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Two and a half pomegranates in oil.

Now that I have the gallery, I have to do more studio painting, since I can’t lock up every day and go painting plein air. I’m having a hard time though, adapting to studio work  “in public”. I’ve always preferred working privately in my atelier at home. Now I’m very self conscious and I worry about every stroke when there are eyes on me. I get distracted easily by what is going on outside and by people wandering in and out. I initially thought it wouldn’t bother me too much, but it does. Maybe down the road it will change.

…Two and half pomegranates…

oil on board, 40x40cm (15.7×15.7)

I’ve fallen into the habit of starting something in the atelier/gallery and then get completely distracted,  leave it, bring it home and finish it here at night. Like this painting. And it results in not being me. I  find the light very different, the atmosphere is different and even my mood is different. Working on the same still life in two different places just doesn’t sit right with me.

This is a very careful little painting, with no interest. If I look at it, I see a painting done by someone who was afraid to PAINT! Which was exactly the case. There is still this fear and uncertainty that has crept into my oil painting, as I’ve mentioned before.

I was never very fascinated by still life before and I still don’t get very excited about it. But there is a certain kind of meditation that creeps into doing a still life. I experienced it here in the barn at night, when I’m alone and painting on the still life…I sort of like the quietude that a still life conveys. Being someone who doesn’t have a “calm” personalty, I discovered that doing a still life is quite therapeutic for me. I think that is what will make a still life work for me…reaching that moment when I can feel my painting’s quietness, but without having it look and feel static. I will post some more still lifes later.

Fish

We had snow yesterday. Not very normal for us to have snow and so much of it, so it’s a big thing. Even bigger for me…what does a South African know about snow? I know when an elephant is going to charge… Last night at nine I even drove to the train station in the snow, forgot a little bit about brakes and speed when I got to the roundabout and slid “gently” into the curb. No problems, I was the only fruitcake out there. Off to the train station again early this morning, better equipped with common sense and humility and even dared turning off to buy a fish or two. I wanted to paint fish on this beautiful snowy day, inspired by Jeanette’s fish and then Katherine’s fish a while ago. I skidded home (safely) and took out those fish.

From top to bottom:  Dorade grise, Truite rose, Sardine bretonne. Done in watercolour and pen on Fabriano artistico HP.

…found in the snow…

fish2-1-6-2009-2-00-54-pm


Splashy pineapples

Yesterday I had a crazy craving for pineapple. I bought whichever ones I could find…the sweet small Victoria pineapple from South Africa, the big fat watery one, produced in Costa Rica, coming from Miami???… and lastly the heavy, juicy one from the Ivory coast. Of course I had to paint them. My light pencil drawing was fine and I started putting in washes. Arriving at the spiky leaves, all went horribly wrong. And from there it on it was downhill all the way. Finally I threw the paintbrush out the door, flew out of my atelier, jammed a cup of coffee together, grabbed a canvas and plastered it with modeling paste and a painting knife. Halfway through the oil painting, and eventually simmered down, I turned to my watercolour and thought I might as well finish it by simply pulling out all the stops, I have nothing to lose. So here is the final messy watercolour….. the oil painting is still drying.

Watercolour on Fabriano artistico HP extra white block, 30,5×45,5cm (12″x18″)

Afterwards I even had some time to put a recipe together…and  eat it all. Interested in Pineapple carpaccio with saffron syrup and roasted pinenuts?

A breather in spring.

I have been taking a long break. I’m doing things I have been neglecting for some time, I’m enjoying spring and everything that goes along with it. I have been waiting a long time for summer to show up and now that it is here, I have to make every minute count, for it passes quickly. I’m basking in the fruits of the season. I have had an attack of fatigue and I am paying attention to my health. And I’m playing around on Myfrenchkitchen, which I’ve allowed to slip from me over the last few months. I’m stopping by here at Africantapestry just for a quick breather before I continue on my road of indulgence. And pretty soon I’ll be back here with full gusto.

Enjoy the season!

Watercolour and pen in sketchbook

…mangoes for spring…