While driving in the country last summer, I found myself in a region that had an older look to it. Our Peace River region is a young community. Towns celebrate hundredth birthdays, and 150th, but really, this region saw most of its settlement happen in the last 70 years. So this country farm may have been established in the 1930’s, or even the 50’s, but that looks old to us locals!
Anyhow, I love the brilliant yellow of canola fields in bloom, set against our vivid Peace region skies. A farmhouse and barn are like the bride and groom atop the wedding cake – just the right finish. And my husband, who doesn’t always understand my paintings (he’s one of those that is impressed when a painting ‘looks like a photo’), really liked this one. Gotta please the man of the house once in a while!
Technical stuff: I’ve been following David Rankin on Facebook and he gives very thorough explanations of the decisions he makes in watercolor painting. I’m always trying to learn more and while I may be very comfortable with techniques used in watercolor painting, in other areas I have so much to learn. I used his “darkest values add distance” by placing my darks on one plane of the painting; this is pretty easy to do with such a simple composition.
I also used Manganese Blue for my sky which is a new colour for me. I was surprised at how “mobile” it is. After my first attempt at clouds, I wished I’d been looser, and then realized that even after the sky had dried, an addition of more water would still move that colour around. I’m used to more staining blues. So I dropped in more water and made some interesting blooms AFTER the painting had dried, and got some lovely wet cloud shapes that I’m very much enjoying.
This painting is the essence of a hot summer’s day on the farm. I can just imagine a line of wash, hanging limply on the line, waiting for a breeze to stir the linens. A pitcher of condensation-beaded lemonade sits on the kitchen table, and the house is dark, curtains drawn to keep out the heat. At least until the farm wife decides to can some garden produce. That always seems to get done on the hottest days, til the house becomes an over, but she’s watching the sky, hoping for a late-afternoon thunderstorm to roll in. Tools clank in the barn, and the dog’s tail stirs up dust, twitching as he dreams under the shade of a lilac bush.
“Summer on the Farm” measures 10″ x 14″ is available for purchase. Contact me!