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.