Watch the video about the little BALLOON oil paintings now!

…and read Roxanne’s answer to the question: “How long did it take you to paint that?”  The video is a trailer about the little “Balloon Paintings” inspired by the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The most recent festival took place on August 13 to 21st, 2016.  The little “Balloon Paintings” series was launched at Art Westmount 2016 on Oct. 1st & 2nd 2016.

Art Gallery:  BALLOONS

The Little BALLOON Oil Paintings

The little “Balloon” oil paintings, or “Airships” as they are titled, each averaged about 1 week to complete.  I took those images 15 years ago… every year, while pouring over the archives of thousands of photos I collected, I pondered my little balloon images.  I began painting them when the time was right, when I was inspired to work with them.  There’s a piece of the balloon story that I haven’t revealed; …and I’m still thinking about that…

“How long did it take you to paint that?”

One of the questions I get asked the most as an artist is “How long did it take you to paint that?”  It’s a reasonable question from an art lover eager to understand the “goings on” behind the scenes of an artist’s process.  So…how long… well, it depends.  There are many answers; for each piece of art, there’s most often a different answer.  Here’s an example…

Back in 2000, I was creating mainly floral oil paintings.  I regularly collected images from near & far, the U.K., Italy, the U.S. & here at home in our various public & private gardens & glass houses in Montreal & across Canada.  It was a labour of great passion.  One particular visit to our local Victorian glass house in Westmount, provided me with the loveliest image of a grouping of tulips.  I love cut flowers, but my thing is to paint flowers in their environment.  

So…, I carried that image around with me for 2 years before I began the painting.  I considered scale & proportion of the canvas ( I wanted great “big” tulips), I considered the pallet, I considered the effect & “feeling” I wanted to communicate, etc. etc….  Finally, one October afternoon, after considerable deliberation & calculations, I headed out to purchase my materials.  A day or so following I sawed the lengths of wood for my stretcher (yes, I had a miter box & saw) then assembled the stretcher with nails & glue, measuring diagonally to be sure to have 90degree corners.  I don’t do this anymore; I put my back back out so many times!  The following day I stretched the canvas over the support & then gessoed it , probably 3 times.  Then I began the artwork… the sketch, …the under painting, … layers & layers of deep rich pigmented washes,…finally, working “wet in wet”, I scumbled soft juicy warm white gobs of paint through the painting.  Wow! I had a painting epiphany…oh my.  That was a serious turning point in my painting process….but I digress..  The entire process, from calculating the materials to completing the oil painting of the tulips, I named the painting “Partiality”, took about 2 weeks.  So, how long did it take me to paint “Partiality”? …2 weeks? ….2 years?…  It’s also reasonable to consider my experience, my studies, my existence.  I believe that each painting is a distillation of all these things.  

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