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Elles Tobacco Planter © Judy Lavoie

Elles Tobacco Planter

Original Watercolor on Paper by Judy Lavoie

IMAGE SIZE: 30" x 22"

STATUS: For sale, $1000 in a double ivory mat and black sectional frame

This painting was in the prestigeous juried Tennessee Watercolor Society's 2014 Exhibition! Scroll down for more details.

"This is an old 2-man tobacco planter. There are actually two tractor seats, although one is a bit hidden in the angle I've chosen. I love the rusted metal, peeling paint, and the faded lettering "Elles" on the boxes which held the tobacco plants. The owner, my friend Mitch, has this parked alongside the long driveway into his farm. He checked the records of his father-in-law, who had purchased this equipment used many years ago, and learned that it was re-painted after he bought it. However, when the name was stenciled on, it was misspelled as "Elles" instead of the original manufacturer's name "Ellis." I love those little details which make things so unique.

I struggled with how to compose this painting; the actual setting is very busy visually - piles of leaves and lots of trees. I wanted the machinery to be the focal point, not to be lost in the woods. Finally it occurred to me that by creating a winter scene, with a bit of snow on the ground, I could use the white areas to contrast with my main character. Also, by inventing a landscape with a distant mountain view and just a few trees, I could create more of a story.

For this painting, I wanted to do a lot of blending of colors, much of it right on the paper, and I chose a rainbow palette of eight watercolor paints: Winsor Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Vermillion, Permanent Red, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean, and Indigo. These hues tend to be grainy pigments, as opposed to fine dye-type stains. Such paint particles sometimes separate a bit from each other when mixed, so they create interesting effects on the paper. There were no green paints in my chosen palette, even though the main character, the tobacco planter, is green. I wanted to mix all my greens, and create variety and interest this way. My quick little color mixing swatch convinced me that my chosen colors give me the look I had in my brain."


* This painting was juried into the 2014 biennial Tennessee Watercolor Society Exhibition, and also selected as one of 30 for the TnWS Traveling Show, which brings award winning paintings and others selected by the juror to four additional gallery and museum locations around the state for the rest of the exhibition year.

Seventy paintings from several hundred digital entries were selected for the 2014 Tennessee Watercolor Society show by internationally renowned artist Pat Dews. The exhibition rules changed from previous years, and no more than one painting could be accepted from entering artists (two entries were allowed, and I also entered "Grandpa's Fiddle Break.")

These exhibitions feature exceptional original watermedia artwork, from extraordinarily talented artists, working in both representational and abstract styles. Visit the Society's website, which features paintings from past Exhibitions.

[NOTE: Judy's painting In The Spotlight was accepted and a top prize winner in the 2016 Exhibition. Elles Tobacco Planter was selected for the 2014 Exhibition (also chosen for the Traveling Show). Prior to 2014, any artist could have up to two paintings accepted; Judy had two paintings in the 2012 Exhibition, "Jerry Van, Music Man" and "Jesus Saves," and both were award winners. In the 2010 Exhibition her painting "Decadence" was an award winner, and "Nature Paints a Picture" was also accepted. Her painting "Out to Pasture" was juried into the 2008 Exhibition. Judy has earned the status of a Signature Member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society.]

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