I started this journey by sharing that every vacation is about rest, relaxation and research. I have been taking all kinds of pictures that could inspire paintings. Here are a few that jump out to me as I sit in the hotel in Vancouver before darting to the airport to catch our flight home.

This was the first picture I took on this trip. It is Darroch Castle in Victoria. Compositionally, this image offers lots of challenges and possibilities.  

I have had many suggestions over the years to paint a peacock. We saw this one walking about in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. 

This picture was taken in the Port Renfrew area on the way to our failed trip to Avatar Grove. It is simple, but sublime. It could be a nice landscape project for a lazy afternoon of painting.

This one would be insanely challenging, but hugely interesting.  I love painting the interplay between rocks, water and light.

We saw a lot of moss covered trees on this Vancouver Island adventure. This photo might be a good starting point to exploring this rain forest essential.

I have always wanted to paint an eagle that I actually photographed. This isn’t the best picture in the world, as I was so far away, but it will give me everything I need to put this beauty on canvas. This fella was occupying the top of one of the trees at the beach in Port Renfrew.

This hummingbird showed up several times while we were visiting my Tante (Aunt) Germaine in Nanaimo. Again, it’s not a great picture, but it offers all I need to paint this beautiful bird. 

I’m on the fence as to whether this was a crow or a juvenile raven. We had so much fun with him and his friends at the marina in Port McNeill. I just love the expression on his face.

This is a the highway between Campbell River and Port McNeill. They had a record snowfall in late December and early January. The result was lots of deadfall across the highway. The trees had long since been cleared, but the remnants could easily be seen.

This was the beach at Seal Bay that we so appreciated. The blandness of the cloudy day draws the eyes down to the logs strewn on the shore, the trees and rocks. 

We really enjoyed our time in Cathedral Grove. This photo was taken on the north loop. I tried drawing it using only a pen and a small scrap of paper. I’m interested of trying it in colour.

I explored a lot of birch and aspen trees in 2021. I took this picture with the intention of giving myself a different type of tree to paint in 2022. These may have been young Douglas firs…though I’m not certain.

We really enjoyed our time at the marina in Comox. This shot has such a wonderful reflection in the water and some amazing lines. It could be enormous fun to paint. 

These birds were happily hanging out on this rock at Seal Bay on our last day in the area. It might be fun to paint on a nice long canvas.

I took a lot of picture of this inukshuk at Union Bay.  One of them will inspire a painting. I love the rocks, the light of sunrise and the movement in the clouds. 

Our favourite walk was on the very last day of exploring. This was at one of the viewpoints on a hill above Nanoose Bay. 

The iPhone seems to see the world slightly differently that we do. It captures a richness of colour and contrast that our eyes don’t. It’s awesome. This sunrise shot was taken from the balcony at Heather’s uncle and aunt’s house on the hill that watches over Departure Bay in Nanaimo.

All the pictures I take - my “research” - inform my creative journey. These are only a few of them captured during two weeks on Vancouver Island in January 2022.


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