Saturn

In the morning I will be picking up a 2015 Ford Escape. There is excitement in driving a much newer car than I have had, but admittedly, there is also some sadness.
I’ve never been someone who gets a new car every two or three years. I like to get as many years as I can out of a car after the payments are finished. This is not the first time I’m getting a new car and won’t be the last either, but this time it seems a little different.
I have had my Saturn for over ten years. There have been many repairs in those years, some frustrating moments and more than a few times I’ve screamed at the car. There have also been many wonderful memories. Some great drives up to North Ontario; two months in Timmins in January where I had no trouble getting around even though it was January and February and the snow was deep; drives to some of Ontario’s Provincial parks. I have even slept in the car. The seats in the Saturn recline right back and it is surprisingly comfortable.
It’s an old car. The Saturn is sixteen years old. It has a radio and a CD player only. There is no syncing with a cell phone and it doesn’t have a USB port. It is and old car. I will miss it. A few years ago, my favourite football team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats moved into a brand-new stadium. New concessions; new washrooms; new and much roomier seats. It’s a great new stadium and I love going there to watch football games. I also miss the old stadium. I miss Ivor Wynne Stadium. It was old. It was run down and crumbling. It had cold and ugly washrooms. It had concessions where you might legitimately question whether the food was safe to eat. It was also a wonderful place to watch a football game. Ivor Wynne Stadium had character. It had the spirits of the players and games that have passed through. For all it’s crumbling structure, I still miss the old place just as I will miss my Saturn.
I do have some solace however. The Saturn will see some more life. The Saturn will make one more long trip up to Sault Ste. Marie. It will find some retirement as it will be used to teach my nephew how to drive a manual transmission. The Saturn will see some trips from the Sault to Goulais River. The Saturn can be where my nephew learns how to change oil and maybe learn how to do car repairs.
It has been a very good car to me. I will miss the Saturn. Tonight, I drove it one final time. I then raised a glass and toasted my old friend. To you ‘02 Saturn.

Smoke Lake

Acrylic on canvas board.

On the hardwood lookout trail in Algonquin park I found this beautiful view of the lake framed by trees on both sides. I did this quick sketch in acrylic paint.

I would normally use oil paint as it has a richer feel to it and I look of oil I personally find more satisfying. Acrylics are what I use for plein air painting as they are far easier to clean up. I tried oils recently and found the clean up task to be a pain in the a%&.

Thanks for visiting.

Algonquin park part 2

Today I conquered the track and tower trail. Although the mizzy lake Trail yesterday was a great hike, after all it is the longest trail in the park, it does not have as much climbing as track and tower. There were many pictures taken on the trails including some of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. As I process them I will post them online.

After that trail I enjoyed a decidedly easier one called the hardwood lookout trail. There was a beautiful view of smoke lake that I did a sketch painting of. In the coming days I will post a picture of it as well.

Thanks for visiting.

Algonquin park

This is the second of four nights that I am staying in Algonquin park. After a wonderful day of taking pictures and doing a quick sketch with acrylic paint, the evening is winding down with a campfire.

This post is being done from my phone so I apologize for the lack of a picture of my sketch. When I return home on Thursday I will try to put up some pictures.

Thanks for visiting.

Dreamweaver

For the past several weeks I have been taking tutorials on how to use Adobe Dreamweaver from trainsimple.com.  At first the program is very daunting but once I began to see the power in it’s ability to edit html, I got hooked on learning more and more.  Currently I’m taking the tutorials on bootstrap to create a responsive website.

Hopefully in the not too distant future I will be able to switch from Adobe Muse to Dreamweaver for the site.  Although Muse is an easy program to use it does create some code that even a novice can find quite cluttered.

 

Parks

It’s been quite some time since my last blog entry.  The truth is, I’ve been enjoying the summer weather so much that being outside has been my first and frankly only thought.  Now that the seasons have changed, and the temperature has dropped it’s time to be indoors more.  Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months.

In mid October I took a couple of trips to Ontario Provincial Parks.  The first was for two nights in a yurt at the Pinery on Lake Huron.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with me.  If it wasn’t raining it was cloudy for the entire time.  It will be destination to repeat as there were trails and a beach that I simply must photograph and paint.  I was pleased that at least it didn’t rain in the evenings and I could still enjoy my campfires.

The second week I had much clearer skies for the trip to Algonquin Park.  Even though the leaves had for the most part changed colour and fallen, there was still a fair abundance left on the branches.  There will be more trips there as I had only three nights and not nearly enough time to accomplish much.  I did take almost five hundred pictures, the majority of which will be stitched together into panoramas.  Over the winter months many of the shots I took can be used for paintings in the studio.

Both the Pinery and the Mew Lake campgrounds are open year-round.  This winter I’m hoping to make short trips to each for some winter photography.  They both feature heated yurts after all.

Thank you for reading.

 

Fast sketches 

Another gesture sketch, this one of a belly dancer. I’m quite enjoying these five minute sketches and find they are helping my drawing and painting abilities. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Gestures

Several years ago I took an evening art course at Sheridan college in Oakville. At the start of each class we would begin with very fast sketches of a model posing in different positions then switching to a new pose. 

I recently came to the realization that doing that again would be a great warm-up for drawing and painting, so I went online and downloaded a bunch of pictures of different positions, then randomly put them on screen. I give myself five minutes to do a sketch and then move on to the next one. 

Over time there should be a noticeable improvement in my sketching abilities. Here is an example of a five minute sketch. 

Gesture sketch

Update to site

I’ve updated my website today with a new menu.  Through Muse themes I found a widget that creates a menu that is far more editable than what I could use through the widgets library.

Although I have used it on the current website, I’m also working to replace it with a responsive site in the near future.

Thanks for visiting.