Plein Air – Here’s Looking At You

Here's Looking At You – Currie Barracks, Rex BeanlandI worked hard not to title this post Plein Air Currie Barracks.  I felt that I had to create a title that  would attract people’s attention more because in reality it is  another in the  never ending series based on the Currie Barracks.  I’ve never found as much inspiration as I have at this location . . . and it’s only minutes away.

Anyway, I did a previous plein air version of this painting which included the entire side of the building. This time I wanted to zero in on the real story which was this small room and the connecting shadows.  Emphasizing this part gives it more of a narrative and human element.  The first version just recorded the scene.

I love that the 2 little windows right at the front seem to be eyes looking out.

I also like the big tree on the left which adds a nice element of depth to the painting especially with the bits of white gouache over the darker watercolour washes.

Here’s Looking At You
watercolour & white gouache
9 X 12

4 thoughts on “Plein Air – Here’s Looking At You

  1. Shelley

    I think you’ve definitely got a strong series going here, Rex. It’s neat to see places like this documented, particularly in a city not well known for spectacular architecture. I really like the idea of capturing subtle beauty in not so obvious places, yet places that might still evoke a sense of place/home for the people who live there….even though they’re not landmarks in the same sense as places like the Saddledome or Calgary Tower. Zeroing in on just the entrance way also adds, somehow, to a more intimate narrative and “insider” view of the city here. Nice!

    1. Rex Beanland Post author

      Hi Shelley: Thanks for the comment. I’m very pleased to be doing the series thing. I really enjoy the shapes and colours that I see at Currie Barracks. I also like that this painting has a new colour scheme from the red and blue of some of the earlier paintings. I appreciate your comment on this painting having a greater narrative than the first version. That was consciously my goal with this painting. I’m trying to make sure that there is a story. By focusing on the this little room and the windows it gives it more of a human element. I’m just thrilled at the moment with the entire direction that my art is going. For so long I’ve tried to find my voice and it’s starting to happen.


  2. Susan

    Hi Rex
    I really like the ‘Here’s looking at you’. The windows really do make you wonder…..”who you looking at mister?”. The tree on the left moves you into the picture and the highlights on the tree catch your eye moving you toward the windows in the shade under the eve on the small room. Then the tree on the right stops you from moving out of the picture sending you back for another look. Really well done. S

    1. Rex Beanland Post author

      Hey Susan: Thanks for commenting. I’m quietly proud that most of the specifics that you mention were fairly deliberate. This painting is starting to have a narrative unlike the first version which was just about recording the scene. I did about 80% of this painting on location and just added some darker values at home.

      I’m beyond pleased with the way the art journey is unfolding at the moment. I’m starting to feel that I am discovering my voice. How’s your own art going?



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