Painting away the grey: Good Day Sunshine

Painting away the grey: Good Day Sunshine

“Good Day Sunshine.” Painted January 2022. 12″ x 16″. Acrylic on Canvas.

Sometimes the best antidote for the long grey days of a West coast winter is to spend a few hours painting a summer scene full of sunshine. Last summer our friend John drove up to see our place on the coast and we took him for a day hike around Inland Lake. It’s a particularly easy hike since it never ventures more than about 50 feet from the lake and is almost entirely in the shade of pine trees. Since we were in no rush, we took our time to explore as we made our way around the 12.5 kilometre trail and even spent an hour cooling off in the fresh water of the lake.

I took lots of reference photos, but was particularly fascinated by the strong summer light shining through the trees onto the path. I didn’t try for a realistic painting style, rather I dialled up the colours, increased the contrasts and explored the patterns created by the swooping branches and the shadows on the ground. I was going for a more post-impressionistic style, representing my memories of that day. For some reason, this painting also reminds me of reading sheet music for an upbeat jazz song. The more I look at it the more I can see riffs and runs that dip and swoop. I’m not sure I understand the overall piece, but every time I look at it, I see something else. Overall, it did its job, this painting makes me happy and lightens the dreary days of winter.

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