(This is a work in progress for my one-night show, Bon Voyage on April 14th, here in Charlottetown, PEI. To read more about it, click here.)
Grantchester Meadows is one of my favourite places. Not necessarily the main part, full of chairs and tables, trees and people, but through the trees and beyond, to the river itself, sluggishly weaving past amongst the reeds and tall, waving grass. That’s the part I love. There’s a richness to the landscape here. In the distance, a manor house peeps through the trees and I feel a pang of envy. To live here, day in and day out, is a privilege I hope they appreciate.
I wander away from my family, to explore the view visually, moving around, looking for the most beautiful angles. I find them, recording them with camera clicks and memory flashes. I imprint the scene, my feelings, in my mind. The camera will record every little detail, but it won’t record my feelings or the atmosphere. They are the notes that I need to remember.
These 2 pieces were just started a few days ago.
I usually start with an full-colour underpainting, where I map out the composition and colour scheme. I want to cover my canvas completely, since it’s of a slightly rougher weave, and I don’t want any of it to show through.
This piece here is about halfway between the underpainting and the second coat:
Once I’ve got a rough map blocked in, and it’s dried for a couple of days, I go back in with a second layer. That’s where this piece stands:
You can see that there’s much more detail and it’s starting to gain a feeling of depth, space and realism.
It usually takes a third layer of paint to finish the piece – that’s when I’ll put in details, tidy things and add those final flourishes that pull the piece together and make it sing.
Live on PEI?
Then come see these pieces and more in person on Saturday April 14th, from 7-10pm at the Queen Street Commons, 224 Queen Street in Charlottetown. There will be wine, French desserts and fabulous people.
Don’t live nearby?
Join my newsletter to get invited to the online show and get a chance to purchase on these paintings (priced between $175 – $395) before anyone else gets to see them.