Design-a-River

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Last week at the Lodge we gave the ladies a couple of pictures of the Peace River along with a couple of painted examples.  Then they took off on their own, each painting an interpretation of what they saw.  Several couldn’t stand to paint winter and added lots of warm summery green.  That’s the joy of being a painter!

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Cat Critic

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OK, maybe we are using pet dishes as water dishes, but really, did the cat think it was a fair trade to curl up on my painting?  Apparently he did.  So there.  He did like the other painting (it had horses in it), or at least he didn’t feel obliged to cover it.

Challenging Perspective

Wow, herein lies a challenge!  The sunshine and shadows where these two fences, one quite plain and one more ornate, meet were eye-catching.  However, it wasn’t until the sketch was underway that the true intricacies of the subject became apparent.  Perspective is intriguing by itself, but shadows don’t have to play by the rules!

Is it the angle at which the photo of the sketch was taken that makes the metal fence lean in rather than out?  I’m not sure.  I didn’t notice until I looked at the image on the screen.  Our eyes and brains deceive us!

Constantinople

In JK’s family, names are drawn to decide who is going to get a gift for whom. With only one person to think of a gift for, the pressure of thinking up those perfect ideas is eased and the budget is higher.  Well, that’s the theory.  The budget is easy to adjust.  The perfect idea… well, that depends on whose name one draws!

This year JK drew the name of a person who has been  supportive of his painting career and very perceptive of his artistic communication.  This may have made his basic gift idea, a painting, easy, especially since he knew his of gift partner’s home colour scheme and plenty of open wall space.  Even the subject of the piece was clear: the two had travelled together to Istanbul for a wonderful holiday so it was natural to capture that memory.

Oftentimes, however, it is most difficult to paint the most personal of paintings, especially when the idea is strong, clear and important.  Add a deadline and the pressure is on!  JK knew his colour would be Shadow Violet, his technique would begin with a pour, and he was going to use a full sheet of paper.  After that, it was all a gamble as the paint was mixed, the paper saturated, and all was in readiness for whatever would happen with paint, water and gravity.

What a relief when the first pour came out beautifully!  The detailed work came next, offering more control and direction from the artist: a different sort of stress, yet one fueled by initial success.  Building the landscape by layers was a thoughtful process of composition and value adjustment.  The Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia are highlighted by the landscape of JK’s own design.

When it was finished the piece was strong, grand, and had an air of ancient intrigue mixed with fresh circumstance and light. It was given a name to reflect all these things: Constantinople.

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The receiver of this piece was well pleased of course.  This was a fine gift indeed.