Alert Bay plein air painting trip

Alert Bay plein air painting trip

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Thanks Cindy Riach for suggesting this wonderful 6 day plein air painting adventure to Alert Bay, BC. It took us 3 ferries and just over 12 hours door to door and was well worth it. We stayed at the Seine Boat Inn right on the water, a contended troop of 10 in all, 4 painters plus partners and friends. We had the largest room with full kitchen so the gang gathered every evening for dinner and drinks.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Alert Bay is a charming community with the friendliest people seen in a very long time. It’s a fishing harbour and First Nations community.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Evening view from our deck.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

The massive Net Loft captured with camera…

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

…and with watercolours and white china marker resist.

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

Another section of the Net Loft, rippled galvanized siding and piles of ropes and nets piled by the door.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

A very unique red building out on pylons, complete with small seaplane section (just what everyone needs) and many ferns growing out of the wooden rails.

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

My 2nd sketch of the first day… heading home, pooped! I got 2 paintings done each day, quite strenuous as of course I had to also take a zillion photographs between each stop.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Wonderful sights in the fishing harbors, crumbling boats, fabulous watery reflections, interesting forms and shapes, LOTS of fodder for future paintings. My Lumix camera gives me aspect ratio and artistic filters to play with right when I shoot the picture so all effects are taken in real time, no Photoshop later.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Watery depths…

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Gorgeous sights above and below the surface of the water…

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community
The wooden breakwater at the farthest harbour.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Me captured by Bruce while painting Cape Cook. We were quite an attraction as we sat and painted throughout the town, roadside and dockside in watercolors, oils and sketch.

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

Cape Cook, backlit by sun and a very dark black hull. I didn’t quite get what I was going for but had a great time doing it.

Alert Bay First Nations fishing village031

Trip to the top of the hill to the Ecological Park with boardwalk and a massive carpet of prehistoric-looking skunk cabbage.

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

The sun beat down on us in this very tranquil place full of birdsong.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Miss Jean had the sun on her and was not as dark as Cape Cook had been so I found this watercolor more successful.

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

Funky little red and yellow cartoonish sailboat and a nifty blue cabin out on pylons, a great place to sit and paint in the shadow of a white van which thankfully did not move.
Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Deb made an energetic stab at plein air sketching, found herself a perfect stand up desk and actually got about 5 little sketches done. Way to go Deb, a promising start!!

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Cindy Riach busy with her sketch.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Bruce Edwards and I drove out to a point and captured the water and skies as best we could, a great way to spend an good hour really LOOKING and SEEING.

plein air painting, Alert Bay, BC, native fishing village

Not really my usual style but I worked at getting the softness of the color shifts and the water reflecting the sky.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Dennis’s lovely sketch of our host Colin’s house across the street from The Seine Boat Inn. Dennis gave this drawing to Colin on our last evening to Colin’s great delight.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

The Big House hosted a wonderful hour of local native song and dance with dancers from very young to old in the dark long house with fire pit in the center of the earthen floor. Delightful.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

Swirling dancers with beautiful button blanket cloaks and cedar headdresses.

Alert Bay, BC, fishing harbour, First Nations community

On our final evening, 7 local artists came and joined us for a drink and got to see what we’d produced during our visit to their small community. We’re already making plans to come back next year! The last week of June was perfect weather and just before their really busty summer tourist season starts, a great time to explore and appreciate their community, sights and customs.

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