Friday, 21 February 2014



White Pine Pen & Ink
I grew up in Midland, Ontario, a small town located at the south shore of Georgian Bay. As a boy I wandered the shore of the Bay and marveled at its landscape and natural resources.

Georgian Bay is a part of Lake Huron, but could well be called the Sixth Great Lake as it is a huge, powerful, body of water filled with islands and rocky shoals. It was key to Canada’s history, and very early economic development. It is a mecca for the fisherperson, pleasure boater, and kayaker.

All who frequent the Bay, however, should not take its calm demeanor lightly as its bottom is littered with ship wrecks caused by violent storms that occur with little warning. Once, as a boy, a friend and myself challenged the Bay in a canoe and came pretty close to meeting our maker in a stormy sea that blew out of the west with little warning 
( see The Giant’s Tomb - an earlier posting).

White Pine Pen & Ink

Early in their history Canada’s Group of Seven Painters, with the help of a wealthy patron, discovered Georgian Bay with its wind-shaped pines and set the bar for artists who came after them. Today it’s the wary artist who sketches and paints the Bay, aware of the fact that whatever they create will suffer comparison with the Group’s paintings.

The Giant's Tomb  Graphite Drawing on beige paper

Giant's Tomb is an island, one of an estimated 30,000 islands, located in Georgian Bay. 
The view that I've sketched is from the mainland at First Beach at Awenda Provincial Park.

George Island White Pine    Graphite Drawing

George Island is located at Killarney, Ontario. A part of the island is utilized by Killarney Provincial Park who maintain a hiking trail on the island. The trail wanders through forest and wet areas arriving at the rocky shore of Georgian Bay. A wonderful place to picnic and swim.

Georgian Bay Shoreline - 
Chikanishing Trail - Killarney Provincial Park
Graphite Drawing

Island Georgian Bay  Graphite Drawing

Storm Brewing - Red Rock Point Killarney   Graphite Drawing

I've taken some liberty with this drawing soaring above Red Rock Point in order to produce a dramatic view of the lighthouse and shoreline. Nice to allow the imagination loose on occasion and become creative.

Stormy Day at the Island Camp - Georgian Bay  Graphite Sketch

My sister has a cottage, or as the locals call it a camp, on an island on Georgian Bay. Their are other camps close by on other small islands. This one morning we awoke to find it raining cats and dogs, so confined to the cabin I sketched the neighbour's camp. Plein air sketching and painting is a most wonderful means of creating a memory. A photograph is one thing, but a sketch made on location is a memory rarely forgotten.

Island at the mouth of the Chikanishing River, Killarney Provincial Park  Graphite Drawing

Field Sketch of the Red Rock Lighthouse

Whenever possible I make field sketches. They don't have to be  detailed. Sometimes just a few lines will do. The mere fact that you've sat for a few minutes and absorbed the scene before you creates a memory that no photograph can come close to creating. To this day when I look at this field sketch I can smell the air and feel the sun's warmth radiating from the rocks.

Red Rock Lighthouse   Graphite Drawing

The lighthouses on Georgian Bay at one time were either manned full time, or were attended to daily. Most  have now been decommissioned, or have been automated. The Red Rock Lighthouse is one of those that has been automated. Still, when visiting Killarney it is a must visit as it represents a page from history.

Georgian Bay Islands near Beausoleil Island National Park
Graphite Drawing

Beausoleil Island National Park located on Georgian Bay can be accessed from the village of Honey Harbour. The park maintains campsites and washroom facilities. Access is by boat. This sketch was made from a quick field sketch made while I was a passenger on a tour boat out of Midland.

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