painting in the street

Despite having painted the view from the end of my street lots of times in the 4 years I’ve had my studio I had never painted it from life.
I would stand inside with the door open painting from a photo while the real thing was only a few feet away.
It was too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter and sometimes it was too windy, and then it took time to move my stuff outside……
But basically I was just scared. A photo was more manageable, every time I looked at it, it was the same. And it had edges so that I knew without a shadow of a doubt where my painting finished all the way round.                  

But I have a swedish friend who doesn’t paint from photos. I don’t think she ever has. It was her idea, that we sit in the street and paint the view.

So we got organised and I found an old canvas board which had been coated with a dark red base to cover something else probably. I wasn’t expecting much of myself.

So as Eevi painted away I fiddled, got up and sat down, dotted in and out and finally drew something because I didn’t want to look silly . I had decided that my flowers were to be important because they had never looked so good. But that was it. Everytime I looked up something was not where it should be and I was confused as to where the edges were.

After about an hour of mild panic I kind of got going. At last I had most things in the right place. I thought it might have been possible  to have organised it slightly better but on the whole it made sense.

Then I began to enjoy it. It was very liberating to be outside  and because this was an experiment I just used whatever colours I liked and didnt attempt to be too fiddly and neat.

It just got better and better. I was glad of the dark base as it made the white look more interesting and  even though the flowers are not particularly accurate they are more or less the right colours.

I finished it the same day, later on when Eevi had gone. I considered finishing it from a photo but decided I might as well do it all from life.

I am so pleased that I did. I loved it. I sold it in the summer and was sorry to see it go.

I have now sold every painting I have done of the end of my street, with the little crooked cottage, the flowers, the spring poppies, my scooter, my ape’, the tree (it’s gone now) the shadows at dusk, clouds over the mountains, blue skies, my studio door and more. 

Every morning I arrive on my scooter I am riding into a painting.


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