Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wishing you all well at the Wishing Well on Clear Lake this morning at 11:00

Wishing you all well at the Wishing Well on Clear Lake this morning at 11:00
A spur of the moment decision led me to the Wishing well and I did not regret it when I saw the morning sunlight streaming through the grove of spruce trees over the the Wishing Well and over the beautifully landscaped garden , and saw the freshly carved tree trunk sculpture of three climbing black bears! What is even more delightful was to encounter Nancy MacKay, the park gardener at the very moment when I put my last brush stroke onto the canvas. Thank you Nancy for purchasing the painting! Your efforts behind the sculpture and the garden are the source of inspiration for the painting

Monday, August 14, 2017

Brandon University campus as viewed from 18th Street and Lorne Avenue

The controversy over the intended hedges removal from the edge of BU campus along 18th Street seemed to have pumped me to come to this spot to paint this morning despite of the humid weather. Personally, I find it totally unnecessary to spent money and effort on removing the hedges that have been functioning so well over half a century. I just do not see anything negative caused by the hedges. It is not so intrusive as a brick wall. I tend to come to this spot to paint over the years simply because this view of Brandon University is the very first I got to see as part of Brandon 27 years ago when I first received the application package from BU back in China: this view of BU was on the cover of its 1990 -1991 course registration calendar book . And it is also the very first glimpse of BU campus I saw on the very first morning I came to Brandon from China when I first stayed on the corner of 15th Street and Lorne Avenue. Painting anything BU always brings back my fond memory of BU in particular and Brandon as a whole. Without BU, never would I have been likely to call Brandon home for the last 25 years. As I was standing there on the corner of 18th Street and Lorne Avenue painting, this morning , I saw so many international students passing by on their way to and from campus, I could not help noticing how much the demographic landscape has changed over the past two decades here in Brandon as a city. Brandon University is obviously the force behind this change. As I was driving away after finishing my painting, I switched on CBC radio 2, there on the air is Jocelyn Morlock 's Aeromancy for two cellos , there came the BU connection again! I got to know her way way back in the early 90s when I first came to study at BU. Jocelyn Morlock, next time you come to Brandon, I would like to see you again !

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A home on Trappist Monastery grounds

Driving down south towards the Monastery on highway 34 is a visual delight! with the rolling hills covered with  lush green  vegetation !

A charming historical church in Holland, Manitoba

Holland Emmanuel Historical church is located just a short distance away from the wind mill. It was so quiet here in this small town that I felt I was alone there while painting on the street this view of the charming church.

The Wind Mill , Holland Manitoba

It is only fitting to paint this landmark of Holland on my very first visit to this small Manitoba town. It occurred to me that this town is named Holland not so much due to its Dutch root. It is actually named after its first postmaster whose last name is Holland.

Friday, August 11, 2017

An open canola field

Off the first street looking north lies the this stretch of open field of canola which is so delightful to see at this time of the year.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

From Dinsdale Park Brandon on a summer morning

Two times flooding from the last few years have wiped out most of the trees in the park leaving the Brandon skyline across the Assisiniboine River more visible now. I have painted in this park countless times over the years now , and I am here sometimes more for the solitude than the scenery.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dinner party at sunset moment on Clear Lake

Dinner party at Sunset Moment at Dr. Don Williamson's cabin on Clear Lake At this years charity event Push For Change , I offered myself to be auctioned off for my painting service. Dr. Don Williamson won the bid. So yesterday at his request, I set up my easel trying to capture the moment when he , his family and his friends were sitting at the dinner table chatting and watching the beautiful sunset over food and drink. One of the most memorable painting experiences ! Thank you Dr, Don Williamson!

Busy summer morning at Deep Bay of Clear Lake

Friday, July 28, 2017

A beautiful home from Brandon West on a sunny summer morning

The owner of this beautiful home commissioned me to paint this as a present to his wife as they are moving away from Brandon for BC and has put it on the market.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Brandon Research and Development Centre in the early morning sun--- landscape and memory

Of all the places in Brandon , this research station came into my memory the earliest Almost as soon as I moved to Brandon from China , I got to know there was a such a beautiful place called Brandon Research Station. Most because of a few research scientists who worked for the station and whose path I incidentally came across. Among them was Dr. Chow whom I met the very second day I came to Brandon on the occasion of a local Chinese picnic outing. Dr. Chow was retired then already and he got my attention right away because of his unique accident when he started to speak Mandarin which betrayed him as a native form the part of China that I had just came from! Through further introduction I realised that Dr. Chow was a native of a place very very close to the city where I had worked as a high school teacher for over a decade, and also I found out he moved to North Amercia from Taiwan directly after having left Mainland China prior to its fall to the communist rule in the 40s. On that occasion I met both he and his wife. At that time in early 90s , Mainland Chinese community was barely in existence in Brandon , and therefore, I was invited a few times by them to their home for dinner during the following days.It was not until almost a year later on one visit to their Brandon home, Mrs Chow showed me their family photo album before the dinner. As I leafed through this album of theirs, one particular photo in the album just totally caught me literally by surprise and disbelieve! There is this picture of somebody who has been a close friend to my family for 4 decades! Mr. Zhengwen Chow , a close friend to my Aunt in Shanghai, and my grandmother his god mother! I could not believe my eyes, and for an instant I thought I may have misidentified somebody who bears a close resemblance accidentally until I saw right on the wall of the photo of him was the indisputable oil painting by my own uncle which my aunt had given to him as a gift! I asked Mrs Chow how on earth they got a picture of Zhengwen! She was equally astonished asking me how could I possibly knew her husband Dr. Chow's only cousin in Mainland China! What a small world! Apparently Zhengwen had lost contact with them for long , and prior to the digital ages, communication oversea was not that easy! Now so many years have passed since that encounter , both Mr. and Mrs Chow have passed away , so has Zhengwen Chow , who was a novelist
playwright , and a poet in his life time who suffered a lot and was sent to labour camp for a few years during the communist years in mainland China. It was Zhengwen who opened my early eyes to the free and beautiful world of North America in the 70s in Shanghai. I will never ever forget how we listened together one night in my aunt's home in Shanghai on a worn out record the first time for me , the Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,
Lull'd by the moonlight have all passed away!
Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

That very moment from the dark age in China, I started to dream! I was 18 years old then.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Dome Building on Keystone Grounds Brandon

The " Dome Building" --------Manitoba Provincial Exhibit Building on Keystone Grounds in early afternoon sunshine. Whenever I get bored , I pick up my paint brush, whenever I feel unhappy, I pick up my paint brush, whenever I get tired and sleepy, I pick up my paint brush. No exception today when I felt myself overcome with drowsiness at noon , I simply packed up my French easel ,loaded it into trunk of my car, and started to drive aimlessly until I spotted the dome building with its domes sparking in wintry sunlight. That is it. I set up to paint there and then against the cold, against the wind and even against the occasional sensation of hunger until what has been bugging me all dissipate and what is left in me is nothing but the pure bliss , the painter's bliss.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Brandon Court House in the early afternoon sunlight

Brandon Court House on Princess Avenue painted in sub -zero temperature today at 12 p.m. The greatest challenge painting outdoor faces at this time of the year is actually not so much the cold weather as the quick change of light which forces you to paint even more fast. Spent less than two hours painting today at the corner of 11th Street and Princess Avenue . Always enjoy the special kind of light at this time of the year which tends to imbue the landscape with a tinge of visual tenderness , and a wisp of light sorrow

Another window view in the morning

Sunny early morning , the same window view

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sunny again in the afternoon , the same window view

A window view a lady in red with baby trolley passing by

A window view early in the morning

A quick oil sketch this morning looking out of the window. Cold and gloomy with inevitable fall of snow. However, a flick of light from the window across the street outside , and Mozart's Piano Concerto N21 from CBC Radio 2 are enough to bring a touch of warm and a sense of jubilation to what should have been a bleak landscape in my sight.