16 July 2010

painting poppy fields at Seven Springs on the road to Cirencester

last week, the day before an exhibition, my husband swings by my studio at 2pm as arranged to collect me in our little blue car, Silly.

Now Silly is highly impractical for carrying paintings, especially when wet, she's small, but she does the job.

I am promised a picnic by my husband, whilst I paint the dying poppies in a wheat field he's cycled past, tumbling down the embankment of a roundabout on the fast road to Cirencester.

So, on a bright hot summer afternoon, we park on a lay-by, carry a 24inch x 24inch canvas, easel, paints and one chair for Tony, over the waterlogged stile & make camp in the field.  The wheat is watery green coloured as far as I can see to the skyline.

& those poppies bob at the near horizon like proud buttons.
I've bought a tube of "poppy red" paint recently, so it will be interesting to see if the colour lives up to its name.  I'll mix up a colour match if not.

So I set my stand, as Tony shakes out his Scottish Heritage folding travel chair to begin to read his latest hardback purchase, 3 for 2 at Waterstones according to the label.

I've just mixed my yellow sky colour when I hear the rustling of a paper bag.
& Tony produces our picnic - bright yellow-green sweet grapes, seedless, still dripping from the wash they've had an hour earlier.
coupled with cooled bottles of vimto and diet coke.

So I work fast over the canvas, pill popping delicious grapes as I paint.
& in 3/4 hour, the oil painting is finished - Tony hasn't managed his first chapter as I fold down my travel easel, and wonder what's been at my feet.

I look down to see I've been standing in nettles, well trampled by now.

Back over the stile, wobbling somewhat with wet paint to think about, and tie the canvas to the back of the little blue car, homewards.
I hope there's not a sudden gust of wind.

An idyllic moment of painting, and I'm rather loath to put this one up for sale ............ but I have and it is gone now to another home.


Lucinda said...

That's a lovely afternoon you had Gill and the result is a gorgeous painting. Having been in your car I can certainly vouch for the fact that it's not the biggest of vehicles - very nice though and I love the thought of the painting strapped on the back with you and Tony winging your way home!

Gill the Painter said...

Morning Lucinda.
Days like this are a joy aren't they, that's probably why I want to hang onto the painting.
Your being so tall, and Tony too, there isn't much foot for you,
but you do get head room in there.

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

That's a very lovely painting, Gill. You know, when I look at it, I'm marveling at your skill. I actually can't really see how you've painted it - and yet I know almost exactly what I'm looking at, down to the contours of the land and the poppies with their slightly bowed heads. I'm half a world away, and yet you've captured the image and the moment for me.

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Celia.
I'm pleased you like it.
You can probably see, but I painted the bottom layers of yellow with the canvas turned 90deg.
Then straightened the canvas up to paint the remainder of the field colours, and the sky marks.

One big scratchy brush, I should replace it but it's one of my favourites.

Unknown said...

Summer field is so apt Gill. The intense colours make me smell the warm summer day and I can feel the sun. Gérard just said: les coquelicots sont superbes! So I have nothing to add, but I do wish you many more picnics like that one. And I still love poppies as much as I did when I was a child ;-) Elisa

Choclette said...

That's a great painting Gill, I love the colours and the mood and feel it evokes. And to do it so fast too.

Gill the Painter said...

Isn't coquelicots just the most beautiful word, Elisa.

Hi Choclette.
Well I think I've done something right if it evokes an atmosphere.
Rather than a picture of a poppy field. :)

Gill the Painter said...

..... and the painting is now sold :)

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful painting

GFM Painting said...

What an exciting experience!/Hilarious! Delightful! True!/wonderful stuff! thank you!

oil painting on canvas

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