Friday, 28 July 2017

Wolkenspiel – Cloud Formations

"Wolkenspiel - Cloud Formations", acrylic, 14" x 11"

Blog 31

After I wrote about skyscapes last week, this week, I would like to present my painting “Wolkenspiel – Cloud Formations” to you.

I created this painting in my studio with acrylic paints working from reference photos I took during a plein air painting day at Mer Bleue. When I paint outside, I usually paint with oil paints because acrylic paints just dry so fast and can be frustrating to work with, but in the studio I prefer acrylic paints.

You might wonder why I did not create the painting while I was on location. I cannot give you a definite answer to this because I do not remember. However, there are several reasons why I work from photos instead of painting on site.

Sometimes, there is just no space to paint. Looking at Mer Bleue for example, the bog walk is not very wide so that there might not have been a spot to set up my equipment.

Sometimes, the weather is not favourable to painting outside. I remember I beautiful bright winter day in the St. Adele area when everything was just calling us to be painted but the fierce wind made it impossible to find a spot where we and our equipment would not have blown over.

Other times, you might not have the right canvas with you. When we are traveling, I usually one take 5” x 7”, 8” x 10” or 11” x 14” canvases, because I have special boxes to carry the wet paintings. However, sometimes you picture a certain scene on a longer or bigger canvas.

In the case of “Wolkenspiel – Cloud Formations”, I suspect that I was already working on another scene that intrigued me while I was looking for painting spots, when I spotted the beautiful way the clouds were mirrored in the water. Being outside there is so much to see that you have to concentrate on an area that inspires you and start painting, otherwise you can look around forever and never pick up the brush. This particular scene might not even have presented itself when we started painting. Maybe, the clouds just moved in. In nature, the appearance of your surroundings change fast: clouds move in, a sky opens up and the sun comes out, etc. Even through the natural way the sun moves around in the sky, it creates different shadows and influences the colours we perceive.

In the case of this painting, I am glad I started in my studio. I have to admit that the water and the cloud reflections gave me a lot of problems until I was finally satisfied with the result. When I looked for a title, “Wolkenspiel” immediately came to my mind. Literally translated it means play of the clouds. This is exactly the feeling I got when I looked at the clouds in my painting.

I hope you enjoyed my history behind the creation of my painting. If you would like to hear more about what I do on a monthly basis, I would like to encourage you to sign up for my monthly newsletter. It is published on the last Wednesday of the month. To subscribe you can visit any page of my website at On the bottom of each page you find the subscription fields. You will also get a free e-book with your subscription about different painting mediums.

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