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Plein air painting at Coin Perdu

I picked up my plein air painting again and even though the wrist is stiff and unwilling to be free and spontaneous,  AND my eye is out, my perspective and composition is askew and the little apple tree stands right smack in the middle where the hill ends…a very bad meeting point and I might just go,out there and redo it tomorrow. But it is STILL wonderful! I realize again how much I love it…and how much I’ve neglected it.

The scene below is beautiful in real life, but doesn’t really work as a painting. As I’ve said before..sometimes a beautiful scene is there to enjoy with the eyes and sometimes an ordinary scene makes for a stunning painting. But it is worth it to go out and paint it all…it helps in deciding on a paintable scene, getting your eye focused for plein air. Painting plein air is SO different than painting from a photograph, in terms of “seeing. and of course, MUCH more gratifying, even if it doesn’t turn out the way one planned…which in fact it never does. Sometimes, the scene changes a bit too. like the scene below. In the painting it looks like there is a large hill to the right of the tree, which in fact, there isn’t. But it looks much better this way than it would without the “hill”. and I am not after realism, so seeing a hille on my painting which doesn’t exist in real life, gives me quite a kick. Makes me feel like I’m very original!

Our area is very green at the moment after the rains. The trees and forests are green, the fields and hills are beautifully green and lush, , there aren’t many colorful wildflowers around, so the world tends to be green, green green.  Having all this green in a painting can make one feel a little woozy…

Maybe I’ll do the same scene again, but in some different colors than that which I see in front of me..

…Apple tree…

Plein air painting in oil on linen, 41x33cm (16,10″x12, 10″)

Sketching chickens and cows

W are living a whole saga of chickens, running for a few months now, but that is a story for some other day. For now, here are Tartelette and Omelette, the latest addition to the chicken chronicles. They are two Bantam de Pèkin, porcelain chickens, and SOOO cute! Now being fully adapted and taken ino the Van Wyk household, they reign alongside the cats. In our home, the humans take second spot in the limelight. Here they are just lazing in the barn by my feet. It was raining outside. They don’t like to get wet. And the barn is comfortable.

Th cows roaming the hills have a beauty all of their own. With their velvety brown eyes and long lashes, they love attention and eagerly respond to “vient, vient!” hoping for a delicacy, which is quite often the case…a branch of poplars held out to them, or soft green grass.

The bottom sketch is done on a different day, in a different sketchbook where the paper has more texture. Some of the cows look rather like dogs…or bulls…or even rabbits? Let’s just say I’m out of practice(sic)…

All sketches done with rotring pen and watercolor in CP watercolour sketchbooks(400g/m²), 26x18cm and 25×15.3cm.

until next time..!

Ronelle.

Sketches of a future kitchen window an an apple tree.

Work is still continuing here at Coin Perdu. I made a sketch of my future kitchen window from the outside in. It will be one of my most favorite places in our mountain home, that is for sure. From the inside it has the most stunning view and I can already imagine the inspiration on my cooking!

On a  late afternoon, while the fire was crackling for our dinner, I stood at a little table with watercolor, black Indian ink and a charcoal stick and just scribbled down an apple tree down below. The paper was far too small for such an exercise but it was the only ones I have here. I’d like to do this again, but with large pieces of paper. the exercise was good though, bringing a bit of freedom to a stiff wrist.


The bottom sketch (to the right, apple tree 2) is upside down. I put down the tree trunk in ink with a big brush, left it to dry, took off to see to the salad and when I came back, the wind took it from the table. I picked it up and watercolored int he foliage, only to realize after a while I did it upside down. Well, it still served the purpose, not needing to be good art.

All sketches done in Indian ink with Japanese brushes, watercolor and charcoal sticks on CP watercolor paper, 29,7x42cm (11 3/4″x16 1/2″)