A month or two ago, I did a couple of posts on my decision to submit some pieces for an upcoming exhibition in Trinidad for new and emerging artists. As the heading states, I was successful in obtaining a space along with 14 other local artists!
I happened to come across the call for submissions quite by accident on my social media and of course saw it as a sign. Funny enough, after deciding to submit, I came across a YouTube video from Stefan Bauman about improving your painting by selling your work. two things happened for me at that point; I saw this exhibition as giving me the ability to experiment with non-portrait work and focus on more local scenes and also to produce pieces for a specific purpose. Yes, I know we produce art for the love of it, but as a new artist it can feel pretty daunting just painting for painting’s sake – this was a great goal to work towards!
Receiving the news that I was successful was pretty overwhelming – it confirmed for me I was on the right path finally taking up art. I felt a bit validated in my decision and it gave me the boost I needed to continue. I am already working on more submissions for more shows!
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.
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.
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?