Wednesday, 31 August 2016
More than two weeks have passed and I gave up doing the blog because it would not post on the Internet ( a job for when I am home). I am getting ready to make a show here on Saturday! I have done a lot of work - six on canvas, around 50 gouache on paper and ten on rice paper. I am going to post a few of the works. The first two are on raw canvas and around 54 X 40 inches. The rice paper painting is 98 X 96. I am also posting a view of my studio.
I am in to my 4th day here and while still coping with jet lag I have managed to make around 16 paintings on paper. Mostly I work in the hot afternoons or at night. The thing about a new place is finding a painting form and structure for your responses, and of course first you have to sift through a lot of material. So many sights interest me here, from the golden ceramic slabs ( animals or dragons) that sit on paving or in greenery, to the tiled roves and abundance of greenery, and the calligraphic lettering that jumps out from buildings. I am not a painter to 'copy' a scene - nothing wrong with this but it doesn't satisfy me. I need to find brush strokes and colours to catch the spirit of China as I feel it. So a journey into the unknown! They are my visual poems.
This is one of my first paintings. I am alternating between abstraction and some figurative reference. I am planning to get the bus to Beijing for art materials soon so will absorb some of the local atmosphere. I am not expecting to resolve my ideas here - they will probably evolve once I am home - so I am just gathering material.
(My room with its own garden and my paints)
It is my first full day and I slept well, sticking to local time. I just woke once at 3.30am and ate a little chocolate to get back to sleep (it works!) so far not major jet lag though I know from last time that it kicks in about the third day!
(A photo taken at Carles de Gaulle airport)
(Painting on the floor in my room late last night - I made three !)
It is very hot and humid today and clouds are rolling in and bringing some coolness. I have had breakfast and been for a short walk to the village, Beigou, just up the hill. Painting materials are now unpacked and ready to take to studio! Can't wait!
Here are some photos of the area........
And views of the restaurant and garden.....
After some 30 hours of travelling I am now sitting in my room near the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu. It is a lovely self-contained room with a view of the mountains (not visible in my photo). Here it is breakfast time and I have been offered some but my system is quite confused!
What impressed me first about the area was the many shades of green. On the long and rural drive from the airport, I was surrounded by a burgeoning tsunami of greens, intertwined around and between trees, with the most luxuriant carpets of low growing plants everywhere. Some huge yellow flowers hung from garlands of large leaves, many of which were growing up trees.
I think I had not expected the mountains to be so huge and rugged. I am looking forward to going exploring when I have had some sleep, but I feel that many elements here will revive and impact on my paintings.
I have been out and exploring the area, and had a lovely supper in the restaurant (lots of fried veg!) and I sat by a small pool and watched the mountains darken. It is much cooler now and I came back to my room because I want to paint! I already took a number of ideas. Tomorrow I will post lots of photos but I can see that this is going to be a very productive time!
As it is my 5th Wedding Anniversary on Friday I have put my husband's card next to my bed.