Over half term, I had the luxury of browsing through a new art book each morning with my coffee.
Very leisurely and very indulgent.
My favorite was Impressionist Gardens. So much so, that I haven't given it back yet and happily paid the overdue fees and extended my loan.
Auguste Renoir Portrait of Monet Painting in his Garden at Argenteuil, 1873
When I saw this, I decided that that I should pop the easel and paints outside and take the time to paint what we see. Taking photographs is all very well, but when you try to paint what you see, you might take more time to really observe and appreciate the structure and colour compositions within the garden.
My boy has been asking about mixing colours and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity.
Also, it's extremely relaxing to observe and play around with paint.
Paul Cezanne:The Pool at Jas de Bouffan 1876
I love how they make it look so easy. Such simple looking strokes are so effective.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Woman with a Parasol in a Garden 1875-76
This reminds me of how I look at my garden with squinted eyes, to get the overall effect without seeing the weeds and the bald patches.
Berthe Morisot, Child amoungst the Hollyhocks, 1881
This may look simple, but he really did take the time to look at the flowers and mixed the paints on the pallet himself. (He mixed the yellow with white to soften the brightness and red and white to make his pink.)
I chose to use water colours, but forgot that I'm not very good at painting.
It was relaxing and enjoyable though, so nothing wasted.
And here is a trick that I use when I want to paint something, but would like a lot of assistance, and something to copy from:
To do this, I took a photo that I liked and either Posterized it using Photoshop or PicMonkey, as you would to make your own paint-by-number. This breaks down the image into basic colours, making it easier to start to think about how an image/painting is made and exactly how much detail goes into the overall image.
I have also manipulated images on BeFunky, creating watercolour, oil, impressionist and pointillism paintings so that I can copy them with my own paints.
My excuse is that I have never been taught How to Paint and I know that a lot can be learnt through copying.
Not quite as romantic as painting in the actual garden a la Monet, but this late night painting was pleasurable all the same.
I chose my image, traced it and transferred it and then little by little, tried to observe and recreate the colours that I saw in each section.
Time taken: 1 episode of Backchat with Jack Whitehall and his Dad and 1 1/2 episodes of Orange is the New Black.
Well the process was fun anyway.
Here is another that went wrong and I gave up, but I might try to carry on and fix it at some point.
I seriously cannot believe how I am allowed to run an art club.
Anyhoo. I am totally infatuated with my garden and the Poppies right now, but I am trying very hard not to get too intense with too many pictures. I found myself sharing Poppy pictures from my phone on a night out with a friend the other day.
I might need an intervention for this obsession.
So being very restrained, I'll share a couple of shots and consider offloading MORE onto another post.
We hadn't had any red Poppies come up until now, and I thought that was for the best seeing how red and pink clash. But then TaDa! It's a Poppy party and it's the best kind of eclectic party where everyone gets along fabulously.
I love my clashing, chaotic garden.
If you cross your eyes, it's so Impressionistic.
Joining in with Mammasaurus who was also playing with flower paintings this week on Instagram!