Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sydney Gardens bridge on a summer afternoon

On sunday the weather was hot and sunny and after a day of tidying and cleaning at the flat I decided to reward myself with a plein air painting at one of my favourite places in Bath: Sydney Gardens. So I jumped on my bike with all my gear, and when I arrived I was greeted with wonderful green reflections on the water and quickly set up by the bridge to do a study:

Sydney Gardens bridge on a summer afternoon   10"x12"  oil on board

I loved the variety of greens on the water and in the trees:



the painting towards the end

As I was painting, a little girl looked at my canvas and shouted at her mother while pointing at the painting "Look mum, that's what I want to be when I grow up!" I almost replied "What? A bridge? A painting?" but she probably wouldn't have found it funny. Joke aside - it is always nice to see some ambition with kids - maybe she'll be the next Picasso.

Detail



As you can see below, I set up just before the tunnel. I lost count of the number of kids and people coming from the other side who shouted 'funny' words while in the tunnel to enjoy their own echo, and then, as they came out of the tunnel, looked at me with a bit of embarrassment realising I was there the whole time hearing their vocal performances.




On an other topic, I need to explain that many times I would step back and lay against the wall to have a better look at my painting. And it's only at the end that I realised that every little hole on the wall is actually a spider nest! You should have seen me suddenly shaking like a maniac making sure I didn't have any on me!!

Detail


I might enter this painting for the Bath Prize and I hope I'll get an other chance to paint outside before the show. I've worked on a couple of studio paintings too and I'll post these in the next few days...

ps: If you feel this painting reminds you of something, it might be because I did a similar painting at Sydney Gardens a few months ago. It wasn't the same bridge, but actually just the next one after the turning. Click here to see it.

10 comments:

  1. Lovely work! It looks like you painted it from a boat. I like the story of people doing echoes in the tunnel then seeing you:-/ I would have certainly made a noise, probably an owl hoot!

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    1. Thanks Andrew! Nobody can resist shouting in that tunnel;)

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  2. Great painting Valerie and it's interesting to compare the photo scene and see how you've translated and filtered the subject to suit your painterly needs. Lovely colours, strokes and a solid composition. The focal point of that dark tree against the bridge works extremely well. Prize contender, for sure!!

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    1. Thanks David! Glad you spotted my focal point with the tree. I really had fun painting this one, it felt very natural and I didn't think too much which is always a good sign!

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  3. Valerie, brilliant as usual. Well done. I would have jumped into the water if the spiders got on me, i`m petrifide of them all the best Valerie.
    Vic.

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    1. Thanks Vic! I have a phobia of spiders too! I remember one day while painting I saw a big spider crawling behind me and lost sight of it and couldn't focus on the painting anymore as I kept looking every 10 seconds to be sure it wasn't climbing on me!

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  4. Hello Valerie,
    I was so pleased to see this post of a bridge painting. I am one of five artists selected to paint at the opening of a new foot bridge over the Trinity River here in Fort Worth this Saturday. Our bridge is larger and more open than the one you painted but I will be trying to draw inspiration from your wonderful painting.

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    1. Thanks Douglas for the lovely comment! Well done for the selection to paint the bridge - I hope it went well and that you were very inspired!

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  5. thanks for sharing..

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