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Sunday Painting

There was a time when Tuffy P (AKA Sheila Gregory) and I, along with our friends Tim Noonan and Ardis Breeze and the late Ronald Bloore made regular Sunday drawing/painting trips to various locations around Southern Ontario. We did it for a few years, almost every Sunday the weather permitted. We even went on a painting weekend trip once up to the Sundridge area.

We had an opportunity recently to look through a selection of the drawings Ron Bloore made with us. Looking at each drawing brought back special memories of the particular day or place it was made. This was a very emotional experience, both because those Sundays were very special to us, and because Ron was very dear to us, and even though he has been gone several years now, we miss him and we think of him often.

Ron was not just our friend, he was also one of our painting teachers at York University in the early 80s, not to mention one of Canada’s most prominent painters. Somehow or another we became good friends after graduation, and somehow or another we all started doing these painting/drawing trips together. I know Tuffy P and I had been doing some outdoor drawing previous to this, and so had Ron, sometimes with his friend, the late David Partridge. Curiously enough I don’t know just how it came about we all went out together.

I remember one trip we were somewhere down in the Grimsby area . We had parked at the side of the road and set up to attempt drawings of an orchard. Bloore had a little portable stool he perched on while he drew. He was hard at work on a pencil drawing, when a car stopped on the road beside him. “Are you OK, do you need any help?” Without missing a beat, Ron looked at the guy and said, “Only if you can help me with this drawing….”

Hank Roest splendidly maintains the Ronald Bloore website. He has recently put up a page dedicated to Bloore’s Sunday sketches, including some photos we provided from those trips. I encourage you to visit both the Sunday sketches page and the whole site, particularly if you are not familiar with Bloore’s work.

4 Comments

  1. When we started painting outdoors, the first thing that struck me was how fast everything changed, particularly in the afternoon when the shadows would sharpen. A wind might come up or the temperature might drop. At other times, the biting insects would find us. One day at Mono Cliffs, enough rain fell to mess with the watercolours some of us were trying to work on. In the studio, I always tried to keep the conditions consistent. I prefer no natural light so anytime I work it looks the same. Outdoors you have no such control, and that is one of the things I enjoyed about it. Revisiting Ron’s drawings and thinking about those magical drawing and painting days, I want to pack up my gear and have another go at it.

  2. Gee, that really choked me up. Hank is doing really wonderful kind service to the memories and life and work of Ron.

    I happen to disagree with the idea that Bloore couldn’t draw. I think that is drawing. He may not have been interested or inclined to pay attention to the techniques of classical drawing…..but neither is most of the rest of the world. I actually think that being able to not feel oppressed by the formulaic drawing of Europe was a real gift Bloore embraced.

    • I just added these lines to the page:
      “Certain of these sketches obviously include ideas from the historic Japanese styles that were influencing his painting at that time.”
      and
      “Nevertheless, the joy and peace felt by an artist in his element, loving the place and the moment and the challenges he is setting himself to, are palpable in these drawings.”

      Thanks for your comment,
      – H. Roest

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