Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Hollyburn sleeping tree, sleeping cabin

Like bears, mountain hemlock trees sleep through the winter.  With 2 to 3 meters of snow already, little hemlocks are buried, and the big ones stand dozing stoically with their branches held in close by the snow.  But it's the adolescent ones that are the most entertaining.  The first snow of the year bends their flexible top over.  The next snow bends them a little further down.  Heavier and heavier snows later bend the whole thin trunk, so they look like they are napping with their head hung way down.  Sometimes they'll curl completely around, like the one outside our cabin.  When the snow melts and falls off, they pop part way back up, then fully unfurl themselves in the spring.

Some cabins also look like they are sleeping, under an enormous down comforter of snow.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Bluebird day

Clear sunny skies with fresh powder snow on the mountains - we don't get a lot of these bluebird days in Vancouver.  And we don't get any at all if we stay at work when they happen.  So I took the opportunity to carve some telemark turns on Hollyburn - flawless ones, I might add, which also means "timid".  And, of course, to work on my icecolour painting.  Connoisseurs of the genre will recognize the tell-tale features: blotchy washes, pale colours because the brushes have frozen, blobs of dark colour where ice-paint flakes ended up, and feathery lines of frost crystals.  And subject matter that usually involves snow, mountains or snowy mountains.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Life, exaggerated

Me, exaggerate?  Never in a hundred million billion years would I exaggerate a life drawing.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Portrait and party

Alain Boullard came up with a brilliant idea for a drawing session: an hour and a half of portrait drawing, followed by another hour and a half drawing a blue-grass band in full twang.  The brilliance is the yin-yanginess of it.  Portrait drawing is intense, artists packed close together staring intently at another person's face while struggling to get something respectably human-looking on the paper.  I tend to end up holding my shoulders somewhere above my ears and forgetting to breathe until I notice my drawing hand turning blue.  And then, faster than you can say yippee-ei-o, a change to the complete other end of the looseness spectrum, with The Soots, a duo playing fantastic foot-stomping blue grass.  I have a bit of a different drawing style when I'm dancing, and breathing...