August

I am working to get caught up with the demand for paintings and preparing for a couple of shows in the fall (see the calendar page on my site).  I am also going on a couple more hiking trips this month.  I hope to get back to Whistler to do another hike on Whistler mountain.  My friend Don and I hiked on Blackcomb mountain last year and I got some great pictures to add to my library of reference material.

Here is a picture of Don as we stopped to take pictures along the trail – he likes to paint as well.

I am also going to go hiking at Assiniboine with my old racquets friend Doug Smith.  We used to play alot of squash together, now he is beating me up on the tennis court.  He is also a seasoned hiker and has been to many of the same places as I have and more.  He has been into the Assiniboine area a couple of times already and it is one of two places that are at the top of my list of great hikes/scenery that I have yet to do.  He tells me I will not be dissappointed.

I hope we have good weather.  I will report back with images and paintings, and perhaps a good anecdote or two from these hikes.

My Own Helicopter

Lana and I went Heli-Hiking in the Bugaboo mountains with our friends Doug and Mary Forseth a couple of years ago.  When we signed up we were asked to rate our hiking ability based on a scale of of ‘A’, which denotes a strong, fit hiker, down to ‘D’ for old people and young children who can’t go very far or very fast at all.  Even though Lana is a strong hiker she was insistent that we sign up for the ‘C’ group because she did not want to feel rushed and I always like to take my time and wander around looking for good pictures.

Here is a picture of Lana and Mary in the meadows.

At the end of the first day our guide strongly suggested that we be moved up to at least the ‘B’ group.  I told her that we were fine to continue along at that pace.  She was concerned that we weren’t getting enough of a work out.  I assured her that I was not there to get a work out.

The next day they placed us in the ‘B’ group.  To make the hikes more challenging for the better hikers they often take treks up out of the alpine meadows, where all the good photo ops are,  and onto the ridges where the scenery is sometimes more panoramic but not well suited for the kind of compositions I like for my paintings.  I was not happy.  At the end of the day I went to the manager of the program and told him that I had come there to take pictures for my paintings and that I had spent the whole day in less than inspiring terrain.

The following day they put us in the ‘D’ group and even gave Lana and I our own helicopter tour into another valley where we were left to wander about at our own pace.  Here is one of the paintings that came out of that excursion.

If you ever have to opportunity to go on one of these trips, I would highly recommend it – the hiking is fantastic and the food and service are first rate.  Here is a picture from the valley they took us into on the last day with our ‘D’ group.  It is perhaps one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen:

 

Tofino Winds

One of my favorite places to visit in BC is the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield area.  It has some of the most spectacular scenery.  The ocean is big and powerful there, it can be very dramatic.  The last time we went there it was in the middle of winter.  We were hoping to experience some of the winter storms, and although we got a taste of it, we mostly had nice sunny weather.  I have been told that that part of the province sees very little sunshine, yet it is almost always bright and warm when I am there – that makes for better scenery for the most part anyway.

Here is a picture of one of the paintings that I did from that trip.

 

 

No Bears

I’m back with another story from our hiking trip in the Rockies with my younger sister Helen and her husband Bob.

The next day after ‘the Incident’ at Lake Louise I had a hike up into the ‘Valley of the Ten Peaks’ planned for us.  It is a great hike that starts out at Morraine Lake in Banff National Park.  When we got to the trail head there was the usual sign stating that hikers had to be in groups of 4 or more because of the Grizzly activity in the area.  Here is a picture of Helen and the sign:

 

We were already 4 but Bob didn’t like the idea of the possibility of meeting a bear so I suggested we wait for another group of hikers so we could join them – apparently bears will not approach a large group of 5 or more, so I am told.  Still, no go, Bob was not into it.  We agreed and decided to do a simple walk around the lake instead.

The river from the Valley of the Ten Peaks drains into the lake at the end of the trail and Bob thought it would be nice to hike up along the river into the valley bottom.  I was keen, I had done the hike up into the Valley trail before but this was new territory for me.  There was no trail so we had to bushwhack our way along the river up into the valley.  Bob was leading the way and at one point I told Helen that we should not let him get too far ahead and that is would be better to stay close together.  She asked why and I told her I would tell her later.

Here is a picture of the river:

Everything I know about hiking in bear country told me this was much riskier than hiking on a well hiked and marked trail:  We were hiking in an area where there would be no other people around and so the bears could reasonably expect to be left alone;  we were hiking along the shores of a noisy river so they could not hear us coming; we were down wind so they could not smell us coming…  you get the idea, and yeah, it does have some irony I suppose, and I was a bit cheeky to go along considering all that.   But it was nice up there:

 

 

 

The Incident

This is one of my favorite hiking stories, and many of the paintings that I do come with a story of an adventure in the woods somewhere.  My younger sister Helen and her husband Bob came out West from Ottawa for a holiday and they wanted to see some of the Rockies and do a little bit of hiking.  Lana and I met them in Banff and the next day we started out on our first hike:  the ‘Tea House’ trail from Lake Louise.  It is a spectacular hike and a good one to start the trip, not too difficult or remote.

On our way back down from the hut the trail starts to parallel the river that comes down from the Virginia Glacier that feeds Lake Louise and I decided that I wanted to hike along the raging waters to get a different view and perhaps some interesting water scenes for my landscape painting ideas.  This is when things went sideways.

When I hike I wander around alot looking for ideas for my compositions, so leaving the trail is commonplace for me and those who are used to hiking with me are used to my meandering ways.  I always have a walkie-talkie on me and I give the other one to my hiking partner so we can stay in touch.  Helen, I had forgot, does not like it when the group separates for any reason, I remember as kids she hated when we wanted to go in different directions in the Mall to meet up later, she always wanted us all to stay together.  Well, she didn’t like the idea of me going off on my own, so she decided to come along.  It got pretty thick and rough going off the trail and she started to get uncomfortable so I told her to go back.

I should have been very specific about what I wanted them to do.  I am used to hiking with people, including Lana, who understand that when I wander off they just keep on going and I will catch up.  Instead they waited for me on the trail.  10, 15, 20 minutes go by, I am not back.  All this time I am taking photographs of great scenery and exploring some thrilling uncharted views of the glacier and tributary.  I decide that I had better contact them to let them know I am taking a bit more time than I had anticipated; oops, no walkie-talkie in my pack, I had left it with Lana and it was in her backpack, turned off.   By now Helen had gotten herself worked up and was calling me on her radio.  I thought that I had better get going and catch up before they get too concerned, by now I had remembered my sister’s attitude about being separated.

I mistakenly assumed that they would be on their way back to the parking lot and so I followed the river down to the lake and then cut over to the trail to catch up.  After I was on the trail for a few minutes I began to think they might be waiting back at the place where I had left them instead but by now I was half way between there and the parking lot and, either way, I was sure they were in a panic by now.  I decided, mistakenly again, to go to the parking lot.  I figured, that way, if they were not there I could rent a bicycle and ride back to meet them to save time – wrong again.  They would not let me rent a bike to ride on the hiking trail.

I started jogging back down the trail.  I met them a few minutes later on the trail along the side of the lake, they were headed back to the lodge in a tizzy determined to call a search and rescue team…

Suffice to say that I was not encouraged to wander off on my own on subsequent hikes and this episode would simply be referred to as ‘the incident’ for the rest of the trip.

The image on the left is one of the pictures of the raging waters that come down from the glacier.  It was worth the effort to explore the area off the trail for stuff like this, my hiking companions might not agree.

The image on the right is one of the paintings that has come out of this little photo excursion, now you can understand why the title reads ‘Incidental Boulders’.  I was captivated by the large rocks in the foreground of the landscape, but the ‘incident’ was foremost in my mind as I worked on the painting.

You can click on the images to enlarge and view them in full.

I will post another good story about Helen and Bob’s trip to the Rockies next time and how I got some great inspiration out of it, for my art of course.

 

Time to start painting again…

Got the new studio space set up.  The light is fantastic, but the space itself is a little smaller than I am used to but it will be great.  I have ordered a bunch of new canvases that will arrive in a couple of weeks and in the meantime I have quite a few requests for paintings to get caught up on.

I am planning a couple hiking trips for the summer to collect some more reference material.  There are still a couple of places in the Rockies that I have not been to yet.  I will have some pictures and stories to post when I get back. In fact, I’ve got a story or two to share about some trips in the past that I will post here soon.

ciao for now, D

moving time

My studio has been packed up for a couple of weeks already.  Yesterday, we moved all the music gear over to the new place.  No painting or music for a while.  mmm.  I am not even playing much tennis, too busy packing and getting things organized at the new place.

I will be up and running again in the studio by mid June I figure.  I am enjoying the process and am looking forward to getting settled in the new place.  I like change.

"It's Time to Move" 48x12, Acrylic on Panel

My first blog entry…

I was talking with my artist friend Gaye Adams (http://gayeadams.com/) yesterday. She has been blogging for a while and I asked her to tell me more about it. It has inspired me to start blogging.

I have also been asked on many occasions if I would be doing another book like the “Favourite Paintings” one from 2006, it is all sold out now. It has stories and anecdotes centered around some of my favourite paitnings from 1995-2005 and I thought maybe this would be a good place to start on about that sort of the thing, instead of publishing a new book right now, and get up to date in the new digital age.

I will post a random picture to start too.  This is a picture of myself and a group of participants in one of the Painting on the Peak adventures from 2006 put on by the Adele-Campbell Gallery in Whistler.

David Langevin

The stillness of his wilderness landscapes is juxtaposed with the dramatic play of his compositional elements, light, and colour. Contrast is the underlying theme in all of David’s acrylic paintings. This talented draftsman uses a profound knowledge of materials and techniques combined with a brilliant sense of design and drama to create striking renditions of the Canadian wilderness.

Born and raised in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, David began drawing and painting before starting school. After receiving a BFA from the University of Ottawa, his restless desire to perfect his skills led him to continue his studies and research at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa, and McGill University, where he obtained a Masters Degree in Art Education. After spending several years teaching art, David continues to lecture and give workshops on “The Craft of Painting.”

David Langevin lives and paints in British Columbia.