Beach Art – En Plein Air Painting on Pender Island


En plein art painting is always an interesting experience. You are dealing with shifting light, unpredictable conditions plus distractions. The great thing about working en plein air is how it teaches you to see and break down a scene so that it can be rendered on paper or canvas.

It has been quite a while since I have painted en plein air landscapes, but the last few days provided great opportunities. The beaches of Pender Island have been beautiful places to sit and paint.


Being a minimalist at heart, I have made a few changes to the art equipment used for outdoor painting. The art kit has now been stripped down to a watercolour pad, a waterbrush, a small travel watercolour paint kit, and a fountain pen. So streamlined. Less is definitely proving to be best, allowing me to focus on the painting rather than on an overwhelming array of art materials.

http://www.debra-hunter.com

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Evening View to Clam Bay Farm – New Canadian Painting

"Evening View to Clam Bay Farm" 2015 12"x12" acrylic on panel

“Evening View to Clam Bay Farm”
2015
12″x12″
acrylic on panel

This painting was inspired by an evening view of historic Clam Bay Farm on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada). Through the smoky haze of distant forest fires soft colors play in the distance.

A smaller sized panel, pastel colors and new subject matter  created new territory for painting. This is the second painting in the last couple of weeks with an agricultural theme. This is perhaps not what first comes to mind when you think of the Gulf Islands, but farming is definitely part of the island’s past, present and culture.

Painting by Debra Hunter
http://www.debra-hunter.com

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“Standing Tall” – Canadian Landscape Painting

"Standing Tall" Roe Islet series (2015) 24"x24" acrylic on panel

“Standing Tall”
Roe Islet series
(2015)
24″x24″
acrylic on panel

Roe Islet (Pender Island, BC, Canada) continues to be a source of inspiration for my paintings, and I am sure by the time I have exhausted all the painting possibilities I will know every rock and tree on the islet. The arbutus amaze me in the way they twist and turn, and the red of the trunks is hypnotizing.

This painting features a view up a small hill looking towards Currents and Otter Bay. If you were to walk the path you would recognize the twisted  tree in the center of the painting. Roe Islet, for its intimate size, is a most beautiful natural spot and well worth a visit.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
(Red Deer, Alberta & Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada)
For the website and inquiries please visit:
www.debra-hunter.com

For more work from Canadian creators, you can also visit www.handmade-canada.com .

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“Bridges Road in Black and Blue” – Ink Painting of Canada’s West Coast

"Bridges Road in Black and Blue" (2015) ink on paper 5" x 7"

“Bridges Road in Black and Blue”
(2015)
ink on paper
5″ x 7″

Today’s piece shows a continuation in working on images inspired by the west coast of Canada. This ink on paper piece depicts the trees that cling to the rocky outcrop at the beach on Bridges Road (Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada).

The inspiration was a colorless winter day, one of those days when you reach the beach and wonder “Do I even want to go down to the water’s edge?” But you do, and you see a scene so different from those of bright blue skies, sunshine and sandcastles.

I’ve been revisiting working with ink recently. It seems to be a nice medium to work with until I gather the courage (and a few dead quiet hours) to finish the latest panel I am painting. I didn’t really think about my choice of ink colors until my husband asked me “What made you choose blue?” Thinking about it, it was probably because blue is cold and the day was cold.

Perhaps I will try a few more blue and black ink images in the next few days. A recent snowfall has left me with a stash of images on my camera that are just made for that cold blue look.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
Check out the new website linked to this blog at:  www.debra-hunter.com

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Roe Islet Watercolor Painting

blog roe islet watercolor_9764 b

Roe Islet, BC, Canada * (2015) * 4.75″ x 6.75″ * watercolor and ink on paper

With the insanity of everyday life taking a toll on my available time, I recently decided to take a break from the larger panels and instead enjoy painting in watercolors for a week or two. Watercolors require smaller amounts of time and commitment, plus I find simply by working on paper you are more likely to experiment. Experimentation is a good thing, keeping things loose and trying new things. It is easy to fit in two or three watercolors in a day, where a bigger panel takes weeks to complete. Some of the watercolors I have been working on are also scenes I have an interest  in painting on a large panel; in a way they are enjoyable research.

When I say this is a watercolor, it is in fact a watercolor overworked with ink. I quite like playing with adding a deep black after the fact. Working as a portrait photographer I am constantly avoiding shadows, always filling them in so that lines and character don’t show through. In my painting I can embrace shadows as a good thing, a defining element that is positive, and that is exactly what the black ink gives me….a good, strong, unapologetic shadow.

This watercolor and ink is of a natural area on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada) called Roe Islet. I have been focusing on this location as a painting topic quite a bit recently. It’s natural and rugged with plants and moss and sea views too. It seems I am currently drawn to painting trees and this islet has a never ending variety of tree shapes,sizes and colors.

Painting by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

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“Roe Islet Arbutus #2” – Canadian Landscape Painting

Roe Islet Arbutus #2 (2014) 11x14

Roe Islet Arbutus #2 (2014) 11×14

“Roe Islet Arbutus #2” is one of those paintings that came together effortlessly. Before the first paint hit the panel I knew exactly how I wanted to approach the arbutus with twists of red and moving lines.

This is one of my favorite paintings completed recently. It is part of the Roe Islet series I have been working on. Roe Islet is a protected area off North Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada). Roe Islet features arbutus and evergreen trees, rocks and amazing sea views.

Roe Islet Arbutus #2
(2014)
11×14
acrylic on panel

Art by Debra Hunter

“View Through the Trees” – Canadian Landscape Painting

View Through the Trees - Canadian Painting“View Through the Trees”
(2014)
11×14
acrylic on panel

“View Through the Trees” is another of my Roe Islet paintings. Roe Islet is a Parks Canada protected area on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada).

Roe Islet has one of the most pleasant walks . In every direction there are interesting trees, mossy rocks, sea views, and a couple of weeks ago, orcas. This view is on the north side of the islet with the distant hills being that of North Pender Island. A peaceful, inspiring spot.

Art and painting by Debra Hunter
www.thehuntergroup.ca

View Through The Trees, Roe Islet (Inspiration)

View Through The Trees, Roe Islet (Inspiration) (2014) 4 inches by 6 inches acrylic on panel

View Through The Trees, Roe Islet (Inspiration)
(2014)
4 inches by 6 inches
acrylic on panel

I have recently completed four paintings based on Roe Islet on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada). Completing four paintings in a short period of time has been a valuable learning experience, with one of the best discoveries being that of how valuable a “study” painting can be. Technically the painting shown here could be considered a “study” for the main painting, but I have decided to think of the small paintings as being “inspirations” instead. The “inspiration” paintings are still proper paintings, just paintings on a very small scale. With the main painting I lay down the under-painting using an image on my iPad as a reference, but once the structure is done I tend to use the inspiration painting to guide me.

Roe Islet is a tiny little island just feet off Pender Island and is part of a Parks Canada site. The islet is home to amazing trees, interesting plants and rocks, a pleasant walk and beautiful ocean views. If you are interested in viewing images of Pender Island, check out my blog at www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com ,you will see how inspirational the scenery is.

Painting by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta & Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada

www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

“Welcome Bay Arbutus” (2014) – new painting

"Welcome Bay Arbutus" 2014 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas

“Welcome Bay Arbutus”
2014
24″ x 36″
acrylic on canvas

“Welcome Bay Arbutus” is another of my Pender Island paintings. This is a quiet little bay on North Pender Island and depicts a day, one November, that was cold, wet and foggy……what our family refers to as “it’s west-coasting outside”. Wellie weather.

“Welcome Bay Arbutus” is finally finished after two years of working on the canvas sporadically. At three feet wide it is one of my favorite sizes of canvas to paint on.

Working for such a long spread out time on this canvas created some interesting situations. First, I had to keep reminding myself what it was that first attracted me to the subject matter and what I wanted to present. The second thing that was tricky was keeping the style the same over the course of time. Last week I discovered that the painting looked like it had been painted in three different styles in distinct zones. One area I have no idea what I was originally thinking….apparently a sponge was handy and I used it (a lot!). The only way to solve the “three style” painting was to completely attack the areas that did not work, ignore what had been done in the past, and paint as if I was painting by scratch. In the end it all worked out and I am really happy with the piece.

Painting by Debra Hunter

www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

“Trincomali Summer View” – Canadian Landscape Painting of Pender Island

"Trincomali Summer View" (2014) 8 inches by 10 inches acrylic on panel

“Trincomali Summer View”
(2014)
8 inches by 10 inches
acrylic on panel

The last few weeks I have been focusing on small paintings on panel. This is a huge change to how I usually paint. Previously it was big canvases, usually 3 to 4 feet in length, that would take me a few months to complete. The 8 inch by 10 inch panels I have been painting recently only take two or three days. The switch to painting on panel from canvas has been interesting; the paint travels on a smooth surface quite differently than the rough surface of canvas. The decision to switch to painting on panel was a practical one; the panels travel easier, frame easier, and take up a lot less storage space than a stretched canvas. I think it is a good choice for pieces 11 x 14 and smaller.

The above painting is a view from a lookout in our neighborhood on Pender Island. It is a tucked away place at the end of a dead end road, a place where mostly locals go.  With the scarceness of rain, tall brown grass and bright blue skies are the summer colors of the island; a nice bright contrast to the silhouetted trees.

 

Painting by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta and Pender Island, BC, Canada

www.thehuntergroup.ca