Search This Blog

Sunday, April 27, 2014

River Fog

River Fog, 20x30 oil on linen
We are still on the Yonne River in Burgundy with this piece in the town of Gurgy that is fresh off the easel. We will call it blue harmony again. The painting I posted a few posts back, see below, was also blue harmony and is not far from this painted scene. You can see this intersection in the distance in Docked Dinghy. I had mistakenly called it "Blue as a Visual Approach" in that post. Not sure what I was thinking as I definitely knew better. Blue Harmony means I added the same color of blue in every color mix used. Blue as a visual approach would have used a variety of blues and the overall color of the painting would have been definitely blue. In blue harmony you see other colors but they all harmonize due to the "mother" color used in everything. I am normally a very graphic style of painter so I have been using the fog to teach myself to soften edges

Docked Dinghy, 24x24 oil on canvas
For those of you who did not read the last few posts, Gurgy was a happenstance stop on our river trip. In France, the lock keepers are government employees. Therefore they work set hours, even if they live right by the lock. We were running a bit behind on this particular day and we knew we would not make it to the lock in time to make it to where we had planned to dock for the night, so we stopped at this tiny place. The pad in front of the dinghy is where you tie up. It was just the dinghy and us that night. But I must say, this little town has provided a plethora of reference material. For an overnight stay I think this latest painting makes five.
The Lock keeper, 30x15, oil on canvas
Above is one of our lock keepers going to the other end of the lock to let us out. Notice the sun! We ran into a lot of fog along the river both morning and evening, which was lovely, but the sun burned it off most days which was even better.
Boats in the Fog, 12x24 oil on panel
Just for fun I will throw in another painting from the river. We were docked in Joigny and surprise, surprise, there was fog when we woke up that morning! This is a quick sketch I did a few years ago. We were seven people in a small yacht type boat. We piloted it ourselves, so not some exotic barge trip. Although we did see working barges.

This has turned into a mini travelogue post but it is rather fun to see the variety of work I have gotten from this little 5 day "cruise" all in one post.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gurgy sur l'Yonne aka the Painting from Hell

18x24, oil on canvas
We all have something in our lives which humble us along life's journey. Here is one of mine. I called this piece the "Painting from Hell" for many a year. I started it in the fall of 2009. I can't even show you how far it has come over the years. It is just not pretty. I try to look at these "hit the wall" times as a time of growth. I am obviously not where I need to be, but with persistence, I may get there. I know intellectually what needs to be done but I haven't quite figured out how to apply that knowledge. I walked this painting to the dumpster at least three times and as it hovered over the abyss I would ask myself if I was really going to let this defeat me. (Please note that I do throw paintings away; that is not a difficult thing to do when it is called for.) When I started this painting, I was trying to harmonize the color using the sludge out of my brush cleaner can as the color base or "mother" color. I am still using a mother color in this painting just not sludge. I went to the color of the fog instead. That was not the problem holding me up however. I think it was my very strong natural graphic approach coming up against the subtleties of fog and bringing objects into clarity as they came closer to the viewer. In Colorado where the air is thinner, we do not often have such shifts in the atmosphere. I am not sure this painting will ever be done as long as it is in my possession but it is now acceptable and I hung it at work where it was well received.

This is the village where the previous posted painting was also located. That painting was in the evening, this one in the morning, but they both shared fog. I was on my into town to find a Patisserie to buy breakfast before we headed up river.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Docked Dinghy

Docked Dinghy, 24x24, oil on canvas
For this painting, I used "Blue" as the visual approach. I painted this as a local tone (three values with a flat feel) with the street lights providing the subtle light and shadow. For this to be blue as the visual approach, it means that every color in this painting has blue mixed into it. I used the same blue throughout, a very strong color, thalo blue. I rarely use thalo blue since it is so hard to tame, but it was the only blue that would give me the color I wanted for the fog/water.

This scene is along the Yonne River in Burgandy, France. We were on a 5 day boat trip. We were behind schedule this day and therefore what we thought would be our last lock was closed before we could get there. We found this little village to tie up to, Gurgy sur l'Yonne. Just like this dinghy, we were next to a small concrete pad which signified a place to dock. I have done more paintings from this little village and our unplanned pit stop there. The painting I am currently working on is a scene taken from just about where the road starts on the right side of this painting.