Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rains over the Makgadikgadi

Last year cameras for conservation held an exhibition of wildlife photography for the first time here in Maun Botswana.This year they have included a new category (Wildlife artist of Botswana) I have had so little time that I did not think that I would be able to enter. Fortunately they have extended the dead line up to the 31st of March,so I still have a few days to get this painting ready and framed. 

The Makgadikgadi is one of the largest salt flats in the world, it is not one single pan but many pans with sandy desert in between.The Gemsbok antelope is one of the few animals that can survive in this environment,and that is why I decided to picture them in such a setting.I still need to make a few adjustments in this painting before I am happy with it but it is basically finished. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Across the river

Title-Across the river
Medium-Oil on Board

Arriving home today I had a sudden urge to do a painting en plein air (French expression which means to paint out of doors). Grabbing my studio bedroom easel, and my box of paints , I carried them to the bottom of our garden.After adjusting my easel on the sloping ground,clamping my board,and squeezing some paint onto my palette I started painting the clouds.

It was actually the clouds that had caught my eye in the first place. Painting clouds turned out to be a little challenging since they were moving,and changing colors.I found myself mixing color as fast as possible and trying to complete a cloud before it change into something else.I think I now know why many of the plein air painters are impressionists,since it is not that easy to be a realist when everything around you is moving and changing including the light.

I would love to do some more plein air paintings, and if I do managed to create some sort of habit out of it,I will have to purchase a more suitable easel.

While I was writing this I realized that unlike our predecessors we are living in an age of technology.Using tools such as cameras,art projectors,and computers,artists are now able to create art more quickly and easier.However dependency on these tools could rob the artist of developing important skills such as drawing .

It is easy to reason, why paint out of doors when it is easier to paint in the comfort of a studio from a photo.Although I don't have anything against painting from photos,I have found that there are some things that you can fail to capture.For example photos sometimes fail to accurately portray the correct colors,and light.On the other hand painting  plein air can only improve your skills of observation and drawing.
The other benefit of painting out of doors is the connection with the subject,and the enjoyment of nature.

What do you think, is the traditional way of creating art disappearing ? Does it matter the method you use to produce your art?