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Showing posts from 2014

SOLD Monastery Gardens at Cimiez

Happy Dance!

This painting is on the way to a new home in Dubai. Thank you Serene.

Perfect Start skyscape, palette knife painting

Perfect Start skyscape Palette knife painting in oils 40x50 (18"x20") on narrow gallery wrapped canvas Available for purchase
Another beautiful start to the day.

We have had such a lot of rain this month, and several grey days with severe flooding in many areas. November is the rainiest month, but we've had more than our fair share. This painting reminds me what it was like before the rain set in!

Some close-ups

What it would look like framed

Tree grouping study

I am planning to paint a larger landscape painting. Two recent attempts were not too successful, so before diving straight in, I plan to do some studies of the various elements in the paintings. In my eagerness to put paint to canvas, I confess that I often miss out these steps. As an insight into the way I think preparing for a painting should work I am sharing some of the process with you, including the bad and the ugly.

I am starting with a study of a group of trees, so typical in the landscape of Provence.


Using a black chisel-end marker, I painted the negative space around the group of trees. A black marker is an ideal way to figure out the overall shape. In this instance I used the negative space (space around the object) but it also works using the positive (actual) shape of the object. I normally use a marker with a 1½" tip, but it had run dry, so I made do with a normal sharpie marker.

Good points about the sketch
Good negative abstract shapes between the tree tr…

Wildflowers again - Provence Meadow palette knife painting

Provence Meadow palette knife painting 15x15cm (6x6inch) oil on box canvas 1.5cm deep Purchase information
Can you guess I love painting this meadow. This is my third painting, and probably not my last. I cheated (sorry, I mean used my artistic license)  a little with this one by replacing the distant vineyard with an olive grove.

 For comparison I am showing the previous two
Field of flowers Palette knife painting Oil on box canvas/6"x6" 15x15cm
Willdflower Confetti Palette knife painting 15x20cm (6x8inch) on 1.5cm deep box canvas The edges have been painted black so a frame is unnecessary. Purchase information
I've been asked to show the original reference for these paintings, and here it is

Wildflower Confetti palette knife painting in oil

Willdflower Confetti Palette knife painting 15x20cm (6x8inch) on 1.5cm deep box canvas The edges have been painted black so a frame is unnecessary. Purchase information
This is another painting of the wildflowers that we came across last July (see here) from a different view point and different treatment.

Some close-ups

Guarding the Lavender palette knife painting

Guarding the Lavender Oil, Palette knife painting 18x24cm on Italian canvas panel Available for Purchase
About this painting
This is another of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge paintings that needed a few more touches to finish it off.

Some close-ups of the knife work

And how it would look framed

Blog Hopping across the world - Introducing artists I admire

I'm participating in a Blog Hop. I can hear you say "What's a Blog Hop?". It is a way to get to know about other artists you may not be aware of. 

And, to show that art is truly international and artists work in a world-wide community, I was introduced by Sea Dean who lives in Canada, I live in France and my spotlight artist live in New Mexico and Scotland.  Pop over to see the wonderful art produced by all three artists, all different and unique.

When I completed Art School I always intended to pursue a career in art and literature, but I had migrated to small town Canada, where there was little opportunity in my chosen field. I allowed life to get in the way, until a series of catastrophic events brought me back into alignment. Since then I’ve approached my art with the same passion and determination that I have applied to all my past achievements.

Art is not easy; it takes a special type of courage to make it your profession, but I’m no stranger to …

Autumn Quiet oil painting

Autumn Calm oil painting With a nod to Emil Gruppe Oil on 3-ply wood gesso panel 20x30cm (approx 7x12inches) Available on Daily Paintworks
I came across a painting 'Autumn in Vermont' by Emil Gruppe and loved the light he captured in it.

I roughly sketched in the composition and continued the painting without looking at the reference as although influenced by him, I wanted this to be my painting.

About this painting
I am starting a love-hate relationship with this surface. It is so smooth. I usually like to work on a textured ground and, although I added an additional layer of gesso, it was still quite smooth and very absorbent. I was fighting the board a bit and so resorted to using a brush in combination with the knife. The paint also dries much quicker on this surface. It is brilliant white, and although I used a multicoloured underpainting (cool colours for dark areas and warm colours for light areas) I think the painting has a nice luminous feel to it.

Some Close-ups

And ho…

Autumn Sunlight palette knife painting

Autumn Sunlight palette knife painting oil on canvas MDF panel 18x24cm (approx 7"x10") Available on Daily Paintwork
This painting evolved from a similar painting from last year - Autumn Explosion. To ring the changes I added more of a foreground and used more yellow.  This week's challenge on Daily Paintworks is 'Fall' so this one fitted right in. has received some favourable comments and has had lots of hits since I posted it.

About this painting
Although it looks like it's painted with wild abandon, I have tried to carefully balance the colours for warm against cool and brighter to greyer to give some depth. I debated about the green foreground  (should it be ochre? should it be green?) but decided to leave the green as a contrast to the warm oranges and yellows. When I had finished I noticed that the yellow highlights were right in the center - but who made the rules anyway?!

The painting has lots of layers and will take a while to dry.

Some close-ups

30 paintings in 30 day challenge Collage

30 paintings in 30 day challenge Collage of all 30 paintings.
Well, another challenge over and 30 paintings completed. Once again it was fun and, well, challenging. Because of the size of some of the paintings, a few still needed those final touches. I managed to finish a few today and will finish the rest over the next couple of days.
The completed paintings are available here. I will add the others as they are finished.
Thank you to everyone who commented for your support and encouragement and especially to Leslie Saeta for hosting. To view the participants final collages, visit Leslie Saeta's blog

Co-ordinated Bathing Belles, Day 30 of 30 day challenge

Co-ordinated Bathing Belles Palette Knife Painting 20x30cm / 8x12inches on loose canvas sheet
I will be offering this painting in my next newsletter
sign-up to see how you can own this painting.
Contact me about this or any other painting on artbymarion (at)

After the long summer holidays the beaches on the Riviera are much quieter and it is then the 'wrinkly season' (I'm allowed as I'm in that category myself!) The older generation take the opportunity to soak up the sun and relax. The sun is much kinder and not so fierce in September.

About this painting
An unusual subject for me but I couldn't resist this group of woman enjoying the sun at Freyjus beach. Once again, possibly a subject for a larger painting as there is too much detail and I had to stop myself fussing.
It was mid-day when I took the photo so the shadows were small. I wondered if I should have elongated the shadows for a better composition.

Lavender Guard, Day 29, 30 day challenge

Lavender Guard Palette knife painting 18x24cm on Canvas board WIP
I was drawn to two trees standing guard by the side of a lavender field. They stood out from the flatness of the lavender fields all around them.

About this painting

Sometimes paintings fight against you and this was one of them. I started out with the two trees but decided it was too busy, so I totally wiped the painting and concentrated on the one tree, which was the one I wanted to paint because of it's twisting branches. I struggled though and now it looks over-worked. I need to decide whether or not to try to rescue this one or just bin it and start again. No painting is a total disaster, and I can take forward some of the ideas from this one.

Haut Alpes Plains SOLD - Day 28, 30 day challenge

Haut Alpes Plains Oil on Canvas Panel 18x24cm (approx 7x10inch) SOLD commissions welcomed artbymarion (at)
This painting is on its way to Virginia in the US. Thank you Leslie.
For years I was puzzled why many lavender fields in the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence seem to be left to go 'wild', It's such a contrast to the normally neat rows of lavenders that seem to carry on for miles. This year I found out. It is not that they are abandoned, but because they are grown ecologically with no herbicides. This makes for a much more interesting subject to paint, with the wild flowers popping up through the lavender and adding variety.

Suit Home Handy Man - Day 27, 30 day challenge

'Suit Home Handyman'
Abandoned building Provence Palette knife painting Oil on 40x50x4cm box canvas (16"x20") Available 95€, international shipping included.
There are many abandoned buildings amongst the lavender fields. What are their stories? What were they for? dwellings? stock? storage? Why does no-one care? Why are they still standing? Too many questions and no answers.

About this painting
I have lots of photos of abandoned buildings of one sort or another because I think they are interesting, but have never used them in a painting. I cropped the photo but as I started painting, realised I had not cropped it close enough so I had to increase the size of the building. I still have to fight my tendency to put in too much detail, the painting was about the building so I concentrated on that.

Some close-ups showing the layers of paint

And how it would look in a floating frame.

Autumn Fire oil painting - Day 26, 30 day challenge

Autumn Fire Palette knife painting 40x50cm on box canvas 4cm wide Sides painted black for hanging unframed.
Contact me about this or any other painting at
artbymarion (at)
This is an autumn scene from the Harz mountains in Germany. The days can be bitter cold in October so we took advantage of the sunshine and went for a walk in the Harz mountains to be greeted by these wonderful birches showing off.

About this painting
This painting has had a make over. I first painted it at the same time I painted . I liked it but there was something that kept niggling at me so I put it to the side and never published it. Yesterday it hit me - there was not enough 'breathing' space. The original photo showed a mass of foliage and, you've guessed it, that is what I painted. It also had the same high octane colour everywhere.

I let in some air and toned down the colours around the edges and created more of a focal area. It may still need some work, (the area top left is a bit too…

Misty Morning Curbar Edge - Day 25, 30 day challenge

Misty Morning Curbar Edge
palette knife painting
18x24cm oil on MDF canvas panel
NFS work in progress

Curbar edge is one of my favourite places to go walking. It is in the Peak District in the heart of England. On this day it was very misty and the rocks were dark and broody against the sky. The heather was blooming giving the moors a lovely pink/purple glow despite the gloom.

About this painting
This is painted from a photograph taken a few years ago. I tried to get the misty look and show the strength in the granite rocks. I don't feel I suceeded very well. The foreground, rocks and hills take up almost equal spaces on the canvas (maybe I should have done more planning), also the green background and foreground are competing.

Using Photoshop I manipulated the photo trying to push the hills more into the background and increase the prominence of the rock. This is what I came up with.
In fact, I think I shall try to emphasise the rocks even more. I'd be interested in your ide…