Rivers Edge, Gargantua River, Lake Superior Provincial Park.
Here, an impression from latest hike on the Coastal Trail, heading from Gargantua Harbour to Warp Bay. From these two points the trail heads through shaded woodland, and eventually catches up to Gargantua River that flows into Warp Bay. The river tumbles darkly over the granite before it slows into a sinuous ribbon of transparent nutrient rich tea coloured water. The habitat about the river is rich with life, moose and beaver, lynx and wolf, but the river belongs to the fish. Trout lurk below, twining together through the shadowed depths, rarely emerging to the eye. This is their domain.
This year, I was lucky enough to see these furtive aquatic creatures, and a glimpse of them is enough to impress their image on my brain. My original reference is a snapshot of the tangled alder growing on the sandy banks of the river. I was fascinated by the twisted patterns they made and the mysterious depths within them, but when it came time to render them onto paper, the fish intruded and insisted (quite rightly) on taking the centre stage.
Image: 15”x15” watercolour paper, watercolour wet in wet wash, followed by acrylic gel & fine sand, finished with coloured pencil. If you click on the image, you’ll get to see the heavy texture of the paper, almost like a rough canvas. The coloured pencil went on well this time, sticking tight when moderate pressure was applied, and smearing like oils when layered together. While flash photography didn’t capture this, from a slight distance, this piece looks slick and wet like a fresh oil painting.
Works In Progress, the Chrome-footed Bolete on the left on Stonehenge paper, almost finished, but in need of tweaking. On the right, another mixed media, painted in gouache and watercolour, followed by the infamous sand, then pencils. This one is challenging me to think and work in the negative shapes (sky and sky holes) more than ever before as I want to keep it looking loose and spontaneous and don’t dare to pencil it in first. Not sure why I do this to myself….