Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Oil Painting 29 - Stretton Aqueduct

I had been looking forward to painting this piece since driving to Weston Park last year and realising the canal ran quite close. The road to Weston, the busy A5, dips under this Thomas Telford iron crossing and the contrast between the rushing cars and the slow boats floating above is something I wanted to capture. When I  got to paint the piece though, with the boat moored just alongside the aqueduct, this contrast wasn't shouting out as the main subject and in fact the painting doesnt really contain any boats or traffic but instead has become the study of a startling and enjoyable sunset which I couldn't have predicted after over a dismal month of rain in what was supposed to be a glorious summer of boating!

If you are interested in the history of the aqueduct it has a wikipedia page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretton_Aqueduct

Oil Painting 29 in progress
Apart from the sunset it was the poplar trees behind the aqueduct that were unexpectedly enjoyable subject matter from being on the spot. I love, of course, Van Gogh and Monet's poplar and cyprus tree paintings. Tall iconic shapes can make a composition very easily.

Monet - Poplars on the River Epte
Van Gogh - Wheatfield with Cypress