Canada Malting Silos

There are some great places to paint along the Lachine Canal — especially the industrial buildings like the abandoned Canada Malting Silos. Today was the first day out with my easel and since I’m often asked what my outdoor setup is I took a quick phone photo to post. I use the Eric Michael’s En Plein Air Pro which is basically a flat panel attached to a standard tripod, along with a shelf that holds my palette. It has a hole for a water cup and also some holes for brushes. It’s a great kit, it’s light, it fits into a knapsack and I carry it for most of the summer. For the purposes of the photo, I moved the easel out into the sun but I painted under the shade of a pine tree. I can never see anything on my paper unless I’m in the shade!

This was a very complex structure to paint. As you can see from the photo the silos go on and on… Next time I may try getting more of the building in there. The silos I left out were the newer concrete ones, but the ones in my painting are covered in clay tiles. I suspect the whole thing will be torn down one of these days — you can see the building is covered in graffiti — so it’s important to paint it before it goes.



19 Comments on “Canada Malting Silos”

  1. TR Duncan says:

    would you be willing to share what pigments ( colours) you have in that palette?


    • Sure. These are not all in the painting but here’s what’s in the palette:
      I use many brands of paint including Daniel Smith, M. Graham and Winsor Newton.
      Blues: Cobalt Turquoise, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Indanthrene Blue, Indigo
      Reds: Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red light
      Oranges: Pyrrol Orange
      Yellows: Azo Yellow, New Gamboge, Naples Yellow, Quinacridone Gold
      Greens: Sap Green, Azo green
      Earth colors: Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna
      Purple: Carbazole Violet

      In this I also used Cerulean Blue Chromium for the sky.


  2. julesmae says:

    Hey! So lovely. Funny, I drove past this place just a day or two ago (on the other side of the canal) and thought that this would make a great sketch. And shazam! Here, you’ve done it. And so beautifully.


  3. Elizabeth says:

    I have such a hard time not putting every thing into my paintings (every pebble, tree and ugly car) seeing your painting compared to the photo is helpful. I love your paintings. Thanks Shari.


  4. Jeff Gold says:

    As always, a beautiful composition. The diagonal line running along the tops of the buildings works well to move the eye and to draw the viewer into the distance. I think your idea of doing more of the building would only weaken the impact…just a thought. The trees are beautifully implied. Wonderful study of values! Thanks for sharing the setup photo.


  5. Linda says:

    How long did it take you to do this painting, Shari? I am amazed at how you can take difficult subjects and end up with such wonderful paintings. I would find all sort of excuses to move on to something “easier”.


  6. Richard says:

    This tired building looks like a monument, an institution, just what it is in fact, under your brushes. A convincing way to revive in our mind and to celebrate our architectural heritage. Thanks to you.

    By the way, … it is very nice.


  7. Tim Mancusi says:

    Very Impressive. You should be doing Covers for Time magazine.


  8. Linda Place says:

    Thanks for the photo and explanation of the kit you use Shari. It’s so interesting to see the actual scene and your painting. Inspirational !!


  9. Joan says:

    Interesting collection of buildings. What was the malt used for? Beer, malt flavoring for malted milkshakes? Why are they no longer used? If this goes the way most industrial plants have gone in the US, all these industries have moved overseas.


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