Impromptu Plein Air

Judy and Carolyn went painting outside!  It was a lovely morning so we took the opportunity to gather a few supplies and set up in the wild lands of… the school grounds.  But, as you can see, there is an exceptional view from the school.  You may also notice that we didn’t exactly paint what we saw!

Here’s Judy’s:IMG_0666

Painting in glaring sun makes it difficult to see contrasts, and on a cloudless day, there aren’t many shadows to help.  Using isolated spots of bright colour and establishing a clear background, foreground, and mid ground can strengthen an outdoor landscape a lot.  Judy exaggerated the aerial perspective and checkerboard pattern, and she zoomed herself half a kilometer closer to the foreground trees.

The pain of outdoor painting is that things change so fast: the light, the clouds, the shadows.  The joy of it is that you still have the artists’ license to change what you see.  Call it capturing a mood or impression, or call it being smart and using tried and true techniques that give results in any conditions; outdoor painting is not like indoor painting!

Here’s Carolyn’s:

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This painting is all about isolating the shapes.  Painting outdoors, the sun dries paint and paper very quickly.  You have to work on small spots, or mix a big puddle of one colour and fill in an area quickly.  Finding strong shapes helps to make each element clear to the artist’s mind and the viewer’s eye (because nature is messy) and it’s also a way to avoid getting heavy masses of colour, especially greens.  Simplicity equals serenity.

Below is another painting, done from a memory of the old railway snow fence as seen from the highway.  It’s all in this view, just far away.  Carolyn wanted to contrast the yellow canola with some purple – the low, dark cloud we’ve seen often this summer, just not on this particular day.

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It was a successful couple of hours!  Maybe we’ll be on to a new site on another morning.

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Finally Finished

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It took a long time to paint this one as opposed to a landscape.  I found the composition much trickier than usual because each leaf, bird and branch could direct the eye.  It makes for a more active, chaotic image than a nice peaceful landscape, but there is certainly plenty to look at.  I enjoyed the contrast between the loose background and the very exact birds.  This piece will probably be call Warmth and Light or something along those lines.

Hallowe’en Month

Welcome to spooky October!  The month of Hallowe’en has begun… here’s a creepy moon rise to get you in the mood for ghouls.dscf3415

Judy captured this harvest moon photo just in the nick of time while the moon and clouds made a giant jack-o-lantern in the sky.  It doesn’t take long for the moon to be obscured behind the clouds.

Negative Imagery

Here’s my experiment in negative painting…  not what is usually called negative painting, where a darker colour is painted around a lighter one to bring it out (although there is some of that as well), but using colours negative to what they would realistically be.  Below is the originally painting.  Above on the left is the negative image I painted from the original.  On the right is the negative painting shown in negative colours.  The double negative shows how close I got to matching the hues.

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Sunflowers and Onions

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A friend brought us a bouquet back in August, along with a bag of delightful edibles from her garden.  The Mason jar, sunflowers and onion blossoms were set in the sun room for company.  In came the sun through the glass door and lit them up in summer glory.  I took several pictures, then used my artists’ license to change the black granite counter top and remove window and door frames.  I did like the glass door behind, but it is just a 5 x 7 painting 😉