Friday, 25 April 2014

Candy Wrappers
The art of Painting

'For the first time since some of my earlier Marbles paintings, this image lends itself to 
intuitive painting; I can choose colour instinctively and without over-thinking it, 
apply strokes where they want to go instead of my eyes being nailed to the reference photo.'

That was my facebook update while working on the painting. 

This is the most fun I've had with a painting in months. It is the painting I was meant to do now, to remind myself why I love doing what I do. I wasn't planning on a very realistic end-product, but I didn't plan anything really, I just worked on it until I became somewhat precious about it, and then signed it. And that's exactly how I plan to approach the next one. 

progress I

progress II

progress III

progress IV

Candy Wrappers
50 x 70cm
Acrylic on Canvas

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Herbst's Floral Commissions

Ina had been telling me about her parents' love for art and their collection for years. And there had been talk about me possibly doing a couple of paintings of flowers from their garden for a while. And with a while I mean about a year!
When suddenly (and with immaculate timing, as always) I receive a whatsapp message from her husband Daneel, saying that Ina's parents had actually visited one of the galleries that show my work that weekend, and had almost done an impulse buy, but finally decided to rather commission a painting directly from me. They gave me their budget and we narrowed it down to one painting of the 'Aasblom'

I made peace with the fact that the patterns would drive me mad, and set to it.

The trickiest part of this painting was plotting out the patterns, they didn't need to be exact, but I wanted it as close as I could get anyway. And then achieving a semblance of depth, which the patterns made really hard. So the part of the 'in progress' that doesn't really show up on the photos, is the subtle tones I added, yellowish becoming greenish, maroons becoming purply, etc.
Orbea Variegata (aasblom)
70 x 90 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
 I sent them updates on the progress, but decided to surprise them with the final product - as the paintings are rarely done justice by my photography, and they just don't show up as well as I'd like on-screen. Also it's incredibly gratifying to see people's positive reactions, after having worked so hard! And that decision paid off! We delivered the painting to their home, had great coffee and chocolates, and talked art.

I should actually write a different blog about this conversation, but due to time restraints I'll just say this: I learned so much, just sitting there and listening to their stories about where they had acquired different paintings in their collection, and how much the individual paintings meant to them. To the Herbst's, it's not about collecting for the sake of investment, it's purely just for the love of art. And it made me so proud to be a part of that collection, I practically shone by the time we left.

Of course the conversation had turned to gardening (as it does) and I'd told them about my jealousy towards their gigantic and gorgeous protea bush, especially as I'd already murdered one protea plant in my short gardening span, and am working hard on killing the 2nd. And so Mrs Herbst miraculously appears in the door on our way out, with a lovely bunch of proteas for me. 

I of course joke about painting the proteas next, as I hadn't decided what was next - a singularly terrifying spot to find myself in - and they agreed. Later that night I receive an email from Mr Herbst, thanking me for the painting etc. and adding, I could paint the proteas if I wanted, just to do them a little smaller than the Aasblom, as they're running out of wall space!

I wasn't really planning on painting the protea next, I just photographed it soon as I had a minute, in case they didn't last long (super-duper heat waves). But then I of course bought a canvas for it when I did my paint supplies run, and I printed the image when I printed my next reference photos, and then it kept glaring at the back of my head, demanding attention, until I just HAD TO put that work in progress on the sidelines, and start on the flippen impatient protea. 
Which turned out rather well! And it was complete in a week, thanks to the size and just luck I guess.

A single Protea
30 x 40cm
Acrylic on Canvas
*I have no idea what's up with my tenses, it just happened and I went with it!
* Also I've no idea how that terrible crop of the bunch of proteas happened! Wow.