Clouds for an Artist

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Judy captured an image of a spectacular cloud over the Peace Country.  For about half an hour it churned slowly, billowing in slow motion.  Then suddenly it was gone, absorbed into the shapeless mass of cloud that moved off to the north.  Three artists saw the cloud and wanted to paint it!

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Rain Moth

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Walking through the garden after a downpour, I spotted this moth, looking like a battered old leaf stuck in the metal guard around the apple tree trunk.  It was just a little too symmetrical to my eye.  Turns out my hunch was right: it was a moth with brilliant camouflage.

Paint Out at Kleskun Hills

Our chosen destination for the first paint out of the year was the Kleskun Hills, a geological anomaly just north of Grande Prairie, Alberta.  It is the site of the northernmost badlands in Alberta (maybe in Canada, I’ll check).  The flora, fauna and soil is very different from the expected. Besides the hills, the place features vistas of farmland, distant hills and even the Rockies, a forested campground and a museum full of pioneer buildings and equipment.  There was plenty to photograph and paint.

Here are some of the sights at Kleskun Hills:

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Paint Pouring Plus a Brush

Judy’s paint pouring demonstration shows that you don’t have to hang up your brush if you use the paint pouring technique.  Here, she poured first but added a lot of detail using her skill with a brush.  It makes for a detailed, yet glowing painting with beautiful colour and contrast.

Cascade

Paint Pouring

Grandeur

Pouring paint is a fun technique where the painting goes really fast because you literally pour on the pigment!  However, there is a lot of drawing and filling in with masking fluid… which means major thinking and planning ahead.  This painting shows some of my learning process, including finding out that my blue paint would granulate, but not reliably!  Compare the right side with the left: the right granulated with the red while the left did not.

Cattail Dance

Cattail Dance

Whew!  We’ve had such a busy spring I can’t remember which paintings I’ve posted.  I don’t think I would have posted Cattail Dance.  It was a demo from our negative painting course in Fairview this April.  See how the dark snow behind the frost on the cattails makes the brights stand out?