Monday, 24 September 2012

7 Cascades View Point- from start to finish 19 months

I started at the viewpoint in February 2011 and did many studies on site. I always take my dogs, Fox Terriers with me, they love to run and hunt in the forest below.  It is a lovely place, very quiet, and there is a CEB (Central Electricity Board) post just next to it with a security guard on duty, so very safe!

One Monday morning when I was there,  a group of men turned up and got out of their car with bottles of beer in their hands, they had come for a picnic at 9am in the morning.  I said to them "Good morning, you aren't going to give me any trouble are you?" They replied, "No, Madame, we are going to protect you!". They were fine, and when they left, offered me a bag of fried samousas!

1. Watercolour 30 x 45cm. On site

2. Charcoal study 30 x 45cm. On site

3. Oil 5x7" on board On site

4. Oil 50 x 50 cm On site
5. oil 5 x 7" on board. On site

6. Oil 20 x 25cm on board done from charcoal sketch in studio

7. Oil 20 x 25cm on board done from charcoal sketch in studio

8. Oil 20 x 25cm on board done from charcoal sketch in studio

9. Oil 5 x 7" done in studio from charcoal sketch

10. 160cm x 120cm oil on canvas from sketch above, no 9.

11. 5x7" on board done on site

12. 5x7" on board done on site

13. 5x7" on board done on site

14. 5x7" on board done on site

15. 20 x 25cm oil on board studio.

16. 20 x 25cm oil on board, studio

17. 5x7" on board done on site

18. 120 x 80cm oil on canvas done from sketch 8 above. Stage 1.
The last one, above, no 18 was the last in this series. I did this in June 2011.   I felt I had finished at the view point and started exploring the waterfalls themselves.  I visited my teacher in July 2012 , showed him my work and he commented on the study no 3 saying how much he liked it and how the foreground was working well.  I knew that my last oil, no 18's foreground wasn't working well and kept thinking about redoing it. But, not sure what exactly to do, I hadn't done anything.  Then, yesterday, 22nd September, 2012,  I felt like tackling it so, I took out my study no 3 and had another bash at the oil above. All this to tell you how you have to wait months sometimes before you get the answer and then the inspiration. But the wait is an important part of the process. Like the gestation period of a seed.

It changed quite a lot whilst I was working on it, but I slapped on the paint quickly and confidently, referring to my study no 3 all the time.  The colours are quite different in reality, the photo hasn't come out well, it's looks more redder than this. But I'm happy with the outcome. I understand the space better as I have been walking down through the forest on the left to the top of the 3rd waterfall and looking down for the last 9 months. This goes to show you how important it is to walk in the space and to understand it. In fact the reason why I ventured down to the 4th waterfall, the one at the very bottom, is because I wanted to understand what was going on down there! I think I can say it's finished now.  It's a lovely feeling, like getting to the top of a mountain after a long hard struggle, but even better!

120 x 80cm oil on canvas.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

More wateralls!

The sun was shining Friday afternoon, so I asked my gardener if he could come back around 2.30 to come painting with me...he did. I rushed down there, not knowing what it would look like as I usually go in the morning..this time the shadows were all the opposite way around. I made 3 very quick studies, trying to get the shadows and the sun. I worked on 6x8" boards, 2 were white and 1 was pink:

These paintings are about my male and female sides...I think they are saying that they are both present in me and working well together. I feel the nearest pool, the one at the bottom is the female, you can see her head (light green), face, breast and body. The diagonal rock/mountain on the left is the male. They are coming from my subconscious, I only see this later when I get back home, I am not aware of painting figures when on site.

Peter Lanyon painted like this too, he also found figures in his landscapes. These paintings are deeper than just 'landscape views'. I have been painting here since the end of December 2011 now, almost 9 months. It's very rewarding when one has a good day and one likes what one has produced! I feel like I at last understand what I'm doing, it has more meaning and I feel confident to show them now.

The answer lies in LIVING IN THE NOW and when the sun shines and one feels like going back to do some more painting, one organises oneself and gets out there quickly and down to work. I make sure I'm organised and well prepared, this comes from practice too, by going out painting every day.  But the reward is wonderful, as you can see from the above, I'm still on cloud 9 and am thinking about blowing them up to huge ones....I think painting quickly too is the answer...but it's harder when they are large paintings...we'll see.

I've been thinking about how I climb down to my spot too, this is very important, the climb down through the virgin forest. It is not a difficult climb (like the one down to the 3rd/4th pool!) and only takes 15 minutes. The dogs love it too. I think it has something to do with climbing down the umbilical cord to get to the womb. I did a painting like this from my sketches, see below:

5x7" oil on ply
8x 10" oil on board.

I did these from a charcoal sketch from the viewpoint. The yellow orange one shows the umbilical cord and the foetus. The way down to where I paint is along the umbilical cord and it is along that line, by the foetus that I stand and look down to the pools below. I am beginning to put all the pieces together now, it is very exciting. Understanding, or having a story behind one's work is very important, but it takes time and patience to unravel it all.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Down by the waterfall again

 I went back to the 7 cascades and did some more studies: then worked in the studio with my pigments..
had a lovely time!
8 x 10" oil done on site .sketch.
Oil on canvas 65 x 50 cm studio Stage 1.

Oil on canvas 65 x 50 stage 2.

Stage 3. I redrew the composition, it was too high. 65 x 50cm. Finished painting.

This is the original sketch done on site 10x8"

Sunday, 9 September 2012

I went back to my usual spot at the moment, Vol au vent and did some more sketches:

oil in sketch book 10.5 x 8.5"
40 x 30 oil on canvas stage 1.
40 x 30 oil on canvas stage 2.

Oil on board 10 x 8"sketch done on site

Photo to catch the light

view over the west of the island of Mauritius