Monday, June 16, 2008

Radishes (i)

Dance of Life
Oil on Canvas

Just got back from a weekend in Yosemite! I'm very inspired but didn't even pick up a pencil while I was there, I just didn't know where to start. I just wanted to take it all in without having to decide which tiny frame to focus on this time. I took photos though, and plan to return for a painting trip maybe in the Fall when it's a bit cooler.

It was a little disconcerting going back into the studio after the huge landscapes I've been painting in my mind for the past few days. Every amazing thing I saw, I tried to imagine what kind of composition I could use to capture it, and what brushstrokes I'd use. I started out by finishing off my Kokanee painting, which was finally dry enough to work on. I used traditional brushes for the majority of it, and then went in with the wide foam wedges right at the end. I love the marks you can make with those things, and it's a real physical sort of process - straight arm, big sweeping gestures. All the rhythms are already there in the underpainting, so it's a case of feeling where more definate directional marks should go, to create an excitingly musical composition. I call it 'The Dance of Life' - after all the fish are spawning!

Radishes (i)
Oil on Panel

I've been wanting to paint these guys for ages - one of the other artists, Pam, on the painting course in Santa Fe did a fabulous one of radishes, and they've been on my mind ever since.