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Virtual Paintout - Kinmen Island - August 2014 (first stages)

It's not easy fitting everything in during the summer months.  After missing July's VPO in Greece (despite having picked out a few spots on the coast), I didn't want to let Kinmen Island slip by too, so I took advantage of this rainy weekend to finish a tiny painting today.  For someone who's just experienced the worse August weather on record here in Belgium, it's surprising to see umbrellas open in bright sunshine. In fact, bright sunshine itself seems a bit unreal.
This group is visiting the Shuitou Deyue Tower, which is part of a historic buidling complex highlighted in the guidebooks.

12.5x17.5cm, oil on canvas

Late Monet

Time to start painting again.

In Monet's later work, the subject matter practically disappears. Last time I had not painted in a while, I took a 30x30cm canvas panel and tried to recreate the colors from one of Monet's 1922 series, "The house from the garden":

"Impression of a Monet"
30x30cm, oil on canvas panel

I wouldn't call this a copy because I didn't follow the brushwork very carefully but it was a great loosening-up exercise. When I'm not painting every day, I need something like this to get back into it more efficiently.

Afterwards I worked on a small canvas I had started when the Virtual Paintout was in Croatia.  It's a far-cry from a Monet but I think what I accomplished was better than what it might have been without the start-up exercise.

"Croatian mountain landscape"
24x30 cm, oil on canvas

This time I was planning to select another Monet when I saw sunflowers on sale at the supermarket. The temptation was too great; I went out and bought a bunch.  Then, once you have cut flowers in the house, the clock starts ticking and there's no time to dabble in late Monet.

"Five sunflowers"
20x20cm, oil on canvas panel

It took me a long time to get this to work because I started out too fast. I've been sketching recently and so I think I was looking for immediate results and failed to spend enough time planning the design. But a bouquet of sunflowers is so uplifting and motivating that you don't give up too quickly. In fact they are still in perfect condition so I'm off to try again from another angle.