Barn Swallow


This was one of those paintings that just didn’t pan out as it was meant to.  The barn swallow was on the fence post of the pasture with three horses conferring under a tree in the background.  Well, what was once 16 x 20 is much more impressive as a 5 x 7!  Goodbye, out of focus horses.  The Barn Swallow is the main event.


Cutting it Down to Size

Sometimes a painting is much improved by a liberal cropping.  This one was a typical shape, 12 x 15 or so, and the point was the bright sky overhead.  Something looked a bit “pretty” about it though.  It wasn’t quite appealing.  When looking for something for a members’ show, Carolyn needed to frame something fast.  There was a small frame in a long rectangle… hmm!  Cutting out that bright sky changes the centre of interest.  The river still reflects the sky without having both actually showing.  The shape is lovely for accentuating the depth of the valley.  Success!  And just in time 🙂FullSizeRender (78).jpg

Revisiting the Sparkle Experiment

When I thought I might be finished with my mica-based Daniel Smith sparkly paint experimental painting, I set it up to look at for a while.  In the first photo, you can see how it was at that point.  As the sun moved across the room, there was a moment when the shadows fell in just the right places to look as if they were right in the scene (middle picture).  I snapped a photo and went off to adjust my painting.  I liked the streak of shadow across the water and the beam of shadow across the centre, showering the left deer.

The photo on the right is the result, although I find it really difficult to photography the sparkle paints.  The colours did not change that much.  It’s more on the teal green side than the navy blue, and the deer on the right is definitely in shadow, so much so that it is difficult to see on first glance.  Here’s a close up to show how much sparkle there is.  You can tell it would be a different painting from each very slight change in angle.


Scenes From the Ranch – Carolyn’s Efforts

Our Peace Valley Guest Ranch Watercolour Retreat was fantastic!  What was forecast to be a wet, cloudy weekend was in fact hot, sunny, and interspersed with some spectacular clouds and atmospheric fog.  We thoroughly enjoyed the place, the people, the trail rides and the meals.  Getting some half decent paintings was a bonus!

Here are Carolyn’s efforts from three days at the Ranch (not including dozens of photos):

Oil Painting Course

Judy started out in oils.  So did Carolyn.  Only she ate them.  So Judy and Carolyn retired from oils for a while.  Just recently, however, both took an oil painting course.

Our styles our similar… our colour choices differ quite a bit.  Can you tell whose is whose?

The finished result.  We were both quite pleased with our oil paintings.  There may be more seen here in future.

(Judy left, Carolyn right)

Mount Robson

Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, is also fabulously scenic.  It’s just exactly what a mountain should look like: snow capped pointy bits and formidable cliffs, framed by the gentler slopes of lower mountains and finished with a variety of lush trees and a mountain meadow.

It is also easy to take a classic tourist picture, since a viewing platform and information centre with a vast parking lot, lunch counter and souvenir shop (and gas station) are only metres from the highway.  Here is the iconic Mount Robson:


It isn’t every day one can see the top of Mount Robson.  Usually there is cloud cover.  Last year, smoke from forest fires concealed the view almost entirely:


Still, the people took pictures.  For many, just being on the spot was a once in a lifetime experience.

Carolyn likes to look for a picture besides the standard perfect shot.  Here’s her memory of Mount Robson, July 2019.


Peace Valley Guest Ranch Collection

Carolyn and Judy have been painting the scenes from the Peace Valley Guest Ranch for several years now. It never fails to produce spectacular scenes for inspiration, so we’re really looking forward to the Retreat this July.  Here is a collection of paintings we’ve done: