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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A day in Marie's studio

Friday I drove up to Fraser to spend the day with Marie. I didn't get there until 11, and by the time we got around to painting it was almost 2! Marie showed me what she had been working on, including a nice little study of a new place she had found the day before. Our original plan was to go back there, but it was not to be. The clouds were playing with the light something fierce. I had brought up a few paintings I wanted to work on just in case, so I set up at one end of her studio and went to work. I started with this painting from last spring at the Iris Garden, a local business that is friendly to artists setting up and painting. I did not post my painting from this day, too embarrassed, but here is my blog post and the original painting, which is 9x12:

Wednesday night I had this painting critiqued and Drew suggested I warm up the shadow under the tree, which I did. I also made a pattern of light and darks through the iris, and pulled out some details in the iris's up front. I am not pleased with the ivy on the back fence, and I prefer the original painting of the top of the tree foliage. I think I will take it back to that.

Next, I pulled out this painting,Copper Penny Iris (and no, that is not the official name of these plants) also from a year ago, from my back yard. I love these coppery iris. Again, I did not post the original plein air study, which is below and is 10x16, as I wasn't quite happy with it. Looking at it now, I don't think is was as bad as I thought at the time. We are our own worst critics, after all. And I do like the original light green of the neighbors grass in this one better than what I did to it later in the studio.

There is a mid-rework of this painting that I did not photograph, as I can see when posting these together, that the brownish background worked fine, but I darkened it at some point. I did not touch the background on Friday. I worked on unifying (there is that word again!) the dark values in the iris plants and trying to weave the ground and ground cover in and around the flagstones (which are on the right hand side, as they sure don't "read" as flagstones). Those have not worked out too well YET. I reworked the chain link fence too. And since I am so unhappy with how the flagstone is working, I decided to see what happened if I cropped it to an 8x16 instead of a 10x 16 and I think that solved my problem area which is not to say I don't need to address what is left of it.
These iris are in my back yard and I am going to try this scene again. I do like the composition and the juxtaposition of elements.

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