In my previous blog post I shared my Alberta landscape paintings from the particularly busy year of 2010. In this post, I share my landscape works from a couple years before and after that year.
(See the previous blog post for Alberta landscape paintings from the year 2010)
This afternoon (2014 September 6) I got down by the edge of the North Saskatchewan River. the main purpose was to throw the ball into the water for my retrieving-crazy dog, but I also had my camera with me. Between throws I took a number of shot of the things that caught my eye. After processing as black and white images, here are a few of them:
See more related images in Part II
Today, 2012 April 12 is the opening of the 2nd Twitter Art Exhibit for charity in Moss Norway. this event, organized by painter David Sandum will run for the next couple of months in the Library in Moss (about 100 Km south of Oslo). The works, all post card size paintings and coming from around the world, will be sold off to raise funds for the local Women’s Crisis Centre. Over 300 paintings, from more than 30 countries were sent to David for this event. Like the first event in November 2010, the artists participating are known to David ( @DavidSandumArt ) through Twitter.
This is the work that I donated to the event:
This work was a bit unusual for me in a couple of ways. Firstly, the size is considerably smaller than I normally work and second it was not done with the media that I typically use. It is primarily a watercolor painting but also employing a bit of ink and gouache. I used watercolor sticks, for the most part applying the color with a small brush. The painting is based on a photo that I had taken in January of the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, not far from where I live.
I liked the basic composition of this work and had also done this version in oil pastel:
I you would like to know more about the 2nd Twitter Art Exhibit, see photos and an upcoming video of it, be sure to follow David Sandum’s blog.
There is something about that winter landscape that I find particularly suited to black and white photography. There is not a lot of color to start with, so going completely hue-less really can accentuate some great forms and compositions.
This set of photos were taken on January 5th (2010) in Edmonton, Canada *
I think this last photo has some potential as a reference for a painting. I will play around a bit with the composition and clear out some of the busy-ness. I often like to start a painting with a black and white photo as a reference, particularly when I want to be free and expressionistic with the color.
*specifically, the location was the trail on the northside of the North Saskatchewan River between the Capilano bridge and the 50th Street footbridge
Here is what I was working at in the studio on January 2nd. I started with this landscape that I had painted, maybe a couple of years ago. I was never too happy with it – never called it done, never signed it, never even thought of putting it in the wall of my house:
I wasn’t too happy with this because it lacked impact. Although when I painted this there was a very bright reflection off of the river in the foreground, the whiteness in this painting wasn’t working for me. The background seemed to muddy too – I was looking for something less realistic in terms of color and more expressionistic.
I was working without any references to the actual scene – just going on instinct as to what color and value would look good where. I wanted to increase the saturation of the colors – make them less muddy, less earthy. Although the composition remains unchanged I was also aiming to break up the straight line top edge of the foreground grasses and the midground shoreline. At the time of the painting I though I was accomplishing this but looking back now I see the lines are still too straight.
I also brought up the overall value of the river while toning down the overly strong white reflection. I like the river better but it is not reading like the river in my memory.
So what if the future for this painting? It’ll probably dry and go back on the shelf. Maybe at some point in the future I will put it back on the easel and with some new insights, rework it one more time.