|Van Gogh's "Almond Blossom in Glass"|
One of the things I have heard and read a lot, is that you can learn a great deal by copying the art of artists whom you admire. So I decided to copy this little painting yesterday. Above is my life-size copy, 8x10". I learned several things. First, I had decided to paint it on the new Arches Oil paper, since it was just a study, never to be exhibited, etc. I learned that I HATE the oil paper! The paint soaks into the paper, making it impossible to make corrections, and it also makes the color much more intense when it dries. Because of this, it is also impossible (at least for me) to show brush strokes, which are important in a Van Gogh painting. Live and learn. Maybe when it is dry, I can add a few strokes on top. But I also learned a few things about what Van Gogh was seeing as he painted this subject, and about why and where he put the shadows and glass reflections.
I do not think my copy is anywhere near as wonderful as the original, but I still have decided to frame it and hang it somewhere in the studio, as a reminder of the lovely original, and of the fun experience I had of 'painting with Van Gogh.'
In addition to painting the Van Gogh copy, I had been asked to do a portrait of a friend's cow. I had started it some time ago, and decided to finish it up, while my paints were out. It is about 9"square, and is on artist wrapped canvas, so the sides are also painted, so it won't need to be framed. That made it pretty hard to get a good photo, as the paint is still wet, not just on the front, but all round! I already do see a few 'fixes' I need to make when the paint is dry, but nothing major.
It was great to spend a couple of hours at the easel! I have been painting at the local art center from models on Wednesday mornings, but this week the center was closed, due to the explosion of two houses right across the street, and the attempts of the gas company to find and repair the leak that caused it. The center was still closed yesterday, but it should be up and running as usual by this coming Wednesday. (Three people and a dog were injured in the explosion, but, miraculously, not badly, as they were thrown through the roof of the house, and the houses were quickly reduced to rubble.)