Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Troller Paintings Finished

Here it is almost 6 months since my last post! I haven't done much painting during that time.
But we did got to the north of Canada - Northern Alberta, Northern BC and the North West Territories - and also to India. I blogged the India trip and am trying to retroactively blog the trip to the North. They were both great experiences.

I also spent about 6 weeks - more or less fulltime - revising the Nanaimo Power & Sail Squadron website. It was very interesting to do - and could probably count as a art work. Here is the link: www.nanaimocps.org

I'm glad to say that when we came home from India I finally finished my two troller paintings and actually put them in Nanaimo Arts Council Show for January. I worked many many hours on my first troller painting which I named "Gulf Troller 1." I struggled to get the boat shaped correctly. It is painted from an odd angle and it kept looking as if it was curling up like a dog. I worked endlessly on the sky, then the sea, then the sky and sea - again and again. Then back to the boat. I finally got the boat looking the right shape and added some distant islands. I''m quite happy with it now.

Once the first troller was done I went to work on the second one. I actually finished it in a total of about 20 hours - a small fraction of the time I spent on the first one. Interestingly, although I obviously learned from the first one, the second one is quite different. While the first troller is set in a flat pale blue sea with flat bands of dark clouds in the sky and distant islands, the second one has a stylized plume from Harmac arching over it, a foggy Newcastle Island behind, and the water is glinting nicely. I did the glinting by painting different coloured horizontal lines and shapes to indicate waves and then was suddenly inspired to try daubs of white paint applied vertically to show the sparkle. I think it really worked.

Both paintings have a somewhat romantic appeal - you might even say sugary. But technically they are an interesting combination of free and loose style - achieved by painting quite a few layers and allowing a bit of the previous layers to show through - while, at the same time, focusing more and more on the pattern of the shapes - while still maintaining a fairly accurate - though simplified - representation of the subject. At least that's what I think I do. There is a lot of stained glass effect in the ship's rigging of both paintings. I started doing that in my two forest paintings.

I decided to put troller paintings in the show - not because I think they will win a prize - but because I think they are quite nice and are part of the Nanaimo seascape. Also - they celebrate Gulf Trolling which is a very sustainable way of commercial fishing for wild Pacific salmon. It is done with barbless hooks and each fish is caught individually and carefully.

Now I am back working on my Boat Basin scene which looks truly awful right now - but that is because I am only on the third layer and I am having problems with the combination of colours - too much pink and brown across the middle with blue above and below.

I will put up some photos of Gulf Troller 1 and Gulf Troller 2 next time. I do this blog. I thought I had photos ready to go - but I actually don't.