Tomorrow will be the end of my first week in Giverny so I decided to share the work that I've done so far. I've never felt so artistically satisfied in my life and I'm proud of the work that I'm doing. I've also been having a lot of realizations and it's given me a lot of confidence as an artist.
I've settled into a nice routine of getting up at 6:30, eating breakfast, entering the gardens at 7 to paint for 2 hours; I break for lunch to rest and do some sketching and maybe a watercolor in the afternoon. In the evening, after dinner, I paint again since the sun sets around 9:30/10.
Painting has been great, but I've also been drawing a lot. My sketchbook is acting like a visual journal for what I see around me. In the future, I know that I will really treasure these sketches and the memories they depict.
My next step is to plan some larger and more ambitious works. I'll need to do some sketches and maybe a color study in preparation. And I really want to do some portraits also! My motto: Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
It was overcast this morning, but it wasn't raining so I got into the garden around 7am to begin painting. I did a watercolor of the central path in the clos normand. This is my first official painting in Monet's garden in Giverny. It was surreal to be painting such an iconic scene and it's so cool to stand in the same spots as Monet and to have free rein to paint anywhere in the garden.
After lunch I stretched some canvases. And the sun came out so I'm going to go to the water garden this evening to do an oil painting. I'm just sitting in the courtyard now and enjoying the weather. The light and atmosphere here is something that I've never experienced before; it makes the scenery very clear and easier to paint. I can see why Monet enjoyed it so much here and why he used the colors that he did.
The Sennelier stretcher bars are really nice.
As a Studio Ghibli fan, I really enjoy all the art books and extra materials that the studio has available. A series of books that I'm very fond of are the storyboard collections. This storyboard collection is from The Wind Rises, which is one of my favorite Ghibli films.
For anyone unfamiliar with the animation process: the director (in this case, Hayao Miyazaki) drew these storyboards in preparation for the film. The storyboards are the basis for the movie and it shows the major scenes and shots. It also includes camera instructions and additional notes to show the movement and backgrounds. Although the storyboards are a functional part of the film making process, they inspire me as a painter for purely artistic reasons.
Something to keep in mind for anyone looking to purchase these books is that the storyboards are all in Japanese; Although I don't know Japanese, I'm interested in the beautiful artwork. This storyboard collection is especially nice because it's mostly painted with watercolor. The book comes in a textured paper slipcase which is sturdy and keeps the book and pamphlet together. Every part of this book makes me really happy.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite artists and his artwork and films inspire me a lot. It's amazing to me that he draws all these beautiful scenes from his imagination with such clarity. I'm sure that he uses references for certain things like the planes and some scenery, but the design and composition of each shot is magical. The other thing I love about his drawings is his line work. Miyazaki sums up a whole scene with a few lines. Sargent is another artist who had the ability to simplify a whole scene with simple lines. I also see many parallels between these storyboards and the croquis (thumbnail sketches) of many 19th century artists. Bouguereau himself would do these sort of sketches in preparation for his large oil paintings.
Flipping through these storyboards really feels like watching the movie again but in a manga format. Miyazaki's artistry, imagination and storytelling ability all combine to create these great images. He's truly a master and I look forward to his next film which he's working on now. Check out the pictures and video below.
I love the action and animation of these three shots below
Anyone looking for more info about these storyboard books should check out this video:
I spotted this cool backhoe while riding home from the store so I walked back with my supplies and painted it. I enjoy painting machinery and vehicles like this because I like painting the different textures and shapes of them. The wheels and metal also reminded me of the times that I've painted my motorcycle.
I'm going to try and scout out more interesting things like this to paint. I learned a lot by doing it and by pushing my boundaries with new subject matter.