Tag Archives: painting

“Distant Shores” – in memory of Paul

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ” 
― Colette

Today, I grieve the loss of a dear soul. My wife’s cousin and my friend, Paul, passed away suddenly today after a valiant fight with the beast we call cancer. It’s a very sad time as I consider that tomorrow, I will see the dawn break, take a breath, and carry on with my day, a privilege denied to Paul.

Today, I think of my recent times with Paul, always aware of the illness within him, but always putting off what may happen tomorrow, till suddenly, tomorrow arrived and he is gone.

I consider the past few years of Paul’s life. Always a caring and deeply ethical person, he spent his last years largely rejected by the people who claimed to be his friends and support. Namely, the church he attended. The people who should have been his refuge and strength distanced themselves and put him down when all he sought was acceptance and caring. His church community took away everything that Paul cared for and gave him purpose. It makes me even sadder knowing that this situation went on, unresolved and my hope is that those who sought to harm him consider what they did to him.

For myself, I will miss his sense of humour, genuine caring, and commitment to anything he undertook. And while he may not always have had a bright smile on his face, he was a beautiful soul and the world is a lesser place with his passing.

I chose one of my recent paintings to share in Paul’s honour. The painting, named “Distant Shores” reminds me that we will meet again, though we don’t know where or when, but that meeting will be joyful.




“As winter releases its grip, memories of warmer are revealed”
– Ed Lehming 

I’ve spent a lot of time recently walking around my town. Primarily due to convenience and partly because the late winter forests have been fairly uninspiring. I’m always looking for unusual things that might make for an interesting photo.

Many times, I will see something that catches my eye and I spend more time observing the scene or object, trying to understand why it stood out. I also see things as they may be. What I mean by that is that I use a bit of an impressionist’s eye to extract more than just the object itself.

Here, I came across a boulder emerging from the ice along the path that I was walking on. The way the light played on the ice, and a bit on the rock, made for an interesting composition.

I’ve also started to paint, so I’m looking for subjects that may lend themselves to this treatment. Often I’m not sure exactly how I may create a painting, but have the advantage of several plug-ins that allow me to ‘play’ with the image to form my final approach.

That’s what I did here. I took the photo from my iPhone and applied a few filters to get me to where I want to go with an eventual painting.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4 mm
1/15 sec; f/1.8; ISO 1600

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Baptiste Channel”

Baptiste Channel

8″ x 10″ Acrylic on canvas

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery

As I look out my window, to a cold, rainy day, my thoughts go to all the good times spent the past summers in the Bancroft area, in Northeastern Ontario. A place of wilderness, lakes, rivers, trees, and beautiful light.

It’s an area where I do much of my photography, in all seasons. But today, I recalled canoeing from high falls, at the base of Baptiste Lake, up to the main body of water. I’m reminded of rocky shores, dark spruce groves, and wonderful skies, filled with the movement of summer clouds.

That’s what I was trying to capture with this quick painting, one brief moment in a series of moments that make up this summer memory, paddling the channel with my wife, simply enjoying the day together.

“The Breach” – Chileno Beach

Breach at Chileo

“Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.”
― Pablo Picasso

Though this is my photo blog I have, recently, posted a few paintings. Actually, they are photos of paintings, so I’m really not crossing a line, am I?

As those of you who follow this blog regularly would know, I’ve commented in the past about the idea that I can’t paint, and that I have used digital painting as a proxy for this deficit. However, those digital paintings stirred something inside me to give painting a try. It was a big risk on my part. What if I proved myself right? Well, no harm in trying.

I was surprised to find that something that sat dormant for so long could be so easily awakened, simply by listening to my inner voice and a bit of preparation. I went out and bought some good quality paints and an assortment of brushes and really surprised myself. It has been a LONG time since I put brush to canvas and I never really enjoyed it, because I was just not good at mixing colours.

Time, and experience with photo composition and colour balance has taught me why my colours were off and a few online beginner courses in acrylic painting technique made me somewhat ready to try it again.

My recent whale watching trip and subsequent photos inspired me to attempt a painting of the whales breaching. So, here it is. I believe I have a long way to go to get my paintings to the level I desire, but I’m not disappointed in the result. This is my third painting since I started in mid-February.

“Edge of the Forest”


“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
― Susan Polis Schutz

Echoing my photographic attraction to nature and abstraction, this is my second attempt at painting with acrylics, it has been over thirty-five years since I last painted. I’ve also been extremely inspired by the community of artists I’ve gotten to know in the past few years.

The painting is loosely based on a few of my photos, depicting the edge of a dense forest, with dark trees opening up to a display of golden light. An effect that I named, “God Light” in a recent series of photos. At this point, there is no deep meaning hidden in the painting, that I am consciously aware of, other than a longing to be in the light, rather than darkness, the light serves to call us from darkness to enlightenment.

The main purpose of my blog will remain focussed on my photography, but I thought I’d share my journey into the world of painting as well, as it has been strongly influenced by wanting to take my photography further.

Acrylic on Canvas
11 x 14
© Ed Lehming 2017

“York River Reflections”

“York River Reflections”

“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes….Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.”
― Arshile Gorky

This is where is started, my fascination with photo abstractions. Back in March 0f 2012, I was hiking the shores of the York River, near Bancroft, Ontario when I noticed a beautiful reflection on the slightly rippled river surface. I made a few images and was pleased with the outcome. Then, I did something different: I cropped hem to remove the shoreline and flipped the image upside down, producing this beautiful ‘painterly’ abstract of the trees on the far shore. The slight flash of orange near the centre of the photo was an interesting and unexpected bonus.

A close friend of mine commented that it looked like a painting and I ran with that, making my first 24 x 36 canvas print, and yes, it did look like a painting then. It sold quickly and I’m considering reprinting it, larger, for my office wall, since it really has been a pivotal piece for me.

I’m thinking this may serve as the model for my next attempt at painting. Stay tuned.

Nikon D200
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 50mm
1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)

“It’s Been a While”

“If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue”.
– Paul Gauguin

I posted this image to my Facebook page last week. It’s my first attempt at painting, of the non-digital type, in thirty five or so years. The last time I picked up a paintbrush to create art was back in high school and honestly, I was not very good at acrylics, favouring sketching and watercolours. Primarily because I could not get the colours right. I over processed and turned everything gray or brown. Of course, it was art class too, so it had to meet certain parameters. Creativity my my art class was not encouraged. Wow, that sounds odd, doesn’t it? And that, was the end of that. I much prefered to express myself through photography, which I was more comfortable with.

I recent posts, I have taken images that I composed with the camera that did not result in the image as I envisioned it. Some of those, I processed through digital art programs and was very pleased with the outcomes.

Last week, I went to an Impressionist exhibit in Toronto, called “Mystical Landscapes”, presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’m drawn by the impressionist form and style myself a bit of a photo-impressionist, focussing on the feel of a place, rather than precision. I’ll often visit the same place over and over in different times and light, much like Monet did. I see different colours, like the Gauguin quote. I’ve seen lots of blue trees, in early evening light. You’ll notice, many of my trees in this painting are blue.

I’ve had this quote in my head for a few months now and it challenged me:

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you can’t paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
— Vincent Van Gogh

So, I finally felt inspired to pick up a brush to see what happens, silence that voice. If it was a total disaster, I could just toss it and go back to photography, if it was half-good, I might pursue it.

Well, the result shocked me, as I stepped away and looked back at the painting on the easel I got quite emotional. I’d found something within myself that I did not know existed. This was something created out of nothing, just an image I had made, transformed into something new. I shared it with some friends who responded back positively, most asking me why I had not painted before this and encouraging me to continue with this, which I will do. My biggest surprise was that this 11 x 14 acrylic painting was done in about 2 hours, so I think I will continue, maybe take a lesson or two, since I’m relearning brush strokes for my youth.

Life sure is an interesting journey 🙂