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Archives for May 2017 | My Blog | Artist Geeta Pattanaik
May 2017

Painting at Warrendety, Melbourne

Painting at Warrendety, Melbourne

Painting at Warrendety

On a recent trip to Melbourne, my sister, Pushpita, and brother-in-law, Sanjaya, planned lovely plein air painting venues for me and for her. She did sketching and I did sketching or painting. This was a scene near the Yarra River at Warrendety, a very leafy area. There was a bridge with lots of tree stumps and broken branches to add to the beauty of the place. I always pack my painting things before my clothes and this small set up is good enough to complete some finished pieces. I had about an hour to pick a suitable view, find a seat and get a small painting done, while talking with the lovely passers by, and be congratulated by a group of 14-15 year olds for my painting (one of them giving me gentle pats on my shoulder for the work I was doing). One merges into the spirit of the place when one observes all the details of the scene, the smells, the sights and the sounds and how they fit into each other to form the unique place. I always remember and acknowledge J. Krishnamurthy for his encouragement to actually open one's eyes and not just "see" in a passive way.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to see and do some unique things in this gracious city, thanks to Sanjaya and Pushpita, who found out what we wanted to do and made it possible, and not just take us to the usual spots tourists see. My mind and my camera are still brimming with the images from this memorable trip my daughter and I took to mainland Australia and the extended trip to Tasmania. It is one of the most memorable trips I have ever been on.

Three pots (plein air painting)


Plein air painting in my backyard

Geeta's painting of three pots

One does not always have to travel far to get an inspiring subject. This one is in my backyard. I liked the different colored flowers planted in different sized pots in the natural setting, but the shadows with the holes where the sun came through the stands and the single solar light, spoke to me… somethings were natural and somethings man-made. Just the right mix. Many of the principles of composition just came together very easily in the painting.

I spent three mornings painting it from the shade of the patio, so the sun was not in my eyes, but the shadows under the subject were the same each day. It is done in watercolor and is 24" x 18". I did not paint the entire background, but blurred it with suggestions of plants by painting negatively, so they are not the exact same things as they are in the setting. I thought it came out as well as I could paint it in 2016, and who knows, I might try it again in a couple of years from photos to get a totally different result. As long as it was my best effort and I did not skimp on time or energy when I did it, I am happy. I loved the flowers in the varied pots so much that a photo I took, went on my e-mailed Christmas card for 2016.