Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stealth Wolf-Canadian Rockies

It has been very interesting painting Stealth Wolf. When you live close to the wilderness, you are always aware of the presence of animals. You see their tracks, some fur on a branch, scat on the ground.

While I was working on the painting I had this eerie sensation of being watched. As the eye of Stealth Wolf evolved I felt it was watching me, checking me out. I have a habit of putting a painting on the mantle of our fireplace, and I view it from different angles and distance. The goal is to make sure I have the right perspective and shadows and depth of field.

Having completed Stealth Wolf I feel inclined to create more works of the wild animals that live around us. It is Spring time......soon the bears will be out of their dens.

Stealth Wolf
Watercolor on canvas
20" x 16"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stealth Wolf-Canadian Rockies

It's Spring in the Rockies. The world is alive with the sound of birds, gurgling water, the cracking of ice and the silence of the forest. I have been on many walks in the woods near our home, and have come across countless wolf tracks in the snow.

One day when I was walking down a narrow road thru the woods, I was startled by a movement in the forest off to my right. I stopped, looking into the woods, and a deer poked its head around a tree. I caught my breath, slowly exhaled then chuckled. Having seen all the wolf track had my imagination racing.........I thought a wolf had been watching me.

You seldom see wolves, but they are in the forest. Almost invisible except for their tracks, they move silently through the valley. With stealth and cunning, they are able to sneak up on unsuspecting prey.

On the walk back to the van, I envisioned a painting with a dark background, snow, and a wolf peeking around an aspen tree.

Stealth Wolf was born.

Robert Krysak

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Wolf Tracks-Canadian Rockies

It’s Spring time….one of my favorite times of year The smell of the air, the warmth of the sun, the sound of melt water gurgling…..very special.

I was out for a walk today past the Banff Springs golf course. Nice place to go as the road is closed and not many visitors go there. I was out for some exercise and time to think of what the subject matter would be for my next painting.

I was walking down the snow-covered road which was in melt mode as the temp was 6c. Just as I came around a blind corner, I looked down and stopped suddenly……..there in the snow melt was a fresh track. It’s interesting, as the past few months I have been meditating a lot and my senses are getting sharper. Along the walk, I would stop occasionally, sensing energy coming from the surrounding forest and the mountains. I had come across fresh wolf tracks.

I put a toonie beside the track and took a picture. When I got home I did a measurement of the track and the toonie....the track was around 4.5 inches long. The center of my palm to the end of my fingertips is the same length. This was a big wolf.

As I continued walking down the road the tracks wove in and out of the trees. Every 50 yards or so the tracks would stop at a tree where the wolf marked his territory with urine. As I continued along my senses were elevating, getting sharper with every step. All of a sudden there were no tracks, then after half a kilometer, there were two sets of tracks side by side. I stopped, listened to the forest, sensing a very strong energy. 

Looking down the road, it was as if I was looking down a tunnel of trees. My spirit guide at that time gave me the sense to not go forward. I paused, closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I then turned around.
On the walk back I would stop to scan the forest behind me, sensing all the energy that was around.
It is Spring time....soon the bears will be joining the wolves in the valley.

Robert Krysak

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Assiniboine Lodge-Canadian Rockies

I just returned from a trip to Assiniboine Lodge. Friends of ours own the Lodge and were preparing for the first guests of the Winter that arrived Feb. 10th. I flew in by helicopter and spent three days there helping with all the preparation.

Mount Assiniboine, at an elevation of 3,618 metres, is situated along the Continental Divide. Situated in the south east corner of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, the mountain sits in beautiful isolation and soars above its neighbors. Mount Assiniboine name is in honor of the Assiniboine people. It means "stone boiler", a name that comes from the practice of putting hot rocks into animal pouches or holes filled with water in order to cook food.

Upon arrival I donned snowshoes and helped tramp down the snow for easier access to the cabins and outhouse. I also had a chance to x-c ski for a couple of hours and venture down the valley to capture the different views of Mt. Assiniboine.

 About a kilometer from the main Lodge and cabins are the Naiset cabins. Totally self supported, each cabin has a wood burning stove for heat, and there is a cabin set up for cooking your meals.
One day Pierre, Dominique and I snowshoed to the Naiset cabins to open up the stream there for the cabin dwellers who would be arriving soon. We had to dig down thru 4 feet of snow, then chip a hole thru 4 inches of ice. Once we had the opening we put a cover over it to keep it from freezing over.

There had been a lot of new snow in the area so one afternoon four of us were on the room clearing the snow off. Our goal was to reduce the snow load as well as clear snow from the kitchen windows to let the light in. As the main dining room of the lodge is heated by a wood stove we transported wood from its storage shed to a large pile outside the lodge.

It was a great three day adventure spent with old and new found friends. Hard work, great food and restful sleep, protected from the elements by ancient logs.
A magical place ....I will return again.

Robert Krysak

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rundle Moon-Canadian Rockies

 It was fun painting Rundle Moon. I did not follow any rules, just added shapes and colors as I felt them come off the brush. My goal was to create vibrant, bright colors followed by deep shades of cool color.

On the last full moon I went for a walk in the woods around our house. I stood in the glow of the moons rays, scanning the surrounding mountains to capture the feeling/sensation of the Winter's night.

I am not sure of the subject of my next painting, but I look forward to the discovery of it.
Robert Krysak

Rundle Moon
18" x 24"

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rundle Moon-Canadian Rockies

It's been a laid back weekend for us the past couple of days. My son only had one hockey game which was local. The temp is around 5c, so the XC skiing is a bit slick. We have all been going at a hectic pace this past week, and it's as if we had an unspoken pact to lay low. This afternoon I decided to spend some time with Rundle Moon.

This next phase with Rundle Moon has been interesting. I wanted to capture a tiny bit of the glow of the early rays of the morning sun, so I did a faint outline of Cadmium Yellow on the right slopes of the peaks. I also wanted to capture the cold, dark shadows of the north face on the left, without blending in too much to the night sky.

As you drop into the valley it gets dark and cold. I used the color of the night sky, in various brush strokes, trying to leave the brightness of the moonlit snow. I also left the upper slopes in white to capture the moon's bright glow.

With soft strokes of blue you can see the man in the moon, gazing down on the Rockies in all their glory.

I hope you had a great week of personal discovery.
Enjoy the journey.

Robert Krysak

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Castle Stars-Canadian Rockies

It is said the unaimed arrow never misses. What that means is if you don't plan everything to the nth degree, you discover new things because you are more flexible for change. I mentioned earlier in a blog how I was doing two paintings at the same time so I didn't have to wait for the paint to dry. I crossed a bridge where I got so involved with Castle Stars, I had to keep painting it until it was finished.

At one point I had no plan....I just started splashing color down and enjoying the results. I put Antwerp blue on the ramparts and Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber on the cliffs. The lower slopes are different intensities of Sepia and the trees popped off the brush in various shades of Turquoise green.

I am enjoying creating bright, vibrant paintings that represent the mountains and nature around me.
Robert Krysak

Castles Stars
Watercolor and Ink
18" x 24"