"Ophir – Past and Present"
24"x20" - 610 mm x 510 mm
Oil on Belgian Linen
© Susan Harrison-Tustain
Time for sneak preview of another exhibition painting.
This time my oil painting is of an old house in Ophir New Zealand. Ophir is a beautiful village in Central Otago, New Zealand. Running alongside this and many other rustic villages in this area is the ‘Rail Trail”. A cycling trail along several kilometres of an old railway rising. Riding this rail trail is an exhilarating experience and if you are coming to NZ – do add it to your bucket list. You will love the experience! It is not to be missed.
I wanted to capture the atmosphere and presence of these old villages before the character and history within those layers of peeling paint and aged timbers are exchanged for a bright, fresh new cloak. These areas are revitalized by the rail trail, bringing new awareness of these magical places that speak so eloquently of times passed.
In my oil painting, you will notice one window shows a reflection of the old Ophir general store - the other window, the glass and surround is missing but it allows us to be drawn inside the building where we see the beginnings of a renovation taking place.
Old kauri timber, peeling wallpaper and boxes and cloth lay amongst the dust and detritus. They can barely be made-out in the darkness of the room. This is deliberate - we are drawn out of that room by the warm glow of orange light. Through an out-of-sight window an early evening twilight glows and dances on the wall of the room behind. I love the contrast between warm and cool, light and dark. Notice how the warmth of this glow pulls your attention through the painting and creates a path for you to follow.
In contrast we see the old drapery shop and the early evening sky reflected in the window pane. This is Ophir – Central Otago, New Zealand. Our history - our heritage.
Are you aware you have become part of this oil painting - Part of this early New Zealand land and village scape?
We stand in front of the painting – enticed to peek inside the dark room. Curiosity draws us in. The reflection is behind us – across the street. The grey/blue twilight behind us allows us to feel as if we are within this scene – somewhere between these rustic windows and the blue/grey twilight and the old general store behind us. I want viewers of this piece to feel part of this painting – to experience the feeling of ‘being there’.
These places are our heritage, history, our past and our ever-evolving present.
No matter which medium you use, watercolor painting or oil painting, pastel or acrylic painting, these hints and tips and painting lessons on how to use color, color temperature and tone will stand you in good stead.
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