Posted on June 5, 2007
Well, this is about as far as I can take this one (I think…when a painting is knocking about in the studio, I sometimes see many more other things that might possibly be done). It’s what I call a ‘large small’ painting, not quiet a medium size but certainly not a post-card size minature. When working on plein-air paintings in the studio, there’s always the risk of losing the ‘freshness’ that can be found in ‘being there’ on the spot, the experience of the event, in that unique & particular moment in time.
I’ve felt extra close to the river Dordogne this past week, as we’ve had old friends & god-children down to stay on holiday. We all went for a really long lovely (no better word) canoe trip on the Dordogne. I post below something more like the the ‘canoe’s -eye view’. A truly beautiful river. These memories live in the mind’s eye, and guide the hand to see better the essential in the scene before one. The Dordogne at Bergerac is large & wide, dark & strong, sometimes mirror-like or sometimes, like in the above painting, all cut-up, stormy & more like the sea than a wee river. Begerac is the town where we were married, where my wife &, now, my two children were born. A really good town. A good place to paint.– even in the rain!
‘Reedbeds at Lalinde’ 72 x 36 cm.
Posted on June 2, 2007
Same painting as previous post, second time on location. In the rain, with exciting silver lighting effects. Probably in need of a session in the studio to tie it together. The water was broken up, with no reflection, which is OK as I perceive the Dordogne to have a black, dark aspect to it. Beautiful river! (difficult to paint).
Here’s a detail of the architecture. It’s an old grain warehouse. The quai that you see was an important place of trade on the river, with wine , wood and grain being exported down river. Not much of that now, only the tourist boats, fisher men, car parking, adoleescents & the occassional lovers.
Posted on May 27, 2007
Quai Salvetat vu de La Pelouse. Tableau en état de progres.
Great storms & torrential rains here in the Dordogne for the last few days. I painted this the morning before the storm, with passing clouds & intermittent sunlight, hence the bluish cast to the light.
Posted on May 24, 2007
Same landmark tree as before, this time standing in the high grass. Not dark till ten o’clock.
Note that this is 36 x 48 cm & not 30 x 40 cm. It’s a classic french format, a 8 Figure, very pleasing. 8 F was my standard small sized painting for these last five years. It’s larger & squarer. It gives a good stable centre, spacious & generous, a good visual field before you seem to be bouncing off the edges. I will be priming up another batch of the 3 x 4 proportions of ‘photographic’ format; its smaller size means that it’s quicker to lay-in the base of a plein-air painting but sometimes, the landscape does demand … the larger picture. Each set of proportions needs alot of painting before they yield up some of their secrets.
Posted on May 22, 2007
38 x 46 cm. Oil on Panel.© The Artist.
Back painting again & it felt good. Incidentally, the sunshine is back as well after a week’s absence. It’s been cold.& rainy here, a paradise for the slugs. Spoke to the farmer who confirmed what I suspected, that the young sunflower plants had indeed suffered a slug attack, which is a shame as the fields of these brave & sunny flowers is one of the heartlifting sights of the South West.
BTW, the oak in this painting is the same as in this painting from last summer. A landmark for miles around. Although it was not done as part of this ‘ a painting a week’ project, I post it because personally I like to see paintings of the same spot grouped together. Categories, not chronology. It’s done from the other side, looking up the hill, over a field of yellow corn.