Oil on canvas October2013
30x40inch / 76x 101cm
I seem to have temporarily lost my ability to put words to blog in the last few weeks…the silly season is already starting to rudely yell my name. The amount of entries in my calendar is not pleasant, especially when all I want to do is be in my studio, music on, paintbrush in hand and the outside world a non beckoning shadow. Alas, mothership duties are an ever-present reality. So please forgive me peeps, if I go a little M.I.A (missing in action) at this time of the year. It's not the Mia that gets art done.
Anyway, I did manage to bribe my girls out for a great photo shoot two weeks ago. I can't remember what the bribe was this time, but it worked! Taking the girls out in the late afternoon sunshine gives me the pleasure of fantastic Golden Hour photos…and no dinner duties. WIN WIN!!
Call it Golden Hour, or call it the Magic Hour, photography during the first or last hour of sunlight is truly spectacular. Photos can be taken from dull and uninspiring to incredibly beautiful just by choosing this glorious time of day to shoot. It's not only diffused, soft, pretty light, but it starts the day magically or blows the cobwebs of a long day away.
My girls have practically been brought up by the light of afternoon Golden hour…dragged out (sometimes kicking and screaming, but most often happy for a change of scenery before dinner) just as the light starts to loose its harshness and dip low in the sky. Perth puts on a stunning Golden hour…or two. Infact, I often find the two and a half hours before sunset are the best. We live on the coast, the sunsets are beyond breathtaking, though I must admit, I don't often make sunrise!
So, at around 4.30pm one sunday, we did the mad dash around a few local suburbs, searching for somewhere a bit different to take photos. We ended up at a rose garden…in full spring bloom. A kelidascope of glorious fragrant stems…patiently waiting for the click of a camera to capture the essence of its beauty.
We were all mesmerised…the colours, bold reds, pinks, yellows and gentle pastel's, carpeting beds with blocks of colour, edged by manicured bright green lawn…Monet would have nodded with satisfaction at the sight before his garden loving eyes. Stunning.
I ended up with about 100 photos at the gardens, of which at least 20 are paintable! We then spent time at the river, with enough sunlight left to take some beautiful silhouettes. What a dilemma trying to choose just
Low tide Golden Hour
one to paint. Oh my…plenty more to paint from just this one session.
I tried so hard to paint this image looser than my usual style.
detail from 'Golden Girl'
looser brushstrokes - tricky!
IT WAS HARD. I have a tendency to want to neaten everything up…perfectionist? Who me? Hmm..yep. If there is ever a time to try a looser style, its when faced with 25 rose bushes to paint. No wonder Monet was a master impressionist!
'The first stroke is the last stroke' is one of my tutors favourite sayings! Getting the tone, the colour and the shape in one stroke of paint equals a life time of learning. I can tell you, there is much more than one stroke of paint over 99% of this painting. I'm still fiddling with the roses and I have to say, each rose will eventually have at least 20 strokes of paint where there should have been one. Never mind. I'm still pleased with the outcome, especially for a first time try at a new style.
detail in Golden girl
I've prepped two new canvas' with images from this photo shoot too…watch this space. I seriously need some new models though…if I ever have an exhibition, I will need to call it "Just My Girls"! Well, they do say to paint what you love...
Happy painting and silly season prepping.