Saturday, 1 October 2016

Painting in Joucas - Day 3

The challenge of returning to places where you have painted before is, of course, to find something new to paint or say about views previously painted. On day 3 we went to the village of Joucas, and it was the 3rd time I have painted there. Earlier works featured the 'village behind the vineyard', so this time I chose to look out  from the village ''towards the vineyard''.  As you can see it was a little overcast, but there were interesting elements in the scene that I thought I could focus on.  

This is stage 1 in which I  established the composition and the colour palette - using  brighter colours then seen that day. Below is the finished painting. I am quite happy with it, but have to say that I am still mulling over the use of magenta. It will stay for now, but I may return to this one later.

Joucas Vineyard
16" x 12"  acrylic on Canson Canva Paper


Friday, 30 September 2016

Painting in Bonnieux - Day 2

On our second day of painting we went to the village of Bonnieux. It was another lovely warm day so it was essential to find some shade in which to set up and paint. I have been and painted there in the past so did not want to repeat myself, and finally after walking around for at least 1 of the 3 hours I had, I sat down and thought about trying a large landscape view - like this.

I quickly came to my senses,  and turned around looking for something, anything else - and  saw this view across the road. Boring, but maybe I could work with it.  

I started with a very simple line drawing, was not too fussed with perspective or proportional accuracy, and then I continued these lines through each bordering shape creating an overall composition of small intersecting/overlapping shapes and lines. At that point I began to get excited with the abstract design, and started to paint with watered down acrylics, adding extra defining pencil lines as I painted.  
This will give you an idea of how it looked after  about a half hour.

I continued to darken areas, add more opaque paint, define shapes and lines - and it finished like this. I was very happy with the result and realized the importance of sitting in front of your subject and just finding a way to express something about it!
Bonnieux Redux
12" x 16"  acrylic on Canson Canva paper








Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pathway Below Roussillon

This painting was based on a photo I took while painting below Roussillon on day 1 of my plein air excursion to France two weeks ago. I wanted to simplify the shapes into colour masses, and in that way abstract the scene slightly. It was completed in the studio.  
Pathway Below Roussillon 
16" x 12"  acrylic on Canson Canva paper


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Painting in France Encore - Day 1

I have just returned from two weeks of plein air painting with Arts in Provence in Les Bassacs in the south of France. Each morning we ventured forth into the surrounding countryside and small villages, painting until 12:30 and then after lunch, sometimes took a sieste, but more often than not continued painting around the the house or working in the studio.  While I am mostly a studio painter I have grown to love painting outside in front of the landscape subject. Some of the time I tried to paint what I saw 'accurately' and sometimes I found myself interpreting what I saw more freely and creatively. I found the experience artistically rejuvenating and feel that I have a better sense of the direction I want to take my work. 

So......on day 1 we painted just below the village of Roussillon, famous for the nearby ochre quarries which have given the village's buildings their reddish pink hue. It was a very warm day but I found some shade and started with a value drawing and then did two acrylic paintings, each about 16" x 12" on Canson Canva Paper.


  I kept my palette as close as possible to what I saw, but painted loosely and in broad strokes. 
I was happy with the results and felt primed and ready for the days to come. 
Below Roussillon #1
Below Roussillon #2

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Rockwood - Another Variation on a Landscape Theme

Rockwood Variation
10" x 20" - acrylic on canvas  - $175
This post is about finding on-going inspiration in one photo reference. I took the original photo (below) last fall and have returned to it several times over the last year, each time considering how to re-create the landscape using a different 'format' (i.e. canvas dimensions), knowing that I would also play with colour and the other elements. Each time I started by cropping the original photo, looking for compelling compositions. 

One particular compositional format that I wanted to try was a 'very wide horizontal' as seen in Rockwood Variation. The challenge in painting on a relatively small canvas was to not go crazy on detail but try and keep the brush marks distinct and chunky, which also meant not over-working it. And I think I did that - yeah!  


The first painting inspired by this photo/composition was Arcadia Abstract (below). I am also working on another variation using a a much larger, vertically oriented canvas, and hope to post that one very soon.  




Sunday, 28 August 2016

Nova Scotia South Shore

Nova Scotia South Shore
16" x 16" - acrylic on canvas - $150
Trees, water, shoreline are the quintessential Canadian landscape elements that continue to inspire painters, myself included. This work is based on a detail from a photo I took last summer while driving along the South Shore of Nova Scotia. I was in the province visiting good friends and family and enjoying the sights of Canada's Ocean Playground. It's always a challenge to work from a photo reference as they never provide as much clear detail as you can see when in front of the scene. But that also allows for a level of freedom to create, and I guess that's what I like. 



SaveSave

Thursday, 25 August 2016

And now for something completely different.....

Hornucopia
20" x 24"  - acrylic on canvas

I needed a break from painting landscapes! So I trolled through my collection of animal photos and found this gorgeous fellow. I love painting (unshorn) sheep because of their big fluffy bodies and the opportunities they suggest for expressive painting. And the horns are so fabulous. 

SaveSave