One Scene Painted Three Ways

I decided to take one scene and paint it three ways, a realistic the way “I think” a painting should be painted, an impressionistic, where I tried to paint the color and the light and the contrast, and a palette knife style.  I have since learned more about the impressionistic palette which I use in two paintings that will be the subject of a future post. 

So here is my reference photo.  The beautiful Blue Grotto in Malta.  On my honeymoon my husband and I actually visited this and this is one of our vacation photos.  Sadly, little motorboat after little motorboat arrived almost on a train schedule to this peaceful grotto.  In a another time it was probably a lovely place to sit in a boat, gently bobbing along, uncorking a bottle of wine and breaking some fresh bread and perhaps stealing a few kisses from one another.   However, we, along with others, came, looked, shot a few pictures and buzzed out again because there was a boat in front of us and one behind.


Now here is my favorite of the three.  The “impressionistic style”.  I somehow feel I captured more of the spirit of the place in this one.  But the photo is rock and water.  Easy peasy right?  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I have since learned painting realistic rock is extremely hard (at least for me) and water as well is an “advanced” technique.

 Next, side by side are my realistic and impressionistic style.

 The realistic (right) seems to lack the “poetry” the impressionistic one has.  It seems a bit flat.

And lastly my palette knife technique.   This one was almost an afterthought and done on a very small canvas.  But I wanted to try this technique.

 One of the things I found very difficult with this is that the rock is almost all creamy white with very slight variations in it.  To try and give the depth and the texture I had to exaggerate, and almost intensify colors that were only barely visible.   I found this a challenging exercise.  After doing this I had a complex dream that caused me to look more at the impressionists.  Perhaps I’ll tell you a little about the dream in my next posting which will be about using the impressionistic palette.



Now there are those who are worried about 2012.   They say many different cultures including the Maya have predicted it is the end.  As in the big THE END OF EVERYTHING!  In reality I think the Mayan calendar just ran out and they didn’t think that they wouldn’t be around to provide the world with the new updated version.

But what if all our pollution came back to bite us and to cause the end of…not everything…just man.  Gaia decides to take care of her planet and get rid of the destructive parasites.  Well I think most of life would go on.  The sun would rise and set, the fireflies would come out and the little critters would do what little critters do.  So here is 2012:  Gaia’s Solution.



And Van Gogh had his Ear

I started painting after a car came into my lane and caused severe injuries to my leg.  I couldn’t walk for over a year and spent most of that time in a wheelchair.  Of course, as my job was a field job, that was quickly lost.  So I started to paint.

I’m in good company when it comes to making art after being in some way injured.   Let’s look at Van Gogh, during a fit of anxiety, he cut of his ear and did a self-portrait.  He died at the age of 37 from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Have no fear, I am both older than 37 and have no plans of leaving this earth.

Henri Toulouse Lautrec broke his right leg at age 12 and his left leg at age 14.  The bones never healed properly and he never reached full height and he could never quite move properly.  He threw himself into his art and created such wonderful works such as At the Moulin Rouge and his famous posters of can-can girls from that era.

Frida Kahlo contracted polio at a young age.  Perhaps that was what inspired her to desire to study to become a doctor.  But at age 18 she was in a tragic bus accident. She too, threw herself into her art.  Untrained, except for books and contacts with other painters, she produced some of Mexico’s most well known art.  A self portrait, known as Between the Curtains was dedicated to Leon Trosky.  She had an interesting political life as well as an artistic one.

Well Van Gogh had his ear and I had my leg.  So I decided to turn into art the thing that got me started painting and modeled the painting after my x-ray.  The painting is titled 08 17 2011 the date of my surgery after my accident, where over 60 pieces of metal were installed to rebuild/help nail and screw my bones back together.  Somehow, painting this was healing.  Rather than something that just happened to me, it is a mark of transition in my life.  And now hopefully I can close that chapter and move on, more slowly and less able than in the past, but still move on.