Welcome! Hope you see some artwork that pleases you, if not now, maybe next time…

Posts tagged “oil

September 26: Three chickens.

It is very very hot and humid. Everybody is moving around like limp fish. The horses are in permanent rest under the apple tree, the cats don’t lift an eyebrow when I walk past the them and even the chickens lay motionless in the shade of the hibiscus bush. I was busy, or trying to be. I took down washing, hung the next basket full, every time walking past the chickens. When they didn’t move when by the third pass, I thought they might just keep that pose for another 30 minutes. Et voilà, indeed they did, or almost. This was fun.

..Three chickens..

oil on board, 30x30cm

three chickens 25-09-2013 17-06-57 2964x2979

.à demain..


Two new plein air paintings

So two new plein air paintings are almost dry.

I started off with doing paintings just around the house..familiar ground..juts to get my confidence back. I can’t start off new with concentrating on all the aspects of plein air techniques, as well as handling people watching. The most difficult part of getting back into it, was staying with large shapes and not moving into picky painting. To help me with that, I had a limited palette of 6 colours and only two large flat brushes – a large one for getting down the main shapes and a slightly smaller one towards the end, getting down the impressionistic strokes.

…four à pain..

oil on linen, 24X33cm

Four à pain 27-07-2013 12-13-08 2699x3252

I almost gave up halfway through the first painting(seen below), since I couldn’t recognize any thing on the canvas at that stage, but I knew I would sulk for the rest of the month, so I had no choice but finish it. I am fairly happy and I know the process will just get better from now on… given that I continue painting of course!

..la route..

oil on board, 33X42cm

La route 27-07-2013 12-14-54 2535x3509

I just realized once again…it isn’t the completed painting that gives me the biggest kick, but the process that leads up to the end result. Now that I have some two or four paintings finished, busy drying, my biggest excitement is not seeing them in completion on the easels, but feeling the itch to start a new canvas.

A bunch of red onions…in oil

Working solely with painting knives and oil paint…no medium. I quite enjoyed this…very messy and I look as messy as the painting, but I really had fun in doing this little painting! I’m getting there…

…a bunch of red onions…

oil on cotton, 20x20cm(7.9×7.9″)

Two and a half pomegranates in oil.

Now that I have the gallery, I have to do more studio painting, since I can’t lock up every day and go painting plein air. I’m having a hard time though, adapting to studio work  “in public”. I’ve always preferred working privately in my atelier at home. Now I’m very self conscious and I worry about every stroke when there are eyes on me. I get distracted easily by what is going on outside and by people wandering in and out. I initially thought it wouldn’t bother me too much, but it does. Maybe down the road it will change.

…Two and half pomegranates…

oil on board, 40x40cm (15.7×15.7)

I’ve fallen into the habit of starting something in the atelier/gallery and then get completely distracted,  leave it, bring it home and finish it here at night. Like this painting. And it results in not being me. I  find the light very different, the atmosphere is different and even my mood is different. Working on the same still life in two different places just doesn’t sit right with me.

This is a very careful little painting, with no interest. If I look at it, I see a painting done by someone who was afraid to PAINT! Which was exactly the case. There is still this fear and uncertainty that has crept into my oil painting, as I’ve mentioned before.

I was never very fascinated by still life before and I still don’t get very excited about it. But there is a certain kind of meditation that creeps into doing a still life. I experienced it here in the barn at night, when I’m alone and painting on the still life…I sort of like the quietude that a still life conveys. Being someone who doesn’t have a “calm” personalty, I discovered that doing a still life is quite therapeutic for me. I think that is what will make a still life work for me…reaching that moment when I can feel my painting’s quietness, but without having it look and feel static. I will post some more still lifes later.

More oil and gouache studies

I have been working a bit more in gouache and oil in the fields…doing the few hay balls still lying around in the fields here and there. The following pieces are only exercises done on site in plein air. I’m working hard at just interpreting, not rendering  the reality, but only the essentials.

…close-up 1

Close-up two was done using only fench ultramarine, white an a touch of black. I’m quite happy with this one…

…close-up 2…

I am finding that I enjoy gouache more and more. I like the touch of it on the paper’s surface and it is creamy enough for me and I can work thick with it or thin in washes. I also particularly like its “flat” two dimensional appearance, which looks very “painterly” to me.

…Bales of hay in gouache…

These two  gouaches were done on a large sheet of light grey laminated paper/carton paper (65x50cm..25.6×19.7″)

I did a small oil as well.. I have to regain my confidence in oil as I lost it completely during an experience a few weeks ago. I’m hesitant, I don’t really know what to do and where to go to on the canvas. But maybe it is a good thing too…maybe something new can be born from this. I hope so.

…bales of hay in oil…

oil on linen, 33×24.5cm (13×9.7″)

Two bales of hay in oil and a gallery.

I love the bales of hay standing all around the countryside at this time of year, soon to be stored for the winter. The days are hot and the evenings linger long before the starry nights set in. Perfect summer days. Today was one of those days. The temperature stood a 41 degrees C(105 degrees F) when  I took my oil paints just down the hill to capture the hay balls before they’re stored away. I used an old flop painting and started painting over it. Don’t think I’ll do it again, I felt distracted by the already painted scene on the board.

…three bales of hay study

oil on board,

I have a new project this summer. I woke up one day a few weeks ago and decided I want a little gallery/atelier in Beaulieu. After searching and asking around, I came upon a tiny location, right in the medieval center of Beaulieu sur dordogne, opposite the beautiful old church. I hastened to get my things in order…what things?…drove up to Montlouis to fetch “stuff” to fill my gallery with, drove back 5 hours, offloaded, had a glass of champagne to celebrate this new”craze”, went to bed and unlocked my tiny gallery/atelier the next morning to welcome my first visitors..oh no sorry…clients? Lo and behold, I sold quite a few things!

Et voici mon gallerie/atelier.

…arrival and downloading…

Changes I’ve made: I have an olive tree in a big pot instead of the two small pots, because people nick my stones and use the pots as ash trays…imagine!!

…just finished offloading…

I have postcards made of my artwork and bookmarks and edition prints. People can also browse through watercolors and drawings…which sell very good. And most of all, people enjoy fiddling through the sketchbooks and many want to buy, but of course the sketchbooks aren’t for sale. Next thing that interest them, is to buy a sketchbook and some materials for themselves, because they are inspired by it all. That is so exciting and now I’m preparing small “sketch kits” that people can buy for their holiday or as a gift with my own small handmade sketchbooks.

..opening the first day…


Since taking these photos, I’ve made a lot of changes:

The kids’ corner is bigger with their own little gallery against the wall. they LOVE this and the gallery is already filled up with their dawings: the principle is that they do a drawing for me and they can choose a lollipop from Pierrot Gourmand(see photo below) I provide all the paper and crayons and aprons, all they have to do, is make a drawing/painting).

…kid’s corner..

My goal is probably not to get rich from this little gallery, but to make people aware of art and the fact that art doesn’t have to be expensive or for an exclusive part of the population. I want to show that a gallery doesn’t have to be boring, but can be fun and there can be something for everyone. I would like to have people feel the joy of buying a handmade postcard rather than a boring mass produced postcard from a tourist stall.  I work in the gallery while people are browsing and talking to me and asking questions and so far, it seems as though they are enjoying the ambiance and feel of my little gallery, me working there included. Many have made comments on the nice smells of the citrus solvent I use, they enjoy touching and picking up, looking from up close. they even enjoy my music, which is mostly Edith Piaf and the poems of George Brassens and Léo Ferré.


…working space…

I also have a theme each week or so, focusing on an artist, putting out books and info on this artist, what he did, images, reading material etc. This is still tough for people and most walk by, but there is the odd one who stops and reads.

Will I succeed in bringing art to the common man on the street?  If I can reach only one person, then yes, I’ve succeeded.


Plein air painting – A red roof.

We had terrible winds when I painted this painting. Everything tumbled over every now and then. So I feel quite proud that I’ve completed it.

… red roof…


oil on linen, 46x38cm (18″x15″)

…red roof: close-up…

And here is my preparation stage, the very first washes.

I have so much to learn when it comes to plein air painting. My biggest problem is usually finding the best viewpoint.  Sometimes I impiulsively like a spot, just to realize after a while that the paintings doesn’t have any strong focus point, or the basics are weak(the shapes) or there is no interest, or it is too static. In this case I find that I have no real interest, no excitement, no strong focal point to hold the viewer captive, not enough strong movement to lead the viewer around the painting. So. Off to a next effort!

Oil painting – plein air – a quiet path.

Yesterday I did a plein air(sur le motif) painting…on my birthday. It was great. I’m quite happy with it in the sense that I really didn’t fiddle..I gave a first wash, then a second layer thin paint and then the final layer and lastly added fine details and I’m happy it turned out OK.

And THANK you to everybody who sent me good wishes for my birthday…I loved each one!!

…a quiet path…

oil on canvas, 38x46cm

…preparation for plein air, quiet path…

Oil painting- sunflowers.

Sunflowers look so easy to paint, but it is everything but easy! One can either paint it too stiff and controlled, depleting it of all character, or it can be painted sloppy, in which case it looks as if you didn’t know what you were doing. I think I fall in the second category. But it sure is fun to paint! Robyn made the remark that sunflowers remind her of happy people. While  painting these, even when scraping off and starting over, even when throwing sunflowers 2 out the barn door and picked it up afterwards and finally completed it… I was happy. The colours, the shapes, the smell of the oils, the touch of the sunflowers, the buzzing bee around the paints and flowers, the leaves wilting and drying and taking on shapes of their own….I was happy. Still am.

…sunflowers 2…

oil on canvas, 41x33cm (16,1″x12,9″)

I did struggle a bit with sunflowers 1…he composition gave me trouble and I overworked it completely. It actually had a stage where it was perfect…sort of undone, half finished, a slight background with an attractive unfinished look. And I just had to add a touch here and there, which eventually turned into a completely different painting and I lost that “unfinished” stage forever. Fortunately , there is always the next one.

…sunflowers 1

oil on cotton, 38x46cm (14,9″x18,1″)

Plein air painting at Coin Perdu

I picked up my plein air painting again and even though the wrist is stiff and unwilling to be free and spontaneous,  AND my eye is out, my perspective and composition is askew and the little apple tree stands right smack in the middle where the hill ends…a very bad meeting point and I might just go,out there and redo it tomorrow. But it is STILL wonderful! I realize again how much I love it…and how much I’ve neglected it.

The scene below is beautiful in real life, but doesn’t really work as a painting. As I’ve said before..sometimes a beautiful scene is there to enjoy with the eyes and sometimes an ordinary scene makes for a stunning painting. But it is worth it to go out and paint it all…it helps in deciding on a paintable scene, getting your eye focused for plein air. Painting plein air is SO different than painting from a photograph, in terms of “seeing. and of course, MUCH more gratifying, even if it doesn’t turn out the way one planned…which in fact it never does. Sometimes, the scene changes a bit too. like the scene below. In the painting it looks like there is a large hill to the right of the tree, which in fact, there isn’t. But it looks much better this way than it would without the “hill”. and I am not after realism, so seeing a hille on my painting which doesn’t exist in real life, gives me quite a kick. Makes me feel like I’m very original!

Our area is very green at the moment after the rains. The trees and forests are green, the fields and hills are beautifully green and lush, , there aren’t many colorful wildflowers around, so the world tends to be green, green green.  Having all this green in a painting can make one feel a little woozy…

Maybe I’ll do the same scene again, but in some different colors than that which I see in front of me..

…Apple tree…

Plein air painting in oil on linen, 41x33cm (16,10″x12, 10″)

Painting: carrots in oil

I am trying to do a painting a weekagain. Completed this painting today, a rainy day outside and nice and friendly in front of the fire. I can feel I’m rusty working on a painting. Very impatient and hurried. But I am gliding back into working mode again and inspiration is beginning to open its eyelids, albeit slowly.

Oil on canvas, 30x 25cm

I give you… Christeen

A fun exchange in emails between Christeen and me a while ago, turned into work in the end! Not that this wasn’t fun. Too much, I would say…I actually attempted three paintings! But it sure was difficult…I was very worried about not doing justice to her beauty and wonderful character. She assured me though it is about the process, and not the end result(for this time, I’ll believe it, although I would normally believe that the result does carry quite a bit of weight too!)
She also sent me a picture of her and her brother at four years, which I’ll attempt a bit later. By her own words, she now once again has the playfulness, enthusiasm and humor she had when she was four and that was what I tried to capture. I can see it so obviously in her face, but capturing it, is another thing. She has these amazingly long eyelashes behind which she carries the sparkles of mischief, a mouth full and round with humor, and hair, wild like a free roaming lioness. See Christeen’s excellent take on this!!…. as well as the original image here
So, here I give you Christeen…..in graphite on paper; then watercolor on Arches and last, oil on linen.






shirley said…
All absolutely wonderful! What a huge project….
May 6, 2007 4:21 PM  
Christeen said…
Ronell, you are one amazingly talented woman!! Holy smokes! These are awesome!
May 6, 2007 4:22 PM  
Dave said…
Ooh, these are all good. I think the graphite one is my favourite. No, perhaps it’s the oil. Although now I come to look at the watercolour again…
May 6, 2007 4:29 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
Wow, Ronell, these are great! My favorite is the oil – it ‘s so full of life.
May 6, 2007 5:09 PM  
Lin said…
May 6, 2007 5:35 PM  
Claudia said…
I like the watercolour one the most! Wonderful work, all three are superb!
May 6, 2007 5:44 PM  
Nina Johansson said…
hese are just lovely! Incredibly good, you captured Christeen perfectly!
May 6, 2007 7:01 PM  
martín said…
Ronell, I absolutely agree with Christeen, you´re amanzingly talented!!! I can’t say I have a favourite, I can’t decide since I like the three of them very much. Each one has its own character. GREAT JOB!!!
May 6, 2007 7:45 PM  
Sarah said…
Amazing paintings – isn’t it interesting how the different media seem to emphasise different aspects – they’re all alive and vital, but the watercolour shows a more reflective person, the oil brings that hint of mischief out more and in the charcoal drawing she looks more curious, almost about to challenge someone (I should say – that’s how they look to me anyway)
May 6, 2007 8:45 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
Ronell THese are just super…they got better and better as i scrolled down the page…cant decide WHICH is my favorite…they are all MAGNIFICIENT!!
May 6, 2007 9:19 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Oh, Ronell, your charcoal is GORGEOUS, and so is Christeen!
May 6, 2007 9:21 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Ooops, graphite! You did such a rich, deep job with it I just assumed it was charcoal!Read ALL the words, Kate…*G*
May 6, 2007 9:23 PM  
Silvia said…
All of the portraits are wonderful :), but I think I like the second one even best :))!
May 6, 2007 9:58 PM  
Kristin Saegaert said…
Wow! I think I like the graphite the best, but with your amazing talent it’s really hard to commit to that!!! Thanks for sharing your art with us!
May 7, 2007 12:42 AM  
Shelly McC said…
Stunning painting!
May 7, 2007 1:49 AM  
Kay Cox said…
Ronell, these are just beautiful. I aspire to be able to paint like you someday. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely work. Lucky Christeen!
May 7, 2007 2:23 AM  
bec said…
What a fun project! My favorite is the watercolor… nice play of light on the subject. Did Christeen draw you?
May 7, 2007 2:35 AM  
Robin Neudorfer said…
I love the graphite drawing. So spontaneous. What a fun project
May 7, 2007 2:49 AM  
Nancy said…
I love the graphite drawing and keep gong back to it (your model is beautiful by the way). I love to look at your site – I leave feeling inspired.
May 7, 2007 4:12 AM  
Serena said…
These are awesome! I think my favourite is the graphite. :)
May 7, 2007 9:08 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the comments -Sarah…thank you for being so observant..you’re spot on! I’m so glad you did see a littel of what I tried to do…see down below.Nancy: Yes I had a beautiful model to work with!Bec: and Christeen does have a snapshot of me, so when she has time, she’ll do one too.note: This was a very intimidating experience for me….doing a painting of someone you don’t know or haven’t met face to face, and in a weird sense is actually a friend(like you all would agree, I’m sure) and all you have to work with is a photograph – you haven’t seen some personal mannerisms, like how her mouth moves when she smiles, how she crinkles her nose, how she plays with a string of hair, how the light in her eye changes…anything that can give you an idea of something more than physical…. Normally I would’ve preferred to have Christeen’s face say something more than just displaying rendition, tell more of a story, but I didn’t feel confident enough to do that. Who knows, maybe our paths might cross and then I’ll redo these.

May 7, 2007 9:15 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
So I’m going to chime in and say how much I admire your work and your courage as well… I couldn’t say which one I like the most, since they all have a different feeling to them, like showing different aspects of Christeen’s personality? – Would be interesting to know which one she thinks portrays her best?
May 7, 2007 9:29 AM  
Ujwala said…
all three are wonderful but the oil is my favourite :P sounds like a fun project and i hope we can see christeen’s work too.
May 7, 2007 12:14 PM  
Tonniece said…
May 7, 2007 12:35 PM  
Sandy said…
WOW – big WOW you are a master (bowing down before you)
May 7, 2007 3:52 PM  
Robyn said…
I love the graphite one, Ronell. it looks so spontaneous and very much from life. That, I find, is terribly difficult to achieve from a photo which usually lends itself to a more formal portrait. You are very clever – I’m so in awe of the oil too!
May 7, 2007 6:30 PM  
Fanta said…
I like the first one best, maybe because I love graphite, maybe because you truly did capture the child in her expression.
The last one truly looks like a lioness, even the twirls in the background resemble the presence of a lioness! Awesome!
May 7, 2007 9:49 PM  
platitudinal said…
Truly amazing work. You’re not only attempting a likeness of her, but also her essence. That’s very difficult to capture, and yet you did. I think each medium emphasize more of certain characteristic, but all and all they’re all there. Superb job, Ronell.
May 7, 2007 10:02 PM  
Carole said…
Well done – these are stunning! It’s so interesting seeing them done in three different media, and noticing how each gives a different feel. My favourite has to be the oil painting because I am such a huge fan of your luscious way with oils. Oh, to be able to paint like that!
May 7, 2007 11:16 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hello I cant tell you how much your work has inspired me to practice daily and hope that someday I also will be able to turn out wonderful works of art. You are a wonderful artist and I thank-you for letting us see your work hear.
May 8, 2007 12:49 AM  
mARTa said…
wow! how different they all are yet how smashing! Your blog is always a joy to the viewer!
May 8, 2007 2:13 AM  
Renate said…
Wonderful. They all have there own charm. I love the eyes from the graphite one, but my favorite is the one in oil.
May 8, 2007 8:50 AM  
wagonized said…
It is hard to tell which one strikes me the most — as each of them stresses something different about Christeen. Love her hair in the graphite one.
Thank you, Ronell, for your comments on my funk of the past few days. Your words, which i found on Suzanne’s blog, have stuck in my head ever since i read them. Yesterday, i just showed up at the page… :-)
May 8, 2007 4:03 PM  
Christeen said…
I keep coming back to marvel at these. I’ve never seen a drawing or painting of myself before, and I enjoy them SO much!Your graphite drawing really captures how my hair feels to me- men have lost watches in it! It can be incridibly difficult to coerce into submission!I love the loose, fresh approach in the watercolor. You’ve made the light SO beautiful- I feel like I’m outside, just looking at it. I am also impressed with how you kept the line of my nosering thin and delicate in the midst of those wonderful washes of color. You’ve got my squint wonderfully.And the oil- wow. The brushstrokes are really lively. Thje background supports your lionine take on my hair, and suggests wind tossing it around (and it was VERY windy the day I took that shot). The colors are luscious. The colors you’ve used for my skin are particularly impressive to me.So, all that said, thank you SO much for applying your creative talents to this swap of photos! You’ve inspired and impressed me, and I’m so glad we gave it a try.

May 8, 2007 7:56 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Great work Ronell – not just this post throughout your blog. These are great, I think I like the pencil one the best.
May 9, 2007 1:10 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
These are really fantastic! You’re so talented. :D
May 9, 2007 6:37 AM  
E-J said…
You’ve been so busy! You and Christeen have really taken this challenge by the horns. I think the oil is especially good.
ay 9, 2007 1:52 PM  
Linda said…
These are all great! Christeen’s painting of you is wonderful, too — you two are cooking up some fun stuff! :-)
May 11, 2007 4:18 AM  
Anonymous said…
Come across to your blog and loved it. I will return.http://tcores.blogspot.com
May 11, 2007 2:40 PM  
janey said…
These are great, I love the color and texture in the last one.
May 11, 2007 6:15 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the generous comments!
May 12, 2007 8:26 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What a grand project! I love the graphite the best, but that’s just me. All of them are simply superb.

In the limelight

I finally finished this oilpainting. It took my some time though. I can’t say how long…too embarressing. I have been sidetracked by unimportant things for a while there, hopefully I’m back on track now. (Click on the image to enlarge)
I love working in oil and I enjoy using it “dramatically”. It is not a medium where I wish to be delicate and thoughtful and now I don’t mean being disrespectful to it either by being sloppy and messy. Since oil is such a wonderful medium to push around with your brush, or knife as in this case, I enjoy going for extremes, where the endresults aren’t always “pretty” or even pleasing to the eye, but where a lot of telling and emotion is conveyed to the viewer.
This was done from a series of photographs I took at a dance one evening.

oil with painting knives on canvas.

65 cm x 81 cm



Lindsay said…
You have a very expressive brush! Lovely drama and intemacy in this one.
March 24, 2007 2:35 PM  
Carole said…
I love this type of painting – lively, expressive, colourful and emotional. Sorry I can’t help on the blogger problem, as I gave up on blogger when the beta version gave me huge headaches!
March 24, 2007 6:14 PM  
Teri C said…
Gosh, it’s great and looks like it was fun to do.
March 24, 2007 7:17 PM  
E-J said…
I have dabbled in oils and find them very challenging. I like your use of the medium, and I don’t see this as being sloppy or messy.The couple have such sweet faces!
March 24, 2007 10:39 PM  
casey said…
Congratulations on getting this done! It looks great, Ronell!
March 25, 2007 5:41 PM  
Ujwala said…
I like your style and this painting very much!
March 26, 2007 5:56 AM  
Africantapestry said…
thanks for the nice comments, everyone…oil is very close to my heart and the good thoughts here are wonderful encouragements!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 509 other followers