Sweet Summer

So, Andres and I have been playing around with ideas for our new big carousel painting and it took us longer than originally planned to get started, but now that we have some concept art, I’m getting more excited than before.  When I think of carousels I think of Mary Poppins jumping into the chalk picture with Jane, Michael and Bert.  “Oh Its a Jolly holiday with Mary” and “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” are some of my favourite childhood songs – my dad used to watch that movie and sing along with us.

Carousels also remind me of fairs (the small ones that travel from place to place, as well as the one at Disneyland … I think that’s actually supposed to be Mary Poppin’s merry-go-round).  Every fall growing up my family went to a fair up north.  I don’t remember all the rides necessarily, but more how much fun I had there.  I want this painting to capture those fun emotions and be bright, joyful, and full of life.

I did another painting similar to this last year and want to make sure I do certain things differently.  Some of the colours I used in my previous work were a bit too dark, which made parts of the picture dreary rather than happy feeling.  So, I’m making sure I get the colour tones correct this time!  I am also thinking a lot about composition and whether or not the painting feels balanced.  With smaller pieces this is relatively easy to do, since the space used is well, small!  When using a bigger canvas and implementing a bigger colour palette, it can be more difficult to accomplish.  Little things like making sure I don’t have too much red, or that there are no empty spots in the picture can be challenging.  Sometimes colour mixing can be challenging too – a colour might look great on the palette, but dull beside another choice I’ve already used.  Then the hard part is deciding which one doesn’t fit.  Something I’ve talked about before, detail, is what I am particularly careful to avoid.  I think this picture has potential to have a lot going on, but with too much detail it might look really crowded and busy.  It needs just the right amount of features!

What sort of memories do you have of fairs?

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4 thoughts on “Sweet Summer

  1. As a grown up, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the mini donuts at the PNE. As a kid, I always watched for my mum and waved at her each time I came around on the carousel. And I loved the giant slide. It was the best value for your $, you could go down that thing forever before you used up your tickets! I like the cupcake carousel, by the way.

  2. With colours i find that you often need a dull colour or two to make the brighter ones sing. Sometimes something looks like it would be ugly, but without it, the piece would be boring.

    We saw an interesting circus in Mexico. The animals were in cages in vehicles driving down the street – kangaroos, tigers, lions, zebras, camels…it seemed so odd and out of place.

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