Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Swi-a-lana and Chip Barges - new approach

I am starting out on two new paintings. The top one is my initial sketch of Swi-a-lana Lagoon in the fall when the leaves have turned yellow and red.

The next one is Chip Barges out in the Strait of Georgia - heading for Harmac Mill.

Both pictures are from photos I took and both paintings are 30"x40" - so bigger than anything I
did last year. I think that the only way i am going to get away from the tightness that crept in to my recent paintings is to paint on a good big canvas and use good big branches - like I used to when I lived in the Cowichan Valley. I think I have made a good start and hope I can do this - big canvases, big brushes, big tubes of paint - and a whole lot less fussing. After all - a painting is not meant to be a photograph - but an impression.

To try to keep me in this frame of mind, I have copies of 2 painting by Van Gogh sitting nearby to remind how he did it.

By the way, I recently saw a program on Knowledge that said Van Gogh probably did not commit suicide. Life was going well for him and he was not disturbed. It now appears that he may have been shot by a couple of kids out hunting rabbits. He didn't turn them in and - because medicine was so much less advanced than it is nowadays - he died of his wounds.

Either way - his paintings are miracles and I sure would like to be able to paint a bit more the way he did. (Sorry Emily - I love your style and appreciate how you interpreted our forbidding and broken West Coast forests - but Van Gogh is inspiring me now.)

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