(Click on paintings or drawings below to view larger size.)



Virtual Paintout - County Kerry, Ireland - October 2014


This month, the Virtual Paintout took us to County Kerry, Ireland, where the Google streetview cameras have captured some beautiful countryside.  I found the above landscape near the scenic Ring of Kerry: 
Google Streetview Link

Whenever I paint something like this, I  start thinking how I would like to work on a huge canvas, yet I would never finish in time to submit to the VPO site by the end of the month.

"Scenic County Kerry"
24x30cm oil on canvas

Le Kauwberg 2014

 
 
It was 22°C in Brussels today. It's rare that we get such good weather at the end of October so I thought it would be a perfect time to try an autumn view of the Kauwberg site in Uccle. Last year I painted the same size canvas there in May and August so now I'm well on my way to a four season set!
 
Le Kauwberg, octobre
10 x 15cm, oil on canvas

Virtual Paintout - Kinmen Island - August 2014

It's not easy fitting everything in during the summer months.  After missing July's VPO in Greece (despite having picked out a few spots on the coast), I didn't want to let Kinmen Island slip by too, so I took advantage of this rainy weekend to finish a tiny painting today.  For someone who's just experienced the worse August weather on record here in Belgium, it's surprising to see umbrellas open in bright sunshine. In fact, bright sunshine itself seems a bit unreal.
This group is visiting the Shuitou Deyue Tower, which is part of a historic buidling complex highlighted in the guidebooks.

"Tourists"
oil on canvas
5x7inches

Late Monet

Time to start painting again.

In Monet's later work, the subject matter practically disappears. Last time I had not painted in a while, I took a 30x30cm canvas panel and tried to recreate the colors from one of Monet's 1922 series, "The house from the garden":


I wouldn't call this a copy because I didn't follow the brushwork very carefully but it was a great loosening-up exercise. When I'm not painting every day, I need something like this to get back into it more efficiently.
 
Afterwards I worked on a small canvas I had started when the Virtual Paintout was in Croatia.  It's a far-cry from a Monet but I think what I accomplished was better than what it might have been without the start-up exercise.


"Croatian mountain landscape"
oil on canvas
24x30 cm

This time I was planning to select another Monet when I saw sunflowers on sale at the supermarket. The temptation was too great; I went out and bought a bunch.  Then, once you have cut flowers in the house, the clock starts ticking and there's no time to dabble in late Monet.
 

"Five sunflowers"
oil on canvas panel
20x20cm
 
It took me a long time to get this to work because I started out too fast. I've been sketching recently and so I think I was looking for immediate results and failed to spend enough time planning the design. But a bouquet of sunflowers is so uplifting and motivating that you don't give up too quickly. In fact they are still in perfect condition so I'm off to try again from another angle.

Virtual Paintouts

For the moment, my recent submissions to the Virtual Paintout and links to the Street View scenes that inspired them are only posted on my Flickr account:

Virtual Paintout Album on Flickr

Virtual Paintout - Slovenia - March 2014



I was surprised to find images of the autumn in Street View Slovenia. 

When Bill Guffey revealed the Virtual Paintout destination for March, he mentioned flowers and springtime, so I was looking for a scene along those lines when I ran across this vineyard, photographed in October.  

Location link:  Velike Malence

Needless to say, I had to stop in my "virtual" tracks and get out my paints right away!

Since I have not posted recently, I was anxious to finish this oil sketch today but hope to get back to this again next weekend.





Oil on 8x8 inch canvas

Virtual Paintout - Iceland II & III - November 2013


More stress-free travel via Google Street View, where I'm now discovering the Westfjords region of Iceland and worked on these two small oil sketches.  I had forgotten how different it felt to paint on a hard panel with a smooth finish. 

Above: "The Westfjords", oil on 10x15cm canvas
Below: "Driving to Isafjördur", oil on 13x18 cm panel


Virtual Paintout - Iceland - November 2013

This month the Virtual Paintout is taking place in Iceland (that is, we are painting from images of the country found in Google Street View). In my "virtual" travels, I stumbled upon the Skógafoss waterfall, which seems to pour out from a gigantic "fold" in the earth. I think I would enjoy trying this again using a different format but I also want to leave time to paint the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano ... and possibly even learn how to pronounce it!

"Skógafoss"
20x20cm

Oil on canvas

Le Kauwberg 2013



Two small canvases painted on the Kauwberg site in Uccle.


Le Kauwberg, mai
10x15 cm, oil on canvas

Le Kauwberg, août
15x10cm, oil on canvas

Château de Wolvendael - August 2013



At the beginning of August, I took my paints to Wolvendael park and captured the reflection of the château in the pond. My previous painting (see below) was also done on a hot sunny day but the water was covered with algae at the time. I checked back and was surprised to discover that I had painted it in October 2011.




With summer drawing to a close, it's nice to be reminded that we may still get some beautiful weather in the fall - even in Belgium!

both paintings:

oil on 20x25 cm canvas