Live from Quebec. Silent snow, secret snow

Not the snow of horror short story Conrad Aiken’s but the peaceful beauty of Canadian woods in winter. I just finished this pastel for my March 8 show. I never tire of the play of tannin colored Canadian creeks framed in snow.

“Neige debut d’hiver” (detail) 20 x 16″ pastel on paper

“Neige debut d’hiver”, 20″ x 16″, pastel on paper


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Hot off my easel here in Québec (I’m not in Croatia now)

This pastel is a larger version of a pastel I painted last  year from a six day sea kayak trip. We had paddled down the Croatian coast and finished here in Dubrovnik. The mediterranean light was unforgettable.

“Après-midi à Dubrovnik”, 18″x 24″ pastel on paper



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Live from my Québec studio

Just finished this pastel for my March 8 solo exhibit. (based on a live sketch on a 6 day canoe trip on the Allegash River in Maine this past summer)

“Allagash morning (detail)”, 17″x 12′, pastel on paper

“Allagash morning “, 17″x 12′, pastel on paper




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Breaking news in Quebec!

5th century temple on Inis More Island just captured in pastel here in my Quebec studio! This pastel is based on a sketch from day 3 of a 6 day hike in Ireland this past July. This painting included in my exhibit on March 8. Stay tuned!

“Sallie at Teampall Bheanáin (detail),

“Sallie at Teampall Bheanáin ” 19″ x 24″ pastel on paper

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Hot off my easel (here in Quebec)

This scene took my breath away. It’s  a new pastel for my March 8 exhibit. It’s a real moment I captured back in December in North Georgia the day before I left for Quebec.. The frost line was at 3, 00o feet, I’ve painted this mountain dozens of time but never saw anything like this.

“Frost line at dusk”, 18″x24″, pastel on paper

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Live from Quebec! Magical ice forest

“Cascade gelée”, 18″x 24″, pastel on paper


This morning, outside my Quebec cabin, it’s well below zero F. The water bottle next to my bed froze solid. My laptop took 2 hours to thaw out. (all this by choice, the cabin is well heated but I prefer keeping window window cracked in my bedroom)My sled dog Tanook slept happily curled at my feet on my down bag. Call me “fou” but this is the most content and free I’ve felt in years.



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Hot off my Quebec easel (Not for sale until exhibit opening)

Just finished this pastel of the village l’eglise St. Sauveur here in Quebec. This is also included in my March 8 exhibit, but due to popular demand, it is not for sale to the public until 5:00 .p.m. on March 8, 2018 at Sacred Heart Cultural Center in Augusta, GA. (I’m flattered that people keep buying my paintings as I post them on line, but I gotta have something for the exhibit!)

‘l’elgise St. Sauveur”(detail)

“L’Eglise St. Sauveur” 17″x11.5″, pastel on paper

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Live from Quebec: a new pastel

Just finished this pastel here in my Quebec studio for my March 8 show. Stay tuned for more.

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Dispatches from Québec: A ROUGH START

(above) Tanook after his first run of the season below zero here in Quebec.
ST. ANNE DES LACS, QUEBEC: It is now minus one below zero fahrenheit  at noon in St. Anne Des Lacs, Quebec Tanook has just had an insanely energetic forty minute run on a ski trail  right outside our back door. So we’re  now settled in our log cabin studio for the winter but not without some struggle to get here.
We were on schedule to arrive about three days ago but I got hit with a bug that I thought was the flu on Sunday in Binghamton NY. Also, New England was hit with a warm January rain storm. that flooded rivers in the Adirondacks and turned Quebec into a sheet of ice.
 (Above)1998 photo of Quebec’s devastating ice storm
Exactly twenty years ago, Quebec  was hit with the most devastating  ice storm in it’s European history. The entire province lost power for months due to power lines destroyed under over 10 cm of ice (4″). I was there in 1998 and missed getting stranded in Quebec by one day. I driving south over the Adirondacks in eery 50 degree weather as creepy bluish storm clouds threatened exactly one day before the storm hit.
So when I heard the report over the internet of “code red” road conditions in Quebec and I was experiencing flu symptoms in Warrensburg in upstate New York, Tanook and I were happy to stay put in the coziest Super 8 motel I’ve ever stayed in. Note:  Super 8 motels are forever damned in a brilliant parody country song “Don’t Wanna Die in a Super 8 Motel” by former Drive By Truckers singer Jason Isbelle.
So yesterday, as my fever broke in the morning and my flu bug turned out to be a bad head cold, we made the  decision to push on to Quebec. Road conditions had improved from “cope red” to “code green” on french weather site “” So we had an easy four hour drive into sunny Quebec on salted dry frozen roads.
Most noteworthy for me, however, was the fastest and most pleasant border crowding into Quebec from the U.S. ever. It took took me over fifty border crossings into Quebec (since 1995) to finally learn that  speaking french to the border agent is not only respectful but apparently is a guarantee of the quickest route to defuse any suspicion of motives in Quebec.
 “Would you please roll down your back window?” the attractive young Qubequoise asked me
“Bien sur!” I offered and she saw the giant sled dog in back.
“You speak French?” she asked cooly, without looking at me as she looked up my tag number on the internet.
” Bai oui! C’est pourquoi oh est la! Afin d’amelliorer mon Français!” I responded in my best Quebec dialect I could muster. She smiled and began to thaw.
She took an interest in Tanook and, since no one was behind us, we had an unhurried friendly french conversion (though she responded mostly in English) but we parted friends and she left me with a smile “Amusez bien en Quebec!”
(Above: “Première Neige”, 11″x13″, pastel on paper, SOLD)
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Hot off my easel! (just finished this one)

In 1978 I sketched this same view of Mount Chocoruah from the porch of an historic 1906 New Hampshire cottage. This past July I returned and sketched it again. I finished this pastel an hour ago in my north GA studio. Little if anything has changed since 1978 or since 1906. It will be included in my solo exhibition March 8 in Augusta GA.

Tomorrow I return to my Quebec studio with my sled dog companion “Tanook” . Stay tuned for more live art!

above “Chocoruah from Kilmarnock”, 11″x 14″, pastel on paper

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