Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Lavender Fields on a Summer Afternoon" (oil on linen; 8" x 10") sold

"Lavender Fields on a Summer Afternoon" (after)
"Lavender Fields on a Summer Afternoon" (before)

The scenery captured in "Lavender Fields on a Summer Afternoon"

"Fair Lavender Fields" (oil, 11" x 14"; after)

"Fair Lavender Fields" (before)

The scenery for "Fair Lavender Fields"

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may remember my experience during the lavender workshop with Bobbi Pratte in June.  Well, it's been a month and a half since the unforgettable workshop and I have completely recovered from painting six paintings in two days!  I felt up to revisiting these paintings to see what I could do to make them sing.

Although nothing beats the freshness of alla-prima paintings done on location, the truth is that they are not always the best work an artist is capable of.  There is so much pressure--heat, bugs, fatigue, limited time, etc.--that if you capture the essence of the scene, you should give yourself a pat on the shoulder and do a little victory dance. 

I uploaded the photos of the sceneries I captured in the paintings above to show you how I edited things while painting on site.  I didn't just slavishly copy what was in front of me, did I?  So much thinking goes on while painting that one feels exhausted just for the brain exercise!

Now, back in my air-conditioned studio, no longer sweating like a pig and about to pass out of heat exhaustion, and instead in full control of my faculties, I could clearly see what was working and what could be improved.  I didn't change much of the composition in either painting.  But colors are richer and there are lots and lots of texture!  Both paintings now sing LAVENDER, don't they?

By the way, painting lavender fields of Pennsylvania got me thinking.  Why not go to Provence and paint acres and acres of lavender fields?  Why not?  Or, as the French say, pourquoi pas?