Winter Walk – Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary 

Even though the afternoons are getting darker and darker as the days shorten, we still try to get out for walks most days. We are lucky to live near several natural areas with paths, but one of our favourites is Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary. One portion of the trail is a quick loop, perfect for cold days or when you are racing against the light to fit a walk in.

The pictures today are just iPhone pics, lighting was so poor it made no sense to take a camera along. Still, the walk was nice, and it is always good to get outside.






Photography by Debra Hunter

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October Afternoon, Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, En Plein Air Watercolour

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Yesterday it felt like fall, which was a good thing taking into account the two weeks of snow we had earlier in the month. With the sun shining the weather just begged for me to put work aside for an hour and get outside.

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As Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary is close to home, it seemed like the natural choice for a place to go. I had been thinking about doing another en plein air watercolour painting for a while, so this seemed the perfect opportunity.

I had remembered a bench along one of the trails, so I chose that as the destination.

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Twenty minutes later a loose and colorful watercolour was complete. 5″x7″ in size. A great afternoon break.

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http://www.debra-hunter.com

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Painting Two Days In A Row

blog Bax april 11 2016It doesn’t happen often, but I have managed to get out painting two days in a row. Quick, en plein air sessions, but painting none the less. Today my youngest was my company. He ate his lunch on location while I snuck in a quick 30 minute paint before doing the school run.

i Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary April 11 2016_4670 aA quick paint again at Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary. Painting close to home makes it easy. It also allows me to revisit scenes and see how I approach it differently.

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Autumn Close Ups (……..and camera stories)

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It seems as if I have been a bit slow at blogging recently. It has been a combination of working on a restoration job, knitting and dyeing madly to complete an order, trip after trip to the cabin to sort out the disintegrating  floor, plus the blogging camera being out of commission due to the “not working” lens. I finally had to make a decision with regards to the camera situation. I had to decide between using the studio cameras, wait it out for the Olympus situation to be sorted out, or buy another camera. I chose to buy another camera (ironically on the same day Olympus decided to repair the lens).

 

In the end I decided to buy another Canon camera to use just for blogging. It might be a little bigger than the Olympus camera was, but I have a ton of glass I can use with it. I also needed to have something reliable, and Canon has been very reliable as cameras for me with my photography business. The images here are from the new camera.

blog gaetz lake IMG_1182These pictures are taken in the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta. Many of the images I shot that day have been photographed with a painting in mind. Luckily a few leaves still linger on the trees, while the late afternoon makes for interesting lighting. Hopefully we will have a few more snow-free weeks to be able to enjoy this natural area before having to break out the snowshoes.

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Photography by Debra Hunter
www.thehuntergroup.ca

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Frogs on the Blog

frogI recently took a break from stitching and beading (and feeding children and doing laundry) to spend an afternoon at the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary in Red Deer, Alberta (Canada). Walking down to the bird blind we were serenaded by the songs of frogs.

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We stopped at one area that was particularly loud, looked down into the water, and saw frogs everywhere.

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Getting close for photos wasn’t an option as these images were taken through the slats on the bridge leading to the blind. Still, the frogs look pretty interesting by cropping in.

frogsI think frogs are pretty interesting to watch. They will move quickly, then stop and stay perfectly still for ages. The way they swim is great to watch.

froIn all the times I have been down to Gaetz Lake this is the first time I have ever seen frogs. On this visit  I must have just been at the right place at the right time.

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Still Iced Up

We seem to be experiencing the never-ending winter. In other years we would have seen much of the snow melted away by now, children splashing in puddles and even a few tulips poking through the earth. Unfortunately here we are, the end of March, and winter is still very much here; so much so that again today was spent snowshoeing. Here are a few of icicle images from this weekend’s winter outing.

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Ladyslipper – Another W.I.P.

work in progress - ladyslipperIt appears that some how February became the month to put my mind to finishing unfinished pieces. So far a painting and a bracelet have been finished, plus a second painting completed, and a large amount of hours spent stitching the grain elevator piece. Here’s another one….the ladyslipper painting.

Last time I touched this painting was in July of 2013.

This seems to happen a bit. Start a painting with great enthusiasm. Real life happens. Push painting aside. Painting sits and sits.

Last night I decided to dust off the dust (literally….you really don`t need a description of that! LOL!) and put a few hours into the painting.

WIP - ladyslipperThis is another image based on the sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. An area I am toying with using as a theme. I talk about that a little in a post I just put up on my other blog.

This painting is acrylic on canvas, but the canvas is quite small measuring in at 10 inches by 10 inches. Still more work to do, but it is getting there.

 Deep Snow in the Sanctuary 2014 (Kerry Wood Nature Centre)I also did finish the painting I shared a few days ago and the story and details can be found by clicking here.

Back to the easel or stitching or dyeing or knitting to see what else can be finished!

New painting almost there……

On Sunday I shared a post showing a new painting on the easel. Yesterday I decided to escape from “real world events” and spent several hours painting away at the easel with the music turned loud and a steady flow of cups of tea.

On Sunday the 16 inch by 20 inch painting looked like this.

beginning of a new paintingIt was pretty quick to rough in as I have been snowshoeing past this spot all winter.

By the end of yesterday it was looking like this:

work in progress - kerry woodAlmost there.

Just a little more detailing in the trees and I think we are good.

wall easelI also wanted to share a shot including the easel. This is a wall mounted easel that I ordered in from Blick in the States a few years ago and I love it. The easel means I can always have work up without fear of a husband or one of the five kids knocking it over. If you have either space constraints or a really busy home (or both in our case!) it is an awesome piece of equipment to make painting easy. So far the largest canvas I have painted on it is a 3 foot by 5 foot, but I think it will take a little larger.

I also love how the center column is magnetic as it is great for reference images and a safe place to hold your lottery tickets.

It’s been one of those weeks. One of those weeks when you say “Let’s buy a lotto ticket, win,  and escape this mess!”.

On the topic of lotto tickets, last night my husband and I were discussing how large a section of land is. Followed by looking on MLS. We figured that might be just about large enough to escape the hassles of real life……if we put the house right in the middle of the section of land. My children weighed in their opinion…….“Can we have a moat?!”. Seems like they are “done” too.

Off to paint more. I’ll share the finished results soon at www.debrahunter.wordpress.com and on my website www.thehuntergroup.ca .

New Painting On The Easel

beginning of a new paintingThe beginning of a new painting is  currently sitting on the easel. I rarely paint landscapes of Alberta. To be honest I only have a handful of British Columbia seascapes that I have painted just to bring the ocean home with me.

The last last 5 years or so I have mostly painted big canvases of small flowers ( and the odd tree trunk ). For some reason I had the “Doesn’t everyone paint landscapes?” attitude in my head and because of it had steered pretty clear of the subject matter. I actually sketch landscapes all the time in my sketch book when we are on the road, and I also used to paint a lot of watercolor landscapes (before I had a lot of kids!), but the interest never transferred to the canvas.

For the last couple of years I have found myself stopping and taking photographs at the very same spot at a local nature sanctuary ( Kerry Wood Nature Centre). It is just a spot I like. On a recent snowshoe outing I again took a few pictures. The huge amount of snow we have had created a simplified version of the scene, and because of the simplicity I thought that maybe I should paint it.

So here is the canvas about three hours in. It is 16 inches by 20 inches and acrylic on canvas. Guess what, I kind of like it. Maybe painting landscapes is okay. The painting still has hours to go, and I’m looking forward to getting into the details on the tree trunks, but I am pretty glad I gave painting landscapes on canvas a chance.

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Artwork by Debra Hunter
paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets & coffee sweaters
www.thehuntergroup.ca
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

www.debrahunter.wordpress.com

Kerry Wood Nature Centre – Bluebells

bluebellsToday’s images are again from our walk along the paths in the sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta. During our walk the bluebells were everywhere, providing splashes of blue along the edges of the path. My “Alberta Wayside Wildflowers” book by Linda Kershaw is proving to be very valuable in identifying the wildflowers I have been photographing recently.

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