Tag Archives: canada

Serene Hidden Lake – Featured Art Print

I was looking through my galleries for something that spoke “serene summer afternoon”….as we enter August with back to school starting to be discussed…seems like summer is starting to wind down slightly. What I wanted to depict is a scene that just says…”stay awhile and enjoy the summer afternoon”.

Serene Hidden Lake is a photograph I took a few years back of Hidden Lake. Hidden Lake is located a short hike from the ski village of Whistler in British Columbia. The day was perfect as my wife, my youngest daughter and I set out on this short hike to Hidden Lake. What you don’t see in the picture is the picnic tables and benches located on this side of the lake to just sit, enjoy and take in Mother Nature. Perfect setting!!

As with most of my photography there is usually a story associated with my photo shoots. The story behind this shot is what the three of us call “The Bear Incident”. As we wrapped up our afternoon and started our hike back chatting and just enjoying each others company, we were greeted by a pack of black bears (ok it was just three) wandering onto the path not to far ahead of us. My brain started going through the do’s and don’ts of what to do when you encountered bears in this area. I remember reading don’t show fear…no sudden movements…and remove yourself as quickly and quietly from the area as you can. We all three froze at the same moment and keeping eye contact with the pack (ok…just three again)…we slowly started backing up. The bears did give us a look, but apparently didn’t think we were worthy of their time and trotted off into the woods away from us. Ok…so that’s the bear story…no large grizzly attacking us or anything like that…but did give us all a moment of “Crap…now what do we do” (Ok the word wasn’t crap, but you get the idea). Thoughts?

 

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Main Street Whistler – Featured Art Print

Main Street Whistler – is a wall art print created using fauvism painting technique of main street. This technique focuses on bold brush strokes, abstract shapes and bright colors creating a modern look.
The setting is Whistler, British Columbia, a popular ski destination in the winter. The time of year is fall, when all of the leaves of the trees are at their peak color. Whistler is a pedestrian friendly skiing village. The architecture is reminiscent of a Swiss village. It is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains housing the ski slopes. Thoughts?


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Butchart Gardens – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

The excerpts from a photo shoot I want to share today are from Butchart Gardens just outside of Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. My photography doesn’t even begin to do justice to the beauty of these gardens. What started out on the personal estate of the Butchart family and their cement quarry has evolved into a National Historic Site of Canada. I chose this backdrop for today’s example in cropping photographs.

Cropping: to cut the edges to produce a better picture or fit a given space.

I want to talk today about cropping a photograph to produce a better picture and/or pictures as in the examples. I talked about this awhile ago when I had a client ask me to take a landscape picture I had created and turn it into two portrait prints for their wall (reference my blog: Fountain Urns). A similar theme surfaced this week as I was working on some new art prints for the Gardens Collection. I am constantly renewing and updating the different galleries or collections. As I add new items, I take older ones out and/or re-look and refresh them. I came across some prints that were a few years old and with a fresh eye starting cropping and playing with them. I wasn’t doing anything extreme, just resizing some of the older prints to more standard sizes. In doing that exercise I found myself creating two completely different looks to what was once a single print. To show you the best example, I went back to the original photograph that these prints had been created from.

Butchart Gardens One

Butchart Gardens One

This first shot is the original photograph of a lily pond. If you look closely to the left and center, you can see people walking through the gardens. I love this shot and have been fortunate enough to have it featured in a couple of different showings. The different elements of plant life and lighting create a flow across the picture. Let’s dig a little deeper and look at the lighting. The sky is overcast and we have the left half of the frame in shade and the right half in sunlight.

Butchart Gardens Two

Butchart Gardens Two

Again, the difference makes an interesting picture and pulls your eye across the print. But, what if we just played with it a little bit. In the second picture, I cropped the left portion of the frame into a square. See how it created a different look to the scene? You have the light accenting just the right edge and the foreground.

Butchart Gardens Three

Butchart Gardens Three

Let’s crop and square the right side, which I did in number three. In this version your photograph is brighter and there is more of a focus on the reflection in the pond.

This example of cropping wasn’t about taking a bad picture and making it better, but looking at what you have and what more could you do with it. What elements of a shot change by cropping the picture a little differently? Where does it shift your focus? These are just things to think about as you evaluate your photography. Thoughts?

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Victoria Harbour Sunset – Featured Art Print

The art print I wanted to feature today is from my Lighthouse/Nautical Collection titled “Victoria Harbour Sunset”.  The print is of the sun setting over Victoria Harbour with fishing boats docked in the foreground. . It is done with a traditional watercolor technique highlighting the golden hues of the setting sun as it reflects off of the water. The foreground captures the look of this region with two fishing boats silhouetted against the brilliant sunset. The hills themselves across the harbor also become layered silhouettes, keeping the sun as the focus of the art print.

Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island is home to what I believe one of the most beautiful harbours. The harbour is a very active body of water accommodating boat traffic (fishing, private and ferry) and a seaport for airplanes. It’s not unusual to see a seaplane take off with a sailboat in the foreground of your line of sight. Victoria itself is a beautiful city as it retains its Victorian charm and elegance. It is home of the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel with its renowned afternoon tea, keeping the Victorian traditional alive. The Empress faces the inner harbour and the scene depicted in this print is in front of the hotel down by the water. The inner harbour is ringed by a two-tier waterfront walkway frequented by tourist, entertainers and musicians. Just around the bend in the inner harbour from the Empress Hotel is another famous landmark, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings that were built in 1893. At night the buildings are lit up by over 3300 light bulbs. Since an art print represents just a moment in time, I thought the setting sun over the harbour with the fishing boats relayed the beauty of the region. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Lighthouse/Nautical.

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Dusk in the Harbor

I just updated one of my galleries with a series of watercolor prints. I wanted to share a few of them with you. This particular gallery is a series of watercolor landscapes. The first picture is of boats in Victoria Harbor, British Columbia at dusk.

I drew the scene with simple and almost abstract sketching. I then used the color hues to create the time of day “dusk”. Notice the lighter colors in the sky and reflected in the harbor. The rest of the hues are darker blues throughout. As a special focal point, I enjoy the docks that have “lamps lit” on the two boats in the foreground.

The next picture is “Sunrise in the Harbor”. Using Victoria Harbor again, this time a different perspective of the harbor and different lighting creating an early morning look.

Same simplified drawing technique, but notice the color hues….lighter and brighter. The blue hues are not as dark and the coloring on the boats is more vivid. The look of early morning is created by the coloring of the sky and the coloring on the boats.

The next picture is also from Canadian landscape. It’s called ” Contemplation at the Lake“.

This is a picture of “Hidden Lake” near Whistler, British Columbia. Again, same drawing technique….simple almost abstract…with the story being told by the coloring. I like using purple, dark blue hues for mountains and love the accent of green with the trees in the foreground. The individual sitting on the shore looks deep in thought creating the name of the picture.

Keeping with the mountain theme from this picture, the next one is of more mountains around the Whistler area.

Again, I like the purple and blue hues for mountains….this one more purple than the blue. The green trees in the foreground also add that accent look. A little more detail in the drawing on this one in the trees to make them more of a focal point.

To finish out the samples, I have included a picture of Mt Rainier that I have done.

So, south of the Canadian border, this angle is from the Seattle area. Keeping the blue hues throughout keeps the snow capped mountain to a more subtle look. For a little fun, if you look closely just to the left of the peak, you will see a small airplane drawn in.

I hope you enjoy and for more of my recently updated art prints, please visit either my main online art gallery (TheWallGallery) or this specific gallery: Landscape Watercolor 3.

Thanks!