Week 12 - Stepping Away from Reality

In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

Mark Twain


We are rolling into my least favourite time of year, early spring. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of winter, but winter is totally up front with it's nature. You know what to expect with winter. Early spring, now, that's a different story. I expect big things from early spring, unfortunately, living in Nova Scotia, it doesn't live up to my hopeful and grandiose expectations.


The mornings are brighter, lighter, you can even hear a few songbirds singing their frozen knackers off. It's a fickle time of year. Teasing, with a few lingering tastes of sunshine. Delicate croci pushing their soft petals up through the cold earth, to be sabotaged by wild winds, ice pellets and snow the following day.

Early spring needs to make up it's mind. Go for glory and golden sunshine, or sleep in, and let winter hang about uninvited for another month. Please, no more false hope of tossing the socks and walking barefoot on the beach. It's messing with my brain and wardrobe.


On The Easel

Large cradled wooden panels are like hens teeth here in Nova Scotia right now. I just used up my last large panel on my new work, All that Jazz. 

This painting was created using a limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Teal, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Oxide, plus white and black. Ever inspiring, the South Shore coastline of Nova Scotia draws me back, time and time again. 

I'm experimenting with lines, value, and pattern. Expressing a mood, or feeling, rather than "what is". Stepping away from reality, (blame early spring), into the unseen, or the mystic quality of nature.


All that Jazz
Acrylic on cradled board - 36"x 36"


Limited Edition Prints
of 100 Paintings in 100 Days Series

I'm just releasing limited edition prints of my 100/100 series of Nova Scotia land/seascapes, oil and cold wax paintings created last winter. Each of the hundred days will be included in the print series with a maximum of 10 prints per painting. The prints are 7" x 7" signed and numbered by me, the artist, and are printed using archival inks on acid free paper. They come complete with acid free mat and backing board, the prints are ready to pop into a 12" x 12" standard frame. Available at Cranston Gallery, and soon, online at our website. Check it out!

Limited Edition prints


Ask the Artists

When is your favourite time to create, to be in your studio?

Sharon Fox Cranston: I've never been an early riser, it takes me a while to get going in the morning. It would be a rare day to find me in the studio prior to noon. Generally I'm in there from 1pm thru to four or five-ish. Then often back after dinner until nine-ish. Instagram link.

Brian Buckrell: I prefer to paint early in the day - energised. Instagram link.

Wendy Birmingham: My favorite time of day to create is in the morning. I work from 9-9:30 am to 3-4 pm most days....6 days a week on average. Instagram link.

Sheila Davis: I generally get painting by 10-11 am and finish around 3. Of course as a full time artist there's prep, etc.  But ya, I paint during the day.  Instagram link.

Jen Lawton: I usually start mid-morning after catching up on emails, etc. I set-up an audio-book, and paint until around 2-3pm. At which point my eyes give up! Instagram link.

Aili Kurtis: I work in the studio only during daylight hours.  I had a large north-facing window installed in the studio because the light is steadier from the north, but it is not the brightest light so the best time for painting is usually the morning. But most days I paint until 4:00 and then go for a walk on the trails near my place to see the late afternoon light and get a bit of exercise after a long day of sitting. Instagram link.

Louise Hicks: Between 7am and midnight. ;) Instagram link.



FULL! - Week-long Acrylic Workshop at the Lunenburg School of the Arts!

The Lunenburg School of the Arts just posted my July summer workshop here in beautiful Lunenburg. The workshop is already full, there is a waiting list...

But, there is still room in my May 4,5 & 6 acrylic workshop in Chester, NS. Check it out! Expressive Landscape workshop.



Until next week... 



  • Hey Gretchen, someone has to be an early bird! Wish I had the get up and go to get myself together in the morning. Thanks for your comment, I’m always fascinated by other artists creative habits.

  • I almost always paint in the morning. 9 or 9:30 until 12 or so. That is my best creative time.
    Enjoying your blog, Sharon.

    Gretchen Amirault

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