Monday, June 28, 2010

More French Riviera

Well, I broke my foot! Really. The only positive thing about it, is that I can sit and paint. So I worked on 3 paintings today. I painted outside with my foot propped up. Both of the above paintings are from photos. The other was a scene of giant Oak leaf hydrangeas. I will post that another day.

You have seen the black and white study of the Bike Race in Nice in a previous post. It is almost how I imagined. Still I would like to treat these cyclists as a single shape with colors mixing, just giving you the idea that they are cyclists. In the photo the cyclists are backlit so you really can't see as much detail as I have here. I did this on hot press paper. I sat on my back porch as the sky grew dark and thundered just before the rain came.

Beau Rivage was started a few weeks ago. Since I was so unhappy about my new status of being stuck with my foot up, I just finished this painting without being too careful. I liked how the finishing touches came out. Much looser than when I started. I also enjoyed the experience of "just do it". Because of that feeling, I started the Bike Race. Although I started Bike Race in a loose style, as the time went on, I got tighter, unintentionally.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Symbols of Summer

Plein air painting in my sketch book.

9x12 on hotpress watercolor paper

I painted the lemons this past Saturday. Acting on a suggestion an artist friend made, "paint an ugly painting first". So with that in mind and no preconceived images in my head, I saw the lemons in my kitchen and thought I would even go a step further to insure it would be an ugly painting by using a scrap of hot press paper. I had no expectations of having a beautiful painting. How could I when I know I don't like painting on hot press. But, now, I am liking hot press. I don't know if I will buy any more at the moment. I will just use the scraps I have. I am happy with the way this bowl of lemons came out. As you know, my constant struggle is to try and paint looser than my natural style. This is a little loose for me. This has me almost in the groove to paint the cyclists.

The painting of the beach umbrellas brings such wonderful memories back to me. I took out my watercolor sketch book to paint in as another method to trick myself into painting loose. I ended up going on a trip down memory lane. Before I had kids I would always paint "a scene" of the place we were visiting in plein air style. I can only say, I wish I had taken my sketch book on more trips now. It doesn't have to be a great painting. Just a little memory of that place, painting and noticing all of the details. I can remember many details of the day I sat under my umbrella with my husband painting this scene. It was around 10:30 a.m., in Nice, we were the early birds on the beach. Many couples and families filled the chairs around us. One family had a boy and a girl. They came to the beach fully dressed, hung out for a while and then changed into their swimsuits. Lots of fancy sunglasses and cocktails. Someone ordered a Salad Nicoise, I remember because it was the first time I had heard of this before. I ended up ordering my first Salad Nicoise. Then around noon, a gorgeous model walked back and forth on the stoney beach of Nice barefoot showing off the swimsuits and wraps that you could purchase at the shop! She had long hair blowing in the wind. Never once did the stones on the beach seem to hinder her swimsuit strut. And they say a photo is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bike Race in France

Here is something I have wanted to paint for a very long time. We caught the end of this bike race when in Nice, France about 10 years ago. I was tired of seeing my flower paintings so I looked through my photos for another subject other than flowers. I saw these photos and the motion and blur in the photos makes me feel like it was just today that we fell upon this finish line. I am so overwhelmed with the thought of making a real drawing out of this. There is so much detail and we all know how I have a tendency to get caught up in the detail. The photo is not a good photo for photosake. The sun is behind the cyclists so everything including the cyclists are in shadow. Maybe this can help me simplify the painting. I will try to connect the long shadows and the cyclists as well as the crowd on the sideline. I think I will do a couple of more sketches to simplify before I try a watercolor of this. I am happy with the sketch. I would like to capture this looseness and feeling in the watercolor. All suggestions on how to do this are welcome!