Today I went to Island Girl's Open Studio to ask for a crit. Penny liked my "moon painting" and my "gap painting." She pointed out is that they are both water and sky paintings and that the sky and water in both pictures have almost the same strength - so the sky and water balance each other out but there is also an interesting tension between them. She pointed out how in the gap painting the sharp swirly clouds above are reflected in the dark swirly waves below. I hadn't realized that - but will try to keep that in mind in the future. There are lots of things that make a painting work - and that is one of them.
Penny had some ideas for improving my "mill painting" which made sense to me. Although the painting is currently a pretty good representation of the two photos, the plume is too strong compared to the sky. Or to put is another way, the sky is not strong enough. It needs to be strengthened - probably by adding more darks, thickening the paint and defining the soft bands of cloud. She also pointed out that the small plumes at the base of the main plume are not finished. I can now see that they look like pieces of pvc pipe more than clouds! This was very helpful and I will make the changes soon and see what happens.
I also showed her my inspiration photos for my two new forest paintings. I have actually started to sketch them. They are both on quite big canvases (24" by 36") .
One will be the trail to Ammonite Falls. I took the picture a couple of weeks ago. The interesting thing is that someone else at Penny's studio is painting the same scene but in acrylics and with a little dog on the path. I am trying to get an Emily Carr feel to this scene.
Here is the photo.
Here is the preliminary sketch. I think I may do a real Emily Carr thing and put some sunshine on the little trees that appear directly above the path.
The other forest painting will be a tall big leaf maple just beginning to leaf out and catching the April sun within the dark evergreen forest. I took this picture at Linley Valley in 2005 and have thought about it ever since. I sent it in to the City as a reason that they should make Linley Valley a park! The new leaves are just gleaming against the the darker backdrop. I don't think the photo completely captures the amazing sight - perhaps the painting will.
Here is the photo.
Here is the preliminary sketch.
Again, I will try an Emily Carr approach.
I asked Penny about the Nanaimo Arts Council and she gave me a name to contact.