Friday, 27 November 2009

French revelations

I was so incredibly excited by this creative challenge - it had such possibilité. Create a piece inspired by France... But where do you start? Paris seems as good a place as any, but that's rather cliched so I clambered down from the Eiffel Tower, ignored the Mona Lisa's gaze and boarded le metro to the nearest Gare. I travelled the length and breadth of the country, the TGV speeding me through the wintering countryside. How could I possibly encapsulate all that was French in one simple creation?

I returned home scented with the fruits of the vine (that's right I spilled a Merlot down me) and rummaged through my art supplies. Taking canvas and paint I began to create le drapeau tricolore. I transferred some images using gel medium onto the canvas. It didn't work too well, but there was a kind of vintage appeal. Next I planned on painting on top... but I thought I'd first experiment with what it might look like by scanning it into Photoshop then 'painting' in a wine bottle. Naturally, this looked far better than anything I could achieve... and I was tempted to 'paint' some more in this medium. I added a few more snapshots of my whistle-stop tour and threw in a little present for Luthien (that has absolutely nothing to do with France, but I know she'll love it when she spots it!). Toulouse Lautrec rose from the grave to pen a quick sketch of some romantic lovers (merci mon ami). The whole thing was softened and made subtle before a poster filter returned a little clarity. Que pensez-vous?

I always I feel I've cheated a bit though when I 'go digital' so my guilt got paper out, squeezed some acrylics on the palette and then borrowed a bit of inspiration from Monet et al to create a provencal lavender field bathed in golden sunlight. I can't decide which version I prefer - my original (above) or the same with a poster filter applied. It was a very quick sketch and lacks much detail but it was fun to paint which is surely the point. My cat liked it. She sat on my lap for some time studying in depth!
Challenge from Inspiration Avenue.


  1. I love the layered words and the colors in this piece. Very pretty.

  2. Well written! I live in France and didn't get anything out in time. Digital it may've been, but it is very Ethereal. And your lavendar fields offer more sun than we are getting right now! Well done...

  3. Lisa, you do write like a novelist, for sure.
    I love what you can do with a computer. I have a reallygood Photoshop program that is totally wasted on me with my lack of skill.
    Of the two paintings I prefer the first. Tre`s Monet.
    xox, Lisa
    PS: I paid way too much for a shirt dyed with red wine (boy, he saw me coming) When I sobered up I thought...Stupid, you have a bunch of these you made yourself :)

  4. Fabulous montage - definitely tres francais - and I think your 'straight' lavender field is lovely - well done

  5. I love all the layers of your digital print, gorgeous- and so much to look at! Also really like the first painting, very plein aire!

  6. I loved reading about your creative venture through this week's challenge! Personally I think they both turned out beautifully and you totally have my curiosity peaked with what you've included for Luthien but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. ;-)
    Loved the image of your cat sitting on your lap while you painted - too darling!♥

  7. i just love both of them & the story could be written by a pro (maybe you are?) you inspire me to get over my fears about photoshop & jump in & just do it! thanks!

  8. Your challenge entries are always really well written and well thought out Lisa! These images are both so lovely. I'm sure Monet himself would be envious of your lavender is painting, and digital is not cheating - I adore that image!

  9. I love both of your entries. I agree with you about feeling like a cheat when using a photo editing option. I guess it makes it too easy and there is no mess.
    You are so correct I do not know who Roly is.....he sounds really neat though.

  10. wahahahahahaha!!!!!
    first of all ... what an AWESOME piece of art! i just wish i could make it bigger so that i can read what's on the prints :) love the layers and colors, love prints especially handwritten ones :)

    but you know what ... the image on the top left just made my night .... *sigh* *swoon* ahhh.... you're a true fren :))

  11. The washed-out layers have an almost dreamy quality. This piece is just magnificent.


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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