Monday, 23 June 2014

Poppy Field - Variations on a Theme

Poppies, called coquelicots” in French, bloom in Provence, in May. They seem to grow everywhere - singly and in small clumps along the roads, and in masses, appearing as great swaths of red in near and distant fields. In an earlier post I mentioned a wonderful view of such a poppy field on the grounds of the Chateau de Bourgane, where we spent an afternoon painting. 
Poppy Field I - watercolour
This image became one that I returned to during my week, when not plein air painting elsewhere. My work in the studio started with a traditional monochromatic painting based on an earlier drawing. 
Then it became the basis for experimentation and abstraction, simplifying shapes, adding surface detail and pattern, playing with perspective and expressive colour. 

Poppy Field II - watercolour
Poppy Field III - gouache
Poppy Field IV - gouache
Poppy Field V - watercolor & gouache
I found working this way - with one basic image/theme, very satisfying creatively. Each one led to the next in a logical way. If I had not run out of time in that physical and mental space - I wonder how many paintings I would have done. Perhaps I will look for another view or image this summer and see what happens.

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