Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Vol au Vent, Mauritius

I went back to a favourite spot of mine, Vol au Vent, Henrietta, where there is a superb view over the West of the Island of Mauritius. I was going to carry on with the paintings I had been doing on site there since last year, but as soon as I had set up my easel and paints, it started to rain and a huge cloud descended and almost blocked out the view. These are the old paintings I was going to carry on working on, this is what they looked like in the beginning, but I had put them together to make a diptych and had worked many times over them.:

                                            Picture 1.
61 x 75 Sun coming up. Stage 1 July/August 2011

                                         Picture 2
61 x 75cm view over Medine Sugar Estate, West Mauritius. Stage 1


 Picture 3
61 x 75x 2   I put them together and worked on them on site. Stage 2. I painted over the 2 paintings above.

This is Picture 1 and Picture 2 put together and worked on many times over. I still wasn't happy,so was going to go back and work some more on them. I suppose I should have left Picture 1 alone,and not fiddled with it in the first place, as now it has gone!

I lay them flat on the ground and worked on site every time. Or put one up on my easel. It's a heavenly spot, all alone on a ledge looking down over a huge space. One can only hear the birds and the wind.

This is the study I did in the rain, on Monday 13th August:

                                           Picture 4.
8 x 10" in the rain. small study in oil

61 x 75 oil on canvas, painted over the 2nd picture above.
 At home I painted over the classical view you can see in picture 3 above, the left hand picture. I decided it wasn't 'me' so took my quick sketch I had done in the morning and transposed it on top of the old picture.

Then I did the same with the other one, I took this quick sketch I had done last year, Picture 6,  and transposed it on top of Picture 3, the right hand picture, above to make Picture 7.

                                         Picture 6
5 x 7" oil done on site.
                                         Picture 7
61 x 75 oil on canvas done on top of picture 1.Stage 1.
same as above, stage 2.

This is what it looks like now. You might ask why I paint on top of old pictures. The reason is that I'm not happy with them and when I go back to the spot I ask myself  'what is it that really interests me in this view" and the answer with this view is the lines of the hills as they go off up to the horizon. As I hadn't put them in the first picture, picture 1and 3, I decided to move the whole picture to the right, and in doing this, I had lost the original picture. But it doesn't matter, this is how we progress as artists and how the picture develops. One mustn't be afraid of losing a picture, a better one always come in it's place, it's just the initial courage that one needs!

My pictures are becoming more abstract too, more modern which is a good thing, I'm painting the feeling of the place.

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