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Saturday, September 15, 2012

"The Conservatory", 18" X 12" watercolor

The Conservatory
The Conservatory 
18" X 12" image
24" X 18" brushed silver frame

My husband Chas and I had a great time at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  As always I took lots of photographs while there.  The current exhibit in and around the Haupt Conservatory was called "Monet's Garden."  The exhibit included the types of plants Monet had in his gardens and the structures inside the display had been painted in colors to match the arches, bridges, and benches in his garden.  I really loved the architecture of the conservatory itself and took several shots of the wings of the conservatory. The Conservatory is my first painting  inspired by our visit. 

Frequently my design process begins with some time in Photoshop.  I may modify the colors or use some of the artistic filters to achieve a look close to the way I want the painting to look.  On many occasions I have to move items around or take parts of multiple photographs and combine them into a single image that I will use for my painting reference material.  I find it easier to compose in Photoshop than having multiple separate references and composing as I paint.  This process allows me to test ideas before my brush touches the paper.

Normally I have a goal and Photoshop just helps me realize it.  In the case of "The Conservatory" I accidentally selected a Photoshop filter that I do not normally use.  The result was a very simplified image that retained color in only the plants and flowers.  Although I didn't like the rendition presented by Photoshop I did like the idea of limiting the color in the painting to select areas.  This accident made me rethink my goals for this painting, resulting in this very simplified view where all the color was focused on the people and plants. In many ways I think the beauty of the architecture is more striking with this more minimal approach.  

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1 comment:

  1. I like the result of your photoshop "accident" as well. I haven't been to the conservatory, but your painting makes me want to photograph it!


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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