Wednesday, 13 August 2014

North Thompson River Landscape

North Thompson River, Looking South
24" x 36" - acrylic on canvas
This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.

I have been meaning to paint this view of the North Thompson River ever since I took the photo on a road trip in western Canada last September. The terrain along the river as we drove from Kamloops in BC towards Jasper in Alberta was really interesting - sparse and even scrub-like. Despite liking the the muted colours of the real landscape I chose a palette of blue, violet and green hues for the painting. I really enjoyed the process of simplying the landscape elements, and working large - and I really am happy with the results.

And, just a note about the painting - the colours in the actual painting are deeper, darker, more varied and therefore richer looking than in this photo. 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Summer Pines

Summer Pines
30" x 40" - acrylic on canvas 
This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.

Like two recently posted paintings, this large canvas was inspired by a photo I took while visiting my friend MK at her cottage on Weslemkoon Lake in Ontario. 

After the visit I explored a few of these images in my sketchbook, simplifying and exaggerating basic shapes. 
I quite liked this drawing in particular, but I put it aside as I had no idea how to paint it. Sometimes, however, you just have to 'jump in' to figure out the 'how to, and eventually that's what I did.  

I coated a canvas with some cadmium yellow and then roughed in the line drawing image with a red pastel, then added some white to define the trees and foreground rocks, knowing that they would be the lightest areas in terms of value.

I wanted to use a palette with lots of pink, yellow and turquoise, so began to add those colours, attempting to define the always-challenging tree foliage, further. Though I liked the white trees, I added some blue just to see how they looked.

At this point my husband thought it looked like the forest was on fire. As this was not what I was intending, it seemed like a good point to stop and take a break from it.

When I did return to it after about 4 days, I decided to outline the smaller abstract shapes of colour I could see within the large colour areas, with a paint marker. That gave me a way to work with the foliage, and I liked how the whole image was becoming more abstract.

Then I just kept painting using both opaque mixtures and glazes, building up a rich, multi layered surface. I really enjoyed the process and watching it come together, and I love the finished piece. So while the sun may not be shining where I am - in fact it has been a cool and wet July, I have been basking in colour and light.