Sunday, 27 March 2011


Today's fine weather sent me off to one of my favourite painting spots, Petersham Meadow, near Richmond. After a bit of hunting around I discovered this beautiful tree in blossom. I'm always knocked out by the paintings of the contemporary American artist Marc Hanson The way he manages to give definition and form to bushes and scrub is astonishing. So I decided to give it a try.
What I think I got right:
The composition, splitting the image in three, both vertically and horizontally.
Colours in the blossom. I noticed that when the sun came out it brought the yellow out. Even in very bright, but slightly hazy sunshine it returned to white.
The blue/mauve colour note in the background, which actually disappears in the photo but was quite visible!
The light colour of the field behind the row of trees. This was the colour it appeared on a couple of occasions while painting, when in a spot of bright sunlight. Not for the first time it occurred to me that the magic of plein air painting is its potential of capturing the best of lighting effects over a period of time, not just a moment in time like a photo.
What I thought I got wrong:
The tree had more shape than I captured.
Sun shining on any surface always increases the chroma of its colour. My chromas are too dull in sunlit areas. My paint handling is rather crude.


  1. I like the resulting painting better than the photo. I know you see things as the artist that you might want to change or enhance, but for me as a viewer it is a very pleasing painting and is perfect.

  2. Thanks Diana. Overall I was pleased with the outcome and have put the painting in my Putney exhibition which opened today. However, as you know, I like to be critical!