Yellow Porto House was done from one of my trips to lovely Porto. It’s a rustic, gritty and hilly (but never silly) old city that has a lot of charm and history. One of my favorite things to do in Porto is just walking around and taking every sight, smell and hint of Portuguese food in through my senses. There’s always something new to discover every time I visit. Last time I visited Porto, I went to the Gaiya section, which really is the tourist part of town along the river. And it’s quite nice as you might expect. Lots of new and old shops, filled with antiques and local crafts. Personally, I can’t get enough of the Ginja (cherry liquor) in a small chocolate edible cup that’s so divine, it yells out, “here I am, now we can celebrate!”.
So after my short affair in that part of town, I walked in the quiet parts of the neighborhood nearby. I love the old homes and the way the tiles and rooftops just have its own character. The old homes are the true personalities of Porto. When I came across a yellow house on a short and narrow path, I was in awe. I had to stop and marvel the beauty surrounding it. The house in-between two other buildings. But even more, the view ahead of the house. The Porto Eifel bridge, built by the same guy who built the Eifel tower in France in the distance. The natural blue skies with the fluffy clouds from an old Portuguese storybook, it all made for the perfect setting of my next painting.
I used my limited palette of colors on an orange background along with a sketch of the scenes. I knew ahead that the yellow house was the main focal point and the lightest object, and the path in front would be the darkest. Painting the river and its bridges in the background, I had to lighten up so they would recede in the distance. I used limited brushstrokes for the yellow house and that turned out great. I got expressive with the rooftop and added the stones for the walls in the foreground. There was a lot going on, but also a lot of variety. And the angles of perspective helped. So glad I did this one, it was fun and can’t wait to do the next one!
Yellow Porto House
oil on canvas board
Alligator Mountains oil on canvas board 7×10 ©Joshua Lance
From the urban setting of my rooftops, comes a tale about find solace in the distance. I am surrounded my the urban landscape, but in the distance lies tranquility. Green mountains and a river bathed in a grey sky very common here in Taipei. I call it Alligator Mountains only because that’s the first name that came to mind when I looked at the mountains. They are various greens and it reminded me of the beast that is nature herself.
I had fun painting this on my rooftops of course. I’m outdoors yet so close to home. I feel very comfortable using greens in my art. This was also very simple to do because of a simple composition. Of course I’d rather just paint the damn thing and then start critiquing it later, because it’s the process that rules. If I didn’t enjoy the process, I know my work would look uninspired and dull. I purposely wanted to use greys, as I enjoy the endless possibilities. When using greys the right way, it helps make a painting “pop” out their true colors. Though the main colors are grey and green, there are many other colors in between. I won’t tell you what they are, but you can take a look for yourself and tell me what you see. Preferably on my Facebook Fan Page. Happy painting!
This article was inspired by a conversation with Carolyn Edlund of the very cool blog Artsy Shark .
It started out as a normal conversation on Facebook as I was asking questions. She somehow was impressed with what I said and decided to write a blog post about it. And I’m very pleased how it turned out. There were many comments. To date, I’ve had responses about artists visiting places like Italy, Australia, India. Personally, I’m headed to Taiwan for a possible long-term relocation. But I want to commit at least a few weeks to see if it’s a good spot for me. I’ve connected with a few artists and read a lot about Taiwan. I heard many good things about its culture and landscapes. Boy, I can see myself painting on the beach now…but here’s a snippet of the article you can check out…maybe these questions you can play around yourself too. Tell me what you think!
Where in the world would YOU travel to make art?
If you had no obligations,
If you had enough money to live for six months,
If you could travel anywhere that would inspire you,
Where would you go?
What would you do?
What would you create?
‘Technocolor Jinhae Bay’ 7×7 oil on board