The Travelling Observer

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to many interesting places around the world.  Usually I’m so busy being the tourist, there is little time to sit and paint, though I always carry a sketchbook with me and make a quick image if time allows.  Otherwise I use my camera to capture all the sujects I spot along the way.

I would often zoom in on a subject and crop what I wanted in the frame, but have learnt that sometimes it’s best to crop later on the computer.  There’s been more than once that I wished I could remember what was around a subject I had already cropped.  Below is a photograph I have cropped several times.

Photos are great for recording images, but lack the emotional quality of the original experience.  As an artist I try to breath the atmosphere into my creation.   I often change colours, add or eliminate figures and details, and am forever dramatically altering light quality and mood.  My goal is to impart some of the excitement I experienced whilst at the scene.

I keep a diary going daily throughout my trips and often describe a scene or feelings I had at the time.  This ultimately helps me recall the sensations I need to include in my work.

As the painting progresses I photograph it and scan it into the computer.   The computer image will help show up problems otherwise overlooked.  A mirror image can also help if a computer is not available.