Imagine sitting on an island in the Bay of Fundy, perched high on a rocky cliff. Below you waves crash against rocks, eroding the edge of the island just a little more.
I sat there in the summer of 2012 with my painting gear and looked out to see a still strip of water, calm and illuminated in all that commotion. That is where this painting was born.
The ocean was ever changing that day. First misty-foggy, then cloudy and then for a brief interval, a few clouds parted and the ocean became smooth like glass in one spot. A reflection appeared like a mirage. And then it was gone.
This last month my morning walk through the village and lanes is dotted with clumps of asters growing in the ditches. They are shades of lilac, purple and a few rare deep fuchsia blooms.With their happy yellow centers, they seem to burst out all over our field beyond the studio. I don’t remember seeing as many of them other years and I’m not sure what was different about our weather this year to encourage them.
I picked a big bouquet of these wild flowers and brought them into the studio to paint.
I started with a rough sketch of the flowers using a thick acrylic marker.
I am intrigued with the effects of clear acrylic mediums and paint on canvas. Some painters like to mix acrylic paint or inks into medium to create a transparency. I like to cover my canvas with medium and then paint into the wet surface and I usually use a thin matt medium to do this. But often that medium dries too fast. So, I’ve been using gel medium more and more which is thicker and takes longer to dry.It also lets the paint lie on top of the gel…but you must gently drag the paint brush across the canvas and try to just touch the surface once! Go in with confidence!
The thick gel has the added bonus of showing every brushstoke which is apparent in this painting.
Next, I painted in a yellow background. I liked the colour harmony of the yellow with the blues and violets.
At this point I felt that I needed to ground the painting so I added a subtle horizon line and slightly darkened the space underneath the line.
I haven’t used this much white paint for a very long time, and I like the results. It really illustrates the airiness and delicate nature of the wild asters that I’ve been enjoying for weeks.
For now, this painting is available at my studio. Let me know if you are interested in purchasing it. I ship worldwide.
Update June 30, 2014
I decided the painting needed more depth so I applied a thin coat of transparent acrylic ink to parts of the painting to give it some depth and definition.