Water Refractions North of East Allie Island

Water Refractions North of East Allie Island

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The Original 30" x 48" Oil painting on canvas is available. Please Contact Me for details.

Waters Rolling Over Archimedes Library

Waters Rolling Over Archimedes Library

Waters Rolling Over Archimedes Library was painted from a series of photographs I had taken while fishing in Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada.  Although bright and sunny when we headed out that morning, the weather quickly changed.  The clouds rolled in and we became drenched.  Just as we were about to head back to the cabin, the sun came back out in brilliant force.  It was one of those changeable, unpredictable summer days that made dramatic highlights and shadows and was perfect fodder for a painting.  
It’s easy to get lost in the Canadian wilderness.  To try to help navigate, my family had adopted the habit of naming un-named islands on the map so we could reference them.  The island in the foreground of this painting is comprised of volcanic rock that formed in a unique way.  Just below the water’s surface the rocks look like stacks of large books tipped over.  It reminded us of the Disney movie “The Sword & the Stone” where young King Arthur is tutored by Merlin the wizard.  Merlin’s pet owl is named “Archimedes” and he hangs out in the library which is filled with precariously high stacks of books ready to tumble over.  I’ll admit the naming in this instance was a bit fanciful, but it helped us distinguish this particular island’s location on the map and reference it.

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The Original 72" x 36" Oil painting on canvas is available.  Please Contact Me for details.

Choppy Ride From Bottle Bay

Choppy Ride From Bottle Bay

“Choppy Ride from Bottle Bay” is painted from the perspective of looking out over the back of a fishing boat.  I’ve always been fascinated by boat wakes ever since I was a little girl, trailing my hands over the side of the boat, trying to feel the water flying by!  Near the back of the boat the wake always looked impossibly glassy as it curled over, tumbling into a frothy spray. On this particular day, my Grandma, brother, and I had set off in the morning to go fishing in secluded, hard to find, Bottle Bay in Lake of the Woods, Ontario. (see map inset).  By the time we caught our limit and headed back to the cabin, the wind had picked up and we had quite the ride!  In the painting I wanted to convey the conflicting directional movements of the wake and the oncoming waves.  The movement is mimicked in the positioning of the storm clouds versus blue sky.

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Early Morning Paddle

Early Morning Paddle

“Early Morning Paddle”  was painted from a scene in the French Narrows of Lake of the Woods, Canada.  My dad (pictured in the painting) & I had a 5 hour kayak route planned that we wanted to try.  We wanted to basically circle East Allie Island, going through some tricky passages between it and Allie Island that were unpassable by regular boat.  From the map, the route looked to have lots of back water areas sure to be filled with wildlife.  After 4 days of waiting for the wind to die down, we finally decided on day 5 to get up before dawn and set out before the next storm front was scheduled to roll in.  The sky was impossibly blue at that hour, the reflections glassy and clear.  The route didn’t disappoint.  Being so protected, it was like a wildlife sanctuary teeming with turtles, fish, beaver, small mammals, and more species of birds than we could keep track of! 

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French Narrows at Dusk

French Narrows at Dusk

The French Narrows are located in Lake of the Woods, Ontario, about 2 ½ hours north of the Minnesota/Canadian border.  One evening while vacationing up there I was enjoying a campfire and the sunset with my family.  It was one of those evenings where the cloud structure was so interesting you had to just sit back and take it all in.  I had taken some photos about half an hour earlier that I thought would make a decent painting reference, but then I saw the hole in the clouds open up, and the sun sparkling on the water was breathtaking.  I quick grabbed my camera and ran down to the lakeshore and snapped 3 photos panoramic style.  I made sure to take the photo on the left first and by the time I took the far right photo the hole had already closed up.  It was a brief magical moment I was lucky to capture.  Even though I used my photographs as a reference and the painting is done in a realistic style, painting the sky was a study in painting abstractly.  With the original painting being 6 feet long I had to trust that being up close and painting a blob of purple hear and a dab of white there would actually look realistic when you viewed the painting from 10 feet away. 

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The Original 72" x 24" oil painting on canvas is available.  Please Contact Me for details.

Frigid Waters

Frigid Waters

“Frigid Waters” takes place in Lake of the Woods, Canada.  After being cabin bound for 3 days, My mother & I decided we needed to get out for awhile so we set out on a kayak trip.  The month of May can be fickle though, and the rain turned to snow.  Luckily we only had to go about half a mile back to the cabin, but it was a very cold half mile with choppy waves that had to be carefully negotiated in a kayak. 

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The Original 15" x 22" watercolor painting on paper is available.  Please Contact Me for details.

Glassy Waters South of Bald Island

Glassy Waters South of Bald Island

Painting Location: Bald Island, Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada

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Heading Home

Heading Home

“Heading Home” is painted from the top of a bluff, overlooking the main navigation channel that passes through the French Narrows in Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada.  This particular bluff is often used by local fishing guides for fish cleaning and shore lunches.  Sheltered and south facing, it’s a great spot to stop on a windy or cold day if you need a break from the lake, or want to watch the various boat traffic of barges, houseboats, cabin cruisers, sailboats, or small fishing boats (like the one in the painting) pass by.  The painting is set just before sunset, and the young man and his faithful companion are headed home from what I imagined was an idyllic day on the lake.  

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Lazy Afternoon

Lazy Afternoon

“Lazy Afternoon” was a study in the importance of shadows.  One relaxing summer day I found myself with nothing to do but lay in the dabbled shade of our big cedar swing.  As I was reading I noticed the interesting shadows thrown by the various cross pieces of the swing and the trees overhead.  When I started the sketches for this painting I first drew in the major elements of the swing, the book, and the legs.  It wasn’t until I added the oddly shaped shadows that the piece started to come to life.  Without them, the scene looked quite dull.  I was reminded of the Impressionistic school of thought that is basically, “light is everything”, or in the instance of this painting, the absence of light.

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Original 16"x 20" Oil on canvas is available.  Please Contact Me for details.

 

MillerTime Shored Up in Bottle Bay

MillerTime Shored Up in Bottle Bay

“MillerTime Shored Up in Bottle Bay”  was started on location during a blissful summer day on Lake of the Woods, Canada.  Painting outside in oils is always a bit tricky, especially when you have to juggle transporting a wet painting into a boat with kids and dogs!  I wanted to try my hand at painting outdoor summer scenes like the Old Masters and it wasn’t quite as romantic as I had anticipated.....bugs got stuck in my paints, sand somehow found its way into my turpentine.  The hot sun soon had me sweating and it was hard to hold onto my brushes!  It did give me an appreciation for on-site editing however and I was able to emphasize areas of the composition that I would have missed if I had only worked from a photograph.  

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The Original 16" x 20" oil painting on canvas is available.  Please Contact Me for details.

Old Timer Expedition

Old Timer Expedition

“Old Timer Expedition” is painted from a compilation of scenes from Lake of the Woods, Ontario.  The painting is set occurring right at dusk.  I find that time of day can be particularly magical.  Many times a windy day will calm down at that point, turning the lake into a glassy mirror of reflections.  The sky lights up with colors and a peaceful beauty descends.  It’s also the time you can sometimes see the brilliant sparkles from the setting sun lighting up any surface disturbances on the lake in its direct path.  Long shadows cast   by the trees in the right foreground help emphasize the lighting particular to that time of day, as well as the strong highlights lining the foliage on the sun facing branches.  I painted this piece with nostalgic thoughts of a time less complicated than our current technological world.  I like to think that taking an evening boat ride with an old friend and your dog, under an amazing sky, is still just about the most enjoyable thing a human can experience.

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Pop Contemplating the Moon

Pop Contemplating the Moon

Painting Location: French Narrows, Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada

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Sailboat Promenade

Sailboat Promenade

Sailboat Promenade takes place just south of Kenora, Ontario, at the very top of Lake of the Woods.  The building in the mid-ground is The Royal Yacht Club (a visit from Prince Arthur in 1914 brought it up to “royal” standards!).  I did the painting from some photos I had taken during Kenora’s Harborfest celebration where hundreds of sailboats sail in a giant regatta.  My mom and I had driven to town (by boat) to pick up my dad at the marina, and we had to wait literally 20 minutes for all the sailboats to go by to get through the main navigation channel.  In the editing stage I decided to extend the water further into the foreground, not realizing it would change the whole view point of the painting.  That change made it seem like the viewer now is actually swimming (or kayaking) in the channel instead of riding up in a boat.  It was an unexpected, dramatic shift, and probably the reason why I've had several people tell me looking at it makes them seasick!

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The Original 72" x 36" oil painting on canvas is available.  Please Contact Me for details.

Shallow Waters East of Bald Island

Shallow Waters East of Bald Island

Shallow Waters East of Bald Island came about when I was able to ditch working on the cabin one afternoon and go out exploring in my kayak instead.  Telling my family I would be back “in awhile” I set out for a rock reef I was curious about on the map.  When I finally returned (5 hours later) I was able to muster a somewhat convincingly guilty face!  Bald Island is located in Lake of the Woods, Ontario, about 3 hours north of the Minnesota/Canadian border.  While kayaking that day I had stopped on it for a shore lunch.  I liked the lowered perspective of sitting on the boulder strewn shore instead of standing.  From this viewpoint the horizon line was much higher and allowed more space to show the underwater fade of the midground rocks which I found visually intriguing.  That particular day had virtually no wind which made the reflections almost a complete mirror.  I added the ripples aroung the rocks to add a bit of implied action into the scene and played with the transition between the sky reflection and water transparency to tie together the background with the foreground.

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Touring with 6 Horses

Touring with 6 Horses

A lot of times simpler is better, which is probably why I’m fond of the beat up, small aluminum fishing boat depicted in “Touring with 6 Horses”.  It’s the perfect size for touring around little islands and hidden inlets in Lake of the Woods, Canada.  It can get into areas that a bigger boat couldn’t and if you accidentally hit a rock (or 2....) it’s not too big of a deal since it’s already in pretty rough shape.  The motor is a 1965 Johnson 6 Horse outboard that my grandfather owned, and it still runs like a champ due to my mechanic mother’s diligent care over the years.  One day we were out touring around and stopped to do some island exploring.  I decided to relax and take a nap and when I awoke the wind had picked up and blew the tall grasses around me.  The swishing of the grasses, the sunlight dancing on the water, it was utterly peaceful.  In the painting, I wanted to impart the loose dreamlike quality of the scene that I had felt that day on the lake. 

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Bluff Trail on Bald Island

Bluff Trail on Bald Island

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Century Pines

Century Pines

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Sentinel Tree

Sentinel Tree

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