|Telly at Stonehurst|
Eight or so years ago, I painted regularly, as I was in a gallery and needed to keep my space filled. I sold fairly well, which was also motivating. After leaving the gallery (which was intended to be a short leave) I quit painting. Recently I decided to re-educate myself a bit, by going through my large library of art books, and gleaning what I can from them, and then I will donate the books to the local Art Center.
I began with a book
about painting like the Impressionists (I have an early version of this book.) The first example/challenge was to paint a landscape like Monet. I chose to paint from a photo I had taken of one of my 'grand dogs' on a walk in New England. I know painting from a photo is NOT like Monet would have done, but I decided to adapt to my own circumstances. This is oil on canvas, and it was a challenge! I don't know that it is Monet-like, but I did use his palette and attempted to use brushstrokes as he did in his landscapes .
|The Cabin in Winter|
The second challenge was to paint a snow scene in the style of one of the lesser known Impressionists, but one I have always liked very much, Sisley. This was painted (again from one of my photos) of our cabin in the winter. It was in my landscape sketchbook, which has heavy watercolor paper. I painted it in gouache, painted as if with oils. Again, I replicated Sisley's palette as closely as I could.
|New England Boats|
The third challenge was to paint a boat scene in the style of Renoir, who didn't consider himself an Impressionist, but who occasionally painted in an impressionistic style. I again did this in my sketchbook with acrylics, using Renoir's palette, and doing it in several sessions, as he would have done. I used the palette Renoir used in a similar scene and used a photo I had taken in New England for my source. The photo had very different colors, but I decided to just go with Renoir.
|Apple Still Life|
The most recent experiment/challenge was to paint a still life in the style of Cezanne. This is acrylic on canvas, again using Cezanne's palette as closely as I could, and painting it in one session.
Doing these paintings/sketches in different styles, with different painting 'attitudes' has been challenging, rewarding, and flat out fun! I have loved having a loaded paint brush in my hand again. I don't necessarily view any of these as 'successful,' either as style-copies of these masters, or as paintings in and of themselves. But what I have learned from doing them is invaluable: it is that I love learning and trying new challenging things, and that I love painting, especially with oils. So I intend to continue this study, and perhaps find that I will discover my own way of making brush strokes, and that some of what I create may even find it's way into the medium I love most, handwoven tapestry. After all, that is why I began painting in the first place, to design for my tapestries.