This painting, Rupert Arm Retreat, was done on site on a sunny Sunday at the end of August. I have recently begun painting with a fairly new medium called Open Acrylics, ones that are slow drying and much easier to use outdoors. I had not painted at the Rupert Arm Recreational area for a number of years; back in the days when it was Camp Henderson.
To my surprise there was a locked gate with a few vehicles outside of it on the road. I parked my van there as well and carried easel, backpack with water and extra paints, stool and lunch bucket down the road and into the site only to find a number of vans and trucks, not to mention campers, set up beside a “No Camping” sign. Being puzzled as to how they got inside of the gate, I asked one of them, just setting up camp, how he managed to be there. “Oh, my buddies and I got a key from one of the bosses at Western”. Upon further inquiry, I found that most of them were from Parksville.
I set up my painting gear almost exactly in the spot I had painted ten years ago; out of the west wind behind some huge trees looking over the marsh at the end of Rupert Arm. The house on the other side of the arm acted as a magnet for me, therefore I started by doing a number of quick small sketches and finally one, shown here, that suited me compositionally. I rarely paint in a large format on site but today I did a 16 by 20 inch canvas. The new paints were a delight to work with and, as the light and tide altered the scene, I used my sketch as a guide. During the following days, I finished the painting in my studio, still using the same paints I had squeezed on to my palette at Rupert Arm.
Consequently, if you would like to go out to this gorgeous area, one I highly recommend if you haven’t been there, go and see Western and by all means take your camper!