I mentioned, yesterday, the painting binge I have found myself in. All in the name of improving my skills. I also referred to the failures which show up when exploring new techniques and unfamiliar approaches. However, there are some trials which simply insist on coming out well . . .even if the approach was unfamiliar.
Part of that binge I was on was also while we were in France during June and the first two weeks of July. (If you didn’t go on this last trip, you missed a marvelous experience!) Everywhere we went I took photos of everything. I returned home with over 500 pics and plenty from which to paint a record of the places we visited.
This little painting was one such piece that came about from travel photos. Sunflowers blooming in the distance right in the beautiful Perigord Region. As you can see, this piece contained some of the beginnings of the atmospheric experiment project.
Last weekend, I held Open Studio in my home and studio. There was plenty of work to display. So much, in fact, that much of it had to be on the floor of the studio leaning against the walls and the furniture. After the weekend, we were ‘treated’ to an early rainstorm . . . .two of them, actually. The last one dumped quite a bit of water by our standards here. Enough so that it flooded my studio!! Mind you, it wasn’t deep. but enough to thoroughly soak the carpets and everything else that was on the floor . . . . . . .including some of my work.
Okay I am back! Hawaii was fantastic ! Frankly, however, I have been itching to return to the easel here at home.
This was another test for me . . . . A test to remain spontaneous and loose. My tendency is to get tight with my work, but I adore the looseness of both oil and watercolor as it enlists the viewer to employ the imagination.
The textures of the trees, the warm to cool transition, as the viewer goes down the ‘tunnel’ and all the color and edge variations in the shadows are the three things I had really concentrate on the entire time I was painting. It may seem silly, but I needed to take an athletic stance in front of the canvas and hold that long brush all the way at the end of the wooden handle. This painting was painted from my ankles up . . . .moving my entire body to lay in the strokes, sometimes. By the end of a six hour session, I was exhausted physically . . . . .but pleased with the outcome.
A few days later, what needed work was quite apparent. I attacked those areas with the same mental attitude of *suggesting* and *Implying* rather than explicit explanation.
After this painting was finished, I began to think I might be catching on to oil painting.
This is the 83rd pass at it. I never dreamed it would come this far . . . .nor that I would be painting it in front of 220 artists. But here it is. I painted it last Monday evening at the Kanuga Watercolor Workshops in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I completed most all of the painting, with a few errors, in about 40 minutes and introduced the audience to this series process and what benefits and surprises it has brought into my studio. One and a half days later . . .and quite a bit of thought . . .I finished the piece.
This project was what I have been working on so much these last weeks . . .and the reason for being so quiet here. This project was exactly the reason for my last post . . .the Rainbow Connection . . . .
To be introduced to such an august group of painters from all over the east coast . . . .and some of the finest painters in the world today . . . . .was a very high honor. If you were there, you know it was both humbling and exciting. This ‘confab’ of artists and the workshops were the finest I have ever seen and it was run with an expert hand . . .first class all the way . . . .if ever you thought you would like to learn from the best, rub elbows with the most committed and expert painters or just go to such an event for the adventure, this annual workshop is a must. Check it out at this link.
Understand that I am always up for a challenge, but there are also times when it feels good to just whistle a melody and sling paint. I have done enough landscapes and sea paintings in my experience to feel very comfy in their execution. Some good music in the background, a rainy day, a cozy studio and away I go!!