After 7 days away at a cottage overlooking a lake, I was able to concentrate my efforts on painting. What a wonderful, relaxing and well-deserved rest that was and what a treat to be able to paint in such a beautiful setting without the thought of chores or other house-related enticements. I managed to finish up a painting of Ryder Hesjedal based on a photograph I found of him cycling in the rain during the 2011 Tour de France. I used some collage elements (text and italian stamps: both celebrating this year’s Giro and his win) on it and painted very flatly, really considering the colours that sat next to each other. I have to admit, I really enjoyed painting the rider in the distance, behind Hesjedal. That blocking in of colour was really fun and liberating. No worrying about edges and perfect shapes: just laying down colour.
Once finished, I attacked another canvas, finding inspiration from a photo I found of Ryder Hesjedal crossing the finish line at Stage 19 of the Giro. He had cycled 197 km in this stage and I’m pretty sure he knew he was the winner at this point, even with one stage left. You can see the elation and exhaustion on his face. I decided to paint loosely this time, still with acrylics but mimicking a watercolour style. I really watered down the acrylic paints and layered on the colour. It was really fun to paint this way, more illustratively than I usually paint. I love the build up of textures and again, paid special attention to the colours that sat side by side.
I am in the middle of a third painting of Ryder right now, that combines both the flat blocked in style of painting as well as the more fluid watercolour method. I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out but I like where it’s heading. I think I’ll have it done by tomorrow I am really enjoying the process and learning a lot and really, isn’t that what this is all about?