Yesterday was cold and grey and it was unpleasant being outside, so a still life was my choice of duty. I felt much better after completion of the still life; Not sure whether it is was the fact that I painted, ot the bright yellow of the suflowers. Probably a good mix of both.
oil on board, 20X15cm
oil on board, 35X24cm
Today was sunny and warm and pleasant. No question. A plein air was on the the to-do-list. The garden is in a state of neglect with us working on the house and the cottage the last few months. I think the painting perfectly reflects the charotic character of my unkempt garden of late.
I don’t have hyacinths in the garden, but I bought some forced bulbs and they ere just beautiful at their peak.I sketched them in watercolor, but struggled. So I left it for a while. Slowly but surely the blooms began to topple over, like hyacinths do and they started turning brownish in their color. no waiting anymore, I had to paint or lose them.
White hyacinth in watercolor
oil on board, 33X40 cm
The chrysanthemum is the flower of the moment. all along pathways, in gardens, on balconies, in public parks, they accentuate the splendor of autumn color. The warmth and depth of ochres and siennas.
oil on board, 40x40cm
Fall bouquet of chrysanthemums
Preparation for fall chrysanthemums
OK. I now creating needs to happen in uneven numbers for optimum composition and harmony…3,5,7, etc. Somehow I didn’t add the 7th rose. So now I only have six.
Six roses in oil
Oil on linen, 45x55cm
Painting in process
Painting flowers doesn’t come natural to me. But I never realized how much I will enjoy it. Especially when I can do it outside. Painting outside just has some magic to it, which only a plein air artist will understand. My plein air work is always much better than my atelier work, more intuitive, more spontaneous. My biggest problem is leaving the painting as it is AFTER I have returned to the atelier. I forget that I am an artist and I turn into a plastic surgeon. I see a little something that needs “lifting” and so I begin to I nip and tuck this beautiful plein air work up to a point here it becomes totally unrecognizable. I lose that fresh plein air touch and I end up with tired and overbotoxed painting. Sigh…
oil on linen, 33x47cm
This is the completed painting I carried from the garden to the atelier. I was happy.
Roses 1: The first steps – getting in the shapes and the darks for shadows. A white canvas always threatens me, paralyzes me. This is a perfect way for me to lose that fear of the white surface I have to fill.
Roses 2: Almost done
Roses 3: Painting completed.
Roses 4: Back in the studio, the artist got kidnapped by the plastic surgeon and the painting transformed completely. All my hard work in the garden, my lovely strokes, the depth in my blooms…all gone.
And so another painting had been a lesson learnt the hard way. Studio painting is studio painting and plein air painting is plein air painting, basta.
My garden is starting to run empty of flowers. A few roses and the nasturtiums are still hanging on though. We had a sudden spurt of cold and rain last week which gave the nasturtiums quite a knock and I hastily had to pick them before I had nothing left. So, painting was done in the atelier…not the same as painting sur le motif in the garden.
oil on linen, 30x50cm
oil on linen, 30x30cm