Coming to magazine stands International Artist has published their 95th issue for February/March of 2014.
On page 9, Dutch Art Gallery’s Artist Hebe Brooks is featured as a Finalist in their Landscape Competition.
Hebe shares in the article her inspiration, design strategy and her working process.
The original oil on 10×30 canvas, Squirrel Bridge also won an Honorable Mention award from the 29th National Society of Artists National Show in September 2013.
The International Artist Magazine Landscape Competition which is a worldwide publication for artists hosts six competitions per year with thousands of entries received from around the world. Only 13 Finalists are chosen each time and Hebe Brooks was among the finalists. The other twelve finalists were two from New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, three from England, Croatia, Turkey, and three from the USA.
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I often visit a ranch in Central Texas where I enjoy long walks or even bike rides to hidden, quiet places. There are several ponds and a small lake stocked with fish. Even with the mild winter in Texas, it is amazing to see the transformation of the landscape from one season to the next. It was the afternoon of a winter day when I walked around that lake. It was not the vast open pasture or the surrounding trees that caught my eyes, but the infinite reflections on the water. Even though the branches were bare and dead pieces of wood covered the muddy shores, the scenery was alive on the surface of the water and I knew then that I had to paint it.
My Design Strategy
After moving around and seeing this particular scenery from different angles, the fallen trunk became the center of my attention. The image of a long, horizontal painting materialized in my mind and a quick sketch captured the idea and the feeding of the moment. I took a few pictures with my phone while sitting there absorbing the atmosphere and the moment. Back in my studio, there wasn’t one picture that portrayed what I saw and felt, however, after working with the idea in the sketch and the different images, Squirrel Bridge emerged to reflect the life on the surface of the water.
My Working Process
I always work with a limited palette and for this painting, I selected browns, raw umber, ochres, blues, olive green, and white oil paint. I blocked the water area in blue and the ground in umber. Once the paint dried I went back to it and started to add details in multiple sittings. Through time, I have found that when painting plein air I see too much and when I work from my pictures some details are too dark, too bright or missing altogether. I have come to enjoy a balance of the two when I capture the feeling of the moment in the field and use the photos as a guide in the studio while letting my brush add details and colors that might not have existed in the scene.