Sunday, July 5, 2009

Painting en plein-aire

searching for the form in stones

finding the large masses in the tree

As I mentioned in the last post, I took a three day landscape workshop with Gundula Jacobs, an amazing painter and wonderful human being. If you get a chance to see her work, look at the site:

We were a group of six, three French women, one German girl, a Chinese lady and myself. Gundula was teaching in French, German and English! oolala

sunlit field

les fleurs

la tour

These are my first, and I went at it in a typical spontaneous mode,

Go-for-it- joyousness and w/o any knowledge...

I have begun the baby steps toward finding the light and form outdoors and found great satisfaction in the work. Particularly the stones were a struggle. How does one paint a pile of beautifully lit stones?

By the time I figured out to create some semblance of the form, the light had completely changed and was nearly gone.

One really needs to make quick accurate decisions because life does not hold still! Perhaps this is the challenge and that which gives us anima, the vital force!

All for now, this week back in the studio, a new pose and a new still life!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bon Vacance! Happy Summer

Passage de Gois

As the heat of summer descended on Argenton Les Valleés this week,
we had a brief respite from the studio,
a one-week break.

Off to the Isle of Noirmoutier, a two and a half hour drive... In the photos one can see the bay and what is left of the passage de Gois that one can drive across at low tide! As we reached the island the water began to cover the road as you can see, within a short amount of time completely!
I took the two day trip to the island to "put my feet in the Atlantic." Well I did much more that that, pitching a tent right on the beaches of the bay of Bourgneuf, an early morning swim, and a day on a beautiful stretch of sand and beach, swimming and swimming until the tides brought in the little jelly fish and tired,
tan and happy headed back to Argenton.


dancing and singing

I enjoyed a "randonnée" or walk called Les ponts et passerelles. Accompanied by a chorale group. called
Cant'Amus and a guide we visited the medieval granite bridges (ponts) that were the original entrances to our village and traversed the numerous beautiful passerelles. The group sang, standing on the dam of the Lac d'hautbus as we all passed, under the old tramway, and on bridges, stopping for a dance among the trees and picnic picnic in the shade by the river Argenton. We finally reached the village square for the closure with an authentic Renaissance music group and their show called Cromorne mem'pas peur.

artificial dam creating the Lac d'hautbus

What a super break week! I did not let my studies slide, however, and was fortunate to be accepted in a small group of students to learn landscape or painting in plein- air! Our lovely teacher was Gundula Jacobs, who chose delightful spots in the Anjou region. We worked three days, mornings and afternoons. As it was unusually hot a sunny, some days were a mixture of clouds and sun which makes difficult conditions for consistant light. I learned a lot in those three days an am anxious to continue. Working outside was great!
Poster vision is so important, compare, contrast, color and value, keeping the global vision dancing across the canvas and back to the model, making quick decisions. As this was my first experience, I tried to choose relatively basic studies, sketchs, done within 3-4 hours.
I will include the studies in the next post as then it is easier to add the photos
tout à l'heure(very soon)