Monday, February 28, 2011

Quiet at night when the street light is on

It was dark , cold and snowy outside late in the evening, but the overwhelming sense of the thick darkness of the wintry night was suddenly relieved when the street light was on.

A view from our driveway

A quick oil sketch from our driveway in the afternoon when it started to get cloudy and cold.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A quick sketch of a heritage building

A view on 11th street and Louise Avenue in Downtown Brandon. An impressive cluster of historic buildings can be located around that area. I remember when I first came to Brandon almost 20 years ago, I used to live not too far from Downtown and frequently took a walk around that neighbourhood.

The old Baptist Church of Brandon on Lorne Avenue

Drove to Downtown area of Brandon and did this quick oil sketch of the old Baptist Church on Lorne Avenue.

Sunshine and shadow

Warm and sunny morning. The few elm trees in our front yard seem to be dancing in the sunshine casting their graceful and calligraphic shadows over the snow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A tranquil moment after sunset

There remains a residue of light lingering in the sky and over the snow. A moment of serenity before the darkness takes over the sky.

One more glimpse into the backyard

it looks deceptively warm outside at noon, when it fact it could be one of the coldest days of the year. However, the gleam of the snow in the sunshine is so inviting that I can not leave the window without one more oil sketch for the day.

Waking up from the overnight slumber

A second oil sketch early in the morning when I looked out of the window into our backyard.

Again a beautiful sunny but extremely cold morning

Could not go back to sleep early this morning, Watching the sunrise standing by the living room window, I did  this quick oil sketch.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A quick glimpse out of the kitchen window after supper

I just could not finish the day without doing one more quick oil sketch , the fifth for today when I saw the last sunlight hitting the top of the hedges and the tops of junipers in our backyard.

A glimpse out of the window while sitting at the table for lounch

Another view from our living room window

another quick oil sketch at noon when I looked out of the living room window

A glimpse through the door window

Upon opening the door a wash of sunlight pours in giving the false impression of a very warm winter morning when in fact it is below 40 with wind chill.

When the sun rises on a winter morning

I do not have to go to work today! It is one of the coldest days today , and  I have no car at my disposal. Therefore there is no possibility of going out painting. Yes, I cherish the opportunity so much that I just can not let the day go by without doing some paintings. I will simply have to paint what  I see out of all the windows from our house. This is what I see through our bedroom window this morning after I woke up at 8 a, m.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Standing in the receding light

Another quick oil sketch of the ash tree in the fast fading sunlight.

glistening snow in the sun

A quick oil sketch of the patch of glistening snow in the sun in our backyard before supper

Backyard in full sunshine at noon

A rather rushed oil sketch at noon during my lunch break when I finished my lunch in a hurry and looked out of the window.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a quick oil sketch from our patio

The glistening snow on the hedges and roof top of Dan's house in the receding sunlight in late afternoon is what brought me out of the warm inside of our  house to step into the fridge cold to do this quick oil sketch.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A quick oil sketch of Maureen's house on Balmoral Bay

We were invited by Maureen,  our next door neighbor to her birthday party after supper. What could be more appropriate to do a quick oil sketch of her house. It was really cold and had to use palette knife to apply the quick freezing oil paint to the surface.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another glimpse out of the window early in the afternoon

Another quick oil sketch for today while standing by the window and  seeing two ladies with a big dog walking by in the bright sunshine.

From the door window at noon

Another quick oil sketch of a glimpse outside through the door-window.

St. Mathew Cathedral of Anglican Church of Brandon

A quick oil sketch in the morning when the sunlight was on the back of the building against the backdrop of the blue morning sky. It was extremely cold morning and few minutes into the oil sketch my hands and feet were numb with the biting cold.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in the shadow of the glaring sun

another quick oil sketch of the school building in the glaring sunlight early in the afternoon.

Stop at Aberdeen Ave and Ist Street

There is this wooded area right along the first street where it meets Aberdeen Avenue in the south side of the town. Hope it will not vanish soon.

Balmoral Bay on a winter afternoon

A quick oil sketch early in the afternoon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In the competing light

It is so bright , the moon in the sky! and so is the street light. A quick oil sketch looking out of our bedroom window. I had to switch off the bedroom light in order to see the light and color outside more properly but had to rely on flash light to be able to see what I put on my canvas.

Certainly not a picturesque view again

Another quick oil sketch of the window view from the same apartment when the sun broke out of the clouds adding to a bit more visual interest to what  could be a boring view.

Certainly not a picturesque view

A quick oil sketch of a window view from an apartment into the parking lot with a big condo building looming large in the back.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A full moon high up in the night sky

Looking out of the window at 8 p.m., saw the dazzling full moon  hight up in the sky. Just could not help it. I picked up brushes again, and did this quick oil sketch .

The last glow of the day

After supper from the dinner table I could see the sunset glow behind the big spruce through the window over the hedges. A ten- minute oil sketch.

The shed in the back alley

With snow up to my knees , and with biting cold, I did this quick oil sketch in 20 minutes before it was too cold to carry on at 3:50 p.m. I thoroughly enjoyed standing there doing this sketch  with patch of snow dazzling in the afternoon sunshine.

Full moon at dawn

Early in the morning before the dawn, a full moon with its golden radiance appears in the predawn sky. It is ethereally beautiful as I stand at the window trying to capture its beauty before it starts to fade away  in the early morning light. Somehow, as I paint, Neil Young's Harvest Moon seems to be echoing in the air. " But now it's gettin' late And the moon is climbin' high  I want to celebrate See it shinin' in your eye...".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In the midst of another wintry storm

Blowing snow with biting wind in the afternoon throws us back in the thick of the winter again with plummeting temperature.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Melting away in the sun

It is so nice to see the pile of snow starts to melt away in the sun. Sitting comfortable on a chair against the west facing wall of our house in the warm sun, I paint a quick pochade of the pile of melting snow where the flowerbed ramains under the thick snow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Looking south from our patio early in the evening

Suddenly there  seemed to be a blush across the evening sky as I was standing on the patio doing this pochade looking south over our hedges and   Maureen's backyard . It was a bit cloudy at the beginning but all of a sudden the sky turned into a beautiful glow of sunset .

From a quiet corner on Balmoral Bay

It always makes me feel refreshed standing outdoor painting in the winter as long as it is not too cold. It was quite warm again in the afternoon. I took my easel and stepped out as soon as I came back from work. It turned a bit cloudy , and I folded up my easel , and went back into the house just  in time for the Jeopardy special Men vs Machine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tender is the night

This is the Valentine night when the full moon is high up in the sky , and the street light is glaring in the dark.  I take my easel outdoor at 8 p. m to try to capture the view from the spot  right in front of our house. Unlike its association in  Western cultures, full moon in Chinese culture always has its romantic symbolism. Therefore how fitting it is to have it on this Valentine night. Somehow, a few lines from the poem "Ode to Nightingale "come to my mind by the English romantic poet John Keats. "Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
    Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
    Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
    And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
        Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays..."  
The very first time I ever heard about Valentine Day  was way back in the 70s in China where it was hardly known then. I was reading a touching story when the word Valentine was mentioned. Now in China Valentine rages like a wild fire not fanned  by the flame of romantic love but fueled  by the its huge consumerism apatite. Fengping  is away to teach Chinese at ACC tonight. I feel so bad for not having any present for her for the  occasion . Hence  I take my easel outdoor and have painted this oil plein air to dedicate it to her for her  tender mercy which provides her superhuman tolerance and even indulging  encouragement towards my own almost insane daily chasing for anything that is beautiful in our life. You can find the spirit of romanticism when , no matter how you are inundated by the dull and drill of a daily life ,you still manage to find a moment in you life to lift up in your head to find  a gleaming star in the dark night sky , and find a surge of joy through your heart.

On a winter afternoon in our backyard

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fengping reading Brandon Sun news at the table

A quick oil sketch of Fengping reading Brandon Sun news after supper at the dinner table.

profile of trees against late afternoon light

A few minutes into this painting, it suddenly turned cloudy and snow flakes started to fall gently from the sky.

Balmoral Bay looking south

Still very warm on Sunday. I took my easel out again to paint another view of Balmoral Bay looking east at 1 p.m.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My house in late afternoon sunlight

It is wonderful to be able to paint outdoor even after supper.

Balmoral Bay looking west

Moving my easel a bit , I painted another view of Balmoral Bay looking west.

another view on Balmoral Bay

Turning my easel around I painted another view on Balmoral Bay where a path leading all the way to Mcleod Drive.

O Balmoral Bay on the beautiful morning

What could be more exciting than painting on such a beautiful warm winter morning! I could almost smell the spring in the air!

At the door at noon

A quick oil sketch during my lunch break.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

At dusk

The moment when the sun is setting always draws me and gets me into painting mood.