David McEown’s new website.

Please visit David’s  current  website   davidmceown.com in which hosts recent blog posts from painting adventures to  Antarctica and beyond. It has replaced this older  wordpress blog site that will be deleted soon. Thanks!

"Painting from the lookout above Neko Harbour."

Painting from the lookout above Neko Harbour.

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Arctic 2016, New Blog and Website.

Boreal Memory

“Boreal Memory”, 22in. x 30in. watercolour by David McEown

Thank you for your interest  and subscribing to this word press blog featuring  the watercolours  and journeys of David McEown.

We have moved to a new web  site and blog page which now has archives of the previous posts from this  WP site plus many new features ,  including recent works and video from this past summers painting trip to the Arctic.

We hope you will visit and subscribe to the new blog/recent works page in order to receive David’s newsletter  and  blog posts.

Painting From Petermann Island.

Painting From Petermann Island.


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New Website, Upcoming Antarctic Travels

The Gathering at Gold Harbour - 14in x 22in watercolour - South Georgia

The Gathering at Gold Harbour – 14in x 22in watercolour – South Georgia

I am pleased to announce  that my  new website is now online!


It features painting portfolios,  workshop /events listings , video and a news- blog page that will soon mirror  this blog. Many new works will be uploaded to the site soon as well as footage from our upcoming 2015 Antarctica expeditions.

Many thanks again for your interest in my watercolours and visiting this blog.


From the lookout - Neko Harbour - 15in x 22in watercolour - Antarctic Peninsula

From the lookout – Neko Harbour – 15in x 22in watercolour – Antarctic Peninsula

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Hollyhock Watercolour Workshop

Sunrise from Cortes Island

Sunrise from Cortes Island

It was a real pleasure to provide a watercolour workshop at  Hollyhock , “Canada’s lifelong learning centre”, on Cortes Island , BC, a few weeks ago and paint with a fine group of artists. The contemplative ambiance, facility , lodging and food was excellent as well as the variety of subjects to paint.  After an early sunrise, participants had the opportunity to join in a yoga/ body work sessions before breakfast. Then we started  with  some demos and painted  on the beach in the morning, following the tide lines. After lunch  the artist’s had the opportunity to continue working or go explore the island . By 3pm sessions resumed to capture the afternoon light . Then again after another healthy buffet dinner we would have another painting session that would continue  into dusk.

Along with the stunning beach, the gardens and forest trails were also a fine source of inspiration. The only problem was that the 4 night workshop went to fast! So we are happy to announce another watercolour workshop again next year  with and extra day.

“Artist’s Journey with Watercolour”

May 31th – June 5, 2015

Explore the magical flowing spontaneity and essential techniques of this travel friendly medium. Discover painting as a form of meditation and “seeing”, allowing you to capture the moment with paper and brush.   All levels welcome.

Tuition: $525 CDN / 5 nights

All inclusive accommodations and meals charged separately.

Cortes Island & Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

800-933-6339 x 232 hollyhock.ca

Registration should start by mid November 2014 , please feel free to contact us to be notified when registration begins.

"Painting on the beach at Hollyhock"

“Painting on the beach at Hollyhock”

"David giving a demo on the beach at Hollyhock"

“David giving a demo on the beach at Hollyhock”


"Working into the underpainting and learning to control the hard and soft edges of the mountain and cloud shapes."

“Working into the underpainting and learning to control the hard and soft edges of the mountain – cloud shapes.”

"Painting the shoreline grasses, an excersise in negative shape reading, and staying cool in the shade!"

“Painting the shoreline grasses, an exercise in negative shape reading, and staying cool in the shade!”

"Some of the fine watercolourists!"

“Some of the fine watercolourists!”

"Sunrise painting from Cortes Island"

“Sunrise painting from Cortes Island”

Posted in Art Workshops, Coast Mountains, Cortes island, en plein air, Landscape painting, Northern Landscapes, Uncategorized, Vancouver, watercolor, Watercolour, West Coast Rainforest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands 2013 painting highlights.

I am just unpacking paintings and backing up terabytes of reference material  from  the recent expeditions to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.  The two videos in this  post share some of the painting highlights and wildlife encounters which Daisy  and I filmed. We were fortunate to go back in February 2013 at the end of the Antarctic summer and visited again this November through December in the austral spring to continue our long-term project  studying this wilderness area.

The trips were not only successful in the wonders we saw but also for the charity auctions that raised much-needed funds to support  important conservation projects such as the South Georgia Heritage Trust and Oceanites. Thank you again to the generous fellow travellers that put forth a bid on my illustrated marine charts and Daisy’s books. Also a big thank you again the the One Ocean Team for making it happen!

A selection of watercolours painted on location from these trips can be found on the recent works page as well as many other paintings in the galleries.

"Enter the Drake", 6 x 15 inchers, watercolour

“Enter the Drake”, 6 x 15 inchers, watercolour

From Petermann Island, 12 x 22 inches, watercolour

From Petermann Island, 12 x 22 inches, watercolour

Painting From Petermann Island.

Painting From Petermann Island.

Posted in Antarctica, Elephant Island, en plein air, Paradise Bay, Peninsula, Point Wild, South Georgia, South Georgia Heritage Trust, watercolor, Watercolour | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

McMichael Canadian Art Collection “Art Mentorship Project”

"What Grows Here", 29 x46 inches , watercolour

“What Grows Here”, 29 x46 inches , watercolour

December 20, 2013 – March 02, 2014

Exhibition Opening

Sunday, January 19,
 1:00 to 3:00 pm, with remarks at 2:00 pm

  McMichael Canadian Art Collection

10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada   L0J 1C0

(Islington Avenue north of Major Mackenzie Drive on the east side)

Information: 905.893.1121 or toll free 1.888.213.1121

In the summer of 2013, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection partnered with York Region Arts Council (YRAC) to launch a new Art Mentorship Project to provide support to emerging artists and foster professional development, production and exhibition under the guidance of local, established artists in a distinctly Canadian context.

For the project’s inaugural term I was honoured to be mentor and was delighted to work and share ideas with the programs first successful applicant Ben Barak, a recent  BFA graduate of Nipissing University. We had several sessions working on site at the McMichael Gallery and used the historic Tom Thomson Shack as shelter and place for critiques. The highlight for me was painting on location along the Humber River and a week long trip to Algoma in Northern Ontario, following the rail tracks to places that so inspired the Group of 7 and close to where I used to live.

The mentorship program has been a great opportunity to share, reflect and build upon my past body of work.

I have been interested in painting remote wilderness areas from Antarctica to the North Pole attempting to capture their wondrous beauty as well as witness the increasing changes in the landscape. Equally inspiring my artwork is the local indigenous flora and forest not far from my own home and how it is interrelated to what is going on at the “ends of the Earth”.

In response to the mentorship studio demonstrations of watercolour techniques, I chose to paint a large spring wildflower painting inspired from my hikes over the years when I lived near the Humber Valley. “What Grows Here” is a microcosm of the brief unfolding complex circus of wildflowers that covers forest floors that used to dominate York Region.

Juxtaposing the   local Humber River Valley painting is a selection of  my watercolours inspired by remote wilderness of the North Pole, Antarctica and Lake Superior. Ben Barak’s work, on the other hand, focuses on themes of searching an identity, executed using many of the techniques he practiced under my demos and critiques.

 McMichael Art Mentorship Project


Painting Along the Humber River

Painting Along the Humber River

"White Pine", 30 x22inches , watercolour

“White Pine”, 30 x22inches , watercolour

Posted in Algoma, Antarctica, Arctic, Art Workshops, en plein air, Lake Superior, Landscape painting, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, North Pole, Northern Landscapes, Watercolour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Northwest Passage

The video above shows landscape painting highlights from our trip along the fabled Northwest Passage aboard the Akademik Ioffe in the summer of 2012. Many thanks to the team at One Ocean Expeditions for a great voyage and enabling me to continue  the long term study and documentation of the arctic’s incredibly beautiful yet fragile and changing landscape. A selection of paintings from this trip are now on my website as well as a few on this post.  Also many fine photographs from this voyage can be found on Daisy Gilardini’s recent blog post.


Northwest Passage Route 2012 aboard the AKademik Ioffe

"Akademik Ioffe near Ilulissat, Greenland."

“Akademik Ioffe near Ilulissat, Greenland.”

"Northwest Passage"

Northwest Passage – 12in x 22in watercolour – 31.08.2012

"Scott Inlet, Baffin Island"

Scott Inlet, Baffin Island – 8in x 15in watercolour – 04.09.2012

"Sea Ice n.2"

Sea Ice n.2 – 8in x 15in watercolour – 30.08.2012

"Leaving Scott Inlet, Baffin Island"

Leaving Scott Inlet, Baffin Island – 8in x 15in watercolour – 04.09.2012

"Cuming Inlet n.2"

Cuming Inlet n.2 – 7in x 15in watercolour -19.08.2012

"Jakobshaven Fjord"

Jakobshaven Fjord – 8in x 22in watercolour -16.08.2012

"Jakobshaven Fjord"

Jakobshaven Fjord – 8in x 22in watercolour -16.08.2012

Posted in Arctic, Baffin island, Devon island, en plein air, Greenland, Landscape painting, Northern Landscapes, Northwest Passage, watercolor, Watercolour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Painting In The Great Bear Rainforest

The video above and the following paintings were inspired from an amazing boat trip to the “Great Bear Rainforest “, in British Columbia’s central coast.  Along with   several other colleagues and a wonderful crew aboard the Columbia III , we  were part of  a large gathering of artists working to raise awareness of the rich  fragile  beauty of this place that is threatened with   a new proposed oil  pipeline and supertanker traffic sailing through some of the most bio diverse and rich eco systems on the planet. For more information on the “Artists for an Oil Free Coast “ project   please visit the Raincoast  Conservation Foundation Website.  A wonderful coffee table book  of paintings and writings from the project is now available! Also painting from this trip are now posted on the recent works gallery.

The Great Bear RainforestÈ

The Great Bear Rainforest – 24in x 36in watercolour

Painting in Kynoch Inlet, Fiord Lands, British Columbia

"Fiord Lands"

Fiord Lands – 11.5in x 22in watercolour -19.06.2012

"Receding Tide"

Receding Tide – 15in x 22in watercolour – 22.06.12

"Fiordlands study #3"

Fiordlands study #3 – 5.5in x15in watercolour – 19.06.2012

"The Outer Islands"

The Outer Islands – 9in x22in watercolour

Posted in en plein air, Great Bear Rainforest, Landscape painting, watercolor, Watercolour, West Coast Rainforest | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2012 Whistler and Gibsons Summer Workshops

"Wave study n.1"

Wave study n.1 – 14in x 22in watercolour – July 2012

Many thanks again to the organizers and the participants that persisted through wonderfully challenging exercises  at  the 2 workshops I gave this summer. Both the  Whistler Arts Council’s  Workshops on the Lake, and Gibsons School of the Arts have annual fine art programs with a variety of quality instruction. We were blessed with wonderful weather that enabled on site painting right from the studio deck  or to long walks on the beach after   a  hard studio work out  on the sunshine coast!


Painting from the station house, Alta Lake, Whistler.

From the our subject of moss-covered waterfalls to shoreline waves, watercolour’s magical flowing spontaneity and ethereal softness as well as its ability to make crisp highly defined form were explored.  We focused on colour mixing, values, negative shape reading(no masking fluid or tricks!), creating depth and  controlling the hierarchy of focal point.


Full Sheet Watercolor Demo.

"Coastal waterfall n.1"

Coastal waterfall n.1 – 22in x 30in watercolour – July 2012

I am looking forward to conducting informal art workshops on expedition cruise ships later this summer in the arctic and later this year in the antarctica summer. More Upcoming workshops will be posted soon.

Posted in Art Workshops, Coast Mountains, en plein air, watercolor, Watercolour, West Coast Rainforest, Whistler | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pacific Spirit Forest Series

"Spring in the Pacific Spirit Forest"

Spring in the Pacific Spirit Forest, 30in x 48in watercolour

One body of work that is evolving over the last few years is a series of large watercolours depicting the subtle seasonal changes in the temperate rainforest of Pacific Spirit Regional Park. These large works are done on 140lb Arches roll paper in which I can cut large format sheets, and have room to interpret the experiences inspired from daily walks in my “back yard”.

Posted in Landscape painting, Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver, watercolor, Watercolour, West Coast Rainforest | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments