Just Plein Fun

Up until 2014 much of my artistic practice revolved around still life, urban scenes, floral and interiors. However at that point, my focus took a radical turn. I’ve turned into a devoted landscape painter because I learned to paint ‘en plein air’.  For newbies, ‘plein air’ basically means painting outside from life. I began painting plein air by taking a workshop in Jasper from artist Liz Wiltzen. After that I was hooked.

I’d tried painting landscape from photos for years. But I never was able to achieve what I was hoping. My colours were always off and nothing I created felt ‘real’. I wrote the genre off, thinking I just wasn’t a landscape painter. Was I wrong. Once I began painting outside, away from photos, I could actually see the real colours I was trying to capture. And even better, I was part of that image – it was all around me. I could see, hear, taste, smell and feel everything. What a difference. Now I can’t imagine working exclusively from a photo because it’s far too limiting. Below are a few of my most recent plein air works – I hope you enjoy.

PS – If you’re an artist and would like to take a plein air workshop from me, visit my Workshops page. I have a class lined up for the end of July in Calgary. I hope you can join me.

 

 

 

New! The Painted House

The latest genre I’ve been enjoying painting is ‘street scenes’, aka (to the artsy set) – ‘urban landscapes’. My passion for them started in 2015, when I painted a series of street scenes in small towns around Alberta. My year culminated when I painted a collection featuring Calgary’s neighborhood of Sunnyside. The collection was a great success at my end-of-year showing at ‘Framed on Fifth’ Art Gallery. This summer, I’ve been creating a collection of urban paintings of the town of High River, just south of Calgary.

An Interesting Turn of Events

Once I looked at both collections as a whole, it became clear that my paintings weren’t completely as I’d expected. (You’d think I’d have been more conscious of this shift as I was actually painting…but I wasn’t. Such is the life of an artist!) I’d thought I would be painting broader scenes filled with lots of buildings, people and ‘busy-ness’. However, most of the paintings I had created were of individual homes and businesses.

Yet for some reason, instead scolding myself for venturing so far off course (as I’d normally do) I realized I hadn’t made a mistake. These paintings were exactly as they should be. They weren’t street scenes at all – they were portraits!

As portraits, the collection of work suddenly makes sense. I have always been drawn to more intimate subject matter, with a shorter depth of field and design that minimizes distracting backgrounds. Seeing the paintings as portraits enabled me to see the next step I needed to take…

‘The Painted House’ is born

This next step is to offer custom home or business portraits. And so I’ve created ‘The Painted House – Custom Home and Business Portraits’. I adapted the name from the Victorian and Edwardian houses called ‘Painted Ladies’. These homes were painted in multiple colours to enhance their architecture. I adore character architecture and colour is an important key in my artistic style, so the name suited both me and my art.

If this sounds interesting, please read more about my process and how you can order your own Painted House here.

Opus

I’ve grown more fascinated with creating street scenes this year. I love the variety and complexity of shapes, values, colors I can paint in them. Because of this, it’s almost like putting together a puzzle. I shift between long hours working at it, and periods where I need to just hang it on the wall and take a break from looking at it. Each time I return to it I can suddenly ‘see’ how to resolve little challenges and areas that I’d previously been unable to master. Please visit my ‘Urban & Rural Street Scenes’ page in my portfolio to view more of my new work in this genre: http://cherylpeddie.ca/portfolio/urban-rural-street-scenes/