painting and photographic works

A Series Experience – Color in the Landscape (part 5)

The fifth and final day of our “Colour in the Landscape” course at Red Deer College. As they always seem to do when one is having fun, this week flew by. Check out time from the campus residences is noon and since we weren’t going to be on campus all day, I packed up my stuff from my room and turned in my key before heading to class for our usual critique and debriefing.

This day we would again be out “in the field” painting. Again I would discover a hidden gem of a location and this one was within Red Deer and but a 5 minute drive from campus. We headed out to Heritage Ranch, which is right off the Queen Elizabeth II highway, next to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.This site featured a ranch a restaurant and most importantly for us access to some great landscapes. Red Deer may be on the prairies but  there is a magnificent, deep and wooded river valley accessible from this location. Taking a long, steep set of stairs down to the edge of the Red Deer River gave us this scene.

The Red Deer River

I climbed back up those stairs and set off north along the bike path  that lead to a variety of picturesque scenes through the woods and along the low flats

Winding Path

I was quite pleased to discover this peaceful lake down in the park:

Peaceful Lake

I sat down on a rock beside the lake and got out my oil pastels to do a reference sketch. The only drawback to this was that the sun was pretty hot that  afternoon, making the oil pastels pretty soft. At many places the trail wound through heavily treed forest – a motif that frequently attracts my attention.

Back up at the top of the bank, behind the restaurant I found a number of my classmates painting, with instructor Dave More nearby to offer help.


Around 3 pm I wrapped up my sketching and photography activities and headed back to Red Deer College to pack up all of my supplies from the studio. It took over half an hour to clean up and get my gear into my vehicle. This is always a sad time after a good and intense week. Once I was loaded up I started my way up highway 2 towards Edmonton but not before stopping back off at the Heritage Ranch to say goodbye to those of the group who were still there working.


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