Artists Who Inspire Me

In my first post, I mentioned I have wanted to be an artist since my teens. It was during that time while at high school I was exposed to artists in Trinidad and Tobago who subconsciously had a profound impact on this desire. I’ve been drawn to portraits and capturing realism in my work because of them and their ability to capture the beauty and gracefulness of their subjects so effortlessly. Their use of colour and the sheer sizes of each piece amazed me and it was only after a visit to an art gallery last week and seeing one of their works, that feeling of being awestruck came rushing back.

It was amazing seeing the work of the persons who first influenced me again. Like a sort of déjà vu and quiet recognition that I was on the path I was always meant to be on. It also made me remember that now I could add some of their prints to my art collection! So without any further rambling, here are some of the major artists from Trinidad and Tobago whose work inspired amd co tinues to inspire me the most – Karen Sylvester; Michel-Jean Cazabon; Boscoe Holder and Harry Bryden

What do you think of my sources of inspiration and who inspires you?

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Plein Air Painting Trip

Last Sunday I took a trip to the southern most part of my country with some local Art Society members for a plein air painting trip. We were weary of the weather since the rainy season started and it had been raining all week….but the weather began to look promising Friday and Saturday so we said why not! Then our tour guide cancels and we decided to wing it…like how bad could it be right?

Well we got off to a late start and the added pit stops didn’t help, but it was a good experience. The rain fell on and off throughout our journey but we did have some time to get at.least some sketches in before we had to run for cover.

These are some shots taken of the trip…the map of our journey on the red line and the sketches I managed to do which I finished paint at home.

Local Nature in Watercolour

Trying to figure out my last piece for submission to my local gallery, got me thinking about what’s on my painting bucket list. For those of you who know what I’m referring to, you know there is something/someone you always wanted to paint, but didn’t have the time or courage. For me, it was getting back to one of my challenges I had as a younger budding artist at high school executing this subject as one of our assignments.

There is this tree we call Bois Cano (pronounced bwah can-no) aka Trumpet Tree or Snakewood Tree which starts off with these huge green leaves and when they wilt and dry, they make these unique forms.

 

When we practiced shading back in high school, this was usually the subject chosen. Back then my lack of patience got the better of me and I am not sure if i ever completed those assignments. Nevertheless, I decided to use this leaf as one of my subjects and conquer my fear because I am older and wiser so I saw no harm in it.

It took me about a day or less to complete and I really enjoyed the shadowy/darker parts of the piece and how it came to life. there are tiny veins that become more prominent when the leaf dries and I must admit I have a problem when it comes to deciding between capturing as much detail as possible or being looser in my watercolour application….needless to say detail oriented me won the battle and this is the result!

bois kano leaf
Bois Cano Leaf Study 12′ x 16″ in Watercolour

Check out my Facebook page for a video which captured some of the process!

Nature in Watercolour

In the Caribbean, banana trees are everywhere! The banana flower is a beauty in its own right. The deep purples, the colour variation in each petal and the velvet-like texture it gives off in appearance makes my heart sing! Not to mention the contrast of all the greens and yellows of the leaves with the purple flower hanging above them – with the right amount of sunlight hitting it it’s a beauty to let your paints explore! It’s been on my painting bucket list and I finally sat down to do it!

So enough of the gushing; this was one of my first paintings done in March. Why am I now talking about it you may ask – because I have decided to also submit it to the art gallery for consideration, along with the scarlet macaw and my shipwreck in San Fernando.

Painting the flower itself was my favourite part. The lifted petals which revealed the red undebelly was definitely a highlight watching the colours bleed into each other and creating shadow. Adjusting the purples in order to depict how the light hit the flower was also a welcomed challenge. To make the background more interesting, I bled a mix of colours into one another and used salt to give some texture.

Banana Flower (1)
Banana Flower 9″x 12″ in Watercolour

Seascapes in Watercolour

After my scarlet macaw painting, I mentioned that I was working on another piece for consideration at my local art gallery for new artists.

Living on an island, one of the perks entails the ability to have pretty close access to the water and increases our modes of transportation options. In that light, we have a ferry I use to get to work and one of the sights is this shipwrecked boat that’s been rusted out and has become a perch for both seagulls and fishermen.

One of the challenges of this piece was painting rust for the first time, and not just a small section, an entire boat full! Challenge accepted! With the help of YouTube I discovered some helpful videos to improve the realism of the decaying boat with a palette consisting mostly of burnt and raw umber, sepia and some indigo. Painting the textures involved some tricks of the trade such as salt and the paint splatter technique for the whites and aged nature of the boat’s hull to show the accumulation of years of decay.

The sea and the reflection on such a large canvas (18″x 24″) was another exercise in patience and speed. Patience in knowing the process had to be done in layers and not being unhappy mid-process and speed to ensure the paint didn’t dry before I needed it to to apply another swipe with my brush…especially since my largest brush at the moment is a flat 16! Crazy, I know!

So here’s the final result of all the experimentation. Have you ever done a seascape?

CYMERA_20180607_212200
Shipwrecked in San Fernando 18″ x 24″ in Watercolour