Brier island is truly a painters paradise. I recently spent a week there in intensive painting mode.
Like past artist-created painting retreats I’ve attended, each artist was assigned one night to cook which meant that we were free to paint all day every day, but one.
And this freedom of non-obligation cannot be understated. I so appreciated the focus afforded me by being relieved of chores like cooking, laundry, gardening, shopping, etc that as I stood out in the fields, I couldn’t help but think that the “old masters“ must have had a lot of precious time to develop their craft because they had wives and/or servants to do all the non-painting tasks. How much of the world’s progress has been thanks to the silent, unsung helpers in the background?
My mornings began with a quick breakfast, a packed lunch, and a mobile travelling studio in the back of my car. It was easy to slide out my table and gear and to set up quickly.
Like the others, I painted for hours and came home to a delicious meal at 6pm. Some took up their brushes after dinner, but mostly we talked about our painting challenges of the day and then fell into our beds a few hours later — and much earlier than I usually do!
I was so immersed in capturing as much as I could over those 7 days that I hadn’t time to really take in what I’d painted.
Not until I came home and set the paintings up in the studio did I realise that I’ve added another way to interpret the gorgeous, lush nature of Brier Island with this transparent, watercolour-like way of painting.
This summer I’ve been painting flowers and experimenting with transparent acrylics. Brier Island gave me the chance to take this one step further and to interpret the landscape this way.
I am so satisfied with the results. I feel that these landscapes and flower images in my upcoming show are a new breakthrough for me in my journey with painting.
I’m very excited to show this work which opens on Sunday September 9 in Bear River at Sissiboo Coffee Bar and Gallery. The art will be hung this Friday but the opening reception is on Sunday September 9, 2 – 4 pm. Paintings will move to the Annapolis Royal Cafe in mid October and hang there until the end of November.
I know that many of you can’t join me in Nova Scotia for the opening etc, so for the next two weeks I will publish a painting every day from the show along with a description.
I look forward to sharing garden flowers and the wildness of Brier Island with you through my paintings.