April 2017

Artists’ Profile this month:

Special Treat:

Phil “The Forecaster” Chadwick

Scroll down-this is a good one!



From the Allen Fine Art Studio


“Resolution II” 24x24 Oil/Canvas

Recognize it?!


An Online WAOW show of art in 2D and 3D

March 1, 2017 to April 30, 2017





“Solitary” has a good home!

Send us images of your Leslie Allen paintings in your home: leslie@allenfineart.com



Artists’ Profile this month: 

Phil “The Forecaster” Chadwick


Phil “the Forecaster” Chadwick, trained at Queen's University, is a nuclear physicist, but he found a  career

as a professional meteorologist with Environment Canada in 1976.

But art has been his passion forever.

Canoeing, birding and bee keeping round out the passion that Phil has for life and the environment.

Phil paints full time now - mainly en Plein air in oils.


Lel: When did we meet?

Phil: Do I remember how we met... We have known each other for so long that I forget :>))

Lel: IPAP ~2008? We painted in RMNP February 2008! (Phil is an Hon. Signature Member of International Plein Air Painters)


Phil: I see the weather wasn't nice to you - that is why you need to take a meteorologist wherever you go… 

Lel: LOL It was really cold! There is a photo of Dave sitting reading and watching us but it is in a format that won’t open. I note that he was all bundled up too! You sent this to Jacq (IPAP):

“Leslie just a few hours ago... the weather was great in Rocky Mountain National Park.... it wasn't nearly as cold as Leslie makes it look.  :>)  Like a spring day in Ontario. I just wore a sweat shirt and I wasn't even sweating. The weather was great.  We each bashed out 3 paintings a piece. I struggled but Leslie produced some fine work. ...and then shared supper at "Mama Rose's" in Estes Park. Life is certainly very good!”

Lel: We used to email back and forth a lot in 2008 to 2012 and we met whenever possible (when you were teaching in Boulder) to paint in RMNP or lunch in Boulder. And Dave often came along. I always hoped maybe Linda would come with you one time.  I miss those times! Back in 2010 you talked about your 1115th and 1118th paintings. What number are you at now? I’m currently at #2971 and hope to reach #3000 this year! (Although many of those were scrapped!) Have I got you beat?

Phil: You win Leslie :>)) I am currently on 1910. I do about 125 to 150 paintings a year depending on size and painting time. I paint between 1000 and 1800 square inches of canvas a year... I actually keep track of that. It is all computerized and takes no time at all. I write Visual Basic programs that run on the home computer. I taught myself that language in order to do performance measurement studies for Environment Canada.

Lel: I know we met before 2009 because that day in 2009 that I broke my ankle while we were painting in RMNP is forever in my memory bank! We stayed and each painted about 3 or 4 pieces each before we went back to Boulder/Denver, I picked up Dave at work and THEN I went to the ER! I spent the next several weeks on the sofa (non-weight bearing) because I couldn’t climb the stairs! Now that was dedicated Plein Air painting! You managed to help me control the pain by telling me stories that I never knew about Tom Thomson, all the way from RMNP to Boulder. A true friend. I didn’t realize until much later that’s what you were doing.


Lel: I know exactly what day this was because of the crummy painting! The day I painted on a broken ankle!     Phil: You  were still cold Leslie and I was dressed like it was summer.


You’re making me homesick!

Lel: When did you first pick up a brush?

           Phil: In 1967... before that I used pencil on paper. I was always drawing.

Lel: Where did you study art?

Phil: I guess you can say that I enjoyed a classical art education although at 14 years of age, I was too young to really appreciate or understand. I would ride my bike several miles to Mario Airomi's studio and for $2 for a 2 hour lesson, I would paint on Saturday morning. We started with charcoal on paper and then progressed to monochromatic oils and then to coloured landscapes... I took lessons with Mario until he passed in 1976... although he was more of a friend and just wanted me to come to paint. Mario was my art mentor and I think he thought I could go someplace with art... "Pheeelll... come paint." My biggest regret is that I did not purchase a painting from my friend; I should have bought several. Mario gave Linda and I a daisy portrait for our wedding gift. 

Mario liked to "smoke" when he painted.  He hardly ever "drew" a puff but the ash would slowly grow as the cigarette smoldered.  The ash would get an inch long or longer.  The ash would eventually fall off on his pants and possibly on to his art.  He was a true master with two official portraits of Popes hanging in the Vatican.

Airomi, Mario Giuseppe, 1892-1976 (Dictionary of Canadian Artists, vol. 1, pp. 37-38)


I remember the entire Airomi family fondly. Mario would encourage me to come and paint whenever and as often as I liked. I would be painting there as a young kid surrounded by much older ladies who were taking lessons just to get out of the house.... Mario would paint sometimes as well with his bottle of Chianti and a cigarette composed entirely of ash poised on his lip... long forgotten in his concentration on his work...

           Lel: Phil is so smart! He once asked Dave and me to look at one of his books and tell him what we thought. To “proof” it! We said sure! But we later declined with a lame excuse because neither of us could understand a word of it! (What was he saying?)

Phil the Forecaster Books


                                                                                                                   Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman

Phil: I had some requests for a better view of "Paradise" that was hanging over Dave Phillips left shoulder in this interview. The full interview "One on One with Peter Mansbridge" plays today.

                                              Dave Philips                                                                                                   Peter Mansbridge

That painting has evolved into my signature piece. I still try to produce a painting that I like better but that is very tough to do. I have been offered crazy money for it but "Paradise" is one of only a very few that we have held on to.
It was a special Sunday afternoon (February 21st, 2001) and the paint just flowed. It was a time before my Dad passed away, before 911, before the recent wars - a simpler time when all that mattered was getting to the end of the portage from Bass to Shoal Lake in Restoule. I painted this from photographs but more importantly, from the memories etched in my brain. Maybe that is where the best art has to come from?

Lel: Tell us about your current self-published book on Tom Thomson.

Phil: I have an on-line version of my Tom Thomson book as one of my Magazines . Enjoy

Lel: As well as your own art, Canadiana and even some humour!

Phil’s Setup in a beautiful Canadian Autumm.

                                                                                                1107 in Progress

Lel: What are some of your current projects?

Phil: If you follow my posts, you will know it takes a lot to pry me from home. I quite enjoy spending my time paddling, painting and enhancing the natural world. Friends encouraged me to enter the Paint Ontario Show. Being the150 Anniversary of Canada and the unfortunate centennial of the passing of Tom Thomson also prompted me to venture forth. I submitted three pieces and all were accepted - maybe I am doing something right as a Hermit...I know continue to paint up a storm. Life is good at the lake... very good...

Lel: Once, I sent Phil photos of a series of the most fascinating cloud formations I watched while painting Plein Air southwest of Denver and he replied, describing all the reasons for the cloud formations. He can describe all the cloud formations he paints! Here are some of his wonderful Cloud paintings!


                                  Stratocumulus                                                                  Storm coming                                                    Snow Clouds

Lel: We share a love of birds. I love this Loon piece of Phil’s: Singleton Loon in Progress

Phil: This loon was just off the granite point at Singleton Lake. We started the loon nesting platform program around 2007 and it has been used and successful most years since. They are actually quite large birds. When a loon enters the bay, all of the ducks get "out of Dodge". The painting is actually not as "tight" in the brush work as it might appear. There are some pretty loose strokes and I hope that gives some life and energy to the loon.

Lel: And this one reminded you of some of mine:  “Indigo” 1188 Love it!

Phil: This is an indigo bunting as seen at Singleton Lake. It has made the forests and meadows home, along with a hundred other species of birds - that we know about anyway. We will keep the land unchanged so that they will want to continue to live here as do the Chadwicks. “The egg doesn’t fall very far from the tree...” I had to write this somewhere. My daughter was looking for the expression that the nut doesn't fall very far from the tree but I like this version better!

         Lel: I never tire of looking at Phil’s paintings! Here’s another source (as well as the one above) that you will enjoy:  http://philtheforecaster.blogspot.com/

Phil:  http://1-phil-chadwick.pixels.com/  is up to date with my art and also has all of the merchandising that someone else looks after :>) I would rather paint. I have shower curtains with my art spreading around the globe...

          Lel: And paint he does! He comes up with the most interesting painting projects!

Blog: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Canoe Lake Paddle 2016

Phil: Life is all about place and for me, Canoe Lake is one of those special places. I paddled between 19 and 23 kilometres on Sunday October 2nd 2016 around the perimeter of Canoe Lake. Apparently it took about 7000 paddle strokes to go the distance. My forty-six Canoe Lake paintings based on that paddle tally to 3291.7 square inches not counting the larger panels based on those smaller works. I am sill painting those larger canvases.
The circled numbers on the map of Canoe Lake indicates the location of each of those paintings. There are still some gaps and I need to go back and 'phil' those in.
Here is a
link to my Canoe Lake Gallery on Pixels.

This is a touch stone for Canadian art... the Mowat-Canoe Lake Cemetery...

Remembering Jas and Tom

This is number thirty-three out of forty-six in the Canoe Lake Paddle as numbered along the path of the paddle. This was the 'walking to the Mowat Cemetery' portion of that pilgrimage. Tom took a picture of the gravestone of James Watson…

·         Lel: Your work always makes me “homesick” because it is so “Canadian”; it reminds me so much of home (Ontario) and the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.


Phil: I am still doing "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman". The "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman" presentation that I did last week was sold out at 250 people... here is a review: “I was in attendance at  your presentation. It was beyond wonderful, entertaining, informative and enlightening. You've opened my eyes to the artwork of Tom Thomson and how his work 'mimics' weather patterns. What a super presentation. I hope you come back again! Regards,”

This is a big year being it is the centennial of his passing. As many of you know, I have been presenting my version of the art of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven since the mid 1980's. There is still much to learn and present. 2017 will be a busy year with a century passing since the tragic loss of one of Canada's finest artists, Tom Thomson. 2017 is also Canada 150 so there is no better time to celebrate the Canadian Culture. Embrace and support it!
A search of the web will reveal the time and location of presentations for you to enjoy but these are some of the ones where I will be participating.

Thomas John 'Tom' Thomson An Influential Canadian Artist and The Group of Seven. (Phil the Forecaster is the “Group of One”.)


And other you tube videos you will find there.

Watch this video and you will see why I love Phil Chadwick’s work!

#1300 ..."Celebration of 50 Years of Our Flag"

Lel: Tell us about your involvement with the Canadian Flag project(s).

Phil: The mission of this painting was to "wrap the Canadian Flag in Canadian art". The historic Flag Committee was formed in 1964 to find the elusive symbol that would be used around the globe to ever after identify the uniqueness of Canada. The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson had a similar goal in the early 20th century - to create a distinctly Canadian expression of art. The Group of One (that's me) wanted to achieve the same goal in the early 21st century. Canada is distinctive. The land, water and weather are unique. The Canadian Flag is truly unique and one of the most recognized symbols world-wide.

The painting was started on December 20th, 2012 but that was just the tinting start of a project that would take many months. The first step is called " "imprimatura" " which comes from the Italian for "first paint layer". The first paint applied to the virgin canvas was thus a mixture of quinacridone/naphthol red oil which exactly matched the colour of the Canadian Flag. I have done this for many years but felt it should be explained in relation to the "50 Years of Our Flag" Project. The details of this project can be found at http://www.50yearsofourflag.ca/

Oils on quinacridone/naphthol red oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 48 X 72 (inches) Started 1 pm December 20th, 2012. Painting Place the Singleton Studio in front of a merry wood stove fire. It was chilly outside with a raw easterly wind - the cold conveyor belt being drawn into the approaching Colorado low.

I love this purple painting…..I wonder if it is still available? Phil: (yes) Lel: Hurrah!

Lel: I admire that you do “your own thing” and not necessarily what the pundits say we artists “should do” to further our careers. It’s all about the painting! I love that. Did you deliberately set out to do this? 

Phil: For me Leslie, I love to simply stay at the lake and paint the natural world around me. Inspiration is as close as the front porch and of course there is always weather and the changing seasons. I paint a lot and that can be a problem for the art dealers - too much supply I guess. I see each painting as an opportunity to learn, observe and just maybe create that masterpiece. Something really good doesn't need to be a large canvas - a small panel might be the one. I have always said that an artist can make a really good living after they die. We do not have many needs and my meteorological pension keeps us going. My family should have fun finding homes for my art after I go to the big easel in the sky. Until then, I simply plan to stay at the lake, look after nature and the land and paint. Monet had his garden and water lilies.

Back out to split wood :>)) I have a gas powered hydraulic splitter Linda gave to me :>)) Easy and fun...

Lel: Thanks so much for letting me do this Phil!

Phil is the kind of fellow who does things for his friends to help them out. I’m thinking of one of his artist friends who wasn’t so fortunate in his career as we were and Phil helped him because that is what we do.