JuxtapositionPosted: December 28, 2020
A few weeks ago, I took photos of and subsequently painted a view of the wetlands at the Technoparc Oiseaux. Perhaps I made it seem like a rural wilderness area in my watercolour, but the reality of the location is that it’s a series of wetland areas and a huge bird sanctuary bordered by Montreal’s main airport and an industrial park. When I was there, I also took some reference photos of another view of the same marsh area with the industrial complex behind it. Google maps tells me that the buildings in that complex include an aircraft maintenance company on the right, but there’s also some new construction and I’m not sure what the buildings on the left are.
At first I was reticent to paint this view with the buildings in the distance, but the more that I looked at my photos, the more the juxtaposition of the wilderness landscape and the built landscape intrigued me. The buildings, lit by the afternoon sun, were indeed just as beautiful as the marsh with its wild grasses, tree stumps and floating logs in the shallow water. Plus there was a similarity of colours that easily unified the background and foreground. I painted with a limited palette of blues, siennas and ochres, with just a touch of Cobalt Green for the industrial glass. Painted on a quarter sheet of Arches paper.