Tulip remains

I enjoy what remains of tulips as they are withering away and have dropped most of their petals.

This bouquet, about to drop its petals, was a most unusual colour, which just happened to match the “orange” decoration on this favourite jug. Pencil, watercolour and a touch of white gouache.

In the woods

My walk today afforded me the opportunity to take a wee detour into a nearby sugar bush. It was so quiet that, as I stood there drawing, I could hear the “drip, drip, drip” of sap falling into the buckets around me.

Colour added later, and too much of it, in hindsight. Below is the other wee drawing from today, with some restraint on colouring. This stack of boxes has something to do with the bee hives wrapped up next to them.

Squash and Sink

Coloured pencil, for a change. A quick portrait of this buttercup squash from my cold storage that needs to get cooked, soon.

And a quick sketch of what was in the sink the other day, inspired by Shari Blaukopf’s sink sketch. It was an odd assortment of: my granny’s 70-year-old rolling pin, a bamboo handled strainer from over 40 years ago and a cutlery knife I’ve had for over 50 years.

Turning a corner

I was out for a walk on a windy cold day and was struck by the view at this corner with the cornstalks sticking up through the last bits of snow. I tried to commit it to memory to make a sketch when I got home. I did this on the last page of my HandBook watercolour journal. Time to move on to a new sketchbook.

Sugar shack, again

And another attempt at capturing this delightful sugar shack. The name “sugar shack” is a translation of the French, “cabin à sucre”. Although the focus these days is on making syrup, the original purpose, I’ve been told, was to make maple sugar — back in the days when there wasn’t easy local access to sugar.

This earlier attempt was sketched standing up (painted later), without taking adequate time with the perspective. But it has a folksy feel that saves it, I think. It was a perfect sunny day in the woods.

The sugar shack

Meanwhile… in eastern Canada, now is the time when the maple sap starts running. Actually it came in a bit early this year. I sketched this on location (about a kilometre from home) about a week ago and finally finished painting it today.

Sugaring off

The sap has started running in eastern Ontario and that means it’s time to make maple syrup. I find the buckets hanging on the trees are always charming. But the new blue tubing method is certainly easier for collecting the sap.

This was done, for the most part, while standing at a nearby sugar bush. I’ve got a good set-up now for painting while standing, and with practice the brushstrokes will get steadier.

Back home, I referred to an article by Shari Blaukopf in International Artist magazine on painting spring snow and intensified the shadows. But, the colour is only part of it. Observing and drawing the shapes is key.

Melting away

I had a few minutes to wait in my car yesterday — just enough time to do a quick pen drawing of this row of houses and the high bank of slowing melting dirty snow. Watercolour added later.