Wednesday, 25 July 2012

My flat from the garden on a summer afternoon

My partner Jon and I have just sold our flat in Bath and are in the process of purchasing a new home in the same city. Although I'm obviously terribly excited about the move, I'm also feeling a bit nostalgic about leaving my very much loved little flat. We have been here for over 4 years and have had some wonderful time. Last week-end, it suddenly dawned on me that having painted several house commissions for people, I never painted my own home, so I thought this is now or never as we will be moving out in the next few weeks. So here it is:

My flat from the garden on a summer afternoon  12"x10"  oil on board

Jon took this picture of me as I was painting:




I set up in the shade at the end of the garden so I wouldn't have to worry about the sun shining on my board:



There is a 'funny' story with this painting: As jon took some pictures of me, I decided - in an act of pure shameful vanity - to remove my glasses. I'm shortsighted and can't see much without them, but for some reason I suddenly found the shapes and colours of the building very interesting in a kind of blurry way, so I decided to keep painting without my glasses! It was early stage in the painting so this blur was perfect to help for the 'colour blocking' stage. When it was time to put some details I resigned myself to put them back on... and screamed of horror at the view of what I just painted! No, just kidding, it worked out quite well actually! After all, Monet was almost blind at the end of his career and his work didn't suffer at all. Instead it gained a beautiful abstract quality to it. Food for thoughts then!

Below is the painting in progress. I had to work quickly as the light was moving fast, constantly changing the tones of the angles of the building:



And here is a detail of the painting. I'm so glad I got the chance to paint this as I will keep it as a souvenir for the rest of my life (that's me being sentimental again!). I'm looking forward to paint my new home now!



ps: I'm available for commissions if you would like me to do a painting of your own home or garden. Just drop me a line or give me a call. And I promise I'll leave my glasses on while painting!

22 comments:

  1. A lovely memento. Your confident brush strokes make this piece jump off the canvas.

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    1. Thanks Mick! I love when I manage to get that 3D effect! :-)

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  2. cette peinture respire le bonheur tranquille. Bravo Valérie, et bon courage pour le déménagement !
    Et la musique dans tout ça?
    Annette Vande Gorne, (ex prof piano)

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    1. Merci Annette pour le petit message! Mon jardin est effectivement mon petit havre de paix donc je suis contente que cela transparaisse dans ma peinture... Le piano est un petit peu "en pause" car avec un boulot à temps plein et cette passion pour la peinture, il faut faire des sacrifices. Par contre je me réjouis d'emménager dans la nouvelle maison car je pourrai enfin avoir la place pour un "vrai" piano (jusqu'à présent en Angleterre je n'ai que mon clavinova...). Cela me redonnera probablement l'envie de m'y remettre vraiment! A bientot j'espère! Valérie

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  3. What a lovely idea. I would love a painting of out cottage but you'd have to sit across the road! And couldn't afford you ;) you are very talented. X

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    1. Thanks Madeleine!! Sitting across the road doesn't put me off, I have done much worse than that while painting! But I'm sure indeed the money is probably better spent on the arrival of your little one. Looking forward to meeting the baby - hope you are all well. x

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  4. It's really beautiful Valérie and congratulations on your sale! I'm sure your new home will provide many happy years to come! x

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    1. Hi Haidee-Jo! Thanks for the comment, glad you like it!

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  5. Lovely house. Do a couple more if you can. I once painted at the beach with 'reacto' lenses, that made a problem as they went very dark I had to keep taking them off get the tones right. Good luck with moving. I'll look forward to seeing your blurred lilies in time.

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    1. Thanks Andrew! I'm glad I'm not the only one having some crazy glasses experiences!

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  6. A great painting and as time goes on it will mean more and more to you! I visited Bath a few years ago and thought it a very beautiful city! Look forward to seeing your new home on canvas! :)

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    1. Thanks Ingrid! Glad you like it. I'm very lucky to live in Bath indeed. I think one life is not enough to capture the beauty of this place.

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  7. And a fantastic job you have done of it too Valerie. Lovely painting. It looks very solid, just how a building should look. All the best Valerie.
    Vic

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    1. Thanks Vic! Glad you are interested in the solidity of the building;) It is victorian indeed and they seemed to know how to build things properly! Glad you like the painting. Hope all is well for you. Valérie

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  8. Very nice Valerie....lovely balance of warm and cool and that special glow you get on the Bath stone in the sunshine! Great to have as a memory to keep. Interesting approach with (or rather without the specs). Not an option for me as I'm long sighted so I can't see things close up...mind you...could lead to some 'happy accidents' :)

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    1. Thanks David! I just can't get enough of that Bath stone indeed :-) I think you should try the glasses-less experience, you never know what might happen! I find it similar to a photoshop filter on a photograph, very handy!

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  9. Another cracker Valerie - lovely mix of light employed on the angled bay window with the cool window reflections as a foil for the warm stone. Great stuff and a nice momento to keep!

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  10. I love the composition with the flowers on the side and the furniture near the flat. Everything is so lush and green. We are getting to the point here in Texas where it is so hot that it is difficult to keep things green here.
    I am happy for you getting a new place and look forward to seeing photos of your new studio.
    Dooug

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  11. Thanks Doug! Everything is so lush and so green indeed here because we had 2 months of non stop rain! That's the price to pay for green here! This was almost the first sunny week end since May. I can imagine you have the inverse problem.

    I will take pics of the new studio as soon as I'm set up, but we are not there yet. English rules - when it comes to moving houses - are rather crazy as you can't be sure of anything until you actually have the keys of the house. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Hope you're well. Valérie

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  12. thanks for sharing.

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