from Joan Justis
The Montmartre District in Paris is a photo taken by my daughter Erika Blas last week. This beautiful place was the residence and studio of many artists including Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh, Picasso and Modigliani. Renoir used a studio here in the 1870’s.
In 1876 he painted Bal du Moulin de la Galette, a painting filled with the movement and sound of the outdoor dance hall in Montmartre.
This past month I have spent many wonderful hours painting while experimenting with abstraction, filling a commission, and developing more unique palettes.
The commission is of an old farm that has been completely demolished. I began with string and pencil for a perspective drawing. It was an interesting challenge to create a viewpoint that included the barnyard. Since the barn, buildings, and house are all white, the next challenge was whites in sun and whites in shade, The biggest challenge is determining the direction of the sun and how it affects the different planes in the picture.
I am still conquering these.
As each layer of the farm picture dried, I worked on a different project–that of palette studies using two complementary colors. Combining various amounts of complementary colors to mix a palette of colors for a painting guarantees a harmonious palette. I have been studying the different effects such a color scheme can create.
I also experimented with painting a background that I could use with negative and positive shapes created by flowers. Not having done this type of painting before requires much time and thought visualizing where the design is going. I began with a full-size drawing of the foreground layer to be painted on top of the abstract back painting. I find myself awake at night planning the next layer.
And I want to share a video that I found quite remarkable. It is an online exhibition of a show entitled Practicing Charity: Everyday Daughters of God. You will want to take the time to listen to the interviews with the three artists. Enjoy! https://history.lds.org/exhibit/practicing-charity?lang=eng#about