Stacey Peterson wrote a great article, a must read, ( her blog) on why you should use your own photos, and for the most part I totally agree with her.When I first started painting, I admit, I was guilty of using other peoples photos, but I did write for permission. As I grew as an artist, I also became a photographer, marketer, hiker and explorer, amongst other things. I spend more time outside than I ever did before, and have become a better painter for it. Everything I 'see' I evaluate as a painting... looking for light, shadows, shapes, mood and atmosphere. I love to experience the sights and sounds and I do believe it adds passion to my work. But I'm not young anymore and cannot do all the hiking, and climbing, etc., that I would like to. I prefer to use my own photos, but on occasion I will use someone else's. I steer away from professional photographers who make a living doing their work, and I like to make a lot of changes. A friend of mine, is an avid hiker and is more than happy to let me use his photos. He goes to places I will only dream of, and when I paint one of his photos, I imagine myself there and what it would feel like. I try to insert as much passion and excitement into the canvas as if I was actually there.
So on that note, I'd like to thank Andrew for letting use his photo for this painting. Toward Borgeau Lake and Harvey Pass in Banff National Park.
The FCA Calgary Chapter had a watercolor workshop with Rex Beanland this past weekend. Since my plans to paint in Whistler fell through, and since I'll be doing a lot of sketching from here on in, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to learn something about this medium. I'm a complete newbie! I thought, 'how difficult could this be?', but I sure had my eyes opened. It was a lot more difficult than I suspected, and certainly very challenging. I have a new found respect for watercolor artists. Back in my studio, with my confidence suitably shattered, I sought to seek comfort in my acrylics, but I will be venturing into the unknown again in the near future. ( I'm too embrassed to even show you what I painted)
Rex is good watercolorist and a wonderfully patient teacher. To see more of his work checkout his blog link
So...back to my mountains and my comfort zone to try an d rebuild some self esteem.
This is a large 4 x 5 referenced from a smaller painting and photo based on part of the Rundle Mountain Range between Canmore and Banff. Still some details left to do
'Rocky Mountain Vista', acrylic, large 48 x 72 inches.
Having only painted one larger canvas before, I was eager to to get started on this one, and I have mountains on my mind. This one being a vista but the other larger canvases I have, will be mountain portraits. Again this was referenced from photos taken from the passenger side of a moving vehicle. I have includes my original reference photos without the enhancements. The photos are never what I see, but I have learned to remember what I felt and what I saw so I know what to look for.
Acrylic 36 x 24
This painting was both challenging and fun to do. Like most of my painting when I'm unsure about my initial approach, I push away my fear and bulldoze ahead, applying paint and covering the canvas very quickly. This time however I stopped half way through, feeling that it needed something more. I laid the canvas flat and proceeded to add pouring medium in bottles of various colors and tar gel creating more texture. when dry I scumbled various transparent and opaque colors. At this point I knew I would be doing a lot of negative painting, but I was fine with that, after working so feverishly it would be nice to slow down and relax. It's hard to see all the texture in the image. ( and for some strange reason, it won't let me change the image file...the blue is way too saturated). I have included my reference photos taken near Bragg Creek.