Summer Paintings

As a painter, I enjoy setting my easel up in some wonderful place and doing my best to capture the experience. Of course, summer is the best time to do this. I’ve selected eight of my favourite moments to share with you here.
 

From April Point

For twenty years I was part of the Painters at Painter’s Lodge event at Campbell River. When the excitement got overwhelming, I escaped the crowds and took the water taxi to April Point Lodge on Quadra Island. From there I sat looking across the water toward Vancouver Island and painted this picture. watercolour on paper, 8 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches (21.5 x 31.8 cm) $240

watercolour on paper, 8 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches (21.5 x 31.8 cm) $240

Oak Bay Boathouse, 1962

Old buildings on the waterfront really appeal to me. Here is a painting of the Oak Bay Boathouse, as it stood on Beach Drive from about 1904 until 1964. Since then the site has been home to the Oak Bay Marina and the Marina Restaurant. In years gone by at the old boathouse you could rent a boat, such as the rowboat in the foreground. At the left end of the building, out over the water, there was a snack bar where a kid could spend his allowance on an ice cream cone or a candy bar. acrylic on wood, 18 x 24 inches (45.8 x 81.0 cm) $1200

acrylic on wood, 18 x 24 inches (45.8 x 81.0 cm) $1200

Dockside at Deep Cove

Another of my favourite waterfront buildings is this sail loft at Deep Cove, on the tip of the Saanich Peninsula in Victoria. It’s a romantic fantasy to me, that one could have a large wooden building with big windows on the seashore, with its own wharf. And at the wharf is a sailboat, tied up but ready to take off for points unknown. acrylic on panel, 14 x 18 inches (35.0 x 45.8 cm) $850

acrylic on panel, 14 x 18 inches (35.0 x 45.8 cm) $850

Out in the Boat

As a child I spent my summers in Ontario’s northland. Up at the cottage we had a little boat with an outboard motor, and going out on the water was one of life’s greatest pleasures. This painting shows me taking the children, out for a ride on a lovely sunny morning. acrylic on wooden panel, 18 x 24 inches (45.8 x 81.0 cm) $1200

acrylic on wooden panel, 18 x 24 inches (45.8 x 81.0 cm) $1200

Mount Baker from Oak Bay

Mount Baker is Victoria’s version of Mt. Fuji. Though Baker-san is in Washington State, I think the best views are from the Oak Bay neighbourhood of Victoria. This painting shows it as evening is drawing in, and the mountain as it appears when looking east from the Victoria Golf Course. I never tire of trying to calculate the precise adjustments of colour and tone between water and sky. acrylic on wooden panel, 12 x 16 inches (30. 4 x 40.8 cm) $85

acrylic on wooden panel, 12 x 16 inches (30. 4 x 40.8 cm) $850

The Symphony Splash 

The Symphony Splash is a Victoria tradition. In the height of summer, the Victoria Symphony makes a floating barge the centrepiece of the Inner Harbour. One summer I was invited to join the musicians. I set up my easel between the french horns and the tympani and painted throughout the performance. Forty thousand people, on shore and in boats, floated on the music, which culminated in the 1812 Overture with fireworks. The conductor in this painting is Peter McCoppin. watercolour on paper, 22 x 46 inches (55.9 x 116.8 cm) $2400

watercolour on paper, 22 x 46 inches (55.9 x 116.8 cm) $2400

Symphony Splash from the Empress

This smaller painting of the Symphony Splash was painting during the evening from the roof garden over the entrance lobby of the Empress Hotel. watercolour on paper, 9 x 12 inches (22.8 x 30.7 cm) $450

watercolour on paper, 9 x 12 inches (22.8 x 30.7 cm) $450

Twilight on Beach Drive

Beach Drive winds through the Victoria Golf Course, opening to vistas across the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Past Trial Island and its lighthouse, the Olympic Peninsula is bathed in a warm glow.  When the onshore breezes cool a summer evening, this is just about the most scenic view of any road I know. acrylic on wooden panel, 24 x 36 inches (61 x 91.4 cm) $2400

acrylic on wooden panel, 24 x 36 inches (61 x 91.4 cm) $2400

Summer Days, Yellow Point Lodge

Yellow Point Lodge south of Nanaimo is a legendary place for an old-fashioned summer vacation. Whether you stay in a tiny cabin by the shore or in the comfortable lodge, there’s always somewhere pleasant to while away your holiday. Morning, noon or evening you can sit on the rock out front and gaze at the horizon. acrylic on wooden panel, 12 x 16 inches (30. 4 x 40.8 cm) $725

acrylic on wooden panel, 12 x 16 inches (30. 4 x 40.8 cm) $725

Roadside Tomatoes

This little sketch of a roadside stand was one of a hundred which I created for my book, Hometown: Out and About in Victoria Neighbourhoods (TouchWood Editions, 2012). Rolling along on a Sunday afternoon, the sideroads of the Saanich Peninsula are an open air market of abundance. watercolour on paper, 6 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches (17 x 22.28 cm) $185

watercolour on paper, 6 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches (17 x 22.28 cm) $185