Spring Crossing

This watercolour was based on a couple of old photos of my Grandfather coming to the Peace Country.  That’s him in the red coat.  I’m not sure why the wagon wasn’t loaded.  They wouldn’t have arrived in the spring during the thaw; perhaps this was an expedition rather than a challenge on the settlement trail.  The second photo was of the horses pulling up on the near side of the river.  So they made it and continued on with whatever their business was.

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The painting was done using Moonglow, except for the red coat. I like the monochrome but I also like the way Krieghoff used bright red so sparingly and so eye-catchingly.

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Images From Canada Day

We spent two lovely days at Fort Dunvegan Historical Site on the Peace River, Alberta.  We roasted bannock, toured historic buildings, listened to the Grande Prairie and District Pipes and Drums, played old fashioned carnival games and had rides on horse drawn carts.  Happy (belated) Canada Day!

Hard Luck Canyon

20 kilometres south of Whitecourt, Alberta is a hidden gem for picnickers, walkers, and those who like to play in creeks.  Hardluck Canyon is an unexpected beauty spot just a short walk from the parking lot.DSCF0372.jpg

The view from the top is beautiful (in the picture you can’t see the waterfall you cross over).  The tree and cliffs are too big to fit in the camera’s view but the framing of the scene is perfect.  Steep stairs will take you down to the creek for a splash in the swimming hole and a better view of the waterfall.  There is also some interesting art carved into the soft rock:

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Not that I recommend scratching up a beautiful natural area, but is nice to see that some people received inspiration enough to move beyond “I wuz here”, “T + L” or other short words requiring limited effort and spelling ability.

Birds in Boots

We haven’t identified these unusual strangers who seemed to blow in with the blizzard this Easter Weekend.  Anyone out there in the know?

They look like they are wearing black snow boots.  They should be!  Unfortunately they also have spring fever and find themselves tails up in the snow after flying too fast.DSCF0061.jpg

Update: They are dark-eyed juncos!

Kids’ Watercolours

Here is a small sample of the 200 or so paintings done by Fairview schoolchildren.  Grade 4 did the tropical wave, Grade 5 painted the house and garden, and Grade Six created the mountain scenes.  All of the paintings will be on display this May at the Fairview Fine Arts Centre, thanks to the Children’s Art Programs Committee.

Grade Three Banners

Each year in Fairview, grade three students get to paint their own banner to decorate the lamp posts in town.  This year the theme was the history of the Peace River.  Here are some of the creations the kids came up with.  They are just finished.  The paint isn’t even dry.

The fur trade played a huge role in developing and settling the Peace Country.  Here you see a beaver.

The Dunvegan Bridge is a bright suspension bridge spanning the Peace River Valley.  It was built in 1960, which seems like ancient history to a third grader.

The Dunne-za were the first people to discover the wonders of the Peace Country.  The kids can identify with the tepees because they can visit modern reproductions at Dunvegan Provincial Historic Park.