Sunday, 7 June 2009

Water corners

We came back from Coin Perdu this week where, besides working on the house, I did some plein air painting as well I loved every minute!
Vivien has a great detailed lay-out of a well equipped outing. See What to take when sketching plein air.
As well as Katherine's 10 tips for working plein air on Making a mark.

What I'd like to mention and demonstrate, is how much mood influences me, and I suppose all other artists, when I'm outdoors, painting.

...le ruisseau monte...

With the above painting, everything was wrong.
I stepped in a hole when walking down to the river, fell and all my equipment scattered over the place.
I chose midday on a hot day to walk down, thinking I would be in the shade by the river, but I didn't take into acount the long walk down, the heat and sweating which attracted a neat horsefly to sting me, causing an enormous red lump and non stop itchhing and burning.!
At the site I saw the previous day, which then looked perfect, I walked up and down in search for that same perfection. But of course, I was in another day.
During the course of the process, my palette slipped from my hand, falling face down on the ground and it took me a while to get rid of the dirt in the paint. By then, I was way past frustration. But I'm not one giving up easily. That would make me a quitter. I don't mind losing in life, but I hate quitting. So I was determined to finish this painting, which I did.

By the time I walked back to the house(even with Hartman helping me), I was just this side of a corpse. My feet were lead. My ankle hurt from the fall. My head pounded. I was irritated. The sting was burning and aching. Mighty hungry and dead tired. I went to bed and slept. In the middle of the day.
Post mortam came after a shower and good coffee in the welcome coolness from the late afternoon.

*I realized how much mood influences any kind of art making, but especially outdoor painting, where you have a limited time to start and finish a piece. It is a now or never situation. Circumstances will be different tomorrow.
*You don't have the luxury to put away the brush and come back to it later.
*The changing light doesn't leave you any options either.
*And knowing you've gone through all this effort to walk down here(it is hard work to do plein air painting!) adds to the adrenaline of getting the job done.
*I also realized that a scene that looks wonderful today, won't necesary look the same tomorrow.
*It isn't always the most breathtaking scene that ensures a breathtaking painting...on the contrary.

My mood improved and all was well.

...la frontiére...

...detail...



...le forêt...


...detail...

...frâicheur...


...detail...

11 comments:

vivien said...

a really really beautiful series Ronell - and Oh I can so sympathise with your tale of woe! I've had days like that too - but just look what lovely work you've got which lasts while the bite will get better :>)

I once heard a clatter as we drove along the road half a mile or more from where we'd been painting - and realised it was the paintings falling off the roof where I'd put them - temporarily :>o - while we loaded our bags.

Luckily they came to no harm!!

Monet or Cezanne (I forget which) did the same thing but lost the work as they didn't notice until later.

africantapestry said...

Hie hie Vivien! I think more and more that doing painting with you will result in some REALLY fun experiences! Stepping on your tubes and then onto your carpets, losing your paintings...classic! We should have a week where we all write about our painting woes!
Ronell

Laureline said...

Superb! There's absolutely no question, Ronell, but that summer is your season and oil is your medium!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I love the flickering light!

I've just made this post a late addition to my plein air theme on 'who's made a mark this week?'

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Thanks Laura...you're right, I adore both; summer and oil!
Katherine, thank you and I apologize at the same time...I saw your post the other day on plein air painting tips and meant to include the link in this post and I forgot(that happens when I catch up on so many things at the same time). I added the link now and hope I haven't forgotten something else...Oh dear! I forgot to pull up the handbrake!!
ronell
Ronell

Lindsay said...

I was giggling though your whole tragic story...what we do for love and art!!!
What I find really lovely is that no matter what media, your style is your own. Those lively brush strokes and vivid color! So I'm glad you persevered through your hardship to show us these lovely plein airs!

annie said...

An absolute feast, Ronell, here and on your new blog. So much color and shaded forests and rippling water, and, as Katherine said, that flickering light...
annie

muddy red shoes said...

well done Ronnell, what stoic perseverance all in the name of art. I think I would have run away at the first nibble of the horse fly! Lovely paintings, really capturing the hot summer feel.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

thanks Lindsay Annie and Sarah!
Ronell

Jeanette said...

The perils of plein aire. Yes a book could be written about it!

However, look at the beauties you produced despite the obstacles and that horrible horse fly.

The water looks cool and inviting and the greens lush.

vivien said...

looking at these again I'm struck again by the lovely warm/cool play on the water - that amber peaty colour and the reflections of the blue sky. Gorgeous and beautifully observed.