Landscape Seascape

Although I have painted many scenes that include lakes and rivers, I have painted very few seascapes or paintings that included the sea. When I was in Ireland, I spent many hours looking at various views of the Atlantic Ocean. In the back of my mind I was frequently thinking about painting a seascape.

Most were from high cliffs looking down at crashing waves hurling themselves into caves and onto rocks. There were a few times when I was on a lovely beach or standing on a small hill looking at a quiet tide.

Regardless of the location, I was fascinated by the continually-varying mood of the water and its great force. I was also intrigued by the ever-changing colors of the sea.

Although I experienced little rain while I was there, I was impressed by the moody skies and how the grey clouds affected the water. Sometimes there was no difference between the colors in the skies and on the water. Sometimes both contained light and dark greys, violets, blues and greens.

alt="Ann Hart Marquis-paining of a seascape and and abstract landscape painting"

Futile the Winds, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 14 x 1.5 inches. Ann hart Marquis

Since I love to play with color, it was my goal in this painting to capture all of the different grays of the sky and water and the vibrancy of the surrounding landscape. The entire painting has many layers of color from bright and light to dark and somber in both the seascape and landscape.

I would love your critique.

Creativity and Travel

Do creativity and travel change how I paint? As I have been working on the second painting of my Ireland series, I keep thinking about how traveling to places away from home influences my work.

That certainly was the case for me for years in France. Whenever I was there, I not only was affected by the scenery, I was also influenced by the age of the country, the people, the food, the quiet country roads and the lovely village in which I worked.

Spending a month in California at an artist residency last year allowed me to experience living in an old farmhouse in the middle of a vineyard and seeing how old, gnarled vines tangled around each other.

I have also painted a short time in Italy and Chicago. So I ask myself, have all of these experiences actually changed the way I paint and the way I see the world?

It is something for me to ponder since I first started painting in the southwest of France. After I came home, I painted what was in my environment or from photos in a painting class. At that time I was just trying to learn to paint.

Neuroscience

Not long ago I read that “In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun examining more closely what many people have already learned anecdotally: that spending time abroad may have the potential to affect mental change.”

Ann Hart Marquis Creativity and Travel

First Rose of Spring, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 x 1.5 inches

Which brings me back to Ireland. I love France, but it doesn’t seem to have the spiritual punch for me that Ireland does. I am not really sure yet what that means.

I didn’t paint in Ireland, so I am relying on my memories and impressions for subject matter. I haven’t painted from photos. It is a very rural country. It is perfect for painting abstract landscapes. But creating a lovely landscape painting is not how or why I paint.

I paint in order to express the feelings inside me of something that inspires me. This series has a different feeling for me, but I can’t tell you why yet.

Here is a quote that I came across today by Miriam Beard about creativity and travel.

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living

Impressions of Ireland

I have been going through all of the images that my partner Tim Anderson took while we were in Ireland. It helps that he is a professional photographer. He did all of the work, I just soaked up what I was seeing a experiencing. With every photo I am taken back to that spot and the way I felt while being there.

photo showing waves and ocean

Photo by Tim Anderson of the Atlantic

Although there were indeed 40 shades of green, we spent much of our time on the west coast near the Atlantic so there were also many shades of blue. I have seen the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic, but the waters on the Irish Atlantic were very vivid and distinct.

Sketch showing Ireland.

Ann Hart Marquis-Painting sketch, acrylic on paper.

There were also shades of red and orange and tones of violet. Those colors were lovely also, but they didn’t impact me like the blues and greens.

I saw many places like stone circles and standing stones and 12th century abbeys, where grey stone was the predominate color. I haven’t processed grey as possibilities for a painting, but I like the idea of using greys and tones of color.

This week I have finally had a chance to do a little sketching with paint to just get a feel for what colors would come out. I played with many colors, just letting my imagination take over without doing any pre-planning. I felt like I was painting my impressions of Ireland. I like that feeling. I like to pick up a paint brush and just start putting down color.

Picture showing expressions of Ireland.

Ann Hart Marquis-Impression of Ireland, acrylic on paper.

I still went for layering paint the way that I have been doing. I do like to see under colors peeking through. The paint sketches in this post are a start to bigger paintings that I hope to get to soon.

Painting Poppies on the Hill

California state’s flower is the golden poppy.  Native Americans cherished the poppy as both a source of food and for oil extracted from the plant. Its botanical name, Eschsholtzia californica, was given by Adelbert Von Chamisso, a naturalist who arrived in San Francisco in 1816 surrounded by hills of the golden flowers. Also sometimes known as the flame flower, la amapola, and copa de oro (cup of gold), the poppy grows wild throughout California. It became the state flower in 1903.

I grew up in the country there. On the rise behind our house was a rolling hill much like all of the other soft rolling hills in northern California. One of my earliest memories was of a spring day when I was about 4 years old. I had wandered away from the house drawn by all the beautiful gold that I could see in the hill. I knew the gold was flowers, but I was mesmerized by the color.

I remember sitting in the middle of this thickly-covered field of golden poppies. I was delighted and it was perhaps one of my first joyous experiences. I remember how delicate they were and how some were fully open and some were wrapped tightly. I remember their fragrance. They fascinated me. I have been in love with poppies since that time.

Painting Poppies

example of painting poppies on a hill

Remembrance of Poppies, acrylic and ink of canvas, 30×30 inches.

I have been thinking about painting poppies for a long time. Last week I decided to paint that hill and that experience. I started like I have been doing lately with many layers of background color. Before I started adding a field of golden poppies as I had planned, I realized that there were so many poppies in my memories that I would soon have an abstract orange painting.

That is not what I had in my mind. It wasn’t capturing the feeling that I wanted so I decided to limit my poppies to make them and the painting more symbolic to me. The above painting is what evolved. The photograph below is how I remember the hill:

photo of poppies for a painting.

California poppies