painting and photographic works

Artistic Retreat

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.

My makeshift outdoor studio

My makeshift outdoor studio

A group of 12 painters gathered at the Lazy M Lodge in rural central Alberta for five days of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Alberta countryside near the Lazy M

Alberta countryside near the Lazy M

The North Raven River

The North Raven River beside the Lazy M

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)

Paint for the week

Paint for the week

Lazy M Driveway

Lazy M Driveway

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:

Green Between Pink

Green Between Pink

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:

Lazy M Group Project

Lazy M Group Project

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.

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