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”.

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

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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”.

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12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

CDN$145

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.

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12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

CDN$145

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

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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

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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

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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

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