Friday, August 27, 2010

Yukimi Lantern

Yukimi Lantern   6 x 12
The Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden in Zilker Park is undoubtedly one of the true jewels of Austin, Texas. This incredible place is a masterpiece and is essentially the result of one man's labor of love. His life story is equally amazing.
On Thursday, the paintout session for Plein Air Austin met here and in truth, the group would be hard pressed to find a better place to paint than at the Zilker Botanical Garden. The Japanese Garden is especially beautiful this time of year as the lotus blooms thrive in the August heat & humidity. The sun cooperated by hiding behind the clouds for the entire morning, which allowed the colors to stand out nicely without having strong shadows or bright sunlight. The day was indeed similar to the quality of light one experiences in Japan.
This piece is the second one I worked on, the first being a watercolor study, but this work is entirely in acrylic, painted completely on site. What began as an under painting for an opaque oil painting, just evolved into a completed work on its own. I treated the acrylic like watercolor on canvas with thin washes in most areas and opaque layers in other areas where stronger hues were needed. The painting is a good marker for where I am currently as a plein air painter. I like the fact that what may be an under painting for a work in oil, may also be a finished piece at an earlier stage. Something which fellow Austin artist Qiang Huang inspired me to think about, by his striving to have a "finished" piece at each stage of painting.

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