Posts Tagged ‘forest’

I have been working on a series for a special exhibit that will take place in November. I need to paint 12 profile canvases sized 10 X 10.

Instead of painting different subjects, I decided to paint all of them of the same subject and with the same primary colors, in effect creating a series.

I am painting contemporary forests. I started a larger series of these in January and I am still fascinated by the effects and the look of each different painting. Starting with a loose background of warm colors, I play with the paint until I am satisfied with the result. I let this dry and put the canvas aside until I start to see things surfacing.

In some cases, it is almost right away, sometimes, it takes weeks and the canvas sits waiting.

This is good for a medium to large canvas, but I have found working on smaller canvases to be a challenge. The surface is too small for the paint to move the way I like it, it reached the edges too rapidly and the subtlety in color and value is often lost and needs to be rebuilt.

Over the next few weeks, I will present the first six completed paintings of the series. I must say in tackling numbers 7 to 12, I find myself getting bored with the subject and already running out of design ideas.

To start the first six paintings, I observed the designs of some larger paintings I created over the last months and looked at how I could improve on these concepts.

So this is the first painting that was completed:

Veille dorée II / Golden Watch 2
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Inks on canvas 10 X 10 in

Over the next few weeks I will post the other paintings along with my thoughts about painting a series.


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This morning, toc toc toc on the gutter, I thought a woodpecker sent its territorial signal but I do not see it. A large blue jay arrives in the shrub nearby! Surprise! The blue jays are very active and vocal this morning …

And then, I see them, it is a whole family of yellow-bellied woodpeckers in the middle hemlock. They fly from one tree to another and follow each other in a winged dance.

They play, chase each other, vocalize, follow each other more and more quickly, twirling between the trees, from one trunk to another, they land for a short time, go up the trunk and take off again. Excitement for this beautiful sunshine maybe… The race accelerates between the trunks and then between the trunks and the house. All this morning joy of the young birds on this sunny day becomes contagious. They are fascinating!

Then the noise! One of them has just hit the large window while the other has narrowly avoided it by turning at the last minute. The first one is projected with the momentum and ends up 16 feet from the impact, on the wood of the gallery.

His wings open, he is rattled but will survive, his eyes open, he waits to recover. His head is leaning on the wood but quickly enough, he able to put it up. His friends in the trees all around call him, encourage him, vocalize more and more loudly, perhaps to scare me, who just came out with my camera.

I speak to the little wounded in a reassuring voice, I gently stroke his back, he is not trembling, he is not afraid of me.

I watch the little one, the thing is, there is a cat that always prowls around here. After a few minutes, he closes his wings on his body.

A little more time goes by and he opens his wings to put them back against his body while he settles on his legs without getting up yet, then his head turns to one side and the other.

He looks at me, looks at the trees, wonders if he can take off, he gets ready, he believes it. That’s it, he takes off and returns to the safety of his favorite hemlock. What an adventure for this young woodpecker on a sunny Tuesday morning!

Animation of the small yellow-bellied woodpecker before taking flight

He and his friends are now calm and fly away gently.

Everything returns to silence. The sun is now higher and warmer, all go about their business. The small woodpecker had quite a scare!

©2017 Suzanne Bélair photos and text

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Forest spirit
@2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Ink on canvas
12 X 12 in


The rabbit jumps
Behind the trees
It runs
Hidden from me
Disappearing in the hole
Creature of the earth
Down his tunnel he goes
Reaching his burrow
By another opening
He knows he can escape
If someone sees him
But quick he is
Running and jumping at dusk
When no one is watching

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Golden Watch
©2017 Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in


From the corner

Golden warmth is keeping watch

Over the forest and its inhabitants

Have no fear

There is protection

For all that live within

Its boundaries

As long as you submit

To nature’s laws.


©2017 Suzanne Belair



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©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylique sur toile 30 X 30 po

Man wants to subdue the forest

To his power, to his needs

Man wants to tame the forest

But the forest is fighting

Each time it resists

After each attack, it regenerates

Indomitable, secret, new

Each time it reveals itself

Despite the assaults

Every time it relives


©2017 Suzanne Belair


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Forest travels by Suzanne Belair

Forest travels
©2017Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

Today I am sharing a new painting finished in January. Forests are one of my favourite subjects and I really enjoy painting this new series.


The traveller is moving towards the other side of the trees, towards the future. So it is in life, where we are forced to move constantly and become someone new everyday of our life.
Change is constant and our travels through life are life changing. Learning something every day, being kind to others, progressing, building, changing ourselves or something.


Painting and writing are metaphors for life. We strive to do our best, we have to confront our fear of committing to color and shapes just as in life, we often fear committing to something, we fear making decisions.


A good example is related in a book I have been reading authored by Joseph T. Hallinan, “Why we make mistakes”. The author relates a scientific study that concluded that when faced with the choice, students prefer not change an answer on a test (i.e. prefer doing nothing) rather than make a decision to change their answer even when they suspected the change might end up being the right answer. In follow-up interviews, it was revealed that it is the notion of regret that influenced the students most. They were afraid of regretting taking the wrong action and they regretted less not taking action and leaving the wrong answer.


So often, we get stuck in this way in our life, being afraid to make a decision we might regret, we prefer not to do anything which in itself is a decision but is not perceived as such by the brain.


In conclusion, be bold, dare to step over the threshold into the unknown, for this is what life is all about. Travel fearlessly through your life’s forests.


Ref: Hallinan, J.T. 2009. “Why we make mistakes”. Broadway books. New York.



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Fée de la forêt ©2015 Suzanne Bélair Acrylic on canvas  30 X 40

Fée de la forêt
©2015 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 40

It is surprising how certain profiles and figures sometimes emerge from a painting without having planned it.


In this painting, I see at least one fairy in the truck of a tree, silhouettes, secrets.


I enjoyed myself working on this painting outside last week under the sun. Summer is finally here ! Absolute joy !






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