12 July 2014

When is too much green too much green? Spring Vineyard in Provence

Spring Vineyard in Provence
Oil on box (gallery wrapped canvas
30x40x4cm (12x15x1.5inch)
The sides have been painted black.
Can be hung without a frame for a contemporary look.
Click on the image for a larger view
Available on Daily Paintworks

There is no getting away from using lots of green in a spring scene, particularly here in Provence after the spring rains when everything is bursting out.

The problem is that too much green in a painting is boring and can be dull even if using the vivid greens of spring. One solution is to intersperse the green with different colours, usually by using reds and/or yellow ochre pale. However, this can result in a spring scene quickly turning into an autumn scene.

About this painting
This is a spring vineyard scene from the Vidauban area in the Var with the Maures in the background. This is an area with deep red soil so I used burnt sienna (a reddish brown) for the earth and purples of the shadows to set off the greens. At the back of the vines I used a bluey-green to indicate the distance. The path in the middle was actually grass but I couldn't find a green that worked well so I turned it into a pale ochre path.

Let me know your tricks for painting spring green.

Contact  me about this or any other painting HERE

11 July 2014

Where do you get your Inspiration? Patio Corner Provence oil painting

Patio Corner Provence palette knife painting
 Oil on box (gallery wrapped) canvas
 30x40x4cm (12x16x1.5 inch)
The sides are painted black so the painting can be hung without a frame
for a contemporary look.
Contact  me about this or any other painting HERE

Where do you go to for inspiration? When I am in that in-between state and at a loss for what to paint I mostly search through my photos to see if something says 'Paint Me!'. Another source of ideas is from older paintings and using them as a spring board for something different. Today's painting is one of those.t

Let me know where you get your inspiration from, and I will publish your answers and link to your work.

About the painting
Occasionally I make a foray into watercolour territory. I love watercolours, but not mine - I am never satisfied with the final result. When I look at them again some time later (often years) there is usually something in them that I can take further. Another good reason for using previous paintings is that you have already edited the scene, it so there is none of that annoying detail getting in the way.

Some close-ups

10 July 2014

Purple and Gold, not a football shirt but the colours of Provence

Last week we went for our annual foray to see the lavender and add to my collection of photos. Usually we go to the Valensol plateau near Digne-les-Bains, but this year we decided to go slightly further afield and do the Sault/Mont Ventoux area lavender trail and to take two days rather than one.

We were a little unlucky as it was a little early and the lavender was not in full bloom (I figure it will be at it's peak in about two weeks). The area around Sault had several patchwork fields but nothing like the sweeeping fields of the Valensole. The other parts of the trail was very scenic but seemed to missing the lavender! On the second day, heavy rain was predicted so we decided to come home taking a detour through the Valensole.

Luck was on our side as the weather started to clear up after midday and when we got to Valensole the sun was shining. The Valensole lavender was also much more advanced, so I got my fix of the purples and the lavender scent.  The only down side was the blustery wind resulting in several blurry photos. (you can see the lavender blowing about in the photo).

An added bonus was the fields of sunflowers on the way in the Durance valley. Just breathtakingly beautiful.

09 July 2014

Did van Gogh live here? Yellow House Arles oil painting

Yellow House Arles
Palette knife painting
Oil painting on box canvas
15x20 cm (6x8inch) 1.5cm deep
Available on Daily Paintworks

Yes there really are yellow houses in Arles,  and no, van Gogh did not live here - the yellow house of van Gogh fame no longer exists.

About this painting
I took this picture a couple of years ago and actually started this little painting then. I came across it a few days ago and finished it off. The blue shutters, so typical of Provence, were irresistible. Using the palette knife allowed me to build up layers of colour.

Some close-ups of the palette knife work