Monday, January 21, 2013

Theatre, Fishboats and Cherry Blossoms

I have been working for the past 2 days on my painting of the Nanaimo Harbourfront Theatre with the Boat Basin and fish boats  in the foreground.

When I first started this painting, I was most interested in portraying the stunning contrast between the turquoise-green theatre windows and the flowering pink cherry trees in front of them. The trees are actually across the street on the Boat Basin side of the street but, from my vantage point on Cameron Island, the trees look as if they are in front of the theatre. There are also a lot of fish boats and a big yacht at the docks in the Boat Basin and they also appear to be in front of the theatre. I hadn't really noticed that most of the boats had big round fluorescent pink fenders that are  even pinker than the cherries. But as I moved along with my painting I thought they would  add a lovely extra touch of pink and move the eye around.

for a while, I though maybe the picture was more about the boats than the theatre - but now I realize that the trees stand out like unrealistic bits of cotton candy - pretty much dead centre - hmm...They are the focal point because of where they are placed with the main troller and the dock pretty much pointing at them like arrows.."Here we are - aren't we cute!"

I've stopped working on this picture because I think it may be finished. It is not as neatly covered in paint as most of my recent paintings. For example the kayak on the right float is really scribbly. I had to make it up - because there was no kayak in the photo and it doesn't look very accurate. But  - I think that might be a positive. It is certainly "looser" than other carefully finished paintings like Swy-a-lana Lagoon Bridge. Loosenes is what I hoped to learn from my studies of Emily Carr's Shoreline and Above the Gravel Pit. Maybe it worked.

Anyway, I have put two photos of the painting  up on this blog - so that I can think about it. Strangely, I think the colour reproduction of the digital image is a bit more saturated than the actual painting - especially the ultramarine blue of the water in the foreground. You can see my slightly "fixed" photos below. I tried to make the colours closer to the actual picture - but did not quite succeed in either case. Probably the second one is most accurate - though the bright blue astounds me and the sky looks strangely mottled..

I know that a lot of the work of painting is looking and thinking - so I will look and think to see if it is done. Also ask my mentor Penny Maday what she thinks!

Next time - on to my arbutus tree on Wallace Island. Even though I started it in 2012 - I am going to call it my first 2013 painting and will try to do it in my new "movement" style.

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