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
I have been working a bit more in gouache and oil in the fields…doing the few hay balls still lying around in the fields here and there. The following pieces are only exercises done on site in plein air. I’m working hard at just interpreting, not rendering the reality, but only the essentials.
Close-up two was done using only fench ultramarine, white an a touch of black. I’m quite happy with this one…
I am finding that I enjoy gouache more and more. I like the touch of it on the paper’s surface and it is creamy enough for me and I can work thick with it or thin in washes. I also particularly like its “flat” two dimensional appearance, which looks very “painterly” to me.
…Bales of hay in gouache…
These two gouaches were done on a large sheet of light grey laminated paper/carton paper (65x50cm..25.6×19.7″)
I did a small oil as well.. I have to regain my confidence in oil as I lost it completely during an experience a few weeks ago. I’m hesitant, I don’t really know what to do and where to go to on the canvas. But maybe it is a good thing too…maybe something new can be born from this. I hope so.
…bales of hay in oil…
oil on linen, 33×24.5cm (13×9.7″)
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…
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..
Plein air painting in oil on linen, 41x33cm (16,10″x12, 10″)…