Latest work – Reworking a Plein air sketch of Yunnan Hillside


Yunnan Villagers inspect their fields- Niamh Cunningham


Last year I went on a painting trip to Yunnan. One of the oil sketches was in an almost-square format. Here you can see the local villagers inspecting what I did to their fields.



This was the finished sketch.

Yunnan hillside en plein air Cunningham 60 x 50 cm









After lengthening the format into a 3:1 I could stretch the hillside to a more realistic version of the hillside.

hillside panorama stage 1


This was taking longer than the two weeks planned. Before the days work I started to do an ink exercise looking at the forms of Huang Gong Wang ink-scapes and then return to the oil piece on the easel . I was positively dizzy with all those rolls and curves, terraces and fields of hillside detail.

Hillside Yunnan panorama stage 2 Cunningham 150 x 50cm

I can now appreciate the linear value of the Chinese landscape , how it controls and balances the forms. But there is also a relief in dealing with the dance and roller-coaster detail of  the land, fields and houses on the hill.

Hillside Yunnan panorama Stage C Cunningham 150 x 50 cm