The abandoned cottage is a common sight in Ireland. Many are the result of the Great Famine (1846-52) when starvation and emigration devastated a quarter of the population. 1 million people died from starvation and another million emigrated. When we think of famine we picture arid, parched landscapes as we see in Africa today. This is a rich, lush land and these cottages are a reminder of what can happen as a consequence political mismanagement.
In the final painting there is very little red but its there as part of each of the mixes. The blues are made more purple and the yellows are more orange. The result is a vibrant clash of colour. Notice also the use of diagonals in the basic structure in the composition. There is feverous activity in preparation for the harvest – not a quiet time in the fields.
The colours used are Cadmium Yellow, Permanent Rose, Raw Umber, French Ultramarine plus black and white. All colours, except Cadmium Yellow, are Alkyd fast drying oils. At this time of year they are a little too fast and parts of the sky had begun to ‘set’ before I was finished. Not good for the sky part but great for overpainting the trees onto the wet sky.
Here’s the video of the painting process. See you soon.