We have ended our third week at Atelier de la Rose. I played with new (to me) techniques and ideas.
I experimented with watercolors using multiple thin washes. In addition to a plein air watercolor of Chateau de Bonaguil I did some still lifes of objects in our garden. Sally Gaucheron, our hostess, keeps many found rusty farm implements, pots, pans, tools, and other things around the yard for artists to use as models. The old apple tree provides many wonderful windfalls for painting as well. I took advantage this week. It was great fun to play with lost and found edges. Sometimes the watercolor determines the edge for me.
We spent an afternoon at a small 11th century ruin of a church called St. Avit where I completed my first plein air oil painting. It was an interesting experience to take my pochade box with oils out into the field. Since I’ve learned to limit the use of water and simply wipe my brushes with paper towel to clean them, I don’t need much water and thin with oil. That means I can pack everything I need – canvas, brushes, paints, knives – into the box and only have to carry that and a tripod into the field. In the studio I painted an intimate scene of the tiny ferns growing on the church’s stones. They were on the dark side of the wall with the sun just lighting the tips. Please excuse the glare spots on the photos. The paintings are wet and we do not have ideal lighting in the studio for taking photos.
I returned to an old theme for another oil painting – the simple roses outside our studio. This time I used a palette knife and kept the painting loose. It is very different from painting with brushes and makes me use different parts of my brain.
Finally, here are a few of my sketches from the week. Click on an image to enlarge it.