Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer 2018: 60 Minutes to Better Painting?

My quick sketch of "The Turning Point"
Block Sketching 1: Ottawa Urban Sketchers
Artist Craig Nelson believes that you can drastically improve your art by practicing daily quick (less than an hour) paintings and I intend to practice what he preaches this summer.

60 Minutes to Better Painting; Craig Nelson
 Craig says that by painting quick studies you will:
  • break inhibitions
  • not be afraid of mistakes
  • learn the difference between line and mass
  • learn brushwork
  • understand how to see
  • get started
  • learn, explore and enjoy
 Craig suggests three basic time frames
  1. 25 to 30 minutes
  2. 40 to 45 minutes
  3. 60 minutes
I do a lot of sketching and painting in watercolour in short time frames with the Ottawa Urban Sketching group (see my blog here: but I have NOT undertaken quick studies in acrylic around Ottawa but I intend to start in June.
Return of My "One-Hour Bike-n-Sketch"

My old, unsophisticated bicycle that I bought three years ago for $60 at re-Cycles on Bronson Ave. in Ottawa is still in service and has been out and about to do some of my One-Hour Bike-n-Sketches.

My bike parked recently at the Patterson Creek Pavilion in the shade.
My One-Hour Bike-n-Sketch of the Cartier Square Drill Hall
My "One-Hour Bike-n-Sketch" of Patterson Creek, Ottawa; June 2018
Not ALL of my "One-Hour Bike-n-Sketches" turn out great but I learn a LOT more from my failures than I could ever possibly learn from the ones that went well for me.

Limited Palettes

I'm still working with my limited three-colour (plus white) Holbein acrylic palette (that I love so much) and this, I think would work extremely well for my "One-Hour Bike-n-Sketches" by minimizing what I will have to carry on my bike.

  1. PY 175 Yellow Imidazolone 
  2. PB 15 Blue Phthalo
  3. PR 254 Pyrrole Red
The painting below, "Porch Pumpkins", was painted in two hours with just these three colours (plus white) last week. I like the colour mixes that I can easily achieve with just the three primaries.

"Porch Pumpkins" by Cindi Moynahan-Foreman; June 2018
I am also interested in trying other palettes and have always wanted to experiment with the Zorn Palette or this one from Golden Paints: Classic Colour Mixing Palette.

The Golden Paints Classic collection promises to produce a wide range of traditional mixes, creating a spectrum of colors often found in nature.

It includes:
  • Cadmium Yellow Light, 
  • Indian Yellow Hue, 
  • Cadmium Red Light, 
  • Alizarin Crimson Hue, 
  • Ultramarine Blue, 
  • Prussian Blue Hue, 
  • Viridian Green Hue, 
  • Titanium White,
Golden Paints: Classic Colour Mixing Palette.
I am looking forward to the "learning, exploring and enjoying" promised in artist Craig Nelson's book "60 Minutes to Better Painting" over throughout the summer and will post another update later in July.

In the meantime, I'm off to paint....

"Off We Go"; self-portrait; watercolour by Cindi Moynahan-Foreman; 2014

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dumoine River Art For Wilderness Retreat 2018

I am delighted to announce that I have been selected to attend the 2nd annual Dumoine River Art For Wilderness Retreat in Quebec this August.

This event is organized by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) the Ottawa Valley chapter (known as CPAWS-OV)

The DRAW retreat brings together artists working in different mediums and from communities across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. We artists will explore the Dumoine River, create works of art, share stories and become inspired by this magnificent landscape.

June 2018 Meet and Greet

A "Meet and Greet" was held in June 7, 2018 at the Moore Farm in Gatineau, Quebec to go over logistics and meet the CPAW-OV stafff and DRAW organizers and other artists.

CPAWS-OV PowerPoint Presentation June 2018
We were given an overview by CPAWS-OV Executive Director John McDonnell then treated to a PowerPoint presentation by CPAWS Conservation Outreach Coordinator Jesse Lever.

The Artists

Several of the DRAW 2018 participating artists were unable to attend this meet and greet session due to distance and other previous commitments etc, but those who did attend are pictured above and included:

Front Row (left to right)
Back Row (left to right)
Other artists who will be attending DRAW 2018 and past artists (DRAW 2017) can be found at

I am really looking forward to exploring the Dumoine River area with this amazing and talented group of artists.
 The Dumoine River 

The Algonquins named it Cakawitopikak Sipi and Ekonakwasi Sipi which means Alder River (for its many alders that line the river on both sides) and Desire River respectively.
Source: June 2018 PowerPoint presentation; photograph taken by Scott Haig (DRAW 2017)

"The Dumoine river is the last, undammed, wild river in 
southern Quebec 
and it flows through undisturbed forest."

The mouth of the Dumoine rivere where it emties into the Ottawa River
"The Dumoine River is a river in western Quebec with its source in Machin Lake near La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve. From Dumoine Lake, the river flows almost due south off the Canadian Shield and empties into the Ottawa River, just west of Rapides-des-Joachims, Quebec, or Rolphton, Ontario. The river is 129 kilometres (80 mi) long and drains a watershed of 5,380 square kilometres (2,080 sq mi)." (Source: Wikipedia)

Photo Source: Dumoine River Grand Chute, Quebec; Public Domain

The Dumoine is also a continentally significant wildlife corridor, protecting a critical link from La Vérendrye wildlife reserve in the north to Algonquin Park, which in turn links to Algonquin to Adirondacks (A2A) corridor to the Appalachian Mountains to the south.
This area is an artist's dream to paint and sketch and I feel very grateful and privileged to have been selected this year!

Connect with CPAWS-OV on social media 

Between now and August, we artists will be busily preparing for this wonderful wilderness adventure and I promise to blog again in August when we are done. There is no cell phone access in thisarea and therefore NO live-blogging, tweeting or anything else. Just art making for four wonderful days!! Bliss!!

In the meantime, follow the DRAW 2018 artists on social media and follow CPAWS-OV at the links below.


Canoe Camping - 8 days on Canada's Dumoine River (July 2016)

A lovely 25 minute video on the Dumoine that I loved because these two young men made it very entertaining, quoted Bill Mason and because they brought along their dogs!

If you are reading this blog post in your email, you will not see the embedded video which can be found here:

Watch "Song of the Paddle" at the National Film Board of Canada