Monday, 10 December 2012

The Painting Process

I like to have several paintings in the works at once - in case I get stuck on one - I then have another to turn to. Currently I am switching back and forth between a small still life of apples, a larger (30 x 24) still life with flowers and a Provencal landscape. I try to paint most days and in between those sessions eyeball the canvases and allow my subconscious to do some of the 'work'.

The larger still life has gone through numerous transformations. I started with a ground of lemon yellow blotches and then drew on the objects - a vase of lillies, lemons on a plate and a pitcher. I intentionally mixed up the perspective as I really wanted more of an abstracted composition in which I would play with edges by allowing them to overlap, dissolve and reappear. Not as easy as it sounds.

At this stage I really like the lemons on the plate and the lillies  but not the overall arrangement. After many days of thought, I began to remove objects slowly, painting over almost everything with French ultramarine. Then I played with a table edge and background, then added the ghost image of a chair. The colour of the lilles was the hardest things to deal with. The originals were yellow, then I made them pink. 

I added some ghost lily lines with pastel, darkened the background, changed the pattern on the vase, and added more colour in the flower petals. The photo of version #5 above is not as dark as the painting actually is, despite the adjustments I have tried to make. It's actually darker in value, with an almost an inky purple mixed into the blue where you just see blue at the right and in the upper portion of the canvas. My husband thinks it's too dark. I however am actually liking it the more I look at it, as long as the room lighting is sufficient and you can see the depth of colour!
I will continue to ponder this one, tweak some areas and see what happens. Any thoughts?????

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Plein Air Painting

Florida Landscape
12" x12"  acrylic on canvas
I spent Tuesday morning plein air painting with my friend Elisabeth. We had received permission to paint on a beautiful property with lots of interesting views. I started with a quick value sketch, then jumped into the painting using a palette restricted to blues, greens and yellows (did I say that I am in Florida right now?) After an hour things had progressed well. Then I began to try and fix a few things and that led to more fixing and I realized I had lost what I had liked. Back in the studio I decided to play with everything - colour, composition, and reality - and this is the result. I think it's mostly done. What do you think?

Sunday, 2 December 2012


10" x10"  acrylic on canvas
I have painted many flowers - usually large and quite realistic. This is a smallish canvas and my first rose, but not my last.