Sunday, 30 March 2014


Some wonder why it’s important that we archive the efforts of contemporary artist in their effort to record such places as Algonquin and Killarney Provincial Parks. After all, it could be argued, the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson said what had to be said and through their efforts Canadians are aware of their natural heritage. I would argue that was then, and this is now, change, much change has taken place since the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson. Not to make light of the Group’s and Tom Thomson’s efforts for many of the sketches and paintings were quite remarkable, and from viewing their work we’re able to gain insight into our past history. However, and it’s worth repeating, that was then, and this is now. There have been many changes, and change must be recorded and archived if we’re to provide future generations with an accurate picture of  our progress towards the protection and preservation of our natural heritage.

It was with the help of artist Alexander Young Jackson that a bit of wilderness was set aside and protected, and that in time this bit of wilderness together with other bits of wilderness, came together to form what we now know as Killarney Provincial Park. Today, artists such as Danielle Gardner, Marlies Schoenefeld, and Pierre Sabourin, to name but a few, are promoting art in our Parks. With the efforts of these artists, and through their art, awareness of our Provincial Parks and the valuable natural resource that they shelter is being heightened, helping to preserve our natural legacy.

O.S.A. Lake viewed from The Crack    Graphite Drawing

It was with the help of A.Y. Jackson that a timber reserve was set aside on Trout Lake, now named O.S.A. Lake.

Island - O.S.A. Lake    Ink Wash Drawing  2006

A view from the Crack   Pen and Ink Sketch  2007

Killarney Lake    Graphite Study

I thought that I'd include this working study. Before committing to make a drawing I often make a number of studies to more-or-less acquaint myself with the subject, and work out the layout. More often than not once into the drawing everything changes, and the end result is entirely different. It's fun, though.

Killarney Lake      Graphite Drawing   2005

What did I tell you. Things change once you get into the drawing. 

Acid Lake       Graphite Drawing   2006

I thought that we'd come down off the ridges for a bit and visit various miscellaneous drawing and sketches. As I may have mentioned there's quite a few works attributed to Killarney Provincial Park, most of which have been donated to their collection for fund raising purposes.

Cave Lake   Graphite Drawing

Lumsden Lake    Graphite Drawing

Cranberry Bog              Graphite Drawing

Kakakise Lake     Graphite Field Sketch

View from Silver Peak     -    Pen and Ink Drawing

 Did I tell you about Silver Peak?
 No. Then next time we'll climb up to Silver Peak...........................

Friday, 28 March 2014


View of George Lake from East Beach   Graphite Drawing 2006

In 1962, with the opening of Highway 637  from Highway 69 to the village of Killarney, and the establishment of a campground at George Lake, access to Killarney Provincial Park became much easier and the exploration of the park by artists began in earnest.

I recall my first visit to the park. I recall standing on the shore of George Lake looking with awe at the crystal clear water of the lake, and its surrounding quartzite hills. I was immediately inspired to make a sketch and to attempt to capture on paper the solitude that is Killarney Provincial Park. Years later I am still inspired.

George Lake from Camp Site 77   Graphite Drawing 2014

George Lake - Killarney Provincial Park     Graphic Interpretation  Graphite Drawing
Sometimes its good to stray from realism, and to simplify. A fresh approach to a tight drawing.

Little Sheguiandah      Conte Crayon Drawing
This is one of the first drawings that I made of Killarney Provincial Park. At the time I was a bit disappointed with the end result. Now, when I look at it it brings back memories, and I find myself remembering what it was like to hike from George Lake and to come upon this scene for the first time. Wonderful memories to be had hiking and sketching in Canada's many wilderness parks.

Lumsden Lake looking west towards Georgian Bay     Graphite Drawing  2006
I don't encourage, nor does the park encourage, the average hiker to climb up to this overlook on the ridge. Going up is not so difficult, but the way down becomes a bit confusing, and much of it is spent wearing out the seat of your pants.

(Another) View from the Ridge - Lumsden Lake Area      Pen and Ink Sketch

View From the carry over from George Lake to Freeland Lake                  Pen and Ink Sketch

At the end of George Lake there's a bit of a carry over and a paddle down Freeland Lake to the portage to Killarney Lake. 

Killarney Lake    Graphite Drawing

It's worth the paddle from George Lake, through Freeland Lake, and the portage over to crystal clear Killarney Lake. There are moments while paddling on Killarney Lake with its crystal clear water that one has a difficult time determining the surface of water. It's as if your floating in the air. Of course, this phenomenon is not all good news as its clarity is due to acidification caused by pollutants from the nickel smelters located at Sudbury. The pollutants have all but ceased, but the acidification will probably persist for many years.

A Vista from the La Cloche Silhouette Trail    Graphite Sketch

Most hikers climb up to the Crack and stop for a few minutes to take in the view, then head back to the George Lake campground. It pays sometimes to hike a bit further on the trail before heading back.

A Vista from the La Cloche Silhouette Trail     Graphite Drawing

A view of OSA Lake from the Crack                      Graphic Interpretation   Graphite Drawing

Let's call it a day and save  a few drawings and sketches for another day................

Thursday, 27 March 2014


What began as an attempt to protect a stand of old growth pine trees in 1931 located at Trout Lake,  now known as O.S.A. Lake, resulted in the development of 
Killarney Provincial Park in 1964. 
This year, 2014, Killarney Provincial Park celebrates its: - 


The Introduction to my book "IMPRESSIONS - An Artist's Introduction To Killarney Provincial Park" read: -
KILLARNEY PROVINCIAL PARK is located at the top of Georgian Bay in the Province of Ontario. Unique in its geology with granite shores, quartzite hills, and clear blue lakes, it offers a varied landscape that has inspired and challenged artists long before the park was created. Paul Kane, the Irish Canadian artist, while on a trip west in the 1850s to record the aboriginal peoples of this new land, was one of the first known artists to sketch the La Cloche Mountain Range. Years later, in the 1920s, members of the Canadian Group of Seven painters would discover La Cloche. One of theirmembers, Franklin Carmichael, was so intrigued by the panoramic views from atop the La Cloche hills that he built a cottage on Cranberry Bay and spent much of the rest of his life painting and sketching in the area. The members of the Canadian Group of Seven painters through their many paintings and sketches helped to ensure the preservation of this wilderness area. Since then generations of artists have visited the La Cloche hills to attempt their own interpretation of the wild beauty that is Killarney Provincial Park.

"IMPRESSIONS – An Artist’s Introduction to Killarney Provincial Park", was my my attempt to interpret this unique wilderness area through a selection of drawings and sketches made over a period of several years. Due to budgetary restrictions, however, we were limited to the number of images( approximately 100) that we were able to include in the book. So, within the postings to follow, in addition to revisiting some of the grey scale sketches and drawings included in the book, we'll introduce you to some of those that weren't included.

To be continued............

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Our exploration of Algonquin’s wilderness was far from complete, but aware that it could take several lifetimes to properly explore, and promising ourselves to return one day, we travelled north to explore and sketch the wilderness area known as Killarney Provincial Park.

Killarney Provincial Park is located near to the Village of Killarney situated at the termination of Hwy 637 on the north shore of Georgian Bay. The village itself has a rich history dating back to the time of the French fur trade, and later the exploitation of the area’s natural resources namely fish and timber. With the natural resources all but depleted now the village, in recent times, has had to depend largely on the tourist industry to survive.

Tyson Lake  Graphite Sketch
We tentatively explored while learning a bit of the park’s cultural significance. Deciding that the area near to Willisville, the access area to the west, had been sufficiently explored by various members of the Group of Seven Painters, particularly by Frank Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, and A.J. Casson, we settled on sketching and painting at the east end of the park. While deciding we made friends with a couple who rented cabins at Tyson Lake, which is on the way to Killarney, and for a time divided our time spent in the area between exploring the park and the area surrounding Tyson Lake.

The Canoe Put-In at Wolf Creek    Graphite Field Sketch

We did a lot of paddling on Wolf Creek. The canoe put-in for Wolf Creek was located just across the highway from our cabin. Calling it a creek was a misnomer as in reality Wolf Creek is more a river than a creek that empties into Tyson Lake. At some points it is as much as one hundred metres wide and is deep enough in the middle channel to allow boats with outboard motors to access its length all the way up to Spoon Lake, a distance of several miles. Wolf Creek was a wonderful place to spot wildlife. Once a bear swam across the creek in front of us, and on another occasion we had a wonderful opportunity to observe a family of otters as they cavorted near to our canoe. Definitely take the time to explore Wolf Creek should you have an opportunity to get up to Killarney Provincial Park.

Wolf Creek   Graphite Field Sketch

White Pines  Wolf Creek    Graphite Drawing

Wood Ducks  Wolf Creek   Graphite Drawing

View From Phil & Theresa Gagnon's Camp - Tyson Lake   Graphite Drawing

Tyson Lake  Graphite Field Sketch

Common Loons - Tyson Lake   Graphite Drawing

Misty Morning - Tyson Lake    Graphite Drawing

Sometime ago I did a posting that I believe that was entitled, "Tyson Lake". Should you wish to learn a bit more about our experiences at Tyson Lake and Wolf Creek you might want to bring up some of my older postings. Within this posting was included a number of watercolour sketches and paintings.

I mentioned that we divided our time between Tyson Lake and Killarney Provincial Park. In time, however, we spent more and more time exploring Killarney Provincial Park accumulating a good number of sketches and paintings and went on to produce a book entitled, " IMPRESSIONS - An Artist's Introduction to Killarney Provincial Park. Check it out. Visit the Friends of Killarney gift shop. The cost is only $19.95 and all profits go to support Art in the Park and other park programmes.

Well, it's time to head up to Killarney Provincial Park..............