“Autumn Walk, Dr. George Trail, Gaetz Lake Sanctuary” – New Painting of the Canadian Landscape (Red Deer, Alberta)

blog Autumn Walk  Dr George Trail Gaets Lake Sanc 2014 border

“Autumn Walk, Dr. George Trail, Gaetz Lake Sanctuary”
11 inches by 14 inches
acrylic on panel

This painting captures a morning walk through fall leaves along the Dr. George Trail. The Dr. George Trail is a 1 km loop the runs through the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary located just behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, AB, Canada. A mix of evergreen and deciduous trees plus wetlands and grasslands makes for an interesting stroll.

I have decided to work on a series of paintings based on this natural area. We frequent the area often and see it throughout the seasons;  the sanctuary has endless possibilities for paintings. So far I have completed three finished paintings and three in progress from this area.

For the last few months I have made the switch from painting on bigger canvases to painting on smaller panels. The switch has also included going from detailed up close subject matter to broader landscape views. I expected the switch to not make much of a difference in the way that I painted, however I was very wrong. The first challenge was paint seemed flatter on the panel, I eventually solved that problem with working in some glazes to build depth. The second challenge was working on a smaller scale. I thought the smaller scale would create stiffer contrived pieces, but strangely the smaller paintings ended up looser (well after the first painting or three that is!). The paintings look more like something out of my sketch books. At first it seemed odd, but after I thought about it, it made complete sense. The smaller size was like working in a sketchbook, as was the smooth surface. I also have sketched “landscapes” for years, but have only painted them on rare occasions. So the big decision now is whether I continue to paint like I sketch or do I tighten it up. The other option is to paint the same painting two different ways. This may seem a bit repetitive, but could also be very interesting in seeing the outcome. I’ll have to see if the right spot inspires me to try the two painting scenario.

Painting by Debra Hunter


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