Sunday, 6 July 2014

Olive Grove

Olive Grove
18" x 20" - acrylic on canvas with pastel markings 
This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.

I have been fascinated with olive trees for years. I love their gnarly trunks, and airy ethereal foliage of slim silvery leaves. It's the latter, however, that is a challenge to paint! I looked at Van Gogh's paintings of olive trees to understand how he resolved the problem - which of course he did through his wonderfully curving, broken, expressive brush strokes that are so distinctive and indicative of his style.

When unsure of 'next steps', but still willing to experiment with the composition and design, I often get out my soft pastels and draw on top of the painting surface, simplifying shapes, breaking up space, and adding surface markings. With the addition of these marks, I always feel less inhibited about moving away from the original image (this was based on a photo of olive trees) and feel free to add and change the elements to make a better painting. The addition of the pastel lines and the shapes they created suggested ways to simplify the foliage into abstract shapes. I brushed and scumbled on paint, and restricted my palette to a split complementary colour scheme. The process was highly intuitive and I stopped when it felt finished. As I took quite a few photos of olive trees in Provence - this may be the star of a new series!

No comments:

Post a Comment