A few new Watercolors

In between my blogging and my kids’ story book, I’ve somehow managed to get a few more landscapes in.  Especially since my painting group started again last fall.

These first two are quick (~ 1 hour) sketches.  These scenes are from Gatineau Park, from the cross-country ski trails.

From a pure laziness point of view, I like winter scenes, because it involves less painting (i.e. you have to leave lots of white).   The down side, though, you have to know WHERE to leave the white.    (It’s really easy to screw up a winter watercolor painting if you’re not careful).



This next scene is from Alaska, between Homer and Anchorage.   Alaska is awesome.   You can see glaciers like this right from the side of the road.


This next one you might recognize.  It’s from a photo I posted last October, from Upstate New York.   I couldn’t resist the brilliant yellow colors;.


Finally, here’s one from my summer vacation, at Neys Provincial Park.     The North Shore of Superior always fascinates me…it’s so untamed and rugged.    And cold.   This was Labor Day weekend, and you can see the leaves were already starting to change.


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42 Comments on “A few new Watercolors”

  1. Steph Says:

    GASP! Oh, FRIAR!! These are so lovely!! I’m so glad you posted them. At first I thought the first one was my favourite. But then it became hard to decide. They are all beautiful. You’re really great at watercolour! I really appreciate the shadows and plays of light and many blended colours.

    Are you still taking lessons? They’re really paying off! Such talent! How big are these paintings? What do you do with them?

  2. davinahaisell Says:

    Hi Friar. You are a man of many talents. I’ve done some watercolour painting in my day and they definitely aren’t easy. These are lovely. I can’t pick a favourite.

  3. Steph Says:

    I still cannot get over the fact that you have to paint “around” the white, like know what to leave and how and where. It’s amazing!!

  4. feefifoto Says:

    Hey Friar, you’ve got some talent going there! Watercolor is hard — I’ve tried. i call most of my pieces “abstracts”.

  5. Friar Says:

    Thanks…I guess I didn’t post any artwork for a while…I felt I was kind of in a slump. But we’re often our own worst critics. I’m glad to see I can still pull off the odd painting.

    I have a painting class every week. More like in informal group that gets together. But I haven’t had a real lesson in 4 years. (I miss my old teacher…but she lives 4 hours away now!)

    I have no idea why I gravitated towards watercolor because it’s nit-picky work and normally I”m NOT a patient man. (Gee, can you guess?) 😉

    But I DO love the fact that clean-up is a snap (compared to oils!)

    These arent’ my favorite, though. I have so many others, I lose track of them.

    Even trickier, is to leave white around other areas (like that last scene with Lake Superior). I had to leave just enough white to make the surf stand out (but if I covered it too much, I’d totally loose the wave effect).

    You can use masking compound (like a rubber cement type of coating) that you remove later. But it’s trickier to apply….I prefer to paint around.

    Argh. Nipticky work. I can only do paintings like that when I’m in the mood.

    Well, that’s funny, because actually I have a hard time doing “abstract”, that’s why I prefer to stick to realistic landscapes. 🙂

  6. janicecartier Says:

    Ooh I like the water one a lot… these are light filled…must be all that snow…good stuff Friar. 😉

  7. Betsy Says:

    These are so beautiful – especially the one of the Kenai glacier. Awesome!

  8. Friar Says:


    Glad you like ’em.

    Though you might be getting a biased view. I’m NOT showing the paintings that I screwed up! 🙂


    Oh..so you recognize that glacier? Yeah..it was on the Kenai peninsula. That whole day was a blur, I lost track of which glacier was which.

    My girlfriend (at the time) had booked a last-minute scenic flight around Denali.

    We had to be in Talkeetna at 4:30 PM. But only we LEFT Homer at 8:30 AM…nothing like (me) having to drive like a maniac for 8 hours, fighting road construction, just to try to make the flight…

    …with her insisting on STOPPING for every glacier photo on the way. (I was ready to strangle her!)

    But we DID end up making our flight with ~20 minutes to spare. I admit it was worth it.

  9. Sheila Says:

    Gorgeous work! It makes me happy to look at them.

  10. Brett Legree Says:

    I like your water ones a lot myself – you really have a knack for capturing the movement, you know.

  11. Friar Says:


    Thanks. 😉

    I’m getting quite a backlog of these paintings. Eventually, I’m going to provide links to put some up for sale.

    But not here. Because (ahem) because WordPress doesn’t allow you to advertise to sell your own stuff.

    But hopefully in the near future, I’ll be hosting from a private site.

    That’s always a gimme, if I don’t know what to paint. When in doubt, do water. No two scenes are ever the same, either.

  12. Wow Friar, these are gorgeous. I especially love the second and fourth paintings. They are just the kinds of scenes I’d like to step right into.

  13. Friar Says:

    That 2nd painting was a small frozen lake….a small side-trail. It’s a little hidden gem in Gatineau Park that not too many people visited. I was only a couple of kilometers from the parking lot, but I might as well have been up in the NorthWest Territories, for all I knew.

    I took the photo as I was skiing right across the lake itself…that why the foreground has no trees. The pine you see are on the opposite shore.

  14. Kelly Says:


    The last one’s the best. The crashing water is great, and I can really feel the cool water. The colors are just great.

    I always look forward to watercolor days!



  15. Friar Says:


    You have a good eye. I like the last one best too. (And it was the most technically difficult of all five).

  16. XUP Says:

    Aren’t you a clver boy? Very nice.

  17. Beth Partin Says:


    especially loved the last two. I never knew you had to paint around the white.

  18. Friar Says:


    clver? (I’m assuming you meant “clever”

    …and not “clover” or “cleaver”) 😉

  19. Friar Says:

    That’s what a lot of people dont’ realize with watercolors.

    In oils or acrylics, the paints are opaque. If you want to erase something, you just paint right over it with a new layer of paint. As often as you like.

    But watercolors are transparent. Once the pigment is on the paper, it’s there for good, and there’s no going back. You can’t erase, or “undo” major mistakes.

    And there’s no such things as a transparent “White” pigment. To get pure white, you let the white paper itself show though. You just don’t paint there.

  20. Julie Says:

    Watercolor’s not easy; I never got the hang of doing them. These are very nice, Friar! I can smell the fall leaves and feel the cool moisture of the water. 🙂

  21. Friar Says:


    You’re not kidding, when you say it isnt’ easy. It took me a LONG time to get the hang of them.

    People ask me “how long did it take you to make that painting…and I’ll say “20 years!” 😉

  22. Ok, very nice but since it is my role in this blog to make fun of you (with your permission of course)…. you forgot the yellow snow. I have never been anywhere in winter without there being yellow snow.

    Oh, and the shadows are wrong in the first one.

    Other than that, very nice. Oh, I already said that so nevermind. Very nice , just once.


  23. Friar Says:


    The shadows wrong? Well, it’s not my fault. It was Paint by Number!

    (Shhh…dont’ tell anyone!) 😉

  24. Kelly Says:

    I KNEW IT.

    You just can’t be this brilliant on so many levels!

    Going to look for the Gatineau Park paint-by-number on Amazon.com right now.

    I wanna paint like The Deep Friar!

  25. Friar's Mom Says:

    Hi Wee Friar,

    I watched you paint on very few occasions. It makes me so nervous when I see all your brushes and supplies spread haphazardly over the table. And that cottage cheese container with the dirty water in it—I’m so afraid it will spill on your work of art. Your workplace does not resemble a studio like Renoir’s or Rembrandt’s, nor do you wear a beret and smock.

    I learned not to watch an artist in progress. I refrain from making comments. Artists can be tempermental.

    Wee Friar, it would be fun to post some of your failures.

    @ Commenters

    When Wee Friar screws up a painting, he usually paints in a fire, or a flying monster. I framed one of burning sailboats, and it’s presently in my powder room.

  26. Kelly Says:

    Thank goodness my mother does not read my blog. No one gives away my secrets.

    Okay, now I don’t want to paint like Friar, I just want a Friar screw-up for my powder room. With a lovely flying monster. (Though a burning sailboat sounds neat too.) How cool is that?

    My kid and I do the same thing. ‘Fraid I probably taught it to her. Growl loudly, throw up hands, crumple in big ugly ball, and walk away for a half an hour.

  27. Friar Says:


    Not that it’s out in the open, I must confess that my blogging is a sham, too.
    (I use Write-by-numbers) 😉

    @Friar’s Mom
    Yeah…if there’s anything we artists just LOVE, is having someone hover over our shoulder, wincing, making concerned sounds…just WAITING for us to make a mistake! 😉

    By the way, the ONLY person I’ve ever seen wear a beret with a smock, is Jughead , when he paints in Archie Comics! 😀

    PS. …oh, I HAVE posted some of my failures:



    And here:


    My attitude is that if I’ve screwed up a painting, I might as well get some amusement out of it! (Setting my subjects on fire is always therapeutic…I find!) 😉

  28. Kelly Says:


    Bad-Art-2 is so doggone great. Watch out or somebody might just mistake you for an arTEESTe. Don’t ever get rid of that one. It’s the one your grandkids will fight over.

    Well, once you and Claire get things settled, that is. 🙂



    P.S. You use write-by-numbers, too? I thought they told me it was super-exclusive-limited-edition-none -of-your-friends-can-afford-it?

    I want my money back.

  29. Friar Says:


    Claire? Noooooo! I though everyone had thankfully forgot about her! 😦

    P.S. Okay. Sorry to hear you feel that way. In the spirit of Maximizing Customer Experience, I promise you’ll get a FULL REFUND for all the money you’ve ever sent me! 😉

  30. Kelly Says:

    Tee hee.

    Kelly never forgets anything. Ms Chaffington least of all.

    P.S. That refund isn’t worth the paper it’s pr——
    Hey this isn’t even paper. That refund isn’t worth the pixels it’s ——
    Darn. My stupid joke’s ruined.

  31. Friar Says:


    The only evidence you’ll get of any actual transfer of funds, is that few electrons get moved around on your hard-drive.

    Funny, how today’s money workds that way, eh? 😉

  32. Brett Legree Says:


    Just to be a bit off topic here (are we ever *on* topic anywhere?) – yeah, moving around electron money.

    The sooner we start using real money the better, I say. Or trading work for work (e.g. you and I come to an agreement that one of your paintings is worth, say, me doing some drywall in your house). Real. Tangible. Stock market crash-proof.

    You’d better watch out, I hear Ms. Chaffington is cruising blogland with Mayor McCheese 🙂

  33. You guys are all mental. I love it.

  34. Friar Says:


    A Chiropractor will fix someone’s back, and make them feel better, right on the spot. A Dr. can prescibe medicine and help patients get better. A short-order cook at the greasy truck stop gets to see the hamburgers and sammitches he made.

    But what do we see with OUR work? What do we accomplish, that we can physically see and touch.

    We write reports and documents. Which is basically pushing electrons around on a hard-drive.

    And eventually we get hard-copies.

    Kind of like pixel-money.


  35. Brett Legree Says:


    We’re just the wrong kind of engineers, or our company has forgotten what engineers should do, or something like that.

    Other than here, it’s always been small companies for me. Always hands-on, designing, building.

    Smiling at the end of the day, thinking “I did that”.

  36. Friar Says:


    If you feel left out, I can send you the paint-by-number template, so you can make a picture just like the Friar! 😉


    …as opposed to here. Frowning at the end of the day: “I did WHAT?” 😦

  37. Kelly Says:


    Seriously? Is Splat Creek large enough to have a Mayor?

    This could be proof that politics makes strange bedfellows. Poor Claire. Poor McCheese.

  38. XUP Says:

    No, I meant cleaver

  39. Brett Legree Says:


    Yes, there is a Splat Creek mayor, and she is also the CEO of the local retirement home (nothing like having your fingers in many pies, considering that the population is aging here).

  40. Kelly Says:

    Um, if she’s dating Claire Chaffington, then I’d say Friar’s prospects have dimmed significantly.

    Friar, you may be off the hook.

  41. Friar Says:

    @Kelly and Brett

    Given how Claire Chaffington looks, it wouldn’t suprise me.

    (NOT that there’ anything wrong with that!) 😉


    As in “(Leave it to) Beaver Cleaver”, or “Meat Cleaver” ?

  42. […] remembered seeing one of his posts from earlier this year where he had showcased A Few New Watercolors, and so I checked in with him to see if he had any for […]

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