Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Struggling Again

I am struggling with my landscapes again but it is intentional.  I am playing with what I learned from John Anderson but not very successfully.  I have been painting a lot but so far outside my comfort zone that I have produced nothing that I could post without being embarrassed.  I will keep at it and post when I feel that it won't damage my ego too much.

Every once in a while I complete a portrait that I am really excited about.  When a portrait is successful I can actually see the person when I look at the sketch or painting.  I don't see the artwork but the actual person. When it happens I feel like I must have captured something more of that person than just a likeness and it works with this sketch of Philip.  He has a very intense but warm look in his eyes and is obviously very comfortable with who he is.  I liked him immediately and maybe that is what helps produce a good portrait.

This one excites me.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Oh What a Week!

I spent last week at the Haliburton School of the Arts in Haliburton Ontario.  I took a beginners plein air oil painting course with John Anderson.  I love John's work and hoped that I could learn a little about how he paints.  I was in mental overload by about Tuesday.  We painted ten paintings in five days and learned far more than I could process at the time.  I will have to work with it and hope that I can remember at least some of what he taught.

We spent a good part of the week working with two colours.  He would give us a pair of complimentary colours and demo a painting with them.  We would then emulate his painting.  This was painted on Tuesday with Blue and orange  with just a little orange-yellow to create the greens.

This painting was painted on Wednesday morning using purple and yellow.  It was a huge pine tree with the top missing in the middle of a field.

This one was done Wednesday afternoon using only red and green.  I have the tree trunks too thick and the house too large but it was a fun exercise.

On Thursday we went to a farm that had been in the same family since 1912.  At this point we were allowed to open up our pallets and use whatever colours we wanted and we could wander the farm an decide what we wanted to paint.  I tried red/green with this field but just had to pull out the yellow to catch the glow on the top of the hill.  The clouds are a bit too white but I like this.

On Friday we went to Ritchie Falls and again chose our own subject and palette.  Most artists went to the lower falls but three of us chose to paint the falls under the bridge.  I have the rocks on the left too close in hue to the water.  I should have cooled the rocks a bit more.  This isn't a great painting but I was exhausted by this point in the week so I am pretty happy with it.

I am already looking forward to taking John Anderson's advanced plein air class next summer.  It was a very intense painting experience.  I can't wait to get out with the Monday Painters today.