Mistletoe

WORK IN PROGRESS
‘Mistletoe’

medium size oil on canvas
French format : 15 F – 65 x 54 cm (approx 21 x 26 inches)
© adam cope

Actually I think it’s finished now. I had to wait long time for a another sunny evening when I has some free time to paint.

Painting of ‘The True Vine’

‘The True Vine’
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
61 x 46 cm (approx 24 x 18 inches).
© adam cope

DETAIL

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and
every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring
forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto
you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide
in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and
I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can
do nothing.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is
withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they
are burned.”

John 15.1-6

Taille Slyvos
Taille de la Vigne

WIP – Pechers de Vignes, Finished State

‘Pechers de Vignes 1’ – Finished State
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
15 F
2009
©adam cope
WIP = Work In Progress
These lovely trees seem to have an ‘inner fire’ in autumn, as if they were lit up from within. Beautiful tree, I’ve planted one in my garden 🙂 Confess to being happy with these two paintings.Here’s the unfinished state from last autumn ( I date the work from the time of inception & not completion).

 

 

Here’s the partner of the diptych. Nice & ‘smokey’, soft glowing mid-tones in an overcast autumnal day.

 

‘Pechers de Vignes 1’ – Finished State
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
15 F
2009
©adam cope

Here’s the diptych together.

 

POSTSCRPIT 2013 : the plum orchard behind the peach trees was cut down & grubbedout. There are few pruneaux d’agen which remain…. these paitings are already ‘history’ from another time.

Chromatic Black in the Colourist Palette

WORK IN PROGRESS – UNFINISHED STATE
‘Mistletoe’

medium size oil on canvas
15 F
©adam cope

Chromatic Black in the Colourist Palette

Experimenting with a new mix for ‘black’. Lets call it a ‘chromatic black’ (as does Dan Smith oil paints) in the hope that it’s more colour friendly than soot (lamp black)& burnt bones (deadly death black).

To make chromatic black, the mix is basically the same as the transparent watercolour mix of a bluey green PG 7 pthalo viridian & a bluey red magenta. This gives a very blue black. I like it in watercolours but when mixing down with white in oils, I find it way too blue, so I add some opaque Indian Red to pull it back over to a broken neutral, more grey than blue.

These last five years I’ve been using dioziane violet (normally … but often with some burnt umber) as black. Looks like black but is ‘cleaner’ in mixing on palette than the soot & bones. But.. it’s very slow drying & is complicated to work with in colour mixes. Especially with the warm colours. So I’ve tended to isolate it & not allow it to mix with the other colours. Which thus isolate my black values… making them too black? Too moch like ‘black holes’ or black cut outs. This is exaggerated by photography’s very poor performance in registering colour in very dark values. Result : not enough fluid run down through the upper mid-tones?

In the above painting, I’m using more yellow ochre than cadium yellow pale, thus softening & muting even more the mid tones.

Same old connundrum of bringing Values into harmony with Colours, especially for my preference for a colourist palette of heightened bright colours.

Anyway, the mistletoe makes fun circles doesn’t it ? 🙂

Nyiad – Le Dropt à St.Dizier (avant les’
oil on canvas
38 x 46 cm
2010
© adam cope

An ash tree growing out of the middle of an old crack willow, not coppiced for many a year.

Nyiad’
Sketchbook
pen & ink
2010
©adam cope

Wild Wood. Tangle Wood.

Nyiad. Dryiad. River. Tree. Older things than you & I.


This is a condemned being. These trees will be cut down in a week’s time or so.
Death row.

the execution has now been done

Great sadness as all the little pockets of tangle wood are irradiated & ‘cleaned up. “Pas propre”…
developed into agriculture, money, gardens & water supply.

No space for nature in the countryside.

 

Tangle Wood. Wild Wood. Mole & Ratty – if you listen, you can hear the wind in the willows.

 


Some photos from www.valleedudropt.com

Le Dropt à St.Dizier avant les coups de 2010A green corridor.  =  une trame verte”To write a love song, you have to be love” Henry Hensche (Cape Cod School of Art).

‘Berges du Dropt, St.Dizier’
38 x 46 cm
oil on canvas
2006
©adam cope

 Le Dropt, Castillonnès – une trame verte?

The river Dropt downriver from Allemans de Dropt is a Natura 2000 site. http://natura2000.ecologie.gouv.fr/sites/FR7200692.html

Up River, near Castillonnès, things are different. The banks are privately owned but the water board owns the water. Agricultors pay for irrigation water for their crops. Trees drink the water. Tangle wood block the water.

‘Le Dropt à St.Dizier’
quarter sheet
2007
©adam cope

No space for nature in the countryside.

Berges du Dropt 3′ – S.Quentin
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40 cm
2007
©adam cope
No home now for the deers, water rats, moles, rabbits & others who try & find their place in a human landscape that has no place left for pests & those who dare eat crops.

Beautiful tanglewood, wildwood. Not the garden of Le Notre. Versailles. All clipped. Perfect. The hand of man dominating the profusion of nature.

Man vs. Nature?


Over 30 kilometres of river bank cleared. Not cut to the bone, true … but cut to the quick.

 

Brave New World?

coppicing = taillus
Pray that the willows, alders & ashes may regenerate. Wild Wood no more. The hand of man decides who shall be left to attain a wild old age & who shall be ‘restored’.

POST SCRIPT 2013

Happily  most of the willows have regenerated, some of the alders, less of the alders 🙂  However, little scrub & bramble & cover for animals remain. It took me three years wait befoore I could face going down to the river again & see what had become of my friends. When shall I regain the courage to paint this brave new world?  These little wold places where you can breathe & feel close to nature, the nature that man allows to persist… these spots help us live happily.

Fichier:Coppice stool2.JPG

A coppiced alder stool after one year’s growth. photo :wikicommons


Alnus glutinosa (English: Black Alder, European Alder or Common Alder)

“In celtic mythology, Bran the Blessed is associated with the alder tree “The Alder deity is considered to be Bran the Blessed, God of the Underworld. He was also known as the God of Prophecy, Arts, War and Writing. With the size of a giant, it was impossible for Bran to fit in a house or in a boat. According to medieval Christian writings, Bran the Blessed is considered to be the first British man. ” – WIKI

Look at this 300 year old ‘têtard’ or coppiced willow, a survivor, here in St.Dizier. Regeneration?

‘Têtard, Saule, St.Dizier’
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40cm
2006
©adam cope

Futher Reading:

Natura 2000
European Union Water Framework Directive
A green corridor.
Une trame verte

Read more artists & ecology in this blog:

Artists & Ecology #1 – Festival Flore Faune
Artists and Ecology #2 – Robert HAINARD – how to ‘blind contour draw’
Artists & Ecology #3 – Constable, Corn & the Destruction of Hedgerows
Artists & Ecology # 4 – Paintings of Potatoes, Semances & Homage à José Bové
Artists & Ecology # 5 -Le Dropt, Castillonnés , a green corridor?
Artists & Ecology # 6 – No Space for Nature in the Countryside? Wendell Berry

UNFINISHED STATE WIP work inprogress
‘Ilots, Pontours, Dordogne – 2’
UNFINISHED STATE
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
70 x 33 cm
©Adam Cope


Actual Size Detail – to give you an idea of how the paint is applied

Palette of muted winter browns in weak sunlight. Bright ultramarine reflections of the sky on still waters. Running rapids broken bluish greys & browny umbers. Ominous deep shadows revealing the black underside of the river. Deep violet angerous depths, quiet capable of killing anyone who has the misfortune to falling in. Local legend has it that a dragon lives in the cliffs at St. Front, the next cliff downstream. I can believe it. Here the river crosses a flat bed of rock but with treacherous chasms of up to three meters deep. Dangerous places. The little islands – ‘îlots’ – are perfect bird sanctuaries.I’m still having difficulties with the top left corner & so reserve the right to work some more, when I can see what is needed. Any suggestions? What do you think?

Painting fast flowing water isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to look at it with the eye of a fisherman, studying the underworld beneath the surface. Other times with the eye of a draughtsman, holding on for dear life to the quarter tones. The long low shadows establish the surface plane, which should be more or less flat. Except in this case, where my eyes were bobbing up & down as the water reared up white crested over the rapids….

TONALITY IN PAINTING

Look at this quarter tone cut out via photoshop to see how tone has to be exact.

Ilôts dans la Dordogne

‘Ilôts, Pontours, Dordogne – 1’
Oil on Canvas
46 x 38 cm
©Adam Cope
Dark waters fast flowing, white water crests over rapids & reed beds. Opaque water, gun metal grey flavoured with mud. Little islands – ‘ilôts’ – with willow, driftwood & pinky orange cornus reeds. Cormorants & swans. Cold, grey day.Here’s a watercolour study of the same spot but in summer when you can see through the waters to the underworld. Note on the left the silhouettes of the cormorants (properly named, they’re ‘shanks’ actually). Painting fast flowing water isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to look at it with the eye of a fisherman, studying the underworld beneath the surface.


‘River Bed at Pontours’
2007
Watercolour
Quarter Imperial Sheet – 28 x 38cm (15 x 11 inches)
©Adam Cope

Another but from the other bank, looking down the river to Lalinde bridge.


‘Reed Beds at Lalinde’
2007
Oil on Panel
72 x 36 cm
© the artist
SOLD

‘Pêchers des Vignes 2’
Oil on Canvas
medium size oil – 15 F format francais
54 x 65cm (approx 26 x 22 inches)
© Adam Cope
available


‘Pêchers des Vignes 3’
Oil on Canvas
medium size oil – 15 F format francais
54 x 65cm (approx 26 x 22 inches)
© Adam Cope
available

These two paintings are a pair, or to use the proper word for a pair of paintings, a diptych (OK so the’re not hinged together as most medieval Diptychs were). Right from the beginning, in the conception phase of making a picture (“There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other.”-Cezanne), they were conceived of as a being together. The same subject but from a slightly different view point.
They look something like this when proper hung side by sides as I intended, Doesn’t internet rip paintings apart!

Not the first inkling of this idea for me:

‘2 Truffiers, 1 Verger de Pruniers’
2009
8F, 12 F, 8F
© Adam Cope
(Sadly broken up & (part) sold-off in parts)

This diptych from 2007 (happily sold together & still hanging together)

PARALLAX

Cézanne said he could find a hundred different paintings just by slightly inclining his neck & seeing the same subject from a different angle. The quote starts off ‘here by the river bank…” so he’s talking about a more humble subject than the grand Mont St. Victoire of which he mamnged to do at least forty oils & at least as many watercolours. What’s that in terms of Diptychs???!! 😉

I stalk around my subject from all angles & it still surprises me that things appear to move about when I move about. Really curious, this… Amazes me more & more, certainly the more I’m aware f it. That they seem to shift like astral objects, sometimes conjuncting, other times eclipsing. Don’t take this for granted, as it really is a very strange happening when you look at it as if for the first time. It’s called PARALLAX. Go out & try it. Try it with one eye open. Try it with both eyes open. Choosing a good spot is central to plein-air painting. Too many times in bad paintings this curious shifting world seems ‘fixed’, rendered immobile, ‘un-paralaxed’ into a static ‘full-frontal’ elevation, a mind’s eye summary of the object & not the reality of the real world where things overlap & bump into each other & (appear to) shift when we shift.

Here wiki on Parallax:

A simple everyday example of parallax can be seen in the dashboard of motor vehicles that use a “needle” type speedometer gauge (when the needle is mounted in front of its dial scale in a way that leaves a noticeable spacing between them). When viewed from directly in front, the speed may show 60 (i.e. the needle appears against the ’60’ mark on the dial behind); but when viewed from the passenger seat (i.e. from an oblique angle) the needle can appear against a slightly lower or higher mark (depending on whether it is viewed from the left or from the right), because of the combined effect of the spacing and the angle of view.

Visual perception

Because the eyes of humans and other highly evolved animals are in different positions on the head, they present different views simultaneously. This is the basis of stereopsis, the process by which the brain exploits the parallax due to the different views from the eye to gain depth perception and estimate distances to objects. Animals also use motion parallax, in which the animal (or just the head) moves to gain different viewpoints. For example, pigeons (whose eyes do not have overlapping fields of view and thus cannot use stereopsis) bob their heads up and down to see depth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax

La Dordogne, Bergerac


‘The Dordogne at Begerac’

The boat is ‘un gabare’, a flat bottomed haulage vessel from yesteryear, used for transporting cargo downstream. Now it’s restored, motorised & hauls tourist both up & downstream.
A long sunny summer, with even october smiling with blue skies 🙂
Back from exhibiting at La Maison des Vin de Bergerac. Two weeks of sunshine whilst manning the show & today, it’s raining… so no painting today, and anyway I’m tired after the show & the masterclass workshop.

Outside the large & generous window, the dordogne was smiling & gleaming in the sunlight. It was good to spend two week closely observing how she changed. Current, wind & sunlight. Snaking starlight, black mysteries. The water patterns & movements are certainly a difficulty subject. I reworked this oil during the exhibition. feel that the water is better understood.

‘Bergerac, La Dordogne Marchande’
Oil on Masonite Panel
approx 55 x 42 cm
© adam cope
see the work in progress for this oil
WIP 1
WIP 2
WIP 3
The river is called ‘marchande’ when the high spring current is fast & deep, carrying the marchandise easily downstream to Bordeaux & overseas. The weather conditions were nearly like the middle of the Altantic sea – black with torrential rain, interspered with the very occassional gleaming clear patch. Nothing like this summer just gone – nothing but blue skies!


‘Bergerac Waterfront’
Oil on Masonite Panel
approx 46 x36 cm
© adam cope
sold


‘Bergerac Waterfront’
watercolour
2004
half sheet of arches rough 300gms
© adam cope
sold

There was a full sheet watercolour of the same view that sold before I photographed it. I regret not having a photo.

Le Forêt de Biron, Dordogne

‘Le Forêt de Biron’
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
65 x 50cm (approx 25,5 x 20 inches).
© adam cope
The forest is in flower, mauves of heathers & yellows of plantagenesta (broom, the heraldic flower of the Plantagent dynasty). Down in the deep dark wood (guffalos), the eiry ‘brame’ , the wailing of the stags.
Here’s a WIP of day one.

And day three, when it was getting towards the  finished state.

 

Too much like Cézanne?  Master Cézanne haunts me, I’m sure he does…

 

It was painted on the same sandy path as another medium sized oil dating from Janurary 2008.

‘Plantagensta’
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
61 x 50 cm
© adam cope
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