Home » Blog » Rocky Point PEI

Rocky Point PEI


Artists just know when a subject is perfect and needs to be developed as an artwork. I was subject hunting on Prince Edward Island with my studio mate from the Alton Mill Arts Centre, enjoying the company of our hostess, a fellow SOVA artist – www.southernontariovisualartists.com – when I spotted this spectacular treed area. Little bells and whistles inside me went off.

The trees were Linden trees (not spelled the same as my name and I did not know their name when I found them). The dictionary says Littleleaf Lindens usually have a lifespan of a few hundred years but can live more than a thousand.

Across the Bay from the Charlottetown Wharf, on Prince Edward Island, is the Rocky Point Wharf, which ceased being used when they built the Charlottetown one. Today it is still there, but caved in and inhabited by a community of cormorants. Up the hill from the retired wharf are these beautiful trees.

I selected a 30 by 30 inch gallery wrapped canvas to give the artwork a more majestic presence and began with the charcoal drawing, that was replaced by a naples yellow and taltine mix, and then the removal of the charcoal when the paint had dried.

The sky is always finished first and using a flat end brush, it was a combination of cerulean blue and titanium white followed closely  with a thin glaze of oriental blue and liquin fine detail.

To give a dark foundation for the trees and ground, a 50/50 mix of Prussian blue and alizarin crimson is used overall, being careful to apply strokes in the proper direction, not haphazardly, so that the light on the work is picked up uniformly.

Building the bark takes multiple layers of burnt umber, paynes grey, Davy’s grey, olive green and rose dore using a triple zero brush.

As it is built up, other colours seep in such as cobalt turquoise which is also used to block in leaves, and a gentle addition of gold coloured paint along with blush, sienna and rose dore, just enough to give the impression of the sunlight striking the tops, and bring the trees to life.

The ground is covered with swaths of lupins and start to appear after the pathway, and grass has been painted.  The grass areas are built with olive green over Prussian green and on top, sap green and terre vert, all with tiny little strokes and a triple zero brush.

The lupins are added last with their different shades of mauve, and some areas have a very thin line of lamp black to put emphasis on some of the detail, but for the most part I prefer olive green.

The falcon resting in the tree (on the right hand side) indicates just how impressive  these trees really are as they shine gold when the sunlight bounces off them

I estimate that these trees are at least 500 years old, which means that whoever planted them in row have long since left us.

A farmer was in my studio awhile back, and he said they would have been planted to act as a windbreak to protect their fields, and I don’t think the farmer long ago realized that he was creating a beautiful memory of time gone past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *