Three Ominous Sky paintings celebrate Lake Superior


When I think of Lake Superior, I am reminded of the stories Dad told me about his younger days when he worked on an oil tanker on the Great Lakes.

And then I also remember the iconic song, The Edmund Fitzgerald, by Canadian singer and songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called 'gitche gumee'

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy...

Ominous Sky on Lake Superior is an original painting, part of the Canadian Vignettes Series.

Ominous Sky on Lake Superior
An ominous dark sky over Lake Superior. Canadian Vignette 1.


Twas the witch of November come stealin'

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait

When the gales of November come stealin'

When afternoon came it was freezin' rain

In the face of a hurricane west wind

Each scene is painted on a 4 x 4” gallery wrapped canvas. This first in the series features dark skies over water with a rocky shore.

Leafing used in Ominous Sky over Lake Superior

Painted in acrylics, this series on canvas has silver leaf foil applied where water meets sky.

series of three mini canvases of Ominous Sky series

These clouds are ominous mostly because of the dark background. The silver leafing lightens the atmosphere of the scene to a certain degree.

I have used leafing a few times before when I painted Mary Magdalene earlier this year and last year in The world opened up to her colour.

Leafing has a long history

Leafing has been used by artists over many centuries. It is prized for the luminosity that it adds to any painting. This article at My Modern Met explains how to use gold leaf.

Leafing comes in several colours and I chose silver for this series. I use copper leafing in other paintings in the Canadian Vignettes series that will be posted later in the month. Leafing comes in sheets or in flakes. I used sheets in these three paintings.

Ominous Sky over Lake Superior 3

This is the land formation at Thunder Bay, Ontario, known as the Sleeping Giant.

Ominous Sky over Lake Superior 2

In this painting of the series, the waves are becoming choppy.  It is time to batten down the hatches.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings

In the rooms of her ice-water mansion...

three in the series Ominous Sky over Lake Superior


If you have read to the end of this post, then I will let you in on a secret!  I have others painted already and I am on my way to painting 100  (gasp! it's a goal, right?) of these little gems.

New discoveries, different approach...

Painting small is a great discovery for me. So much so that I bought all the mini canvases at two local Michaels stores. One of my former students wrote to me to let me know that they had recently restocked and I went and purchased everything I could find on the shelf.

I have so many ideas for this Canadian Vignettes series that I could paint well over 100. But for now 100 seems to be achievable in small batches.

My brother has supplied me with photos from the Canadian west where he lives. I have friends who will let me use their photos as inspiration from trips to various parts of this big, beautiful country. And I have travelled coast to coast as a child and I have memories of the land if not the actual photos.

So now, I have a plan and I am excited about it. Well, not just one plan...many!

What new direction have you taken in your art?

Does anyone know where the love of God goes

When the waves turn the minutes to hours?

The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay

If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her...










2 Responses

  • This is very ambitious Louise, a great start!! I bought a few small canvases about 12 months ago with the idea of doing a series of herb paintings, they are still sitting in the floor in my art room. A few years ago I went to a local art class and the girl who was teaching had started a series of 4×4 canvases which she intended to complete one a day for 12 months!!!

    • I don’t think I could manage one a day although I know some artists who live by that rule. I am still far too scattered in all the different art I like to paint. But the small canvases have the potential to be completed faster, if only I could stop retouching everything I do! I like to set goals for myself and now that the ebook has been done, the plan is to paint as many of those little suckers as I can find in them in my immediate area. Get those herb paintings done Sally!😉

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