Monday, July 27, 2009

Poppy Fields Aglow

The Studio is filling with French poppy fields this summer!

Besides teaching workshops in professional development this summer, I have been working on a series of paintings based on my stay in France last June. The painting on the left is an 8 x 10 that recently sold at the Art-a-ma-jig auction for the Arts and Education Council in Chattanooga. This scene is the same field where my classes painted one afternoon. My plein air study there was Poppy and Pea Field. The center painting is a farm close to the edge of the village where the classes painted the first day out from a distant view. I did a very small oil study- 4 x 5- and then walked back one afternoon to see the barns closer. The poppies here were scattered amongst the hay field. This painting is French Barns and 20 x 24. The painting on the right is another section of the pea field. This painting is larger: 24 x 30 and on gallery wrap canvas. I love working in a series. One painting gives you ideas for the next. I have another on the easel currently, another drying, and more to come.

The interesting thing in these paintings is working with the complements of red and green. Greens I love. There are so many mixes you can do with greens. Reds are harder. They turn other colors like orange, pink, or violet. You also have to be careful not to layer reds over greens or greens over reds because that makes brown!

Having the experiences of painting on location before painting in the studio brings back the memories of the place, the feeling of being outdoors in the sun and wind, hearing the sounds and smells around you. I feel like I can close my eyes and be back there again. This is what I strive to capture on canvas- that feeling of the moment.

As I am finalizing plans for the Plein Air Journaling Workshop in Tuscany in September, I am looking forward to capturing many more memories to share.

Enjoy your summer days!



Ginny Stiles said...

Oh Durinda...I am such a huge fan of your art! These poppies and peas are splendid! What I admire most is your innate sense of composition. What to put in and what to leave out. That is SO hard for me. I am hoping to take some wonderful photos in CA in September for later painting and plan to take a sketch book with me as well, of course. SOME day I am going to Europe with you!

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Hmmm. I think I know that barn :)

Durinda Cheek, Director said...

Thanks, Ginny! I am sure you will see some beautiful fields in CA. Don't know the season for poppies there, but should be lots of good stuff to shoot!