Sometimes you meet a tree and it speaks to you.
My original encounter with the tree was when I took this photo:
My husband is from the south coast of England and loves the area. I decided to paint one of his favorite landmarks in the area, The Cobb. I do have a mantra to “paint what you know” and I haven’t been there. So I did some reading on the Cobb and also found a You Tube video that allowed me to visit. Here is the video.
After getting to know my subject I used a circular composition to which this well suited. I like my landscapes to have an abstract element. This is also oil on board. I like how the paint sits on top of the board (I used a marble gesso and allowed it to dry for several weeks before painting) and allows the light to refract through. The title of this is “Safe Harbor”.
The Cobb is a naturally circular structure. I decided to use the same composition in an entirely different format. Here is Lavender in the Hills, another circular composition.
This is my new favorite painting. I combined some abstract elements with lavender fields in Provence. I also used elements of color theory that I used from Stephen Quiller and his book Color Choices: Making sense out of color theory.
The Quiller Wheel works by using semi-neutrals that harmonize a painting. For instance if you need a dark for a shadow you could try blending a purple with the opposite on the color wheel a yellow, for a cool toned semi-neutral.
You can see how this works on his website, where I love some of the muted tones in his paintings.
So without further ado, Lavender in Provence.
Over the years this has turned out to be one of my most popular paintings and I won’t give up the original. But for a friend I did Lavender in SC
And in 2016 a gallery wanted the original (which I still won’t give up) so I did Provence 2016 for them.
So if you in the mood to try reading the book I used Making Sense Out of Color Theory know that although he works in watercolors, he has charts in the book that cover acrylics and oils, as the exact name of a purple hue may be different for different media. It also comes with a pull out color wheel that I have on my studio wall. One of my favorite things about the book is that he will do the same scene using different color combinations and intensities, that in itself is very educational.
If you like his work and you are a watercolorist you may like this book: