Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Looking at Impressionist Trees


I have been looking at impressionist paintings to try to get some idea on how the Impressionists painted trees - because I am scared to try anything else with my Swi-a-lana painting - for fear of ruining it.

This is a painting by Gauguin - meant to give me some insight for my Swi-a-lana painting.

Here is another one by Monet.

And another by Cezanne. I like them all - especially the Monet - I wonder if there is the slightest chance I could paint my Swi-a-lana trees like that. Tons of tiny bright dots of colour. I might give it a try when it dries.

Now to my chip barge painting...

I actually have a strong vision in my mind of how my chip barge painting should look. There is a a huge turquoise blue expanse of water with some ripples or foam in the foreground. In the distance at the top of the painting are the small but vividly yellow, green and red chip barges - strongly contrasting with the blue and with each other. It's how I remember the scene as we came back from our cruise in the Gulf Islands last summer. However, although I see top and bottom clearly, I cannot see the sky or what is in the distance behind the chip barges (but I think it is blue) and I cannot see what lies between the ripples in the foreground and the chip barges at the top (but I think it is blue too). The problem with this vision is that I cannot paint it!

So - I have taken a different approach. I am working on trying to see patterns and colours in the wide of expanse of water in the photo. There isn't much. Just the slightest hint of ripples and reflections of the clouds in the sky. I'm trying to exaggerate what there is to make it interesting. What is turning out has very little in common with my vision.

I worked quite hard on it for a couple of hours this afternoon and completely changed the water from the nice purple look with white unpainted canvas that I started with - to something blue, green and pale yellow. I think it is OK and wonder what will happen next. I can't upload a picture of it because my the batteries in my lovely Nikon D90 camera have run out. I think this is because I left the camera plugged in overnight after my last download. So - I am charging the batteries and happy to have overcome this small technology challenge.

I had another technology disaster today. I left my Samsung Android phone in my coat pocket when I put in the wash after walking in the driving rain yesterday. Then Mike my coat in the dryer - phone and all. So the phone is dead - finished - gone. It absolutely will not work. This is a little ironic since I have not been using my phone much lately and had made a specific effort to put it in my pocket and take it on the walk. But - then out of habit - I forgot it was there. Am I loosing my memory? Probably not. I think I've always had a habit of forgetting things like that.

The best Rogers will do is let me buy another Android - this one made by Dell - for $150. It is bigger than my Samsung - but possibly easier to read and less likely to get forgotten in a pocket. Well, less likely to actually fit in a pocket. Otherwise, I could buy out the rest of my contract at $25 per month - more or less the same price as I was paying for my phone - and have nothing; get a nasty little phone with no internet connections for free; get an Samsung replacement which would simply extend my contract and cost $315; or get a Blackberry with little old-fashioned buttons. So I chose the Dell Android. I feel a bit wasteful. Buying the Dell Android is not a huge expense - but I hardly ever use my phone - which is why I had the problem in the first place. It's going to take about a week to come. In the meantime I have my tablet which is a little on the large size - but is also basically an Android. I definitely cannot fit my table in my pocket.

While I was dealing with my ruined phone, I went to the Nanaimo Art Gallery - just in case I had got some kind of recognition at the Elders Show. I hadn't. That actually made me a little sad. I don't know which elder painting was given first prize - but the acrylic painting of a night street scene with lots of purple and yellow in it got a first prize in some category. I think it is a very good painting or - in other words - I wish I had painted it. I thought my 2 trollers looked quite good - very bold in a sweet sort of way. The way they were hung was not so good. They are not a pair so I understand why they weren't put together. But they are completely different from everything else in the show so look a bit odd being separated in the middle of everything else. - am still happy with them and will not try to "fix" them when I get them home at the end of the month.

Painting - I think I read yesterday that Degas said that every painting is a torture. I think he was right.

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