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 is a charming community with the friendliest people seen in a very long time. It's a fishing harbour and First Nations community.
Evening view from our deck.
The massive Net Loft captured with camera...
...and with watercolours and white china marker resist.
Another section of the Net Loft, rippled galvanized siding and piles of ropes and nets piled by the door.
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.
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.
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.
Gorgeous sights above and below the surface of the water...
The wooden breakwater at the farthest harbour.
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.
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.
Trip to the top of the hill to the Ecological Park with boardwalk and a massive carpet of prehistoric-looking skunk cabbage.
The sun beat down on us in this very tranquil place full of birdsong.
Miss Jean had the sun on her and was not as dark as Cape Cook had been so I found this watercolor more successful.
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.
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!!
Cindy Riach busy with her sketch.
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.
Not really my usual style but I worked at getting the softness of the color shifts and the water reflecting the sky.
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.
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.
Swirling dancers with beautiful button blanket cloaks and cedar headdresses.
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.