A Jock McDonald Remix Project by Pete Smith.

This blog is a running journal that was made in conjunction with my artist residency at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada that took place between December 2014 and February of 2015.

To get an understanding of how this project fits into the larger scope of my art practice, please visit:

www.petesmith.ca


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Plein-Air Cell-Phone Watercolour Paintings?

In the thirties, Jock Macdonald would go hiking in the Rocky Mountains with Frederick Varley and or Lawren Harris. They would make landscape studies. Well, I couldn't go hiking with Varley or Harris, but I could go snowboarding down the Rocky Mountains. I had intended to make plein-air watercolour paintings from Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna. I brought some water colours and paper, but I forgot my paint brushes. So unfortunately, I had to settle for taking pictures with my cell phone and painting from them later. I did, however, paint these directly from my cell phone. I didn't blow them up on a larger computer or print them out first. So in that sense, they're a new kind of plein-air? Maybe? Ya. Not really. I totally would have used my laptop to make these paintings, but the wireless internet wasn't working at school yesterday, and I really wanted to make the paintings right then. So, you know, I did what I had to do to make that happen. In the end, I think it was for the best because painting from a cell-phone is really kind of hard. The phone keeps turning off, and then you have to go back into the program, find the picture again, etc. A giant pain in the ass really. But I think because it was such a giant pain in the ass, it prevented me from being too finicky and precious with these things. Regardless, these works are meant as an homage to Jock, Frederick and Lawren, and perhaps also to an idea of the once savage terrain they must have surely crossed to make their paintings.

I couldn't help but wonder, as I ventured up the mountain looking at the farms and housing scattered across, what the landscape itself would have been like in their time? Or even crazier, what it would have been like for the unfortunate buggers who decided to put a farm on the side of a giant mountain? I, on the other hand, conquered this summit by greyhound and gondola, then rocketed myself downwards at very high speeds.

The use of watercolour is for Jock. All of these paintings are 9 x 12 inches.

limited visibility

More trees.

As of yet untitled (Big White)

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