‘School’s Out’

April 9, 2018

Not far from our Kamloops, B. C., home is the village of Pritchard which used to have an original one room school occupying a corner of a farmer’s pasture–a school he himself reputedly attended as a boy–that no amount of seeking to have it lovingly restored bore any fruit with historical groups or municipalities.

Fearing its derelict floors and frame would be responsible for causing trespassing children accidental injury, he reluctantly tore it all down some five years or so ago.  But fortunately I managed to capture its classic image with my camera while it was still part of this farmer’s horse paddock, and I’ve painted a series of watercolours using it as a focal point.

Since it no longer exists, I choose to place this old school in settings that depart rather dramatically from where it actually had been (on a rather non-descript flat field right beside Duck Range Rd).

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‘School’s Out’, watercolour by Lance Weisser, 14″ x 16″

Arches Hot Press 140 lb. Paper, Sold

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THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE is once again the subject……

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THIS TIME around, a horse was to be included, which meant it could not be a nocturnal scene, as that would be an odd addition to a night painting.  The choice was made to have only a single horse, even though horses are most often seen in pairs or groups, being a social animal…..

 

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THE DECISION over depicting a single horse was selected as adding to the feeling of isolation: a lone horse beside an abandoned school in a lonely, forgotten field in the dead of winter……

“FROZEN IN TIME”  

watercolour, 12″ x 15″, 140 lb. Arches Cold Press Paper, Kamloops Courthouse Gallery, Kamloops, British Columbia   http://www.kamloopscourthousegallery.ca

 

 

 

 

[I apologize to my blogging friends for falling behind in viewing your many entries.  There have been a number of deadlines I’ve been facing, and now I feel somewhat negligent in posting and commenting.]

In continuing to try and improve on my initial study of a pair of horses, I have placed them in a more complex setting.

Icelandic Horses "Odur" and "Lettir"

I am somewhat more satisfied with this result, and have been learning a great deal in the process.  This is Arches Hot Press Paper which is has a very smooth surface and is slightly creamy in tone.  It has the qualities of  illustration board.  The demand on the painter with Hot Press is the need to lay the initial wash down with the hope of not going back into it, or back over it.  Because there’s no ‘tooth’ to the paper, the paint floats on the surface before finally being absorbed.

Although the flaws of this scream out at me, the reason watercolour is considered the most demanding of painting mediums is simply because trying to correct the flaws will result in outright catastrophe.

All I can hope for is renewed confidence and another attempt.  However, I remain pleased with the composition, if not some of the particulars.

My painting mentor taught me to adhere to the “20 to 1 principle”–‘for every painting you keep, throw out 19’.

Horse study . . .

March 18, 2012

I have been endeavouring to paint a fondly-loved pair of horses for a friend of mine.  Were I to choose my own equine subject matter, I would likely have preferred more than two, or where they weren’t quite so front and centre.  I have painted horses before, but lack confidence due to not being raised around them.  I lack fundamental knowledge of what they are like, i.e. horse sense (groan).

A beginning (from the rear)

"Charging ahead from behind"

Starting from behind . . .

"Odur" nears completion . . .

"Lettir" joins "Odur"

"Lettir" joins "Odur"

Sky is dropped in with a few strokes

wash of sky is dropped in with a few strokes . . .

"Odur" and "Lettir"

"Odur" and "Lettir"

The horses aren’t too bad, but the sky is too blue, and the field too green.  I am also not thrilled I added the stone wall, as it cuts a swath right through the middle.  So . . . back to the proverbial drawing board.   I will keep you posted, and provide the next instalment.

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