Watercolour Weekend at the Black Cat Guest Ranch

Judy and Carolyn enjoyed a lovely getaway at the Black Cat Guest Ranch, nestled, as they say, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  See for yourself: here’s the view from our room.DSCF5934Of course a ranch needs horses like a painter needs subjects:


Don’t worry, it’s an old horse on a hot day.

It might have been a mountain retreat, but we were there to work!  We were taking a course with Robert Sinclair, an Edmonton watercolourist with an eye for profound simplicity and elegance.  The mountains were the prime subject for his style.  Even my geological, detail-oriented mind could appreciate the reduction of shape, texture and colour backed by smooth, layered washes that characterize his work.  By the second day, distracted by conversation, a studio tour and a pile of intriguing photographs, I was even starting to acquire some simplicity and elegance in my own work.

Judy jumped right into the unfamiliar palette and style.  She fired off a range (hee hee) of mountain paintings and came home with the makings of a themed exhibition.  I’ll post the collection in the next few days.

The weekend was mostly hot and sunny.  We did begin painting outside, but it is not wise to roast one’s brain.  The Ranch is set up for artists and writers needing work spaces, and for integrating the gorgeous outdoor panorama with the comfortable indoors.  Saturday afternoon we spread out in front of the windows with the best view in the house.  The June light made it possible to paint until 10 p.m.

DSCF6009DSCF5993A body of work accumulates far more quickly when an artist can just sit and paint until the the meal bell rings, move ten feet to a hot and plentiful buffet, then drift back to work…  It was a lovely weekend 🙂


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