Through Painters Eye
This September 2018 I went to Brittany for 2 weeks. It was organized group trip with 5 other fellow artists. Not that I consider myself an artist, but the others certainly are, artists.
I chose oils, gouache and watercolors as my media for the whole trip. Was looking forward to spent 2 weeks with nothing but paintbrush and palette.
Everyone's expectation was cold, windy, rainy weather, but surprisingly, the opposite was true. We had warm summer days, maybe windy, but very enjoyable.
Our destination was small town at the western coast - Camaret sur Mer. Old fishermen town with great location in the bay, opening up to the Atlantic ocean.
The surrounding area provided beautiful views on the rocky coast, open ocean, bigger ships or smaller yachts. Sunrise, midday, sunset - light was always changing, always delivering one breathtaking view after another. Colors enhanced by sun or heavy clouds and mist covering everything in grays.
We visited several surrounding towns and villages, ship cemeteries, galleries, museums. Interesting was Lacronan, town from middle ages. We spent whole day there and I tried several styles and approaches to capture the feeling of this beautiful place. Have done quick sketches and also paintings, which took much more time.
The very interesting thing I haven't seen anywhere else before, are ship cemeteries. Brittons do not consider their ships merely things, they consider them part of the family, and as such, they are put to the rest with honors. You can find those cemeteries around the whole coast providing last stand to big, small, wooden, metal, fishing or military ships before the time take them all.
We spent one whole day in the cold, windy weather, painting one of those cemeteries. All pictures above were painted there except of the first one, that is from Camaret. Each of the paintings were experiment of different style, color palette and approach. The last one down below is the try for limited color palette, using only one shade of yellow, blue and red.
The most exciting part was boat trip to the nearby island Ouessant. Spent nice hours walking around, enjoying sunny warm weather and views of the typical architecture and coastal landscape.
Days went by, filled with creativity and internal peace, not thinking about anything not related to the composition, color choices and techniques. Experimentation, trial and error, success but also failure, those are the memories I am keeping, thoughts I remember the most.
Below is an example of such experimentation, same location, same view, different techniques, time of the day and color palettes.
I will end this short article with the last two paintings I currently (probably) like the most. Again, limited color palette, painted just as afterthought, using remaning paints on the palette. Very quick, no preparation, no conscious thinking.
We plan to do exhibition with the works we created during those memorable 2 weeks and I am still not sure which of those 38 pieces I created will be the best candidates to represent how I see and feel Brittany.