If you have looked through the galleries on my website you may have wondered, what's with all the tomato paintings? I do like a tasty tomato, however the paintings were created for the world famous (you haven't heard of it?!) East Nashville Tomato Arts Festival, held annually on the indisputably hottest flipping day of Tennessee summer. It's crowded, hot, nutty, and loud and all in tribute of the tastily ambiguous fruit/vegetable: the red, ripe tomato.
I've had art in the show for a couple of years and what does not sell comes home to roost (or ripen:/). What am I going to do with all these wacky tomato paintings? This is what I like about working in oils…it's never really finished. Alterations are always welcome.
I decided one day to try transforming these odd little artworks and…voila!
Now we've got a nice, glowing, beached shell and a couple of little blue eggs. How about that!
I've just finished painting my 2 tomato entries for this year…I'll post them later…and have started on more of the "Little Darlings" for the Hermitage Fall Show. I keep giving them away to all the sweet friends that house us on our trips back to Seattle/Bellingham. That's where I've been the past couple weeks (there and Florida), hence the absent blogger. One more trip next week and then I will settle into the lovely, steamy, lightning buggie Tennessee summer…sweet!!!
Well, actually, I DONT see London, but I do see France! Five of the dozens of sweet locales in Southern France where we spent a week last Spring. I can't believe it was a year ago! And I'm still enthusiastically painting from the photos we took. (I haven't even started on my Italy paintings yet!)
Let me tell you a little about these paintings:
top left…is a street scene in Uzes. The buildings come right out to the cobble road with just a curb to keep the elements from the doorways. So much stone, quarried from the nearby hills hundreds of years ago. The pinks and yellows in the stone are natural and the chips and stains come from centuries of seasons.
top right…Abbey Senanque, with a heavy dose of imagination for the blooming lavender fields. We were there in early spring when only that little lollipop almond tree was actually blooming. I feel like I was able to keep my brush strokes loose and the chroma in the flowers high. We wandered around the grounds in late afternoon, just seeing glimpses of this lovely place.
bottom left…is a "work in progress" of a little alley in the hilltop village of Les Baux-de-Provence, a very picturesque village in the Alpilles mountains. Mainly it is a major tour bus stop with lots of gift and art shops, but the ruins remain and are still filled with secrets and mysteries. Imagine a feudal fortress in the middle ages, now crumbling and overgrown with vines and foliage.
bottom middle…Aix en Provence is a small city where our daughter attended University of Marseille for a semester. There are numerous narrow cobblestone streets in the Old Town district, lined with small shops, patisseries, and cafes. This scene is from a photo we took when we spotted three ladies on a coffee break in that chilly afternoon. The Uzes painting was my first attempt at a street scene with multiple buildings and windows. I thought this one turned out a little better, a little looser with more confident brush strokes. I still have much to learn about light, color, and edges.
bottom right…a little flower shop in Arles, too sweet to not take a picture of…and paint! It sat at the end of the rabbit warren of narrow, cobbly lanes, nearly undriveable, although we gave it a great try with mixed results. The modern and trendy little shop was a counterpoint to the ancient stone structure all around. I just loved the funky neon sign above the boxes and carts of flowers.
My plein air painting experiences of this year contrast with the need to paint from photos of our travels. If only my super power was to slow time and be able to stay all day in one place painting and still see and paint in four more places on the same day! But I still have so much fun painting places and moments and experiences; I can see that you might think I'm attached and possessive of each piece, but surprisingly, No! I would love to send them out to new homes…maybe yours?
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...