Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Big Tree at Les B

The Big Tree at Les B
36" x 36" - acrylic on canvas - $700
This tree is down the path from the house at Les Bassacs in Provence, where David and Liz run their painting holiday business (for lack of a better term) called Arts in Provence.  
It has figured in various plein air paintings I have done there, and also in later studio works. 
Of course I have taken liberties with palette and interpretation. I love the red foreground and violet sky  surrounding the tree and the blue, green and yellow complementaries in the foliage.  Yummy colours. Love this one - a good tonic for dreary grey winter days. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ochre Woods Inspiration

Ochre Woods Inspiration
24" x 30"  -  acrylic on canvas  - $450
I keep returning to the subject of 'trees in woods', and have a large number of photos based on this theme to use as a starting point. This painting was inspired by the surrounding woods at an old ochre quarry in the Luberon Valley (Provence) where I painted on two occasions in 2015. In this painting I wanted to create a sense of 'place' through colour (all values of red, red-orange, and yellow, including ochre yellow) more than through an arrangement of landscape elements from a reference photo. And I also didn't want anything too literal. The photos below show how the work progressed. 

At this stage you can see how I added surface marks using using soft pastel. Creating these surface shapes and marks allowed me to break up the foreground space into mini abstract paintings. 

At this stage I was almost finished. It was the upper wooded area that was the most challenging to develop. 
I am really happy with the  finished work, and the very warm, palette, pushed a little to the extreme perhaps, but using colours that are certainly there in nature. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Golden Days

Golden Days
16" x 16" - acrylic on canvas - $150

True Confession time - I painted this earlier this year, during the winter - but put it aside thinking it needed more work. I took another look at it recently and realized that it was, indeed, finished. I have grown to love painting trees in a clump in a field. I love the challenge of painting the foliage between the tree trunks. It never gets easier, but that's ok! 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Pretty River Valley

Pretty River Valley
20" x 24" - acrylic on canvas (with some pastel on top) - $300

It has been awhile since I lasted posted. I have been painting, however, and as usual, I have been working on several  canvases at once. I started this work about 2 weeks ago, and after a long time thinking that it was finished, I changed the big tree, just a bit. Done!  The subject is based on a photo I took last Christmas when there was no snow in the Collingwood area (in Ontario, north of Toronto) where I happened to be for a few days celebrating with family.

As you can see in the photo, I maintained the basic composition in the painting, but exaggerated the colour of the vegetation and landscape .  Here are some photos showing how the painting progressed.

I am really happy with this one, a bit of a change in palette for me - and I love the addition of the graphic pastel lines on top of the painting surface.  Very autumnal, and for me, painterly and loose!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Edge of the Lake

Edge of the Lake
20" x 16"  - mixed media: rice papers and acrylic paint on canvas - $125

I have been experimenting with this landscape view for over a year. It is based on a photo I took at a friend's cottage in 2014, and then used as a reference for a painting at that time.

In this new version I have maintained the same overall theme and composition as in the photo, but wanted to try something different with media, and the surface tells the tale - though I realize it may not be as visible in the photo! If you could see it closely you would see how the surface and image is built up with rice collage papers and how the paint is applied over top and then more paper was added and then the edges were softened with acrylic paint. Back and forth until finished. It's really quite lovely! 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Old Florida Palms

Old Florida Palms
14" x 11" - acrylic on heavy archival water colour paper - $75

Limited palette, simple shapes, loose painting and some graphic lines. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Autumnal Intensity

Autumn Intensity
8" x 10"  -  acrylic on Canson canva paper  - $65.
The weather in SW Ontario where I live, at least some of the year, has turned from beautiful autumnal warmth to bitterly cold, rainy and glum. What can I say, it's feeling like November. Yuck. I painted this yesterday when I was feeling in need of some heat and colour. (Note: while the colours are accurate in this photo, it was difficult to capture the brush marks; the painting is much better in real life).