Late Afternoon at the Grand River

Another trip to the Grand River with my camera and several less than impressive photo’s later and I managed to get something I could crop into submission to create a somewhat decent reference photo.

The original picture:

Grand River, Dunnville, Ontario

Grand River

The Cropped Version:

Grand River, Dunnville, Ontario, Canada

Grand River Cropped

Soft Pastel Landscape, Grand River Ontario

Late Afternoon at the Grand River

And my final pastel painting. I changed the basic shapes of the shrubs to make them more abstract and I also simplified the trees so it was a little less busy and moved the shore line to make the line more interesting and musical.  Once happy with the layout, I sketched the landscape in with hard pastels/pencils then blocked in the basic masses, followed by the more time consuming details.  My materials included Faber-Castel Pastel Pencils, Nu-Pastels (hard), Unison and Terry Ludwig Soft Pastels on Wallis paper which has become my favourite pastel surface.


Hello and Welcome

It seems that I have mastered Blogger so I thought it was time to try out my computer skills by creating a WordPress blog. I’ve always preferred the look of WordPress, since it seemed so much more artistic and professional but I had also heard that it was also more challenging to learn. Hopefully this won’t boggle my mind too much.

A little about myself…

I attended York University Visual Arts Program and graduated from studio painting and drawing in 1998. I also had a growing interest in the horticulture field and in garden design so I decided to pursue that line of work instead of the art scene in Toronto.

Life has a habit of throwing you a fast ball by times with a certain amount of humor and I found myself out of work when the garden center I worked for closed up shop. I worked at odd jobs for a few years until I decided that I needed to create art again. So for over the last year I have been relearning to oil paint again. I’ve also started creating floral and orchid portraits using colored pencil until shoulder problems made me give that medium up. Instead I’ve picked up soft pastel, which require far less pressure thereby less damage to my shoulder and I haven’t looked back. Now my two main mediums are oil paint and soft pastel rendering mostly landscapes and floral’s.

A few of my pieces:

Colored Pencil on Paper, Orchid Portraits

Slipper Orchid Lady Rothschild

Colored Pencil on Paper, Orchid Portrait Art

Paph Micheal Koopowitz

Hard Pastel on Paper, Orchid Portrait Art

Phrag Bouley Bay

Colored Pencil on Paper, Floral Art

Yellow Lily

Colored Pencil on Paper, Floral Art

Nodding Lily

Hard Pastel on Paper, Woodland Art

Maple Embedded

Oil Pastel on Paper, Winter Scenes

Winter Lake Through the Branches

Well that’s all for today! All the above images are artwork that I did last year so tomorrow I will post a few more that I’ve been working on over the last few months.

>Grand River Gallery


I wanted to share my latest bit of news, I have been accepted into my first gallery since picking up the art again. The Grand River Gallery is located in Caledonia, Southern Ontario, Canada, and is a lovely place to enjoy viewing beautiful work by several talented local artists. The owner, Rene Ariens accepted my pastel Woodland Path and my orchid portrait Lady Rothschild as part of his collection for the next few months. Be sure to drop by the gallery if you’re in the area.
The website: Grand River Gallery
Woodland  Path

Woodland Path

Lady Slipper Orchid Portrait

Paph Lady Rothschild


>Springtime Along the Grand

One of those ideal spring days arrived and I had the opportunity to take several photographs of the Grand River. After sorting through my less than wonderful assortment of pictures I decided to settle on one in particular showing the bridge and a few buildings along the opposite shore.  I played around with the composition and finally decided that I didn’t want any man-made structures involved so this doesn’t act as a correct interpretation of the local, but I prefer my work to have little or no presence of human habitation.  However, mostly I just liked the simplified version, the bridge and buildings just made things too busy.

The original image:
Grand River

Grand River

 My Interpretation:
Late Afternoon at the Grand River

Springtime Along the Grand River