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A small road painting.

I decided on a “small road”, done in gouache for myApril postcard to Robyn. Starting with the envelope, I painted in gouche a quick sketch of what I would like to do on the postcard.

…envelope sketch…

I made a first little painting, on site, and found it too heavy and overworked.(Painting 1)

…painting 1…

gouache, ink and pencil on watercolor paper, 19x20cm.

Fortunately, the little road leads up to our house at  Coin Perdu and seeing it was close by, I could easily take my chair and goauche and try another one, which I found better, lighter.(painting 2).

…painting 2…

gouache, ink and pencil on watercolor paper, 19x20cm.

# Also have a look here at Vivien’s road in England, which she also did for a postcard, very different in atmosphere and beautiful!

**And lastly.. I’ve been invited by Anna  to take part in her series of interviews and it will be posted on her blog See. Be. Draw. on 28 April.

Until next time…à bientôt!

Ronelle

January plein air by the Loire

I wish you all a wonderful year with all the low points of last year turned into highlights this year!

Happy 2011


I wanted to start this new year off with a plein air painting, no matter what the weather circumstances were. And I did. I took off this morning with my painting stuff and a new pochade I haven’t used before, to the Loire. The temperature read 2 degrees C. I only had running shoes to wear, because my daughter has my hiking boots in the mountains.

It was very difficult…it took me ages to set up my things, I kept on slipping in the mud, my fingers were numb before I even started painting and I struggled to open the caps and squeeze out the oils. I found the little pochade extremely uncomfortable and clumsy and missed my French easel all the time. I couldn’t open the Liquin bottle and had to run back home to fetch another. I found it comlicated to paint with the muffins and the scarf was choking me and I felt thick and uncomfortable  with my sleeves in the way of the paint, constantly knocking over the mediums. I chose a difficult scene and had an uncomfortable spot in the mud and slighty up a hill. My eyes and nose were constant watery  from the cold and I had to fiddle with tissues all the time, resulting in me arriving home with a face looking like my painting. After 2 hours I couldn’t stand on my numb feet any more and I started doing nonsense on the canvas,  getting so frustrated that I slung my brush way into the distance, in the mud! And then I  decided that I should pack it in.

BUT!! I completed the study. Although I don’t like the painting/study, and although it was an enormous struggle, I am very satisfied that I did it. It is one of my plans for the new year – to get out and paint even if the circumstances are challenging – and I WANTED to start today, on January 1st. Now I only need to get out there often to get used to these difficult winter plein air painting. In the end it is really gratifying and I now know I can do it. I can probably save this study in my atelier if I want to but it serves no purpose. I didn’t get out there today to produce a masterpiece, although I would’ve liked it to be a bit better than it turned out…

..winter loire corner study  1..

..oil on linen, 34x23cm..

**Next time I’ll give my opinion about this easel, because I think it is unfair to give it now after only one time of use. I am too used to my old french easel. This smaller one is a lovely hand made pochade from Ben Haggett.

**I will also say more about my art plans for this year.

Until next time… paint away!

 

Autumn sketches I..hydrangeas in an autumn garden.

I’ve cleaned my garden, prepared it for autumn and the colours are already turning beautiful golds and reds…and old colours, like the hydrangeas.

This afternoon was the first of my art afternoon with MArie-Christine. We do such different work, which is inspiring. I forgot to ask her psrmission to show her piece here today, but she will be continuing next week, and maybe even the week after, so keep an eye open on Thursdays to see how we progress on our pieces.

For today I only did two sketches in pen and watercolor, but from next week on I’ll also do more serious work…I was so fatigued today and didn’t have the energy to do an oil painting..

Sketches of the autumn hydrangeas in the garden just outside my atelier..

both sketches in pen and watercolor in sketchbooks.

…hydrangeas and greens…

…hydrangeas and urn…

Plein air painting – A red roof.

We had terrible winds when I painted this painting. Everything tumbled over every now and then. So I feel quite proud that I’ve completed it.

… red roof…

correze

oil on linen, 46x38cm (18″x15″)


…red roof: close-up…

And here is my preparation stage, the very first washes.

I have so much to learn when it comes to plein air painting. My biggest problem is usually finding the best viewpoint.  Sometimes I impiulsively like a spot, just to realize after a while that the paintings doesn’t have any strong focus point, or the basics are weak(the shapes) or there is no interest, or it is too static. In this case I find that I have no real interest, no excitement, no strong focal point to hold the viewer captive, not enough strong movement to lead the viewer around the painting. So. Off to a next effort!

Oil painting – plein air – a quiet path.

Yesterday I did a plein air(sur le motif) painting…on my birthday. It was great. I’m quite happy with it in the sense that I really didn’t fiddle..I gave a first wash, then a second layer thin paint and then the final layer and lastly added fine details and I’m happy it turned out OK.

And THANK you to everybody who sent me good wishes for my birthday…I loved each one!!

…a quiet path…

oil on canvas, 38x46cm

…preparation for plein air, quiet path…