Afternoon En Plein Air – Gaetz Lakes Trail

A quick afternoon watercolour painted en plein air at the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, in Red Deer, Alberta (Canada).

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http://www.debra-hunter.com

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Johnson Lake Paintings – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

I was recently going through a few paintings from spring of 2016. During that time I was taking a theme and then doing a few paintings based on a single theme before moving to a new subject matter. I thought it would be interesting to do a post showing a few paintings based on a single location.

These paintings are all from Johnson Lake which is located in Banff National Park (Alberta, Canada).

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Johnson Lake #4 – 8″x10″, acrylic on paper, 2016

This first painting is from the viewpoint looking back on the trail that skirts the lake. This is a lovely spot for walking with clear views and the warm sun often bounces off the slope.

Johnson Lake #3

Johnson Lake #3 – 8″x10″, acrylic on paper, 2016

This view of Johnson Lake is one of the first scenes one sees when they approach the lake from the parking area. In the background we have the beautiful mountains of Banff National Park, while the foreground displays the sandy beach and blue green water, a color associated with many lakes and rivers that run through the Rockies. The location in which one sees this view is a perfect place for a picnic.

Johnson Lake #2

Johnson Lake #2 – 8″x10″, acrylic on paper, 2016

In painting this work, I wanted to explore the interesting shape of the tree while highlighting the amazing color of the lake.  This angle is from the far end of Johnson Lake. This painting has a slightly different paint treatment than the other paintings shown. The other paintings are painted in a flat and matte style, while this painting employs textures and glazes with a hint of gloss in the sky and tree. I think it is quite interesting to add this texture to a work on paper.

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Johnson Lake #1 – 8″x10″, acrylic on paper, 2016

This final Johnson Lake painting again focuses on a tree in the foreground, a tree located at the far end of the lake. I will admit I really enjoy painting trees, especially trees that have yet to leaf out. This painting takes a slightly looser approach as I felt the tree and the blues in the background did not need competition from further detail. It is one of those paintings that reached a point and just felt right, I loved the blues, I loved the movement in the branches, and I knew it was time to put down the brush.

It is always interesting when you start to paint a single area in multiple paintings. I have done this with a few different spots including one area in the Gulf Islands where I have based many paintings. I find the more times you visit a spot the more your paintings evolve, and the more you paint the location the more you enjoy future visits. Painting and hiking are great mates, once you know scenery could become future inspiration for your art, you start to really “see” the landscape you are viewing.

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Paintings by Debra Hunter

http://www.debra-hunter.com

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En Plein Air – April 17, 2016 – Waskasoo Parks (Red Deer)

Waskasoo Parks - April 17, 2016 - 8"x10" - oil on canvas

Waskasoo Parks – April 17, 2016 – 8″x10″ – oil on canvas

Another en plein air painting, 8 paintings in 8 days. After yesterday’s rushed watercolour I returned to oils today. The oils were tackier in the sun, harder to move around, but they do seem to suit en plein air painting where your time is limited and it is more of a gesture rather than a detailed painting. Of course I believe the concept of doing a painting a day is more about process than product; away of learning how to make yourself paint rather than waiting for the perfect scenario and inspiration.

Painting by Debra Hunter.

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En Plein Air – April 16, 2016 – Johnson Lake, Banff National Park

Johnson Lake, Banff National Park - April 16, 2016 - 5"x7" - watercolour on paper

Johnson Lake, Banff National Park – April 16, 2016 – 5″x7″ – watercolour on paper

Day 7 of en plein air painting brought a challenge. We decided to go out of town hiking, so the only way to keep up the daily painting was to pack up the watercolours for a quick paint post hike.

Another little one, 5″x7″, watercolour on paper.

Art by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 14, 2016 – McKenzie Ponds, Red Deer

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mckenzie ponds, red deer – april 14, 2016 – 5″x7″ – oil on canvas

This is the fifth en plein air painting in 5 days. A tiny 5×7 in oil. I haven’t touched oils in years and years, but it felt like it was worth a go. What I liked about the oils was the color, creaminess and the ability to alter what you have laid down. What I don’t like is the smell, the dry time, and the fact I reckon things could get murky pretty fast if you mess about on the canvas. Still, an interesting experiment to mix things up a bit.

Painting by Debra Hunter

www.debra-hunter.com

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En Plein Air – April 13th, 2016 – Backyard Sycamore

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Backyard Sycamore – April 13, 2016 – 8″x10″ – acrylic on paper

Four en plein air paintings in four days. I am continuing to work on paper with acrylic. I had a little more time than I did yesterday to paint which was nice, as was working on an easel. One thing I was wanting to achieve with this piece was stronger colors as I think I tend to be too cautious when painting on location. I think I take the colors of the natural landscape too literally and too seriously, and I wanted to change that. So today’s piece is gutsier and maybe more honest to the way I like to paint trees.

The challenge continues. Now to decide what to paint tomorrow!

Painting by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 12, 2016 – Coronation Park, Red Deer

blog coronation park april 12 2016_4678 Today’s en plein air effort, a 45 minute acrylic on paper sketch of Waskasoo Creek in Coronation Park (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada).

Refreshing to paint an overcast sky rather than the typical bright blue of Alberta.

I have noticed other artists attempting “100 paintings in 100 days” as a personal challenge, I may see how long I can keep the “painting a day” going. It appears , so far, that the key to success is just taking the kids along with me rather than trying to carve out time on my own to paint. Let’s hope life and the weather continue to co-operate!

Painting by Debra Hunter

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En Plein Air – April 11, 2016 – Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary

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Today’s en plein air effort. A very quick 30 minute paint. When you have very little time to put a scene down in paint you really have to minimize the detail.

I am going to continue posting these quick en plein air paintings as it is interesting to look back on the progress.

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En Plein Air – a new website page

With the arrival of good weather I find myself painting en plein air on occasion.  It is a style of painting that has many challenges including weather, changing light, insects and onlookers, however it is a very rewarding endeavor as well. I have decided to add a dedicated En Plein Air page to the website ( www.debra-hunter.com ) that is linked to this blog as a way to see all this season’s works put together in one place. The page is En Plein Air Works and can be viewed by clicking HERE. For now it is just the one image, but as we progress through spring and summer I hope to see the collection of images grow.

Gaetz Lake april 10 2016

En Plein Air painting by Debra Hunter