Small outdoor landscapes on sale

outdoor painting-philippa Robert-whitewater bridge-2017

Small outdoor landscapes to love are in the spotlight for you until mid-July. They offer little patches of colour and light to make your space sparkle. Have you seen these glimpses of Adelaide and summer-time in England?

My home “curator” has hung a line of them on our salon-hung living room wall and they look really dense and lively with colour and contrasts.

Small outdoor landscapes-Outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-whitewater bridge-2017-framed

This one “Whitewater Hotel, Newby Bridge” is one of my favourites. The dark tones are in ultramarine and prussian blues which I still feel drawn to. I was inspired by the lovely contrast between the local whitewashed buildings and the greenery.

It is neat and petite, 12.5×17.5cm without the frame but really packs a punch. Full-priced at $150, Whitewater Hotel, Newby Bridge is on sale now for 10% off – just $135.

To paint this work I stood on a footpath near the bridge edged with the dry-stone wall. The road was quite busy at the time as people were off to work on this early summer morning. I met the breakfast chef as he arrived cheerfully for duty (on foot). After a couple of hours work I returned to our cottage for a breakfast cooked by Martin, our host and chef. What a nice start to the day before our cruise on Lake Windermere.

Have you visited the Lakes District?

Cafe painting. Is it outdoor painting indoors?

Outdoor painting indoors-cafe paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Cafe painting is good fun. It is a bit like outdoor painting done indoors. Is that feasible? Many people would say no. I would say a qualified “yes”.

Recent experience at a local cafe convinces me that there are some elements in common.

Differences: outdoor-indoor

There are two main differences which are controlled indoors – variations in the light and protection from the weather. They are pretty big differences from the real thing. How can I possibly claim any similarities?

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Similarities: outdoor-indoor

As you can see, the kit is the same. My subject matter is cafe customers. That makes the time tight, even tighter than painting outdoors. They move their limbs a lot and some move their heads in very expressive ways. More fun.
It is also another version of painting in public, under the eyes of curious people. Curious people are fine by the way, but in this case they do wonder why I am staring at them!

Painting people living their everyday lives at such close quarters feels as if I am teetering on the performer’s tightrope. There is a blurry border between the artist and their subject in this very social setting. The border is firmer outdoors where people are not my main focus.

Outdoor painting indoors-cafe paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

I am enjoying the tightrope and the chance to take risks in public. Artistic risks of course! Any painting exercise in the studio or elsewhere has them. The way I find best is to accept what I produce and learn as I go. There is some evidence for learning in the series so far. They are not in order of execution. It might be fun to arrange them in order….but that would give away too many secrets.

And yes, I still think cafe painting is a bit like outdoor painting, indoors. Do you agree?

 

 

 

Travel Tips for outdoor painters: Part 3

painters travel tips 3-water-carriers-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Travel tips – Part 3

For now, this will be the final issue in painters travel tips. Today’s post is about collapsible water carriers and blu-tac. Well, I didn’t promise excitement every time!

Water carriers

painters travel tips 3-water-carriers-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Carriers need to be the lightest possible of course! I have moved from clean plastic soda or milk bottles, to hikers’ water carriers. These are not only light but also collapsible so you really have less bulk to carry home. Their bulkiest part is the cap and nozzle. I usually carry enough for painting and a bit to drink. The cap allows for pouring, squirting and drinking. This particular type stands upright when it holds water. I use three or four on one outing, but usually bring a little water home. Three is just right.

These bottles are expensive to buy (about $19AUD) but I managed to find them at a January half-price sale two years in a row! Recently, I noticed some at an Oxfam shop in the UK but didn’t check their price.

painters travel tips 3-standing water carrier-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Blu-tac

It may not be glamorous, but isn’t blu-tac useful? This is the everyday person’s industrial chewing gum. It has more uses in the field than I can count. Just carry some whenever you go out to paint – simple as that. It does soften and slip a bit in the hot weather, but a bit of hitching overcomes that.

Guessing that you don’t need to see a photo of some blu-tac waiting for use, here is a healthy reminder to end on! I will let you add your own caption…..

painters travel tips 3-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-eat fruit

 

Elements of Painting

landscapes-2016-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Pines and vines, McLaren Vale

Three elements of painting

These three landscapes seem to group together for a number of reasons. Together they show some of my favourite elements of painting.

Painting Elements: 1 Structure

Architecture can add structure to a painting, but not automatically. It needs to be integrated into the composition.  In this Walkerville landscape the white partitions of the building make a strong skeletal underlay for the foliage. If you look really closely that skeleton is loosely echoed in the stretch of fluorescent plastic “danger” fencing.

more landscapes-from Linear Park, Walkerville-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
From Linear Park, Walkerville

Painting Elements: 2 Rhythm

more landscapes-outdoor painting-PhilippaRobert-Adelaide South Australia-Berry farm Piccadilly Valley
Berry farm, Piccadilly Valley

Piccadilly Valley is one of my favourite painting destinations at any time of year, but it has a special attraction in autumn. I guessed that this was a berry farm because of the different shades of colour on the vines or bushes. The rhythm of farmlands and market gardens are always interesting to me. Patterns appear and disappear and help define the landscape.

Painting Elements: 3 Simplicity

more landscapes-2016-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Pines and vines, McLaren Vale
Vines and Pines, MacLaren Vale

This painting is a simple one, and that is its strength.

In painting, simplicity can come about through choice of subject. Usually however it takes more than that. The essence of simplicity in painting is leaving things out so that the focus can be more easily perceived. So it is about omission, exclusion and ignoring what doesn’t help the composition. As a painter who can be distracted by all sorts of visual delights I have to work at this!

So, structure, simplicity and rhythm.

Structure is easily captured with a crisp architectural subject but is highlighted here by contrast with colour and softness in “From Linear Park, Walkerville.” The rhythms of the rows of vines down the hillside in “Berry farm, Piccadilly Valley” and the pines marching over the hill in “Vines and Pines” are pleasing to the eye.

Viewing a painting can be a bit intimidating. But when I find rhythms they offer a form of visual comfort somehow. Repetition and patterns also make pictures easier for me to enjoy. So perhaps it’s no wonder that I try to include them!

What do you think about rhythms and repetition in painting?