Monday, November 29, 2010

On a moonless night

Took my pochad box to the car and did this quick oil sketch from inside the car at 10 p.m when , though  cold , dark and snowy it was outside, the light on the dazzling  fresh fall of snow really energizes me.

On a moonless night

Across the street, our neighbor had their Christmas lights on already. There used to be a big spruce tree on their front yard , a perfect Christmas tree for the season. But they had to cut it down due to water main problem a few years ago.

Balmoral Bay on a Snowy afternoon

Another snowy day. A quick oil sketch from inside of my car before supper.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fengping starting another knitting project

We came back around 6 and, Fengping starts to knit again at the table. A quick oil sketch of her doing so.

Another glimpse from Ron and Sally's new sunroom

After the  delicious meal prepared by the ladies, I found a cozy spot in their newly built sunroom. The view their is just fantastic and a Paradise for any painter; a seeping  view of space and trees stretches as far as eyes can see. Imagine in spring when the trees are blossoming! I definitely will come for for that  next spring!

A glimpse out of Ron and Sally's living room window

Ron and Sally invite us over after church  together with five visiting school teachers from Luo Yang, China. Their place is located just outside of Brandon , and is indeed very beautiful even in winter. The five visitors from China are certainly so impressed,  and it is very hard for them to relate any of their previous experiences to what they see today! Together, they start to prepare some special Chinese food with the help from Fengping leaving me alone enjoying the view from their window. It is very cloudy and snowy outside, and there is a  small church just across from their driveway. Ron is  out to fetch today's Brandon Sun , and hope my small oil sketch  catches this.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In the last glow

Singing Christmas trees?

Came to the other side of the hedges with the small paint box in hand. A quick oil sketch of the few spruce trees with snow  always conjuring up images of the trees for  the season.

In the dazzling winter sun

After a short errand, I drove back home. Before getting out of my car, I did this quick oil sketch from inside the car. 

Winter wonderland from our front yard

Another view from our front yard before the magic disappears

A sunny winter wonderland

Soon the sun started to come out creating a dreamy winter wonderland in front of me, with its magic touch.

Backyard with snow fringed trees

Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning when I looked out of the window into a magic backyard where the branches of the trees are laced with crystal like snow flakes. A quick oil sketch early in the morning when it was still cloudy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another pochad for today

Just love the handiness of the small pochad box I started to use now. A quick oil sketch at the dinner table looking out of the window.

A glimpse out of kitchen window at noon

Today I am going to start my pochad painting practice. Pochad is French meaning small sketch in oil. I bought a tiny easel which allows me to paint fast and carry it around with me easily. Since it is so cold already, and  I had to make best use of the day time hours available to me  in winter season, I will paint 5"by 7" small oil pochad from today on.  Came home for lunch today, and looked out of the kitchen window, just love the shadows and sunlit junipers in our backyard.

A window view on a sunny late afternoon

A typical winter afternoon view through our living room window. A quick oil sketch for today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snowy again

Snowing again towards late afternoon. It is nevertheless mesmerizing to paint outdoor when all around you the big fluffy now flakes are gently falling all around you. A quick oil sketch before supper.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moonlight and street light

Fengping drove to church to help with new Chinese immigrants who come for   the English language program there on every Tuesday. It is very quiet outside when the moon  is still shining brightly in the sky.

In the receidng winter sunlight

Always makes me feel happy and excited to see the fresh snow in the warm glow of winter sunlight. It does not last long before darkness takes over and light dissipates on a winter afternoon like this. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

A section of the snow-covered hedge

Cold, cloudy and snowy in the afternoon when I painted a quick acrylic sketch of our hedges before the paint got stiff with the cold. I had to stop using acrylic in weather like this for now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the full moon night

A full moon hanging aloft the night sky with its cool silvery light counterbalanced by the warm street light. It turned out to be a sleepless night for me . By the time I almost finished this painting, news back from China came that  Aunt Meihua passed away in Beijing after struggling for 7 long years on dialysis due to kidney failure. A light suddenly  went out of our life , and what was left  was a overwhelming sense of sadness , and found memory of her in our lives.

In the last glow of the day

The sun came out towards evening, and there was a moment when the light was so bright and intense that I could hardly open my eyes when I looked across the street  standing at the door. Quickly I set up my easel again at the door and finished this quick acrylic sketch before the shadows of darkness started to take over what was in front of me.

A glimpse of the back alley.

The sun came out only briefly early in the afternoon. Excited by the sight of the sunny blue sky , I came out to paint  only to be disappointed by the quick retreat of any sunlight. Plus, it was rather cold and my acrylic paint  started to get frozen solid before I was able to finish this painting.

Snow-covered hedges

It started to snow again, gently and quietly , silencing every sound in the air. A quick acrylic sketch in the morning before breakfast.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Backyard filled with snow

Partially cloudy, and very cold. Looking out of the window, really liked the long shadows casted by the junipers in our backyard over the surface of the snow . A quick acrylic sketch for today.

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the brilliant sunlight of winter

I could not possibly leaving the window without painting another view of the beautiful winter morning through our living room window before getting ready to work an 8 hour overtime shift early in the afternoon.

Another window view

After a few minutes of breakfast break, I came back to my easel, still  excited over the bedroom window view. Suddenly on CBC radio 2, it came Bach's Cello Suite. It could not come at the most fitting moment somehow for me emotionally! With the sight and sound, I found myself totally engulfed by a magnificent torrent of emotions no words could possibly describe! Putting a new piece  of canvas on my easel, and with Bach's cello suite  in the air , and with my heart pounding and my tear welling up in my eyes, I dragged and dashed my brush over the canvas.

Sunrise in the morning after an overnight snow storm

What a contrast when I pulled up the curtain this morning and looked out of the bedroom window! Talking about prairie weather and its unpredictable nature. Here is my visual proof! I was so excited with what was unfolding before me that  I lost not time setting up my easel and painted this quick acrylic sketch before serving myself a cup of coffee and a bagel.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Raging snow storm outside

What a raging snowstorm! With howling wind and plummeting temperature, it is such a bleak picture of misery outside the house. Yet, visually it does provides me with  a drama of dramatical,whimsical and unpredictable prairie winter weather. Like it or not, it is part of our collective memory of this part of the world. Believe it or not, we will miss it if someday we suddenly find it a distant memory.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

At my painting class

I teach once a week an introductory painting class at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba . This is an acrylic sketch of two students engaged in painting a portraiture and a figure at the evening class.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On a winter night when street light is on

I always enjoy looking out of our bedroom window on a winter night. There is a sort of tenderness and cosiness about the somber wintry night scene when the street light was on injecting into the cold darkness of the night a sense of endearing warm feeling in the core of my heart. Painted this view in acrylic with the help of a flashlight.

Standing against dark, cold wintry sky

The bare branches of the trees in our back alley soaring against the dark cold sky are like a silent  sentry guarding the entrance to the back alley on Balmoral Bay. A quick acrylic sketch before supper.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A glimpse over the hedges

Again cold and snowy, and again another day without sunlight! Welcome to the dreary Manitoban winter !

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A glimpse of our snowy backyard

A bleak view of the partially snow covered backyard. A quick acrylic sketch before supper.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cold , cloudy and snowy

My hands numb with cold and so my feet after painting this view for half an hour standing outdoor outside  our house. Snow flakes started to fall gently and silently. Nevertheless it is always such a mesmerizing experience to paint in weather like this.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Snowy but sunny , a view from our door in late afternoon

Trying to rush against the fast fading light , I did this quick acrylic sketch standing at the door.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our backyard transformed by the first fall of snow

It is a marvel that snow could  visually transfigure anything so mundane into something so ethereal!  To quote British  author J. B Prestley ,"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? " 

After the first snow when the sun started to come out of the clouds

Nothing visually is more exciting than the first snow lit up by the warm wash of slanting sun in the wintry sky. Standing on our front yard to paint this visual experience  is ecstasy at its most intense moment,  it is a pure surge of joy through the deep core of my heart, and it is almost  as good as a visual metaphysical encounter with the realm of god. The  world around me ironically seems to have vanished  leaving behind just my pounding heart at the first sight  of something as if I have never encountered in my life!

First snow in the morning

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fengping making supper

On a foggy morning

What a foggy morning, upon opening my door, I saw! I had only 20 minutes to spare before going to work in the morning. Quickly I set up my easel at the door, painting with my heart still in aw! 15 minutes of a quick acrylic sketch for the day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the last light

With the change of summer time into winter time, I am deprived an hour of day light opportunity to paint now after work. Had to do my best to waste no time to paint whatever came to my eyes. The last garbage bag of fallen leaves leaning against the leafless hedges in the last glow of the day was my subject for today. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Ukrainian authodox church in Brandon

was driving around with CBC Radio 2 on, trying to find some view to paint. CBC was playing one of Rachmaninoff piano concertos when I suddenly found myself in front of this church on the northern part of Brandon, and decided to do a quick oil sketch of it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Towards evening in the last glow of slanting sunlight

O, I just could not stop painting trying to savor every moment of what could  be very likely the last warm weekend for this year! A quick oil sketch of the view from the northern side of our house with our shed and hedges and the big poplar tree lit up by the last glow of the day.

Looking across the front yard at noon

A warm finale of Autumn

What a beautiful morning. If this is the finale of an autumn, it must be a triumphantly jubilant one. I can feel the warm sunlight washing  over me while standing painting in our front yard this morning.