I only realized this morning that February has almost had it. I am still going strong with my little food studies and by now it has become a habit to do a little food study or even 2 a day. It is all still about the brushstroke. The best ones will be put up on my website, Ronelle’s art for sale after February and I will continue doing these studies…great exercise.
oil on linen, 20x20cm
oil on linen, 27x19cm
oil on linen, 27x22cm
These little studies !i do for February are really testing me. Sometimes I finish a canvas, stand back, look at it and it horrifies me! I then put it way back in the darkand when I come back to it a day or so later, I find it not so bad after all.The painting fairy passed by and touched it with her magic wand.
oil on linen, 20X20cm
..two spring onions..
oil on linen, 33X24cm
I am a little under the weather since last Friday and feel tired, mentally and physically. The gooseberries were a bigger challenge than usual and if the Painting fairy hadn’t stopped by and woven her wand over it, you might not have seen it.
oil on linen, 41X26cm
My art project for February is oil paintings. I find February the most difficult month of the year. It is usually very cold, rainy and grey, and the worst of all, windy. So it turns put to be the month I spend inside most of my time, painting wise. I usually turn to watercolor work, or drawing, both of which I enjoy. But this year I am taking out the oils in February.
..pomegranate in blues..
oil on linen, 27x29cm
I have bought a lot of small canvases on which I intend to do small and quick stillifes, not a formal, still life set up, bit more single pieces of fruit and vegetables, objects from the kitchen and refrigerator and veggie basket. I am awful at doing still lifes, I have done only a very few oil still lifes and I can’t say I enjoyed it very much. I find still life too static for me. I have no adrenalin pumping when doing a still life…there is no changing elements like wind or changing light or heat or movement which prompt me to work loose and fast and prevent me from fiddling. Standing in front of a stillife gives me too much time to fiddle, to much time to stand back and contemplate what to do or change, too much opportunities to return to the work and “fix’ what I don’t like.
..pomegranate in greens
oil on linen, 20X20cm
These little paintings are exercises in different strokes, using different sizes of brushes and techniques and rendition in everything BUT realism.. All of them are done in one go, painting wet-in-wet, impasto, sur le motif, in my atelier. After the third one, I actually started enjoying it. The first painting was horrific..I was so not in the mood for this project, but I didn’t want to fail, so I put 3 pomegranates up on the table, 3 canvases on the easel at the same time and painted all three at the same time. That turned out to be not too bad and I started enjoying it.
..pomegranates in yellows..
oil on board, 33X22cm
It is very very hot and humid. Everybody is moving around like limp fish. The horses are in permanent rest under the apple tree, the cats don’t lift an eyebrow when I walk past the them and even the chickens lay motionless in the shade of the hibiscus bush. I was busy, or trying to be. I took down washing, hung the next basket full, every time walking past the chickens. When they didn’t move when by the third pass, I thought they might just keep that pose for another 30 minutes. Et voilà, indeed they did, or almost. This was fun.
oil on board, 30x30cm
When I drive on the narrow country roads, I love staring at all the country houses…their gardens, their latest activity, the latest changes, their potagers (vegetable gardens). Life is never quiet and static at a country home. Sometimes the houses are nestled on top of the grass hills, entouré (surrounded) by trees for shade and coolness during hot summers. Sometimes they are sunken deep in the valleys and their presence is betrayed only by their roofs or a trail of smoke in winter. How I love the country side!
..the house on the hill..
oil on linen, 38×46 cm
The opainting below was done earlier today and I spent only about 20-25 minutes on it before I packed up. Today is very humid and hot and the clouds are moving in and pretty soon the thunder will be rolling. I worked almost carelessly, tired and not really wanting to put in the effort. But it is actually starting to grow on me and is not as bad as I initially thought. Maybe I should do more 15 minute plein air paintings.
oil on linen,
Two plein air paintings for these two days. With the wonderful weather we are having this week, it would be shameful not to paint out.
..the old ruin..
oil on linen, 33×46 cm
With the past rains we had, the fields have exploded into greens and wildflowers, especially wild pink heather. It is not for nothing that fall is called second spring. There are also beautiful patches of lilac crocus all over. Of course, everybody is out hunting for mushrooms and a couple was doing just that while I painted “Pink heather”. The tree next to the little “cabane” is an old oak and home to the ever popular bolet, or cèpe and the hunting couple was all around the tree, all around the cabane, to and fro, while Madame lifted the bottom seam of her dress to carry their treasure. Fortunately I was far enough to avoid seeing the detail.
oil on linen, 27×40 cm
The chickens have been moved to their new chateau and soon the old chicken coop will be demolished, not without a morsel of sadness, though..
..le vieux poulailler..
oil on linen, 33x46cm
I first painted in the tufts of hay that stuck out all over, which I actually found so cute! After adding those first strokes of tuft and standing back, it look like I borrowed some stars from Van Goch starry night and added it to my poulailler. No go. So, with patience unknown to me, I scraped off the tufts with the palette knife and touched up again with fresh paint. It is once again an art lesson: not everything we find pretty in reality will necessarily make a good painting.