The Iced Lake

sylvan lake, alberta, canada

On Sunday we decided to go for a winter lakeside walk. It has been ages since I have ventured to the lakefront at Sylvan Lake, which is a bit odd seeing it is only 20 km from home. I think the fact that the lake is so busy in the summer had kept Sylvan Lake off our list of destinations. Winter, however, provided a much more relaxed setting of fairly empty sidewalks, easy to find parking, and still a rather pretty lake.

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The trees were quite eye catching as they twisted framing in the lake.

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The straight horizon highlights a large expanse of ice. A few were brave enough to tackle the lake on skates, but the ice shacks for fishing have yet to appear for the winter.

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And of course one last picture of trees. Perhaps they will be inspiration for a future painting.

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Photography by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com
www.handmade-canada.com

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Another Printmaking Experiment

 2x4 wood cutI’ve decided instead of boring everyone with rants regarding the upcoming federal election, that I will instead bore you with some experimental art projects (LOL).

Today’s experiment is a scrap piece of 2×4 used for a wood cut for printmaking. I have no idea how this will print. I am hoping for a rustic feel, and maybe even some grain showing (like in the wax crayon test on the left). Maybe tomorrow I will print it. Sometimes you just have to have a play.

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Black and Blue – a work-in-progress post

It’s been a while since I did a work in progress post so I thought I would share a play-by-play on an ink drawing/painting (you decide) from the other evening. I thought another “feel good” post was in order.

blog black and blue 1We start with the basic setup as captured on my iPhone. Ink, palette, heavy watercolor paper taped to a piece of panel, brush, water and the obligatory cup of tea. The iPad mini holds my all-in-one stash of images for art inspiration, plus Tune In Radio so I can listen to BBC 4 (I’ve mostly given up on CBC).

blog black and blue 2I start with very light blue ink to block in the distant horizon and the rocks in the foreground. This gives me a starting place.

blog black and blue 3Then come the trees. I resist getting caught up in the details and instead put down the basic shape.

blog black and blue 4I start to add some depth with a medium blue ink. It’s an interesting process working at this stage where the image is in monochrome, but it isn’t black and white.

blog black and blue 5From a medium blue to a full intensity blue the drawing/painting starts to come to life. It is a bit too Delft for my liking so I decide to work into the piece with some black.

blog bridges road in black and blue 2015 5x7 borderThe final image completed ( and photographed in the studio rather than with my phone). I think the blue and black work well together.

More details about this piece can be found on my other blog by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in seeing the location that inspired this piece, it can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com
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Winter Cabin Visit

Today I am sharing a few more images from our February visit to our cabin. I am focusing on the beautiful rural scenery rather the disaster happening inside the actual cabin. Blue sky and snow make for stunning images.

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Trees in the cabin’s backyard.

Winter roads.

Winter roads.

Footprints and trees.

Footprints and trees.

Blue sky and leafless trees.

Blue sky and leafless trees.

The last picture is one of my favorites. It sums up why it is so great sneaking away to this part of the world.

blog lake isle_3902 aPhotography by Debra Hunter.
www.debra-hunter.com

 

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Progression of a Painting

I though it might be fun to work through the progression of a painting I finished recently. With the majority of my paintings I use photographs I have taken as a starting point. Generally they are shot with painting specifically in mind. For this particular painting it was a photograph taken on Roe Islet on Pender Island (BC, Canada).

view through the trees photo_3512 aWorking from a photograph makes sense. A busy family with busy children does not mix well with working on location. Generally I shoot a ton of images, edit down the ones I want to paint from, and then I email them to my iPad. Working from the iPad has taken a bit of figuring out, I’ve been doing it for about 6 months. Overall I think it is a better way to work than from a flat photograph on paper. I find I don’t get as hung up on the details and feel I have more license to tweak things. I can also carry around the iPad to think about the next step. I will often shoot the “work in progress” on the iPad so that I can look at it too while plotting the next step. Interestingly my favorite photography images are rarely my favorite images for inspiration for a painting.

blog view through the trees inspiration 2014 4x6 borderWith this painting I decided to do an “inspiration” painting first. It is a small 4″x6″ acrylic on panel. I get bored with the idea of doing sketches, however the idea of a mini painting made sense. A small investment of time and materials gave me a sense of what I liked about the painting and what I would change. It also meant that by using the same materials (acrylic and panel) I knew exactly what I was working with color and technique.

blog view through the trees 2014 11x14The final painting evolved a little further as I worked from both the iPad and the 4×6 painting. The sky and water gained more interesting color combinations, the hills pushed back to create more distance, the leaves lightened up, the tree trunks got swoopier, and there were some nice pops of red. I really like the swoopy trunks and the reds; they will be making a return appearance in another painting for sure.

Even as I write this blog post I am discovering more. It is interesting looking at this progression as it is presented together here in the same format. I am seeing the value in doing the small painting first and how it helps make sense of the information, especially when there is a lot going on as is the case on the right hand side of the view. It is very interesting looking at these three images together.

 

Photography and art by Debra Hunter.
www.thehuntergroup.ca

Also blogging at:
www.debrahunter.wordpress.com
www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com
www.woodleaneighbours.wordpress.com

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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Fire on the Mountain

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We passed this spectacle a few hours ago. It is a prescribed burn in Banff National Park ( Alberta, Canada). This is just east of Castle Mountain. The fire had attracted quite a crowd and smoke was visible for miles.

Apple Blossoms

Our neighbourhood is in bloom with pink and white blossoms everywhere. This selection of images were all taken on a short stroll of about 200 feet. As you can imagine our neighbourhood is pretty picturesque this time of year.

(please click on the above images to view full size)

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