Translucent Shadows


Judy painted this scene in order to capture the glow of the shadow of the snow.  On a bright day, snow shadows can be astonishing colours: blue, purple, or this particular luminescent shade of grey.  There it is in the clouds as well, that translucence that comes out of the brightest of whites.


Building Background


The idea behind this painting was to paint the forest behind the lone tree in front, building depth with colour and tree-like shapes.  It was sort of negative painting; I painted each section around the front tree, leaving blank the trunk and globs of snow as I darkened the space around them.  I was also working on creating contrast by softening the background with water, lifting, and loose brush strokes while the front tree was sharply defined.  Turns out I like the odd composition with a vertical trunk right up the centre.  Somehow the turbulent greens behind draw the eye down the trunk until the simpler lines at the bottom help to make sense of the scene.  My eye actually goes back and forth between spaces in the same way my brush did when I painted them.

Mystical Night


Judy’s miniature of the Northern Lights is tiny in size but mighty in colour and allure.  It reminds me of Robert Service’s poem about Sam McGee:

Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you’ve a hunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.
Only, I think you can appreciate the lights better when you are not clean mad and hungry and cold, so just enjoy the painting!

PWS Christmas Party

The Peace Watercolour Society has been enjoying a Christmas get-together for decades.  It involves a yummy potluck supper, a good discussion of all things watercolour, and a card exchange.  That way, not only are we inspired to paint a card, we get an original watercolour from one of our peers!

This year Judy’s card was inspired by a local scene, the Spirit River itself.  The deep blues of the shadowy riverbed look peaceful and mysterious.  Whose tracks are those? What goes on down there where nobody goes?