Monday, June 18, 2012

Le Palais Briaud II

Interior, Palais Briaud  © Niall O’Neill
I think I'll stop now. Did some work on the doors, panels and knots; added some shadow; and refreshed the flowers on the table; repainted the lampshade; and "distressed" the wallpaper on the right. The photo was taken with a flash so it's a bit washed out, but it's been raining so hard in Cork today it's like being in Seattle, and there's no daylight to speak of.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer shows in France 2012

The French Pastel Society has three shows coming up this summer and autumn, in Saint-Florent, Feytiat, and Montluçon. Vicente Romero is the guest artist in Saint-Florent; he is also the guest artist is Saint-Aulaye in the Dordogne, where the Salon International du Pastel takes place from August 2 to 26th. (On a personal note, I have two paintings juried into this show - the two still life paintings on this site that feature the old brass pitcher).
There is also Salon du Pastel en Bretagne from18 August to 2 September 2012 and the Art du Pastel Rhône-Alpes, 5th to 16th September. 
So plenty of top-class artists to be seen no matter where you are in France.
La Société des Pastellistes de France a trois spectacles à ne pas manquer cet été, à Saint-Florent, Feytiat, et Montluçon. Vicente Romero est l'invité d'honneur à Saint-Florent; il est également l'invité d'honneur à  Saint-Aulaye en Perigord, où le Salon International du Pastel aura lieu du 2 au Août 26.
Vous ne devez 
non plus manquer  le Salon du Pastel en Bretagne du 18 Août au 2 Septembre 2012 et l'Art du Pastel Rhône-Alpes, du 5 au 16 Septembre.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Le Palais Briaud

Le Palais Briaud is an Italianate mansion overlooking the village of Varades, just north of Saint-Florent-le-Vieil on the River Loire. It was built sometime in the 1850s or thereabouts by a French railroad magnate who made his fortune building railways both in France and in Italy (hence the architecture). We found the palace in Alec Sawdays special places to stay; it is a bit run down, and some outbuildings are entirely in ruins. But the main house is still very fine, with many original features and furnishings. 
The painting is of a small corner of the first floor landing, which stretches from front to back of the house with the bedrooms off; there are at least two small sitting rooms, this being the open one. I thought it made a useful still life - I like to "find" them instead of setting them up. There is still work to be done on the doors in the background; the way the light fades from left to right is partly deliberate, but the camera has exaggerated the effect the the right side is not so pallid in reality. The two small paintings in the top right corner are unidentifiable in my reference photos, but I painted a pair of vintage locomotives, in the spirit of the original owner. The support is Clairefontaine's pastelmat, 27 x 19 ins.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vase on locker

I had a photo that I took of the bedside locker in France with a cheap old vase picked up in a brocante, and some dahlias from a neighbours garden. The support is ArtSpectrum sanded (and wettable) paper.
Initial block in was with Derwent Carmine for the dahlia, Rembrandts for the background and Carbothello pencils for detail over Schminke soft greys for the porcelain and the locker.

Nearly there at this point. Needs a few missing details on right leg of locker, dahlia must be sharpened etc. I found that the Schminke is so sofe it has taken up all the tooth and when I tried to work further on locker edges and contiguous background the support was not at all receptive and began to get very sulky, losing all tooth and refusing to accept any pastel at all. I tried masking off the affected area and spraying with fixative, but that was not very useful; so I ended up by brushing off all pastel from around the affected area and painting a thin layer of acrylic gesso on the support. This gave me the tooth I needed to finish.