Monday, June 19, 2017

Samoens, France-Canadian Rockies

Like any journey that comes to an end it is a bittersweet moment. As I near completion of Samoen, I put final details into the clock tower. I finish all the greenery and add the metal fence in the foreground. It is important to stop and step back and look at your work. You can overpaint a piece and lose the simplicity and beauty of "less is more".

After looking at the painting I sign my name.........the signal that the work is completed.

We had our friends who we stayed with in France over for dinner a few days after I completed Samoen. We gave it to them as a sign of our appreciation for the time we spent with them in France.

I hope they enjoy the painting in their home as much as I enjoyed creating it. I miss France....we will be back again.

Robert Krysak

Samoen, France
Watercolor on canvas
24" x 30"

Monday, June 5, 2017

Samoens, France-Canadian Rockies

The challenge as you come to the end of a painting is to not rush the process. I put more detail into the village and the clock tower. Adding Paynes grey to the road gives some contrast to the surrounding landscape. I also paint the bricks into the clock tower.......I still remember looking up many times from my bike rides impressed how the tower, though large in size, was dwarfed by the mountains behind.
There are many special places on this earth. I have my top five favourites of those I have been to. France is in the top 5 for sure.
Robert Krysak

Friday, May 26, 2017

Samoens, France-Canadian Rockies

It's been an interesting journey painting Samoens, France. As I focus on the painting, each brush stroke takes me back to our trip there. Cycling in the morning to get fresh croissants.....stopping at the local bakery in the afternoon to get the best sandwiches I have ever had.....sharing a fondue dinner with friends that is to die for. Oh....the wine was beyond good!

After I painted the mountains, I began to work on the town...shades of Burnt Umber and Sienna for the rooftops, New Gamboge for the walls of the local apartments, and Paynes Gray for the road that winds thru the village.

What a great trip....what a fun painting to create.
Robert Krysak

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Samoens, France-Canadian Rockies

We live in the Canadian Rockies.. Last year friends of ours moved to Samoen, France, for the year. They asked us to come over to visit so we made the journey last July, 2016. Located an hour by car from Geneva, this ancient village, famed for its stonemasons, is part of the Grand Massif ski domain.
When we drove into this beautiful valley in the French Alps, this mountain village in Haute-Savoie resembled our home in Banff. Towering above the town is Les Criou, a beautiful mountain that resembles Mt. Rundle that flanks the town of Banff, Alberta where we live.

Every morning we would bike to the local baker to get fresh croissants and baguette. As we cycled back thru the narrow streets, the view in front of us was the local clock tower with Les Criou towering above. When they were back home our friends said that landscape was their favorite in Samoen....I promised myself I would paint that for them.

Fast forward nine months. Nancy said she had invited our friends over for dinner......a belated thank you for the great time in France. Time to do the painting! This is one of the larger pieces I have worked on....24" x 30".

I first penciled in an outline of the landscape, and once that was completed used a masking fluid to separate mountain from sky, roof tops from mountain. The goal is to keep colors from blending into each other and keep lines crisp. Once that was done, I blended a mixture of cobalt and cerulean blue for the sky. I wanted to create a feeling of clouds, so before the paint dried I dabbed the sky with kleenex, pulling off some color. Next I used a light layer of payne's grey for the mountain walls and the road winding thru the town. I put a layer of light vermilion green on the upper slopes of the mountain. Then, to replicate the trees up high, I dabbed bubble pack into phthalo green and pressed this onto the green slopes. My trees were done!

It's a very special journey with this painting. Each brush stroke takes me back to the fabulous trip we had in France. A special time together as a family and time with friends.
Next I will finish the mountains and work on the roof tops of the village.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park-Desert

We just spent the past week in Palm Springs and area for Spring break. Daily temps of 33c were the norm, as were shorts, t-shirts, swimming, a bit of golf, great mexican food, margaritas and tennis after sundown. 

One day we ventured up to Joshua Tree national Park. The temp went from 89F to 64F with a breeze that cooled everything down. The park has two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado desert. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness.

On one hike we did, we came around the trail with Face Rock in our full view. A collision of boulders standing almost 200 ft high and thousands of feet wide was before us. On one side, there is the unmistakable collection of rocks that look like an elephant. As you gaze across the landscape more images appear: bulbous noses, protruding chins and glaring eyes. The landscape here with all the flowers and cactus in bloom is amazing.

It was a special trip travelling with the family. We are now home with the morning temp at -1c and new snow on the ground. We will be back to the desert again.

Robert Krysak

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Canmore Eagles Tier 1 Champions-Canadian Rockies

HI there
The main goal of my blog is to share the journey of my painting. A huge part of my life and painting is my family and the journey we share together. Here is a part of the journey we have been on for the past six months.

Our hockey season ended yesterday.
It has been an incredible journey this past year. Robson was in his second year of Bantam and really found his place on the team. From being a passionate team mate to fast skater, tape to tape passer and a sniper with his goals, he has had a memorable season. The culmination of his season is his team won the Bantam Tier 1 banner yesterday in Medicine Hat, part of the Central Alberta Hockey League. Robson’s first banner in 8 years of playing.

As I sit here this evening reflecting on the past two days and the season overall, it is with a bit of sadness. His season is over. His hockey future is uncertain at this time.
What is certain is that the drives thru snow storms and hanging out in chilly arenas may have come to an end. The taste of the best breakfast sandwiches in smalls Ville Alberta is history. The countless stops at Tim Hortons, Edo and Subway are behind us. The alarm clock ringing at 5:30 am so we can get up and drive 400 kms. for a league game (and then drive back) are behind us. The lament “Dad, I forgot my neck guard, or shin pads or elbow pads” is in the rearview mirror. I will miss it all.

Just for fun, I went on to our CAHL website and added up some statistics. We live closer to BC but we play in the Central Alberta Hockey League, and play teams from Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. Here are the numbers for our team;

Won 15 games
Tied 4 games
Lost 5 games
From Banff we travelled 5,247 kms/return to all our games
As 2/3 of our practices were in Canmore we travelled 2,200 kms.

It was a great year. Thanks to the coaches, parents and most of all the players who helped to make it so much fun.
And Thank You Robson for making me a hockey Dad.

Robert Krysak

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"