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This is the fifth of a series of small contemporary forests I am working on.

Le pic
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Inks on canvas 10 X 10 in

The previous painting of the series can be viewed here.

As mentioned in my previous post, after these paintings, it seems like I’ve run out of ideas to depict my contemporary forests in primary colors. Despite wanting to, I won’t give in and change either my subject or the colors I decided to use (how tempting).

On the contrary, now is the time to keep going and explore the “old” idea and see if a new original way comes to mind. So this is where I am today with this series as I am starting numbers 7 to 12 of the variations.

Surprisingly, as I aim to simplify the subject, I find myself adding more and more details with each painting and increasingly defining the trees, thinking of some of the abstractions not as colors and shapes but as clouds and background grasses. I see figures popping up in most of the completed paintings and I find myself wanting to emphasize these and characterize a story.

For some reason, my wanting to take a more abstract approach to painting seems difficult for me. It’s hard to take the realism out of me!

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This is the fourth of a series of small contemporary forests I am working on.

Lumineux / Luminous
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Inks on canvas 10 X 10 in

The previous painting of the series can be viewed here.

So how did I start this series and how can you start a series? It all sounds quite simple: all you have to do is pick an idea or subject and paint it repeatedly in as many ways as you can or choose a set amount like I did. Put your imagination to work and don’t let anything stop you from starting another painting and then another until you feel you have exhausted the possibilities or you’ve reached the amount you set for yourself.

At first it will seem like there are hundreds of possibilities and combinations and these are indeed endless, but at some point you find yourself getting bored and feel you’ve run out of ideas.

I must admit after six paintings, I have already hit “The Wall” and would be very tempted to quit if it wasn’t for the commitment I’ve taken about the series. I could easily switch to a new and fresher subject but I won’t. Like everything else in life, when it becomes harder, you can’t quit for this is often when a breakthrough is around the corner. So I won’t quit and continue, I will…

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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This is the third of a series of small contemporary forests I am working on.

Faisceau bienfaisant / Beneficial beam
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Inks on canvas 10 X 10 in

The previous painting of the series can be viewed here.

Like the two previous ones, I took inspiration from a previous painting for this one but reworked the composition by turning it around. I find this one quite exciting and love the way the background turned out.

 

After working on realistic and hyper-realistic paintings for years, the new venture of painting more abstractly is turning out to be interesting to say the least. By limiting the pigments, I thought I had the elements to easily create this series into a more personal style.

 

What I found out was that is was not as easy as I thought, where I believed I was moving towards simplicity and abstraction, I found that each painting demanded more details and I could not get away from spending hours playing a little more with each of them. Where I thought it would be easy to develop different compositions, I found myself struggling to find ideas and relied more than anticipated on some of my previous work.

 

Where I thought of using different approaches for the backgrounds, I found I moved more and more towards one type of background I favoured.

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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This is the second painting of the series of contemporary forests painted on 10 X 10 canvases.

Indomptable II / Indomitable 2
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Inks on canvas 10 X 10 in

The previous painting of the series can be viewed here.

 

As a painter of realistic still lives and other subjects, I found the exercise of painting these contemporary forests very inspiring at first. What interested me most in doing these was to create something visually harmonious as well as exciting, pushing the boundaries of realism into abstract art.

 

While a series of paintings is often elaborated through different treatments of a same simple subject, I decided to vary the rendition of the subject while keeping basically the same treatment, i.e. same colors, same technique and same materials.

 

This, to me, added a certain level of difficulty since I was limiting how I could change or improve the paintings.

 

Next week I will post the third one of this series.

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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I have been working on a series for a special exhibit that will take place in November. I need to paint 12 profile canvases sized 10 X 10.

Instead of painting different subjects, I decided to paint all of them of the same subject and with the same primary colors, in effect creating a series.

I am painting contemporary forests. I started a larger series of these in January and I am still fascinated by the effects and the look of each different painting. Starting with a loose background of warm colors, I play with the paint until I am satisfied with the result. I let this dry and put the canvas aside until I start to see things surfacing.

In some cases, it is almost right away, sometimes, it takes weeks and the canvas sits waiting.

This is good for a medium to large canvas, but I have found working on smaller canvases to be a challenge. The surface is too small for the paint to move the way I like it, it reached the edges too rapidly and the subtlety in color and value is often lost and needs to be rebuilt.

Over the next few weeks, I will present the first six completed paintings of the series. I must say in tackling numbers 7 to 12, I find myself getting bored with the subject and already running out of design ideas.

To start the first six paintings, I observed the designs of some larger paintings I created over the last months and looked at how I could improve on these concepts.

So this is the first painting that was completed:

Veille dorée II / Golden Watch 2
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylic and Inks on canvas 10 X 10 in

Over the next few weeks I will post the other paintings along with my thoughts about painting a series.

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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Probably because the sun and heat have stayed away from us during the month of May, I spent last week continuing my series of forests in warm yellow and orange tones, finishing two paintings started in early April.

Toile Soleil de mai

Soleil de mai / May sun
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylique et encre sur toile, 30 X 30 po

 

Peinture Congregation

Congrégation/ Congregation
©2017 Suzanne Bélair
Acrylique sur toile 30 X 30 po

 

As many already know, I like to work on five to ten canvases at a time for several reasons. It could be that sometimes I start a canvas and inspiration deserts me or I don’t like the direction it’s taking, or, especially if I’m working with oils, I need to let the painting dry before moving ahead.

 
I put it aside and let my right brain work quietly on it while I am doing something else, undertake a new painting or work on another. It sometimes takes months before I go back to it, there are things you can’t rush and you have to feel the painting.

 

This week I also had the visit of my good friends Tony and Sandy who came for cocktails and see my space.

 

I also found out I was accepted in the Art Symposium Estiv’Art that will take place in Magog in August 2017. To find out more about this : Estiv’Art

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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