Saturday, 28 January 2012

View from the train window

I think that the most beautiful landscapes are sometimes the sceneries visible from the train's window. I don't take the train very often but I always try to get a window seat and keep my camera at hand should an inspiring landscape appear. This is one of those.

View from the train window    10"x8"   oil on board

I treated this painting as a little study keeping in mind a few goals: simplify, use big brushes and plenty of paint. I wanted to give the feeling of what we would see from the train window and make it simple and almost abstract as you would only see this for a second or so.


To unify the whole painting and enhance the bold brushstrokes, I applied a glaze of raw sienna with liquin original once the painting was dry.

Here is below the original photograph:

I applied a photoshop filter to it to simplify the scene and get the essence of it and only used this as a reference when painting:

I like to see this painting in a frame as I think it frames it just like the train window would.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Lansdown view - January late afternoon

Last week-end I went to the top of Lansdown in Bath looking for an inspiring place to paint. After 20 minutes of driving around I finally spotted a beautiful view at the end of a lane showing Bath litten by the late afternoon winter sunshine.

Lansdown view - January late afternoon      10"x8"  oil on board

Here below is the view at the beginning of the session. I had all my gear to paint outside but it was so cold that I decided to stay in the car and paint from the passenger seat with my pochade box on my lap. Now, this will be a good test to see if my partner ever reads my blog as I'm not supposed to paint in his car so let's see if he says anything in the next few days...Oups... ;)

Here is below the view from the car just before I headed home. It went dark very quickly so I had to stop.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Impressionism and Fauvism in Belgium around 1900

This time, instead of showing you one of my painting I'd like to share some of my influences instead. As you might know, I'm from Belgium and I can say that belgian painters have certainly inspired me since I've started painting and have probably been the spark that started this passion of mine. I particularly love the work of the impressionists and fauvists who mastered light, tones and colours with, in my humble view, sometimes even more power and beauty than some of the more famous impressionists in France at the same time. Here is below a selection of some of my favourite paintings from belgian painters, mostly produced around 1880-1930:

Albert Lemaitre - L'église Saint-Georges, Venise

Charles Hermans - Villa Mattei, campagne romaine

Ferdinand Schirren - Nu

Guillaume Vogels - Cabines sur la plage

Guillaume Vogels - Vue de plage

Guillaume Vogels - Péniche sur un canal

Guillaume Vogels - L'aurore,  Mer du Nord

James Ensor - Le nuage blanc

James Ensor - Mer grise

Jean Brusselmans - Femme à sa toilette

Maurice Sijs - Canards sur la Lys

Richard Baseleer - L'arc-en-ciel sur l'Escaut

Richard Baseleer - Aan de Schelde

Richard Heintz - Palais des Doges

Richard Heintz

Rik Wouters - Portrait du sculpteur

Rik Wouters - Autoportrait

Willem Paerels - Marine

Willem Paerels

Willem Paerels

Most of the images above are taken from two great books:
- L'Impressionisme et le Fauvisme en Belgique (Serge Goyens de Heusch)
- Le Fauvisme Brabançon - La collection François Van Haelen

For the little story, my uncle's ancestor (François Van Haelen) was the owner of a Brasserie in Brussels around 1915 where a group of belgian painters would regularly meet, eat and drink. As they were still unknown, they would sometimes exchange a painting for food and drink and make special commissions for François Van Haelen and his family. Although struggling at the time, most of those painters ended up being big names in the history of belgian painting, some of which I've displayed the paintings above, and François Van Haelen ended up with a marvellous collection of paintings.

Here are below some of the painters mentioned above during a life model session:

Painting class at l'Académie des Beaux Arts, Brussels
with Tytgat, Wéry, Paerels and Brusselmans in 1906

Looking at all this I can say I'm proud to be belgian and I hope that my tiny little contribution in the world of painting will do justice to those who have paved the way for me. 

ps: Also, I'm open to deals with inspired brasserie and restaurant owners willing to sponsor my work in exchange of lifelong unlimited fine dining and promising fame;) Just saying...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Natural Arch, Mackinac Island

As this is my first post of the year, let me all wish you a very Happy New Year and thank you for visiting my blog and leaving lovely comments last year. I'm posting here a small painting I did in December from a photograph I saw in a friend's album on Facebook (with approval of course). I usually like painting landscapes from life but I also like to do little studies from photographs to work a specific concept and colour palette:

Natural Arch, Mackinac Island  5"x7"  oil on board

Here is the original photograph taken on Mackinac Island  - I love the way the view is framed by the rocks. The sea has beautiful colours you don't see often on english shores.

photograph © Keonne Rodriguez