The boats at the Pointe Claire Yacht Club are going in the water on the weekend, Capricorn included. In many ways, painting the boats in the boatyard is much more exciting than painting them in the water. Especially this week, since there’s so much work going on to get them ready for sailing season.

Usually the gate is locked, but in pre-season it seems to be open since everyone is going in and out with supplies. I had thought of painting from outside the gate but since I didn’t have my easel with me, I walked in and asked permission to paint from inside. I think they recognize me after all these years, and since there was no objection I sat down on a pile of planks and started to sketch.

The wind was blowing at a good clip, and it was pretty cold from where I sat, but it was so much more exciting to be where the action was. From inside, I could hear conversations, observe the activity, see a guy pierce his hand with a drill — stuff I would have missed from a distance. The result: a bit of a messy, (and poorly composed) painting since I was so cold, but still a thrill to be in the middle of it all, capturing it with paint.

18 Comments on “Capricorn”

  1. Lori Zajic says:

    ❤️ LOVE!!!!


  2. Northern Traveller says:

    Gorgeous! Lovely fresh colours – it even feels cold…..


  3. De says:

    Messy? Looks great! I agree better to be closer to the action sometimes to feel the emotion. Did you use a sketchbook or single sheet of paper? In my sketchbook, I forgive myself a lot more for lacking design to capture a scene or object. Just wondering if you use a sketchbook differently than a larger sheet of paper.


    • De, for this one I used a pad of Arches CP paper. That’s my favourite pad for location sketching if I want paper and not a sketchbook . I just love the way the paper takes the paint. It has more sizing than regular Arches CP paper.


  4. lois says:

    That’s great they let you inside to paint. Did anyone come by to see how your work was coming along?


  5. Betsy says:

    Yikes! It must have gotten a bit harder to focus after that happened. Makes one appreciate the relative safety of watercolor, as hobbies go.

    Love the earthy triad of near-primaries in this one. The damp chill of the boatyard seems very present.


    • Yes, the drill incident was a bit worrisome but after some swearing and mending with a bandaid the guy was back to work with a smile on his face. I hadn’t really thought about the colour palette on this one, but yes, that is exactly what it was!


  6. I love your story and painting — Sketching on location is so interesting!
    Hope that guy’s hand is ok!


  7. Nice painting of the boats, it always amazes me to see how much of these sail boats are below the water. You really captured the red hull well, as well as the heavy equiptment in the boatyard. Maybe your painting is “poorly composed” but it does kind of have a “snapshot” quality to it that over-composing would not allow. Its always good to spunk things up with composition every once and a while.


  8. Great painting and story to go with it. Somehow being in the middle of the action gives a vibrancy to the painting.


  9. Connie says:

    Because you repeat areas where you sketch each year it feels familiar to me, like an old friend. What is going on with the big construction project?


  10. Isabelle says:

    In fact I love the composition. It has something of an old point-and-shoot camera. And it’s interesting because the viewer can only imagine what the rest of it all looks like. Love it!


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