A Break in the Weather

I love the way seagulls park on street lights. What views they must have! I gave this painting the working title ‘Seagull Parking’ but I always knew that was a little too obscure to be a keeper. The inspiration was a photo I took in a carpark ~ in the golden hour before the sun sets ~ while we were waiting to collect our pizza. Yes, inspiration is everywhere : )

The original plan was to create something more like the reference photo, quite subdued and almost monotone with the seagull as the focal point, but the purple/grey underpainting took it in a different direction ~ one which was more in keeping with how spectacular the sky really looked that evening ~ and that meant rethinking the title.

‘A Break in the Weather’ acrylic on canvas, 500 x 500 mm, 2020. Available.

P.S. I’m particularly pleased with those two birds flying in the background. The simpler it is, the harder it is.

The View from Here

‘The View from Here’ diptych — acrylic on canvas, 100 x 305 mm each canvas, 2020. Available.

Fresh off the easel: the lights of Christchurch as seen from the Port Hills. The paintings are lightly textured and best seen from a bit of a distance. I was going to varnish them but I am really liking the subtle shifts in colour and texture of the unvarnished canvas and so I’m not going to risk it.

reference photo ~ Christchurch 2019
work in progress
final diptych

Reflected Atmospheric Illumination Naturally Brightens Overcast Weather

I have been thinking about painting this landscape for a little over six years. When I took the reference photo, the rainbow appeared to be shining directly into our neighbourhood, showing us the way home. I liked that : ) The only thing that made me reluctant to tackle it was also one of the things that made me want to paint it in the first place: the out-of-focus raindrops on the car windscreen. I wasn’t sure I could do what I had in mind ~ something representational but not too realistic. I needn’t have worried; the raindrops almost painted themselves (at least they look like raindrops to me). No, it was the painting of the rainbow that was the most difficult thing because I wanted to paint a rainbow that was not too ‘rainbowy’ (i.e. to paint a painterly painted rainbow and not an emoji 🌈 ).

‘After the Rain’ rainbow detail

I got there in the end by overlapping layers of translucent rainbow colours, blending the cooler colours with the clouds and sky (which is why some of the colours have almost disappeared), and using subtle lines to suggest reflected and refracted light.

‘After the Rain’ acrylic on canvas, 405 x 405 mm, 2020. SOLD

Chasing the Light

‘Chasing the Light’ — acrylic on canvas, 405 x 510 mm, 2020. SOLD

‘Chasing the Light’ is an old painting that I’ve almost completely reworked ~ and it’s bonkers! Only the road and the sky are relatively untouched. I was spring cleaning the studio when I discovered this painting which I thought I’d already painted over. It used to go by the name of ‘Summer Roads’ (see below) and was painted in 2016. The subject and composition still appealed to me but I no longer liked the colours or tonal values, so I renamed it ‘Chasing the Light’ and painted over it, adding lines and highlights with acrylic paint markers (oh so much fun) and gold paint (probably not real gold) and even more paint.

I listed it on Trade Me (NZ) last week and it only took two days to sell! Admittedly I didn’t have a big price tag on it… (I am still spring cleaning, after all) but even so, I think two days must be a new personal record : )

‘Summer Roads’ 2016 — in need of a bit of a zhuzh and now reinvented as ‘Chasing the Light’
‘Chasing the Light’ in the Drawing Room