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 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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“Orville’s Barn” (2014)

"Orville's Barn" 2014 acrylic on panel 6 inches by 6 inches

“Orville’s Barn”
2014
acrylic on panel
6 inches by 6 inches

This past weekend we were out driving near our cabin. A barn that we pass often caught my eye. The barn, that sits on top of the hill, has been in rough shape for as long as we have known, but it now looks like it is ready to topple. I decided it was time to record it before it was gone.

I will honestly admit I have never painted a barn before, I worried that it seemed like a cliche thing to do, especially here in Alberta. Perhaps at some point everyone has to paint a red barn.

I like the fact that this is painted on a small scale, after all a six inch by six inch painting is quite small. The wonky window frames are actually like that in real life; it is a wonder the barn is still standing. It is a nifty little piece.

And by the way……..it actually is Orville’s Barn.

 

Painting by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

“Hay Bales at Horne Beach” (2014)

"Hay Bales at Horne Beach" (2014) 11 inches by 14 inches acrylic on canvas

“Hay Bales at Horne Beach”
(2014)
11 inches by 14 inches
acrylic on canvas

We just spent a weekend at the cabin. As the weather was changeable with periods of rain dotted with spots of sun it was easy to find a couple of hours to paint. Thanks to my husband giving me a rather lovely iPad Mini, I am currently testing a new way to approach my painting where by I shoot a scene on the device and then use that as a reference for the painting. This is the first painting completed this way.

Sometimes I will paint on location as some of you may have seen on my Island Home Blog, but after a few close calls with rising tides I think having the reference image to finish up with will be handy….and safer (let’s just say last time we cut it too close!).

The scene inspiring “Hay Bales at Horne Beach” is a field that over looks Lake Isle (Lac Ste. Anne County, Alberta, Canada), about 100m from our cabin. Very rural. Very Alberta. A moment captured between rain storms with sparkling clear Alberta skies. Trust me, those skies turned very black shortly after when the next storm blew off the foothills.

 

Art and photography by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta
www.thehuntergroup.ca

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“Grain Elevator and Tansy” (2014)

"Grain Elevator and Tansy" (2014) 14.75 inches by 15.25 inches

“Grain Elevator and Tansy”
(2014)
14.75 inches by 15.25 inches

“Grain Elevator and Tansy” is my most recent fibre art piece to complete.

Grain elevators are a classic Alberta scene, however many are disappearing as they age and cities and towns expand. It was nice to acknowledge these giants of the prairies using age old stitching, dyeing and beading methods.

This piece consists of hand dyed cotton, dyed in natural hand crafted dyes of marigold, cutch and madder. The piece is then detailed with hand stitching and hand beading. The stitching threads of cotton, wool and silk are also colored with natural dyes. If you look closely there are some pale yellow threads in the stitching dyed from tansy collected from ditches in Alberta and then turned into dye. Truly a home grown piece.

Photography and art by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta

www.thehuntergroup.ca

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