I discovered the beautiful orange-red hue called Vermillion in a Merida art store, a colour I had never used before but one that is familiar to many. Vermillion mixed with Phthalocyanine Blue made an intense and very rich black colour for the night sky and shadows in this painting. I added a little Sap Green and Alizarin Crimson which created warmth and coolness to a black that wasn’t black.
Sometimes the conditions in which we create art are more memorable than the actual act of painting. In this case, I was working on this painting when a storm came up with very strong winds and pelting rain. I kept working, but found it hard to focus with what was happening around me. Surprisingly I was able to preserve the night time stillness of the painting intact without reacting to the chaos just outside my window. If I had reacted to the storm, this painting would look entirely different, not at all like the photo I was trying to represent.
I’m painting these studies in a representational manner and am finding that they are teaching me many things. I’m becoming more observant, studying more closely line, shape and relationships in value and colour variances. I believe that I’m gaining confidence in the many skills needed to be a painter. Artist David Hockney sums this up quite nicely. He states that “moving into naturalism was a freedom”. He could paint a portrait, paint from memory or even “paint a strange little abstract picture”.
I don’t know where these little paintings will lead, but I do know that for me, it’s part of the process of art making.
Until next time