Its a funny thing, but when I go off somewhere, anywhere really, if I want to paint a view when I get back I can only hold the colours in my mind for so long. Taking photos is of course great, but no matter how good we are at taking photos its never the same as actually being there and looking. The light is different, the colours are different and the tonal values are often very different, so I try and capture the feel of the place as soon as I can when I return.
Yes, if I can, I make colour notes, little colour sketches or even memory joggers (I've even been known to scrawl things in Biro on paper napkins) it all helps.
I painted this yesterday, what I like about this is the ice on the canal and the reflections of the buildings. It was bitterly cold in Amsterdam last week and there was no way I was going to paint this one on location, the snow was falling very hard and being blown about all over the place, I really wanted to portray that blustery feeling.
The birds were obviously very hungry and people were throwing bread for them. Actually there was one old chap who I am convinced was throwing the bread AT them. In fairness I think he wanted to feed some swans but the gulls were all taking it before the swans got to it and he was just getting more and more cross with the gulls!
This painting is called 'Feeding the Birds' and is 10 x 12 inches