12 Figure (61 x50 cm). Oil on canvas. Ask for price.

Some more rambling musings about ‘THE VIEW’ and previous painters…(thinking out loud but not sure where this is going).

Famous views have been looked at many times (so therefore people recognise them). They have also been painted many times as well. Last september I went to St Rémy en Provence & I painted this. In Vincent’s footsteps. Walk a mile in my shoes…well,
not exactly in his shoes (ahh, those old rugged worn boots of his, Vincent mon pauvre GRAND ) but it felt that he was closeby. His paintings had merged into hills & into the clouds. And had merged into my perception of the famous view of the famous chateau on the famous hill.

St. Cirq Lapopie #2

Some things about this painting were niggling me, so this is now as far as i can take this image. Generally, about painting architecture in oils in small scale paintings, such as 30 x 40 cm…. difficult! At least,it’s a subject I’ve always preferred to tackle in drawing & watercolour. I find it easier to get the pencil or the pen or the watercolour brushes into such small spaces. Maybe I’m trying to shrink to much into to little space, given my painting style, which veers towards the large stroke?

30 x 40 cm. Oil on panel.

Why paint a post card view? Is it too much of a cliché? Should an artist seek a new take or an odd angle to defamilarise the overly-familar?
This is THE VIEW. It is however just incredibly spectacular. The ‘veduta’, and if you string together a series of ‘veduti’ you arrive at the formula of the tourist guide books. A series of cliché views. Acquire these & you have visual confirmation of your holiday. Now much visited. Still spectacular.

Oak Branches (finished state)

30 x 40 cm. Oil on panel.

small-sized ‘alla prima’ paintings

Finished after a session in the studio. Making paintings ‘en plein air’ is a complicated process & it differs from painting to painting. No two happen in the same way. Each have their own specific way of unfolding. Some seem to just pop out, others are more problematic (…but often these bring more learning & sometimes more satisfaction, maybe even more ‘depth’ & less risk of slick facility). Some like this one need retouching in the studio. One of the things I hope to work on in this, my new project of painting regular small-sized paintings ‘alla prima'( or at least alot quicker than before), is to avoid over-working, or effectively painting two paintings…one on top of another.

Well, ‘aux pinceaux’ Adam (grab your brushes!). Off on a ‘paint-away’trip tomorrow for a few days.

Oak Branches (unfinished state)

30 x 40cm. Oil on panel.

First leaves of oak, with a bronzey tinge – ‘bronzage’ (presumably not bronzed from the sunshine). The sun is now getting hot, the land expiring alot of moisture, a mist hanging over the meadows, the grass knee high. I had to break off painting this because a flock of cumulus congestus ganged up & broke, rained, thundered & spat lightening. This often happens in spring with the hot sun driving off the steam from the wet land & this always gives me a throbbing headache.

So this painting is in an unfinished state.

‘Alla prima’ means painted in one session, first take. At it’s best, an ‘alla prima’ painting will have freshness. What it doesn’t have in formal perfection, it gains in vigour. Well, here I go teaching again. I think I’ll have to sleep on this painting & look at it again with fresh eyes, maybe tomorrow & maybe do some tweeking in the studio.

Vieux Têtards

30 x 40 cm . Oil on panel.

vieux têtards (fr) = old coppiced willows (en)

Same coppiced willows but from the otherside this time. Contre-jour late afternoon, the spring sun light shining on the leaves. Sivery undersides. You can just about make out Henri’s ‘ haras’ or horse riding track in the foreground. He hasn’t yet harrowed it over for this season’s riding. I was impressed by just how perfectly circular it is, & asked Henri how he’d drawn it out on the ground. Apparently he marked it out with only a few sticks but it was the trotting around everyday with the horse & trap that had made it perfectly circular. Just steering the horse, tilting it round with measured pressure. One painting leads on to the next.

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