The Peace River rarely freezes over anymore. Instead, large pancakes of ice lazily swirl downstream. Only when you are right above them can you see how fast they are really going, and hear the shushing noises of slush meeting slush. This is Dunvegan Bridge on the Peace River, painted from a photo taken early this year.
This took a few chilly days in December to draw, but what better way to spend a chilly day in December? These are three separate drawings done with washable graphite. I’m still not great at floral composition but as with everything it only gets better with practice. Already it is becoming more enjoyable to approach flowery subjects, which always seem to be a tangle of colour, value, shapes and directions. It is very rewarding to get a result that looks right!
After a couple of weeks of melting, then a week of -30 to -35 degrees C, then a week of melting… we are back to snow and wind and cold! Here is a picture of the thick frost that grew when there was no snow. It looked like snow, only it lined all the cracks so neatly it looked like the brick shapes had been imprinted into it.
Dozens of practice versions have not quite led to what I would like to put into a large painting. I saw a magpie sitting amid berries like these, with a sprig of them in its beak. The strong reds and greens contrasted so crisply with the soft winter hues of the snow and the black and white of the bird that the scene stuck in my mind instantly. I’ve even dreamed the composition, turning the magpie’s head to compliment the arc of the branches… Some day this one is going to come out on paper and it will be very interesting to see how it has evolved from the original idea!