Monday, October 25, 2010

Au-dessus de Valence

Au-dessus de Valence
John Currie
9" x 12"
Oil on linen panel

I have a sister who lives in Valence, a city in Southern France between Avignon and Lyon. She also is an artist and some of my favorite moments are of the two of us painting together. I have painted three paintings of this scene, a simple road winding through farmland on a plateau above––au-dessus––her home. Normally, I paint en plein air, outdoors in natural light, but this one I painted in the studio from a photo that I took on a recent visit. The greens in this scan, I'm afraid, are a bit harsh (I do so want to master Photoshop some day...) but it captures the calm of that afternoon together.

I have been playing with colored grounds of late, rather than simply painting on white-gessoed canvas. This was painted on a linen panel, brushed first with a fairly pale wash of raw sienna and orange, just to warm up the undertones a bit. It adds a nice, understated complexity to the colors, especially the cool hues. It makes me want to go back and play and paint again soon, which I intend to do if the French can manage to keep the airports open until I get there...

© 2010 John Currie

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