30 September 2014

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) orange.fr

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.

29 September 2014

Lavender Guard, Day 29, 30 day challenge

Lavender Guard
Palette knife painting
18x24cm on Canvas board

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.

28 September 2014

Haut Alpes Plains SOLD - Day 28, 30 day challenge

Haut Alpes Plains
Oil on Canvas Panel
18x24cm (approx 7x10inch)
SOLD commissions welcomed
artbymarion (at) orange.fr

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.

27 September 2014

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.

26 September 2014

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) orange.fr

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 uniform) so I will leave it for a couple of days before posting it for sale.

Unfortunately I do not have a photo of the original version.

Some close-ups

25 September 2014

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 ideas.

24 September 2014

Commission Landscape, Day 24 - 30 day challenge

Commission Landscape, Summer in Provence
Palette knife painting
30cmx80cm (approx 12x32inch)
On box canvas (1.5cm deep)

This was a commission for friends who wanted 'something bright' to fill a particular space in a dark kitchen, hence the size. That was my total brief! Luckily they loved it when they saw it. It's still drying and I am waiting to put on a coat of finishing varnish before they return to their holiday home mid October.

Though not strictly part of the 30 day challenge, I have spent most of today kicking my computer because some ******* had bundled some malware with a download I did this morning. So no time to paint today. Luckily, I have managed to sort it, so it will be all systems go tomorrow.

23 September 2014

Attention! - Day 23, 30 day challenge by Marion Hedger

Palette knife oil painting
15x15cm (6"x6") on box canvas

A small portion of one of my photos of poplar trees taken in the summer. Poplar trees? you say. "Too small, don't really look like poplar trees!" Well, as I always say to hubby -  they're not really trees, it's a painting! LOL.

About this painting
I didn't have much time today and couldn't complete the painting I had in mind. I did have time for a small one, so I took a prepared 6x6" box canvas with a pink ground and homed in on a small portion of a photo. I'm sure the trees are out of proportion, but I quite like the end result.

22 September 2014

Autumn Beauty by Marion Hedger - Day 22, 30 day challenge

Autumn Beauty
Palette knife painting
oil on MDF canvas
24x30 cm (approx 10x12inches)
Contact me about this or any other painting at artbymarion at orange.fr

This painting is a combination of me flicking through some autumn photographs and the composition from a  previous autumn painting from last year, but with a more yellow combination of colours this time.

I still have to decide if I have finished today's painting or if the reflections need to be pumped up a bit. As I am looking at the photo, I can see that the water needs more work, so I shall call this one a work-in-progress.
The blue is too pronounced in the photo but I could not seem to correct for this in Photoshop.

Some close-ups

21 September 2014

Field of Wildflowers - Day 21, 30 day challenge

Field of flowers
Palette knife painting
Oil on box canvas/6"x6"

I had the urge to paint canopy pines the other day. The pines around here are not very prepossessing and a bit 'tatty'. The canopy pines. start after Cannes and the best ones are around St Tropez. So off we go on a drive. After being stuck in a traffic jam  just after Freyjus for well over an hour, we U turned and made our way back. The canopy pines will have to wait. It was not a completely wasted trip, I came across this field of wild flowers in the grounds of the Clos des Roses vineyard at Freyjus. So they had to become a painting of course!

20 September 2014

New Day, Sunrise - Day 20, 30 paintings in 30 days

New Day, Sunrise
Palette knife painting
oil on gesso wood ply panel
20x30cm ( approx 7x12 inch)
Available on Daily Paintworks

After beautiful sunsets for the  last three days, today is grey. The only colour I would need to paint today's sunrise would be Paynes Grey. I delved into my photos and found this one from last November, also taken from my balcony at home.

Both sunsets are the view from my balcony with just a slight turn to the south for today 's painting.

About this painting
I painted the panel with a ground of pale lilac and blue. This gives a more subtle effect in the background than using my usual pink ground. Somehow I do miss that sparkle from the pink, so maybe another sunrise on a pink ground will be coming up.

Some close-ups of the knife work
You can see how the layers were built up in these crops.

19 September 2014

Jewel Red Hibiscus - Day 19 of the 30 day challenge

Jewel Red Hibiscus
Palette knife painting
Oil on box canvas with sides painted black
30x30x4cm / 12x12inch 
Read about this painting on my Art of Flowers blog

18 September 2014

Awakening - Sunrise oil painting - Day 18, 30 day challenge

Sunrise Painting
Palette Knife painting
on loose canvas
24x30cm (appros 10"x12")
150€ (approx US$ 195) inc. int. shipping

This is the view that has been greeting me for the past couple of mornings as I raise my bedroom blind. What a glorious way to be woken up in the morning. It really lifts the spirit - even before I've had my first cup of coffee!

Some close-ups

And how it would look framed

17 September 2014

Autumn flavours - Day 17, 30 day challenge

Autumn Flavours
Palette knife painting
oil on loose canvas
24x30cm (approx 10x12inch)
140€/$200 (int. shipping included)

Of course I couldn't do this challenge without painting some autumn scenes. The fall here in Provence is not very colourful, mainly consisting of the vines changing colour, plus it is a little early yet for the changing colours. So I have to rely on photos that others have taken and use my artistic licence! Some sites I use are PMP (paint my photo), Artists Reference Photos on Facebook, wetcanvas.com reference library and morgue file. The standard is variable, but with a little help from Photoshop and my licence I can usually get a workable idea for a painting.

About this painting
I had difficulty with the rocks. I used to be able to paint rocks very well (especially when I used pastels), but since taken some web lesson on how to paint rocks and incorporate them into a painting I have not had a lot of success lately. I certainly need to put in some hours practicing to make it second nature again. Should I have left the rocks out of this painting? Let me know what you think.

Some close-ups

And how it would look in a frame

16 September 2014

Nodding Sunflowers - Day 16, 30 paintings in 30 days

Nodding Sunflowers
Palette knife painting
15x15cm (6"x6")
Oil on 1cm deep box canvas
Available on Etsy

Yesterdays painting HERE

Another challenge within a challenge, this time from Evhe who posts painting challenge every two weeks. This one was to paint from one of her sunflower field photographs. I didn't take myself too seriously painting this and just went with the flow, not making any real decisions about composition and not planning anything. I had fun.

15 September 2014

Mountain Landscape - Day 15, 30 paintings in 30 days

Mountain Stretch
Palette knife oil painting
7cm x 30cm on loose canvas (approx 3"x12")
from a photo on PMP (Paint my Photo) "Innominate Tarn" by Gary Jones

See yesterday's painting HERE

This is a challenge within a challenge. PMP is a site that offers royalty free photographs to paint from. Each month they have a challenge from a selection of their photos. This months challenge was Mountains. The catch is that the painting has to be in a 4.25:1 ratio, so the winning photo can be used as a masthead.

Oh my, will I never learn! This was quite a challenge and I didn't do myself any favours painting so small. Not sure if this is a keeper. I will sit and stare at it for a while.

 About this painting
I have a pad of cotton primed canvas sheets from Belle Arti in Italy. They are the perfect support for trying out different things. They are inexpensive, so if  doesn't work out, not a lot of money is lost. If it is a keeper, shipping is inexpensive, and they can be mounted onto panel as an alternative.

I've not mounted these on panel yet, but I shall have a try this afternoon and report back on how it went.

14 September 2014

Lazy Pepper, Day 14, 30 paintings in 30 day challenge

Palette knife painting
15x15cm /6x6inch
oil on box canvas 1cm deep
Edges painted black
Available in my Etsy Store 45€

A second pepper painting from my husband's bag of peppers.

This pepper is a sister painting to yesterday's painting. Yesterday's was standing to attention, this one is laying down on the job.

13 September 2014

Last Pepper Standing - day 13, 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

Last Pepper Standing
Palette knife painting
15x15cm /6x6inch
oil on box canvas 1cm deep
Edges painted black
Available in my Etsy Store 45€
See yesterday's painting

I went into the kitchen for today's inspiration. My husband loves roasted pepper and came home with some lovely large red ones from the supermarket, but he wasn't allowed to cook them until after they had performed as my models.

About this painting
I painted this outdoors with the sun shining on the pepper. I place the pepper on a sheet of glass on top of a black serviette to get some reflection and for a better compostion on the square format. I tried to paint quickly so I would loose the high and low lights, but that pesky sun kept moving!

Some close-ups


12 September 2014

The picnic spot - Day 12, 30 paintings in 30 days

The Picnic Spot
Oil palette knife painting
25x30cm (10"x12") box canvas 28mm deep
The edges are painted black. This painting would look good in a floating frame
Contact me about this or any other painting HERE
On our day trips out around Provence we normally take a picnic for lunch. Sometimes we can drive for ages to find that 'ideal' spot, sunny but shady, quiet, close to the road but not busy etc. I'm sure you've all done the same. Sometimes, like the spot in the painting we hit it without too much trouble. The sunlight and shadows appealed to me, and this is the painting with a little bit of editing to remove a few trees.

10 September 2014

The progress so far - Day 10 of the 30 day challenge

A collage of my first 10 days.

Today's painting is a small floral still life. See here to read about it

The completed paintings (some still need a little bit of finishing off) are available on Daily Paintworks

Or you can contact me directly HERE

09 September 2014

Secluded in St Paul - Day 9, 30 day challenge

Secluded in St Paul
Palette Knife Painting
Oil on MDF canvas panel
18x24cm (approx 7"x10")
Available on Daily Paintworks
See yesterday's painting HERE

St Paul is my adopted home here in France. It is an iconic, medieaval  hill-top village and very well known for its art heritage. Consequently it is much visited by tourists, especially in the summer. It is hard to find a quiet corner. I live outside the village but have a beautiful view of the town.

About this painting
I have taken many photos of St Paul over the years, but never painted it. Something always held me back, perhaps it was the thought of all those building so close together and doing justice to something that has been painted so many times by others. This courtyard appealed to me because it is not the usual scene of St Paul. I  now have no excuse not to paint more of my local town.

Some close-ups

And how it would look framed