The Barigord Art & Film Weekender – 07/09/23 – Painting the Pit

This is the weekly wrap-up of what’s happening in the world of Barigord arts. While we’re probably best known for making films, we dabble in all sorts of other art forms. Plus we love to share and connect! Leave a comment or a link so we can see your artwork too!

Last week’s post can be found here.

Hey there artsy people! The Steveston Grand Prix of Art is getting closer. That’s an outdoor (en plein air) painting competition in Steveston BC. I’m competing this year, and I’ve been practicing on Fridays. How’d I do this week? Let’s go!

Finding the Pit

Over the last few years, Barigord Studios has done a few projects in Steveston and Richmond. This has occasionally involved travelling down from Vancouver on the Canada Line Skytrain.

I tend to look out the window, mostly for restaurants I might want to try later. One sort-of landmark that continually jumped out at me was a big old hole in the ground. A pit. The Pit.

Urban life is full of pits. They often grow into condos, but sometimes they just sit there. This one was doing that. At the time there was no movement on condos or anything, just some green growth.

We were watching Landscape Artist of the Year around that same time, and they chose some cool urban landscapes, like an abandoned power station. I joked that if I could, I’d paint the pit. Except it wasn’t really a joke.

The Pit Now

On Friday I set out to paint the Pit. I had brunch in Steveston first with a close friend, then went back with my kit.

The Pit is close to Lansdowne skytrain station, and I hopped off and went to find a good spot to paint. Except… there was a wooden fence. A high one. One that didn’t really register from the skytrain. There were also no other high places to go to look down into the pit. I walked the perimeter, and nothing.

I don’t know what I was expecting. The view from the skytrain was the only view I ever considered. I texted friends for ideas, and Andrew suggested I get back on the train and take a picture. So I did.

And then I painted it at home. It took just under 3 hours, which is the amount of time I’ll have in the competition.

Where’s the Pit?

I think my first reaction was to the lack of a discernible Pit. I mean, it’s there if you know what you’re looking at, but I didn’t paint a picture of what I wanted to. I did not scratch my Pit itch.

Second, I didn’t love my underpaint. I chose a green wash, which was okay in places, but made me have to fight for the trees. I still don’t love what I did. It also comes through a little weird in the sky.

I’m also not so crazy about my proportions. Something’s weird. I think there’s a track piece missing. Not sure how that happened.

The actual image I painted is decent. It looks more or less like the picture, which is good, and gives me some very clear lessons about what I should and shouldn’t do next time.


Plein air painting has been a real treat. I’m already excited for the next one. A blue underpaint worked better last time, so I’ll try that again. What do you think? Am I getting better? Should I find a different Pit and paint that? I think I’m gonna try!

Thanks for Reading!

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