Monday, 15 July 2013

Hot summer day at Sydney Gardens, Bath

The week end before last I went painting at my favourite place in Bath: Sydney Gardens. It was properly hot but the shade of the trees and the presence of water helped making it bearable. This is my favourite painting place because it combines all the perfect ingredients to a good painting session: beautiful scenery, lots of greens, reflections with the water, peace and quiet, and plenty of spots in the shade. I did a study of three different bridges (two on Saturday and one on Sunday). Here is the first one:

Hot summer day, Sydney Gardens, Bath (1)  12"x10"  oil on board


The picture below shows the actual view, although the photograph doesn't do justice to the beauty of the place (which explains why for me painting in plein air can often be so much more rewarding than from photographs):

That's me below adding the final touches. I have always been secretly convinced that the quality of a painting is always directly proportional to how basic/comfortable/unflattering the outfit of the painter looks. Based on this, surely I must have painted a masterpiece!

Oh, and by the way, if you were thinking for a moment that I look like I had too many ice creams this summer, I must reassure you; this rounded belly is actually the sign of my next big masterpiece; the kind of work that takes 9 months to complete! I'm now almost 6 months pregnant and enjoying every bit of it! I'll give more explanation in my next posts about how it changed my painting habits...

Below is my next painting on that day. I loved the reflections of the sky in the water and the beautiful sunlit Bath stone of the bridge:

Hot summer day, Sydney Gardens, Bath (2)  12"x9"  oil on board

It is funny the type of encounter you make while painting. While painting this, a skater guy complimented me on my work and asked me if I was interested in producing paintings at the back of his handmade skateboards! Well, I never thought of my work as being young and trendy before! I kindly turned it down, but flattered nonetheless by the offer. What's next? Nightclubs murals? 



The painting towards the end of the session

Finally, here is my third painting at Sydney Gardens. I went for a long format to catch the lovely curve of the path alongside the canal. This scene had all the elements I love in a painting: highlights of the bridge, water reflections, lovely greens, strong curvy lines, and patches of blue skies:

Hot summer day, Sydney Gardens, Bath (3)  16"x9"  oil on board

Here is below the painting towards the end. I spent a bit longer than usual one this one, and felt it was time to go when I noticed that two little spiders had started building an impressive web against my leg! Honestly, do I look like a tree??


Before I forget, if you get a chance, get a copy of the latest Artists & Illustrator magazine. Three other plein air painters and myself (and my bump!) are making the cover! Click here for more info.

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