Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Whimsical View from Queen Emma Bridge

"I feel we are all islands - in a common sea." - Anne Morrow Lindberg, author and poet

The facade of Willemstad, Curacao as seen from the Queen Emma Bridge.

View from the Bridge by Joan Terrell Click here to purchase   $250 
24"W x 12"H x 3/4" deep on stretched canvas
An original plein air oil painted with a palette knife for rich, impasto texture

In keeping with the spirit of Plein Air Curaçao 2015 (Feb. 26 - March 7), this painting was created outside - in my north Georgia backyard. Hellen Chirino-Roosberg, event coordinator, made me promise to be true to plein air and paint outside. I used my computer outside for a satellite web cam and also used reference photos that I took when in Willemstad, Curaçao in 2013. 

This painting is a playful interpretation of the capital's colorful skyline as seen from the Queen Emma Bridge. My goal was to capture the excitement of seeing this famous cityscape for the first time.

First the initial sketch, using fingerless gloves and soft vine charcoal. Yep, that's snow in the background.

Joan Terrell artist outside creating View from the Bridge
I then went over the charcoal with black acrylic to create a bold, black outline. Next, I glazed colorful acrylics. Like the pink sky?

It's important to note that a glazing medium was used and the acrylics were not thinned with water. I used a brush to glaze because using oil paint with palette knives later will create all the rich, thick impasto needed.
Joan Terrell artist outside creating View from the Bridge

Now it's time to use the palette knives and apply oil over the glazed acrylics. This is definitely adhering to the "fat over lean" principle.

Willemstad Curacao sky and rooftops

Time to go inside and warm up! Thanks for visiting and did you enjoy our colorful excursion to the island? If so, please leave a comment and don't forget to apply more sun lotion.
For more information about the event, see http://www.pleinaircuracao.com/en/


  1. Wow that is quite a process and you have a talent with a trained eye to process everything. To be able to apply the paint and have the picture evolve blows my mind. You are talented beyond belief!! Keep up the good work.

  2. Loved your story!! Enjoyed learning the techniques you used. You are one dedicated artist and I admire you and your work

  3. Thank you so much, Stephanie and Sandy. Am in a Duluth, GA plein air event this weekend. Practice, practice. You two are too kind!


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