold weather made me less inclined to take my camera out, I did finally do so and concentrated on some long exposure with camera motion abstractions. After a bit of post-processing I came out with some images that I am very happy with:
More images from this abstract photo project can be seen in my follow-up posting.
Sometimes creative success comes upon me by happenstance. Today I was on my way to the studio to do some painting and as it was a nice morning I decided to walk through the river valley and take my camera with me. As I was leaving I realized that I didn’t have a polarizing filter with me but I did have my neutral density filter so I changed plans and decided I’d focus on some long-exposure camera motion abstraction,since it had been awhile since I’d done any photography in that vein.
As I reached the river valley I noticed runners, lots of runners, with numbers – there was a race going on. It was the Edmonton Heartbeat Run and that was very fortunate as it gave me lots of (moving) subjects and color to work in to my abstract photos. I snapped away, unsure of what I was really capturing but when I got home and processed the images I was quite pleased with what I had:
It is has been a while since I’ve posted here on the blog. I do have intentions to share what I’ve been up to but for now here are five abstract photos that I took/created this third week of June 2013:
2013 March 8 – the Alberta Society of Artists (ASA) New Members Show Opening
It started about a year earlier when I submitted images of my recent paintings to the ASA in application for full member status. In April 2012 I received word that I had been juried-in as a full member.
One of the things the ASA does to welcome new members is to give them an opportunity to participate in an exclusive New Member’s show. This year it was at the Artpoint Gallery and Studio Society in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
I had brought my three paintings for the show, from my home in Edmonton to Calgary a few weeks before the show, when I had drove to Calgary for a meeting. I came back down to Calgary for the Opening but this time chose to travel by bus.
I walked from downtown to the Artpoint Gallery for the opening – a pleasant 25 minute stroll in the late afternoon sun of a springlike day. I arrived at the gallery a bit before six for the Opening which ran from 5 to 9. The gallery was pretty quiet at that time, but the crowds built as the evening progressed and the room was pretty full by 7 when the artists each spoke a bit about their work (or in the case of Shona Rae, did a fascinating story-telling performance).
I was one of 8 new ASA members showing in this exhibition. The others were:
When my turn came to speak, I spoke briefly about my background – a lifelong Albertan with a longtime interest in the visual arts including painting, photography and sculpting. I then said a few words about each of my three paintings in the show (all were painted in 2012 but representing different approaches):
acrylic on hardboard
61 by 91 cm (24×36 inches)
This work is an example of by approach of working plein air. This work was developed in the studio based on a small sketch that I had done on-site. The particular location of this was near the central Alberta community of Markerville but it depicts a fairly generic and common prairie/parkland scene on a summer afternoon, when the dark clouds roll in from the west.
acrylic on canvas
61 by 91 cm (24×36 inches)
This painting is an example of an increasingly common technique in my work, of using my own abstracted photographs as the inspiration and reference for abstracted landscapes. I use a technique of multiple second exposures while I move the camera to create the abstraction/simplification of the scene.
oil on canvas
46 by 46 cm (18x 18 inches)
This non-representational (abstract) work was one of a small series of exploration I began in October of 2012. The key feature of this series is the technique of drawing into the wet oil paint, using a variety of tools, to leave marks and reveal the underpainting.
All in all, it was a great evening – a chance for me to meet some artists and art lovers I had not known and see some interesting work. It was an opening to a good exhibition that I am proud to be part of.
The show runs until March 30th (2013) in Calgary.
Here is part 2 of my photos from a cold (and a bit foggy) January evening walk around the town of Olds, Alberta. Part 1 featured color photos (subdues as they were); this set is all black and white: