Spring Months – Birth flowers project

I started this project a week ago… when, after my Odette disaster, my creativity was taking a confidence beating. I had started a portrait of a young men I had met on vacation and found I was blocked. I tried to force myself to go on with the work and ended it throwing a very good sketch away…
I needed a simple project that would get me to the easel and kept me painting; so I chose to paint the flowers for the months of the year. As it turns out, there is nothing more difficult than to attempt to portrait Nature’s effortless perfect beauty… Like Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, I can confidently sing “you can learn a lot of things from the flowers” 🙂
Here is the first season: Spring.

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Atlanta China Mall Chinese garden

I have been painting on location today at the Atlanta Chinese Mall. The little garden in the courtyard has such a good vibe and, these time of the year, is exploding with colors.
I am beginning to think that coming to the China Mall is becoming for me like taking a small break from the vacant glitter and gleam of the american life…
There are no shiny billboard here, no neon or electric signs…. just a quite place where people come together to enjoy each other’s company and spend an hour or two playing Chinese checkers.
This is the tranquillity that I have hoped to capture in this painting.

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Odette backstage… aka my first time on Arches cold press paper

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This might as well be the most difficult and frustrating work I have done so far. It was my first time using cold press Arches paper and it definitely put my skill to the test.

This paper was so absorbent it would suck in my color as soon as the brush touched the surface. Obviously a very good support for painters who like to work a lot of wet on dry (and truly, the effects and textures are amazing), but for someone like me for whom wet on wet is daily bread… this paper was a nightmare.

Yet, it was a very very productive one! I have never learned more on any other piece. Th results are not completely satisfying, but the process of getting here was really fun.

Mixing the colors for the palette

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Mixing the palette by Marika Curiale

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Palette by Marika Curiale

Work in progress

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The focus required for this piece made my daughter take out her camera and documenting my laser sharp grumpiness 🙂

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Afternoon in the studio

Traveling Journal -part 1

Nothing like traveling can offer pure, untempered inspiration to me. Traveling abroad is the ultimate creativity booster kick.
I spent the last few days hoping islands in the Caribbean and the creative results are astonishing to me.

No I have not created the latest masterpiece in art history (chances are I might never do 🙂 ), nevertheless the range of creative endeavors triggered by this change of scenery is remarkable and worth noting for sure.

I can hardly describe it, but as the everyday routine shattered like glass a new range of colors and light, flavors and scents opened up my senses and, as a painter, it was like for a musician learning to play a new symphony.

One of the islands that had a profound impact on my artistic side was definitely Half Moon Cay, in the Bahamas. I had never experienced a water so purely turquoise, a shade of such intensity I struggled to reproduce on paper. My en plain air attempt (below) is a mere shadow of the beauty of this little cove, but it is dear to me as every stroke imprinted a special sensation, a subtle nuance of the island into my soul.

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