Artist enjoys challenge of outdoor painting

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Weymouth man visiting the area spends Boxing Day morning creating landscape painting

NORTH RIVER – While many people slept in on Boxing Day, at least one man was eager to head outside in –16 C to experience the beauty of the morning.

Wrapped in a warm, hooded tunic, gripping a fine paint bush in gloved hands, Michel Doucet set to work, capturing a scene on canvass featuring the rolling landscape of a farm as the early sun and cold temperature created a pleasing contrast.

“I practice more in the cold than I do in the warmth,” he said of his hobby.

Doucet squinted at the scene in the distance as two horses snorted near their morning feed of hay, casting a cloud of fog into the air, dwarfed by a towering silo.

“Usually the colder the better, it is more challenging,” he said.

The Weymouth, Digby County, resident is a carpenter by day and a hobby en plein air painter. The expression is of French origin, which means ‘in the open air,’ and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

He began his hobby in 1981 and enjoys the challenge plein air painting offers.

“I go around to different plien air events and practice as much as I can,” said the painter.

He has travelled to several en plein air events across Canada and in the United States.

He spent the holidays in North River visiting his girlfriend, while taking time to enjoy some local views.

On Christmas morning, he was in Lower Onslow brushing a scene of a house overlooking a marsh as flurries fell on his palette.

“The paint got a little bit bumpy but I just blew the flurries off,” Doucet said.

“I like it when it is stormy out, I love stormy weather.”

He prefers to work with oil paint because when he is using it in cold temperatures, like those early Boxing Day mornings, it doesn’t freeze.

The painter began his work on Thursday at about 9 a.m. as the morning light created hues of blue and indigo in the sky and on blanket of snow on the North River hills.

“I spend no more than two hours on a painting because the light changes,” he said. “You have to stop it when you think it’s done and move on.”

The recent stoke of winter weather has inspired several recent paintings by Doucet, including one in a Truro park, a view of Robie Street and other scenes.

People can view his work on Facebook, .




Geographic location: North River, Digby County, Canada United States Lower Onslow Robie Street

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