Thanks to many art shows highlighting Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, I’ve been painting many local scenes, and it’s been such an eye-opening and gratifying experience!
I paint a lot of other countries, and I can become entranced by them, to the point of not really engaging with my own surroundings. But in producing so many more Mini pieces for our country’s celebration, I’ve reconnected with why people abroad sigh, smile, and say “beautiful country” when they learn I’m from Canada.
Case in point, the subject of Mini #87 is about 100 steps from my front door! There’s this incredible walking path along Lake Ontario, and some of the homeowners along this path plant small flower gardens on the water’s edge. And we all get to enjoy their work come summer time! This little garden features big orange-red poppies and violet alliums set into the rocky shoreline, and is probably my favourite. When the leaves open and the flowers bloom, this trail takes on an entirely different personality from its blustery winter one.
And talk about another flowery transformation, this time about an hour away – the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake must have the biggest municipal budget for flowers and landscaping because in spring and summer, it’s a wonderland! In spring, there are thousands of different coloured tulips in the plentiful flower beds down the main street. In summer, it’s a combination of many types of colourful plants and flowers. We go just to see what they’ve planted! And from one of the photos we took of the geranium beds in front of the historic Apothecary building, here is Mini #88, “Pretty In Pink, Niagara-on-the-Lake”.
These two paintings also represent a bit of a milestone – while they are #87 and #88 in my “100 Mini Vacations” series started in 2016, they are actually the 99th and 100th Mini that I’ve painted in total (I made 12 pieces in late 2015, not part of this series). What better way to celebrate this milestone and Canada’s anniversary than with some local beauty!