Neys Provincial Park

On of my favorite spots on Lake Superiour is Neys Provincial Park.   It’s at the northernmost part of the lake, four hours from the Soo, near the town of Marathon.

This photo was taken last September, on Labor Day weekend.    It was quite windy…there were 4-5 foot waves, and I spent hours walking along the shore, watching them crash.

I decided to paint this scene, and just finished it tonight.


Good Lord.   This one drove me nuts.

I  didn’t use any masking fluid (it annoys me).   I prefer to paint around the white areas by hand, I get a better feel for the paper that way.

So that’s what I did with the water spray and foamy areas.   I painted around each and every splash and rivulet.   ( Talk about an obsessive-compulsive painting subject!)

The computer screen doesn’t do the painting justice…the blues are actually better in real life.   But as you can see, the shades in the painting are significantly lighter than those in the photo.   This was deliberate.  If I had tried to match the photo, the blue pigment of the paint would have overwhelmed the scene and it would have looked awful.

Notice I also chose to lighten up the darkest shadows…again, they would have otherwise overwhelmed the scene and looked like 2-dimensional blobs.

Part of me wants to work on this painting a little bit more…but that little warning voice in my head keeps going:  “Friar…put down the brush, and step AWAY from the painting!

And I’ve learned to listen to that voice, because if I know if I fiddle too much,  I can over-do it and ruin hours of work.  .

That’s the hardest part of watercolor:  knowing when to stop

So I have to learn to let this go,  and accept that this is as good as it’s gonna get.

But heck…I ain’t complaining.

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4 Comments on “Neys Provincial Park”

  1. Sheila Says:

    Beautiful! Glad to see it didn’t take a bad turn on you. 🙂

  2. Very nice painting! I never know when to stop either. Don’t let yourself be lured in to do too much tinkering

  3. If I’m going to be honest, I have to say that I think you did a good job with the water, the trees and the sky, but the rocks look too pink. Maybe it’s my computer screen, but the rocks kind of remind me of pink cake frosting. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and coming from you, it wouldn’t surprise me. 🙂

    I love the colour of the rocks in the lower right portion of the painting. And easy for me to say, but what about carrying some of those darker shades (the purplish tinted shades) through the rest of the shoreline. And then, the white foamy areas could stand out more. There’d be more contrast.

  4. Friar Says:


    I was THAT CLOSE to everdoing it!

    Well, thanks for pointing all that out.

    Actually, the painting is quite different in real life. This was a bad photo in a dimly-lit room.

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