Sailing has been one of my passions for many years. I love the way that we are propelled by an unseen force, sometimes barely moving across the water and at other times driven at heart stopping speed.

I also appreciate the unspoken kinship that exists between all those who sail. These are my sailing brothers from last year’s “Elbow Run”.

Darryl (1)

My long time sailing buddy, Darryl, flying his new reacher

Ken (1)

Ken, sailing his “Flying Squirrel”

Rick (1)

Rick, sailing his home Lake Diefenbaker

Dave (1)

Dave, flying three sheets to the wind

8 x 10 Acrylic on canvas

Sailing provides ample inspiration for painting and this past summer’s camping/sailing trip on Lake Diefenbaker, dubbed “The Elbow Run 2015” was no exception. This year’s expedition was extra special, with five WindRiders taking part in a week that featured a major storm, a run-away boat, some great sailing and five guys having a wonderful time. Plans are already underway for “The Elbow Run 2016”.


12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

When the weather is not conducive to sailing, there are alternatives. One of those is to paint it. During the 2014 camping/sailing trip, we had one particularly exhilarating beam reach on the third day under full sail where things get a bit wet and wild.


12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

During our October stay in La Celle sous Chantemerle, France, we went for daily walks through the village, enjoying the variety of houses and sheds, both new and old. The older buildings especially reflect their aging and add character to the street scene. They also provide great subject matter for those who are trying to improve their painting skills.

8 X 12 acrylics on canvas


In a previous post you saw one view of the village of La Celle sous Chantemerle. Here is another, looking over a wall, with the nearby forest in the background. The village name translates literally into English as “The Cellar below Chantemerle” and refers to the champagne cellars in this village with reference to the neighbouring village of Chantemerle which is located on a hill above.  The Chantemerle is a particular bird common to the area.

12 x 16 acrylic on canvas


If you saw a previous post, you will already know that one of my passions is sailing, and that one of my favourite places to sail is Lake Diefenbaker. In 2013, my sailing buddy and his friend and I packed our camping gear onto WindRider trimarans and set out from Tuft’s Bay, near the village of Elbow, Saskatchewan. We pulled up on a beach next to Hitchcock Bay and chose that for the first campsite of the trip. It was near perfect, especially the next morning as the sun rose and from the hilltop behind our tents we could see the lake stretching out to the east and south. Check out  more about the week’s experience on this Youtube video.

12 x 16 acrylic on canvas


In October I was blessed with a wonderful reason to visit France – the arrival of a grandchild!! It was my first time to the country and I was not disappointed. Most of our two weeks were spent in a small village, La Celle sous Chantemerle, in the heart of champagne country, with several family champagne houses found down narrow lanes and vineyards extending in all directions. It was idyllic – the countryside had a feeling that it had not changed in centuries and it had a rural charm that took my mind back to a simpler time, a time of community and self-sufficiency when neighbours were important.

12 x 16 acrylic on canvas


Well, I promised to post some of the paintings that I have done this winter and so here goes the first one. Inspired by a photo that I took in July, 2014 when on a sailing/camping trip on Lake Diefenbaker with my sailing buddy, Darryl. This was our favourite campsite for this trip, and one which we used a second time on the return leg of the trip. I posted a 20 minute video of the trip on Youtube. Lake Diefenbaker was created when two dams were constructed on the South Saskatchewan River in the late 50’s/early 60’s. It stretches out 140 miles from the Gardner Dam at the east end to Saskatchewan Landing in the west. Darryl and I outfitted our WindRider trimaran sailboats with camping gear for the 5 day/4night expedition. There are many excellent places to pull up on shore for camping or picnicking.

12 x 16 acrylics on canvas


With the encouragement of several folks who are close to me, I am reawakening this long dormant blog and adding a new category to it – Painting. Last year I had the urge to try something that for far too long I had considered to be beyond my abilities – painting. It was something that I had not done since my days in the one room country school that I attended. In those days, for art class we shared a limited selection of watercolours that came in large round tins. I don’t recall any of our teachers being particularly talented artists and without anyone to inspire us, our efforts showed it!

When my own children were in high school they had different opportunities. My son took lessons in painting with watercolours and my youngest daughter followed suit. They each produced paintings that are still on display, and later their sister joined in, adding to the wall displays. I was rather proud of their artistic abilities, and even a bit envious because I did not think that I could do nearly as well.

Last year, that changed. I started off some acrylic craft paints and some cheap brushes, painting on sketch book paper. Although I didn’t think much of those first efforts, others (meaning my partner and my children – I was not quite ready to subject myself to any “real” criticism!!) were generous with their praise and encouragement, and over a period of a month or so, I had produced a dozen “paintings”!! I will share a few of last year’s efforts here, and then will follow up with some from this year:

First campsite, Lake Diefenbaker 2014

First campsite, Lake Diefenbaker 2014

Surfing at Cape Three Points

Surfing at Cape Three Points

Snow Route

Snow Route