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.
Posted on April 29, 2007
Oil on Panel.
High grass, bluey tints, another ‘vieux tetard’ (coppiced willow) here in St.Dizier.
the right size for plein-air painting
Nice to be swinging the brush around again in a more natural way (natural to me, that it is), after having made the mistake of trying to fit too much into too small a space. I am not a minaturist. Funny to think that last autumn I was trying to paint 61 x 85 cm oil ‘en plein air’. 30 x 40 cm is a good size for plein air, if you approach with care & set of small brushes.
After ‘Chateau de Biron’ (which I consider to be a stinking failure), I’m starting to suspect that getting it all to fit in a small-size painting isn’t the same as getting the scale to work picturally. Something to work on here, Adam.
Posted on April 25, 2007
Posted on April 18, 2007
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.
Posted on April 16, 2007
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.
Posted on April 15, 2007
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.
Posted on April 10, 2007
30 x 40 cm. Oil on Panel.
Another of my neighbours, here in ‘Le Pays du Dropt.’ The coppiced willows, ‘vieux têtards’, follow the old chemin communal which used to run from Castillonès to Villéreal. Here is a place where you can feel the history in landscape; It hasn’t yet been cut up into seven kilometre square treeless, hedgeless fields. The generations of hands that worked the land created ‘le bocage’, a delicate tapestry of little fields & brimming hedges. And the land worked them too, so that even their houses took on a feel of the land. I know it all looks abit ninteenth century-ish, but in my village, there are more old houses than new build. And that’s not counting all the others that have returned into the earth, literally just sunk back into the ground.
Posted on March 28, 2007
Posted on March 14, 2007
Posted on February 24, 2007