Kanaka Creek in Maple Ridge holds a high place in my favourite places in the world. A deep canyon of smooth shale shrouded in emerald moss garlands and spunky ferns that grow on the canyon walls as well as in trees 50 feet overhead. Tea coloured water collects in quiet pools and for brief moments the canyon cracks open with sunlight. It’s a magical place, a soothing spa in nature. Painting it reminded me of all the dreamtime I spent there.
Inspired by a photo taken by Randy D., my friend.

12″ x 14″ oil on canvas


Something Different

gerber blossom

gerber blossomgerber blossom paintinggerber blossom painting gerber blossom paintinggerber blossom paintingFinish to start – a floral aura journey.
I often experience an urge to bust and do something loose and free and gestural. Having done that a few times it usually turns out pretty awful.

But I did more thinking prior to starting it, mainly that it should only resemble a Gerber daisy but not BE a Gerber daisy. It seemed reasonable to start with the real thing. At that point I gave myself permission to wreck it, didn’t matter if it survived the brush lashing. Then it started to take on a shimmer and life that seemed worthy of pushing a bit further.  I kinda like it after all, too bad it’s not on a taught canvas – see the line made from the stretcher bar across the bottom?

I can re-stretch the canvas once it’s dry enough.

Wonder if I can do another one….

gerber  blossom drawing

Navajo Arch

Through a knot hole gently, I squirmed through this painting. Without a clear view of how I was going to tackle the stone arch I went into areas that I could understand like the light catching the right side which made a sweet spot (for me) where light bends around form, and reflects off the ground etc.

Sweet spot in Navajo Arch M. Budreau

I wanted to stop painting several times because I was being pulled into the details (my brain bouncing over a washboard) but I resisted the small brushes and stayed with marking up the big shapes. This is the feel I wanted, a raw the memory of heat being driven into the land. Blinding beauty, meaning, the tolerance of trees to bear up to such intense heat and light.
I’m beginning to like landscapes a bit more….


Navajo Arch

I’ve been to Arches National Monument in Moab Utah a couple of times. A memorable place for is sheer raw red rock beauty. It is an intense place. Bitter cold and searing hot all on the same day. I started going to the desert in 1998 and on every visit I sense the land holds the memory of heat. Even when it’s frigid, snowing and blowing, there it is – heat – just under the surface.

If the land had a tangible consciousness, it would remember heat.

I’ve slowly been chipping away at this painting, again because landscapes are not my fav (see yesterday’s post).

Navajo Arch is only one of many, many arches there. Even though it looks like a cave, only a few yards behind my viewpoint, the sandstone ceiling opens up to the sky. It illuminated a dead tree with lots of character, which I tried to paint about 4 years ago and bailed on. Maybe I’ll try the tree again, but for now, I’m aiming to put this one together. Right now it looks kinda cartoony, it will get more attention and hopefully turn out ok.
Below is it’s blocking development…







When the red/orange arch colour went on against the caustic yellow I had to rely on Chevreuls principles of colour; these reds would vibrate differently once the darker cave areas were applied. While it’s intense and surreal to look at, I like the direction it’s taking.

Have you painted a red rock desert scene? Did you have a challenge mixing the right shade of orange/red? I’m not satisfied with my colours yet.


Alla Prima

Decided to do things a little differently, Alla Prima, or, all at once (it’s finished).
There is no toning the canvas, no precise drawing traced on, just wild and free!!!
The photo I painted from was taken in the late 1970’s when I lived in Huntsville Ontario. My husband’s parents had a log cottage on a Lake fringing the border of Algonquin Park. Algonquin is 1500 sq miles of canoe routes – a fabulous place to explore. In 2011 I painted the same scene and there is quite a difference. It is included below.
First I mixed the colours that would be used.

palette IMG_8741

Below: Brushed on the main shapes, it helped that the composition was simple.

sketch M. Budreau IMG_8740

Below: …and started putting the paint on

all prima tasso lake M. BudreauIMG_8744

Below: This is as far as I could take it without wrecking it after an hour, the finishing touches had to wait – hmmm, I guess not so alla prima after all, oh well. Compared to my usual painting method this is alla prima! The canvas is 8″x16″

Alla Primaf Tasso lake M. Budreau

Below: it is finished. Canvas reproductions available for $80.00 plus shipping   email: budreau@shaw.ca

Tasso Lake M. Budreau 2013 IMG_8748

Below: the 2011 version.

Near Algonquin