Painting the Bruce Peninsula

I’m just back from two weeks off the grid (no internet! no e-mail!) of glorious painting on the Bruce Peninsula. This wonderful location is bordered on Georgian Bay on one side, and Lake Huron on the other, and has a landscape that really appeals to me. The Niagara Escarpment, a rock formation that runs south to Niagara Falls, has created many beautiful cliffs and bays on the peninsula.

Here are a few of the painting locations, kindly documented by my husband Bruce.

My work is inspired by the landscape, not an attempt to capture it in a realistic or photographic way.

Getting started with a coffee in hand, a crucial part of my painting routine!

Getting started with a coffee in hand, a crucial part of my painting routine!

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This was the dock at our rented cottage, overlooking a quiet lagoon. I created several paintings on different days, different light conditions. Often too windy to use the umbrella, so the light was often a challenge — blindingly bright.

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Another spot on the cottage property, this time trying to get some shelter from the sun and heat.

There is a lovely access point to Bruce Peninsula National Park that you reach by walking an easy half-kilometer path. There are lovely rocks and coves, small islands, and it’s also a great place to swim.

Unfortunately, in the afternoons, stable flies are a nuisance here.

The start of a painting - this is just inside Bruce Peninsula National Park, and a popular spot for a cooling swim.

The start of a painting – this is just inside Bruce Peninsula National Park, and a popular spot for a cooling swim.

The finished painting.

The finished painting.

Many people visit Flowerpot Island every year, named for the large pillar formations formed by eroded limestone. We walked to the far side of the island, where the old lighthouse-keepers cottage is located, and I enjoyed painting the large rocks there.

That's me at my easel in the centre background, trying to capture the forms of a large rock.

That’s me at my easel in the centre background, trying to capture the forms of a large rock.

On the Lake Huron side is Singing Sands beach at Dorcas Bay. This huge beach is very shallow. Too shallow for adults to enjoy swimming there, it seems to be an endless series of shallow sand bars. Very popular with young families. I was enjoying the tiny vivid yellow flowers and red grasses, as well as the dunes.

Painting the dunes at Singing Sands

Painting the dunes at Singing Sands

A more whimsical painting of the beach, with some bathers visible in the background

A more whimsical painting of the beach, with some bathers visible in the background

Little Cove is a beautiful spot in the National Park that is marred by only a couple of small chunks of private land. We encountered some wild weather there, and I had to move to avoid getting wet feet!

The round shapes in the rocks seen in the second photo are apparently formed when the great weight of a glacier pressing down on the rock is released due to melting, and the rock springs back. Very challenging to capture in a painting, but quite inspiring.

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Painting at Little Cover, note the waves starting to encroach.

Circular wave shapes in the rock caused by melting glaciers

Circular wave shapes in the rock caused by melting glaciers

So now I just have to get busy and get images up on the site here to show you! It was a fantastic trip, and I painted almost every day.

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