Monday 19 July 2010

Dealing with the heat and YES, size DOES matter!

July here in the South of France has been very hot and for much of the time my studio  has been impossible to paint in during the heat of the day. Not only has it been way too uncomortable for me, but the paint has also been affected - becoming very sticky and difficult to work with, even when using a medium. Working fast in thin glazes may be the solution. I will need to experiment with the medium to get the consistency right and avoid further stickiness. I am going to try mixing the medium with a little pure turps – just as soon as I can get some – not  as easy as it sounds when you live up a mountain !

When it has been too uncomfortable I have abandoned the attempt altogether and spent my time sketching. I’ve been doing quick sketches of people, taking my sketch pad everywhere I go. Last week we took a trip down into Spain and found a restaurant sited just above a beach in a very pretty little cove, ideal for working unobserved - quick pen and ink sketches of all sorts and sizes of people!

But despite the heat and my poor husband's ears battered with my subsequent wingeing I have managed to complete two paintings this month. The one above is fresh off the easel and full of nostalgia for the gentle contours of my native Dorset now I am back in rugged mountain country. It fits the bill for painting smaller, which I vowed I would do following my recent exhibition in the UK. Size DOES matter when you are selling in an environment of  quaint country cottages and at a time when people are watching their pennies.

The second painting completed this month doesn’t fit the small is beautiful bill at all (it is 100 x 100). It is another large canvas in the mountain series. I wanted to paint the peak of the mountain opposite the house now that the snow has gone and when we first got back from the UK, there was still a little left just below the summit which was poking up above the clouds. I haven't quite decided what to do about the sky. I wanted a complete contrast to it's companion painting (on the right below) which I completed at the beginning of the year.

Earlier canvas also 100 x 100


  1. It seems we face similar challenges with the current weather situation, Annie! Hot! I love the "Rolling English Road" painting and understand what you mean about ". . . size DOES matter". I've been working small lately, but have a huge blank canvas longing to be painted upon in the corner of my studio.

  2. Your new painting is so beautiful, Annie! I could just crawl inside it!

    I have a new challenge in size. I paint very small and I have been commissioned to paint a 24" x 48" painting. It's so foreign to me, but I am really excited. I am looking forward to literally stretching my wings.

  3. I love making large paintings ... but transporting and storing them is such trouble. Still, I do paint some that are pretty large. Right now am painting smaller but they are still usually at least 3 feet on each side. Your paintings are beautiful .... and I think mountains look so much more fantastic in large size