This painting was inspired by the view from the balcony
where I stood in the spring of 2018 when we visited Estepona, Spain.
We arrived late the evening prior. After organizing the
essentials and changing into fresh clothes we headed out to the nearby streets
in search of a place to eat. This proved easy since most eateries open late for
dinner in Spain. It was the eve of the May 1 holiday weekend, and the streets
were full of bustling crowds of people of all ages—a mix of tourists and
nationals. How exciting it all was! The next morning, I ran to the top of the
apartment and looked out from the terrace to look upon this scene.
“You can see the Rock of Gibraltar on a clear day”, we were
told. And there it was in the distance. The sun had not yet made its way over
the square below, just kissing some of the roof tops. And just beyond I could
see the ocean, the sand and the palm trees. Good morning, Estepona! We have
I was intrigued by the perspective of the buildings from
where I stood. So many angles, but all pointing to the sunlit ocean and palm
tree in the distance. The colours and shadows were interesting too. I played
around with the oranges, creamy whites, and purple hues, changing them until I
was satisfied with the end result.
Autumn is a beautiful season most anywhere in the world. Cosy sweater weather, warm drinks by the fire, and awesome coloured leaves…what’s not to like?
I may be a bit biased but here in Northern Ontario, the fall colours in the bush go absolutely crazy with crimson reds merging with the brightest yellows producing shades of orange against the grey rocks. What a show!
The awesome splendour of fall colours in Northern Ontario
30″ x 40″ Acrylic
A friend of mine left a message on my Facebook page one day: “Cornelia, I need one of your paintings!”
So naturally, I called him and checked out his office space which had the most brightly painted walls I’ve ever seen. Marigold, bright yellows, reds and oranges! These guys really like fall colours.
The challenge was to paint a colourful fall scene that would compliment the colours and not get lost or overpower. Well, I have to admit, the painting looked perfect on a bright yellow wall.
I named this painting Autumn Symphony because it almost seems like the birch tree with its branches was standing like a conductor orchestrating this most magnificent symphony. If you’ve never been to Northern Ontario in the fall, you really should add it to your list of places to visit!
We made our way by canoe to Sandy Point on Elliot Lake. Actually, we were on our way to a wonderful sandy beach across the lake that I remember going to with my family when I was a kid. Well, I later found out that we overshot it by quite a piece. But ending up at this lovely spot was pretty nice too. There was a fire pit, so we made a fire and roasted some hot dogs and marshmallows and had a nice break there. Nothing soothes the soul more than a walk along a sandy beach.
Summertime is berry picking time in Northern Ontario. Blackberries, chokecherries, raspberries, wild strawberries, and blueberries grow freely behind our cottage on Lake Lauzon.
But most often it was the wild blueberries my mother was after. She would enlist our entire family to spend a good part of a day high up on the rocks surrounding the lake. As kids, we would think it was fun for a little while, then start eating them, and finally drop the whole thing altogether and start playing. My mother wouldn’t be satisfied until we had filled a couple of gallon pails with blueberries. And this would take hours. It’s a good thing my father was a patient man and picked faithfully. She would then freeze many that would later be enjoyed as jams and pies. But a lot of them would be eaten fresh with a little sugar and maybe some milk or cream poured over. Delicious! To this day blueberry pie is my absolute favorite.
The blackberries were plentiful as well, though harder to pick due to the thorny bushes and the wasps that joined in. They were also not as sweet, but they made a lovely jam and jelly.
I painted this during the month of March when the ground was still very frozen and covered with a crusty blanket of snow. Painting these lovely green leaves and popping ripe berries sure got me dreaming about the summer. It became a detailed study of this tangly bush I hope to visit again someday soon.
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
12″ x 24″ acrylic
12” x 24” acrylic on canvas
I love nothing better than walking along a trail in the woods after a fresh snowfall. I love the way the snow covers everything like a soft blanket, leaving nothing uncovered. Only Mother Nature can be so meticulous and thorough. I love the way the snow crunches underfoot on an extremely cold crisp winter day. This is the winter of my youth, the northern Ontario winter.
Come March though, I know I’ll be longing for spring!
Last October, we were blessed with some beautiful sunny days and we didn’t hesitate to take advantage of them including some family hiking, canoeing and walks down to the lake.
This was our first fall in Elliot Lake, a time I had eagerly looked forward to. It had been at least 40 years since I had experienced a northern autumn and I looked forward to the brilliant reds that we didn’t see as much in Southern Ontario. Many Elliot Lakers were disappointed in the lack of intensity and brilliance of the fall colors this year. It was blamed on the long and rainy summer and the warm fall weather that didn’t include the usual amount of frosty mornings and cool overnight temperatures.
Despite that, the fall was a wonderful time, and we can’t be happier in our new home in Elliot Lake.
I’ve been happily rediscovering this lovely city and the natural beauty that surrounds it. I think growing up here, I took so much of its beauty for granted. I plan to continue exploring all the area has to offer.
I’m excited too, to be showing this painting and offering it for sale in the Elliot Lake Arts Club Annual Christmas Show & Sale, along with my blank note cards. It’s just the beginning. Stay tuned for more!