Tuesday, August 17, 2010

En Provence

Original Acrylic on Exhibition Canvas
Image painted over all Four Sides
24 x 24  $800 + s/h

I completed this painting last summer, as part of a show entitled Mediterranean Moments. I did the still life set up with props that I owned, and was given a huge, beautiful lavender bouquet by a friend of a friend. The owner of the lavender has a lavender farm on her property, and as she is also an artist she went above and beyond to get the lavender to me, in perfect shape. I was deeply grateful. I then needed a background for the set up, and having lived in France, I had photos of lavender fields in my photo file. But to place the still life in front of a field from a photo was rather tricky. I was very nervous to try this and didn't want to ruin a good still life with a bad background, so I decided to paint the background first, thereby eliminating unnecessary work if it turned out poorly. The next tricky part was depicting the hot Mediterranean sun. I did many set ups in full sun at various times of day, and took even more photographs, finally arriving at this design. The last challenging part was painting all that white! White is so hard to paint! Very little of it is actually white. Because of all the lavender in the painting, I mixed a variety of temperatures and tones of lavender grey. In the end it was a great experience which I believe grew my painting skills. So don't be afraid to try something difficult. When we push ourselves we grow.



  1. I love this painting! It makes me want to try painting. Are acrylics at all transparent? Can you layer the colors?
    The last line of your post is so profound, "When we push ourselves we grow." That is true in so many ways and applies to so many different parts of our lives, doesn't it?

  2. This painting is amazing! Such detail. Lavender is one of my favorites. I just went to a Lavender farm out East on Long Island and it was acres of beautifully scented plants. The color is perfect in your portrait. Well done.

  3. Gorgeous Claire. I love your still lifes but I also like the french doors and city dwelling! Good luck on your upcoming shows but I have a feeling you won't need it.

  4. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments and encouragement, it helps to keep me painting. I sent an email to Katherine about acrylics and recommended trying Liquitex Fluid Acrylics which tend to be more transparent and layer well without lifting the undercolour. If anyone has any further recommendations, please let her know.