Saturday, August 22, 2009

August in the Canadian Arctic

Photo of my painting spot on Friday. A little bit of heaven.

These last two weeks of August, I am visiting my daughter in Iqaluit, Nunavut. While she is at work, I am painting outdoors every day. This is a new opportunity to be so focused on my art and, as I write this midway through the two weeks, I am energized by the experience.

Each day, I have done at least one painting. I am fairly new to plein air painting (ie outdoor painting) and I find my field sketches need more work when I get home. Outdoors there is pressure to grasp the scene before the light changes or the tide goes out.

I am tickled with my basic equipment setup – everything fits into my backpack except the easel, which I carry separately. As you see in the photo, I rig up an umbrella to shade my canvas board and my palette. There are no trees here for shade – this is above the treeline, not far from the Arctic Circle.

Most of my days so far have been spent in the Sylvia Grennell Territorial Park near of the mouth of the river at Frobisher Bay. The banks are sprinkled with fishermen casting for Arctic char.

The land and skies here are huge and endless; the population is sparse. Out in the park, only one or two people pass by me all day. The solitude is refreshing and it helps me feel free to paint unobserved. I even talked to myself aloud as I worked to solving my painting composition and colours.

Now, I must break from my writing to go outdoors – there is an airshow on here right now and I can hear the low flying planes: part of Operation Nanook. Note to self: Google that later.


  1. It would be nice to see the painting of the above photo.

  2. Great work Shelley - You are sooo sooo talented.