Search This Blog

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Joy of Alla Prima Painting

After a busy couple of weeks, I'd only worked on a few small pieces-- as usually happens if I haven't painted in a few days, I got the painting bug last night and set up my acrylics.
"Fire Flower"
14 x 18 inch acrylic on flat canvas
Available on Vango
or email nicolehilsabeck@yahoo.com if interested in purchasing


I don't often break out the acrylics and brushes-- usually I paint with acrylic and a knife to create texture for a mixed media pastel painting.  I was lucky enough to get a full painting session in last night, so all I had to do this morning was wake up and add a few finishing touches and sign it.

I've painted this flower before with oil pastels and chalk, but I never felt that I captured the vigor of the flower in that painting, so I decided to revisit it with acrylic.  I spent quite a bit of time working the background of the piece, hoping to strike the right balance of color and contrast with the flower.  The colors were created with a simple primary palette: cadmium red and yellow and ultramarine blue.

One of the things I do miss about daily painting was the anticipation of getting up in the morning and seeing what I'd worked on the night before.  I do enjoy the fun of painting alla prima, keeping the whole painting wet as I work and blending with a dry brush for effect.  I feel that finishing a painting in one session gives the completed painting a sense of energy, as though it came bursting to life with brush and paint.

"Waiting for Butterflies"
Available for purchase on Vango
I've also been lucky enough to win a couple of awards in my last two shows for my mixed media pastel works.
"Tropical Night"
Available for purchase on Vango
"Waiting for Butterflies" won first place in the miscellaneous originals category (floral division) at the Southern California Fair in Perris, CA in September.

"Tropical Night" won second place in the pastel category at the Fallbrook Art Association Open Juried Show in November.

I think I've finally figured out why I like to paint landscapes and natural subjects: I've lived in Southern California almost my whole life, and although the constant development and influx of people has changed the area, there are many sights that remain the same.  I find it comforting to see the familiar views of nature as they follow the seasons, and upon close observation, I find plenty of new things to appreciate about these familiar sights.  I can look out at the ocean and still see it through the eyes of my childhood, or take delight in recognizing new blooms on plants that repeat their life cycles each year, knowing that even though they don't last long, they do return over and over.

Visit my website or stop by my Vango profile to see more of my original works for sale!  All prices include shipping as part of the list price.