109. Olive Orchard

Living in a “Mediterranean” climate means living in a dry, temperate climate.  Locally, we have a number of olive orchards which produce local oils that are tasty and delicious.  Here is a tribute to them.

Besides commercial uses, olive trees are often used as decorative trees in one’s yard as they do require a lot of upkeep in terms of water – but the downside is a messy yard as the olives drop.  Most people never consider using the olive fruit for anything at all.

I tried to simplify everything in this painting – trunks, field, crown of trees.  At the same time, I tried to work on contrast and failed overall.  It’s really a talent to get something dark enough on the first take!  The trees on the left look like one in the foreground in overlapped by the leaves of the one further distant.  And so on.  However, getting out the paints every day is the goal, and practice, not making a “completed” painting is the whole point.

104. Peninsula

Islands form chains, perhaps peninsulas.  Off the coast where I live is an island that reaches out into the sea.  It is more like a series of islands connected by narrow bits of land – I expect these will disappear over the next century as waters rise, and then one island may become three or four.

In the pursuit of simplicity, I used a large brush and chose the major colors.  I put in verticals to suggest cliffs.  Parts of this painting work – and others do not – in particular with a sense of dimensionality and depth of field.  I tried to create greys using opposite colors, such as cobalt blue and pyrrol orange.  Despite that, I did learn a few things.  One, wait and think.  Two, use colors far darker than you think are necessary.  Three, keep it simpler than you think it should be.