Friday, 4 May 2012

Light & shadows, and the calming effects of earth tones

It was a short week, with Tuesday a holiday and Monday therefore a bridge day, but I'm still glad it's Friday. The past two, three weeks have been a bit emotional (was it something in the air? the stars?), and this week's theme for the Artist's Play Room Challenge "Light & Dark" seemed as fitting as last week's "Rainbow" theme had been. Where there's light, there's shadow, and when everything seems dark, there'll be a light lighting up the shadows somewhere again. There's always both, has to be, as if there was only one of them left, something would definitely be very seriously wrong.


I was quit busy over my prolonged weekend, adding two more pages made of recycled book covers to my Dreams & Wishes Journal for 2012, working some more on the background of my green canvas, but most of all working in my art journal, playing with the light & dark theme. I didn't much think about which colours to choose. Of course there had to be light (Titanium White) and dark (Payne's Grey), but I found myself reaching automatically for the earth tones for my palette.


The Siennas and Umbras (for the portrait I used only Raw and Burnt Umbra) have such a calming, balancing, grounding effect, I think. Close your eyes, and you can just feel the warm Tuscany wind on your face, your feet firmly on the ground, closely connection with the earth, the brown and red and yellow earth between your toes.


I came home late on Wednesday, after my Swedish class, but managed to catch the last 15 minutes of a programme on telly about colour. They talked about the natural pigments, the earth tones of Italy and France, and showed a place in the Provence, in Roussillon, which was dedicated to preserving the old earth colours, most of all the French Ochre (which in Italy is called Sienna or Siena, after the Tuscan city of Siena). The place, the Conservatoire des ocres et de la couleur, also holds workshops about these colours, and how to make them yourself. It all sounded so fascinating, and I'd really love to take such a workshop. It sounds so inspiring! I have to take a closer look at their website, but as I understood so far, the courses are all in French only, and I'm afraid my French is definitely not up to such a specialised course.


But it made me think of exploring these earth colours a bit more, and maybe doing a series of paintings with them, and experimenting a bit. Well, we'll see. I definitely enjoyed painting my earthy portrait.


The more I look at the portrait, the more I like her (despite of all the things and proportions that are wrong). She seems to have that calm and content look on her face I've been lacking for quite some time. And I could swear she winked at me while I wrote this post. "You'll see, things will be all right. Everything will be fine", she seems to be saying. Well, I hope she's right.


I've been a terrible contact this past week. I linked up a post to Paint Party Friday last week, but never really got round to visiting and commenting on the other participants entries. Which is really a shame, as it is such a wonderful, lively and inspiring place. I meant to catch up during the week, but somehow, I had so many things on my mind. It would have been better not link up at all. But I promise to do better this week!



Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

31 comments:

  1. wow, this is just beautiful! the colour choice was perfect-i also love those earthy tones and you've captured the light and shade on her face so wonderfully.
    sorry to hear things have been up and down for you but am glad you are keeping creative and busy. how many languages do you speak? we're watching a great show on tv called the bridge which is set in both denmark and sweden and in both languages with english subtitles-they both sound like very difficult languages to master!

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  2. Impressive....I love the tone of this whole piece!! Fabulous!

    Hugs Giggles

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  3. wow this is truly marvellous and loving your colour palette. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  4. You capture the light and dark so well in your earth tone painting. Well Done! My inclination is to avoid any color which has brown tones but I think I need to learn to appreciate and use earth tones more. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Beautiful..this is a super gorgeous piece..deeply peaceful and grounding and full of harmony. Gorgeous earthy color palette...and the light and dark is exquisite!Fabulous for the apr challenge!
    Victoria

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  6. Oh, this is amazing! Love your use of the earth tones and the result...WOW

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  7. I love this too. You are right, they are calming colours.
    In my case it might be the weather making me feel a little glum! We've had the wettest April on record and apparently now we're in for the coldest may!

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  8. That's a fantastic face! Love how it looks at you out from the page. :)

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  9. Very beautiful work! Using the earth tones makes this face feel alive.

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  10. I love the catchlights in her eyes and the swoop of light on her left cheek.
    Happy PPF.
    Rinda

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  11. When I see this piece of art the emotion in it just blows my mind. The colors are perfect for this! Wow!

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  12. beautiful job of reflecting the shadows. i definitely see the 'wink' in her expression. the muted colors really resonate!

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  13. Stunning piece! Love the way you have handled light and shadow, super well done!

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  14. Very nice! I love the face, very well done! Happy PPF!

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  15. I love the way you painted this face- I wish I knew what she was thinking.....

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  16. Buenisimo portrait, has great force.

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  17. Portrait is magnificent ~ excellent ~thanks, namaste, ^_^

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  18. I was tardy on my party visits last week too, sometimes we just get bogged down, don't worry about it & I love this face, I think not having perfect proportions is sometimes a good thing, nice work!

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  19. Wow, this is awesome. Love all the tones. Excellent work! Happy PPF and thank you.

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  20. This is stunningly good. I'm in awe of your artistic talent. Wow, thanks so much for sharing this.
    Best,
    Jenn

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  21. That is so kewl.....absolute Dark and Light....terrific job!

    blessings,
    Cindy ♥

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  22. Wow...wow...I find this a very powerful piece.. I do not notice the dimensions being off, but I think it is fitting to the piece (and to your beautiful ponderings about light and darkness) if all is not perfect. It helps to communicate the hope we have for light when it is dark, and acknowledges the inevitable presence of shadows when the light is predominant. Very well done. I really like it - can you tell? :-)

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    1. PS: definitely following you!

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  23. Wow, this portrait is so beautiful. I love working with a limited palette, especially the siennas and umbers. I think your painting looks a bit like the Mona Lisa, with the same sort of knowing gaze.

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  24. Katja -- When I entered the kitchen at dusk, she was standing sideways towards the window and the Northern Lights shown across her face emphasizing her high cheeks and upper thin lip. And please God may I remember her smile for I love her more today than when I married her. -- Blessings Terri

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  25. Amazing art! You are extremely talented!

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  26. This is just gorgeous and really appropriate to the themes... i would love to see you explore more earth colours... there is something very settling about using those shades and a limited palette I always find... I am sooo looking forward to seeing more like this... great structure...xx

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  27. Aaah! This is just FANTASTIC!! :) I like it a lot! :)

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