Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rachael as Leonardo's Princess

Rachael as Leonardo's Princess, 14x11" oil, ©Diane Mannion


Posting this one again due to computer glitches, hacking, etc... please forgive.  The lead photo on my blog is automatically posted into Dailypaintworks, but for some reason it didn't show up.  And because I'm a featured artist there this month, I think this one is worthy of showing.  

And here's a watercolor started as a demo for a portrait class I was teaching.  One of my students just bought a house on Picasso Street, so this painting will live there too!
 A Guy That Looks Like Picasso, 6x6" watercolor, ©Diane Mannion

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bromeliad Garden

Bromeliad Garden, 11x14" oil, plein air, ©Diane Mannion

Selby Gardens, Sarasota

Wonderful opportunity painting at Selby with the Light Chasers yesterday!  Met some talented artists also participating in the Sarasota Paintout.  Tourists enjoyed seeing our paintings and snapped photos of us along with the flowers.  We were a colorful part of the scenery, but unfortunately, the sun never came out and we had to paint in thick, hazy sea-fog. 
My setup

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Early Morning

Early Morning, 11x14" oil, plein air, ©Diane Mannion

Purple Clouds

Another painting from yesterday at Caspersen Beach, Venice, Florida.  Only a few fishermen and some morning walkers when I started this, but later, the beach was speckled with hundreds of tourists.
High season here... have to go early to find a parking spot.  Everyone's saying this is the most crowded it's ever been down here! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Caspersen Beach Noon

Caspersen Beach Noon, 11x14" oil, plein air, ©Diane Mannion


My computer was hacked!  After having it "cleaned" I've spent countless hours changing passwords and trying to locate images and software.  Will take a lot more time to get back to what it was.  

This also caused me to be locked out of my blog!  Horrible experience.  Be careful out there folks!  (Thought I was talking to Comcast...NOT!)

Still don't have iPhoto or Photoshop working, this is just an iPhone photo.  Fabulous time painting in Venice today during the Light Chasers Sarasota Paintout.

Location Shot

Another Boldbrush Winner!
One Two, Buckle My Shoe, 6x6" oil, ©Diane Mannion

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Hopscotch, 8x10" oil/linen panel, ©Diane Mannion

A couple of horn toots!  

Honored to be awarded a ribbon by judge Terry Mason for my Seminole Trader painting at the Punta Gorda Visual Art Center Plein Air Artists exhibition.
Seminole Trader, 8x10" oil, plein air, ©Diane Mannion

DAILY PAINTWORKS!  I was selected as a Judges Pick for my painting, One Two Buckle My Shoe, in January and will be a featured artist February!
One Two Buckle My Shoe, 6x6" oil,  ©Diane Mannion

Painted Hopscotch with a limited red, yellow, blue, and white palette over underpainting of transparent red iron oxide and ultramarine blue.
Underpainting for Hopscotch

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rachael as DaVinci's Princess

Rachael as Leonardo's Princess

While teaching portrait painting this week, my assignment was to use Leonardo Da Vinci's (fake?) Princess as a starting point for a painting.   The idea came from a painting I did in 2010 which I've included here along with the story from that blog post. 

My La Bella Principessa
after da Vinci?
60" x 40"

Each year members of the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center reproduce historic paintings to be sold at auction to support the center.  One year it was Lautrec, this year it’s Leo vs Mike...  Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. 
            While researching da Vinci, I came across a beautiful profile of a young woman that had recently been discovered.  Once thought to be a  19th-century painting,  “La Bella Principessa,”  had been purchased in 2007 by a Swiss collector for $19,000.  In 2009, forensic art experts found a fingerprint of da Vinci in the background.   Multispectral scans showed layers of work that resembled da Vinci’s style.  Many leading art experts agreed it was the real thing.  It’s value soared to $160 million.
            “La Bella Principessa,” was painted on vellum with black, red, and white chalk, pen and ink and watercolor.  Mounted on an oak panel, it is only 13” by 9.”   (My reproduction is five feet tall. )  The girl is believed to be Bianca Sforza,  the illegitimate, conveniently changed to legitimate daughter of a duke of Milan.  In 1496, at age 13, she was married off to a captain of the duke’s military forces.  She died a few months later, possibly from an ectopic pregnancy.
  When half finished with my reproduction, I came across an article by Richard Dorment, recently published in the Telegraph, UK, April 12.  Here’s the link.  Well worth reading!
            Richard Dorment lists many reasons why he believes the painting’s a fake.  The detail that stood out to me...  the same expert who used a fingerprint to prove a Jackson Pollock painting which later proved to be a fake,  was the same expert that found the da Vinci print.  I think too many people involved with this painting have financial interests to gain.  
            I finished my reproduction which has been purchased.  It will not go to auction but the art center will gain. 
I now consider My La Bella Principessa a “real” painting of a fake.
Please follow the links to see the original? Leonardo painting (not sure about copyright laws to include image here).  Or simply Google Leonardo Da Vinci's Princess for images.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Hudson's, 11x14" oil, plein air, ©Diane Mannion

Rare Gray Day

Painted with the VAC Punta Gorda Artists this morning in Boca Grande before the rains hit.  Not my favorite painting conditions in sunny SW Florida, but good practice.  Was able to paint everything but the lettering and flag on location and resisted tinkering with the rest later. 

During the Englewood Bank Art Show last weekend and also while painting in Boca Grande today... I told a lot of folks about our fabulous local art community!  Here are a few links:

VAC Punta Gorda... for plein air info and my class info.

Light Chasers Plein Air... fabulous group!

Ringling Englewood... I teach all levels, all mediums here on Wednesdays.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

All 30 Paintings

All 30 Paintings from the Challenge!
All 6x6" oil.
Will be auctioned on Ebay starting next week.

Sharpened skills and explored new subjects.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Parrotlet Head

Parrotlet Head, 6x6" oil, ©Diane Mannion

Last painting, #30 of Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!  Whoot!  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tourist Town

Tourist Town, 6x6" oil, ©Diane Mannion

Accidental Wipe-out

First time I painted this... while fumbling around in the dark for my glasses, placed my hand on it, smearing it to smithereens.  Didn't like it much anyway... repainted and learned a lot about pushing, taking away, and completely changing the composition.  Finally got it to a stage where I can tolerate looking at it.

#28 of Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

When these little paintings have had a chance to dry... will be auctioned on Ebay with plenty of notifications here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shell Seeker

Shell Seeker, 6x6" oil/linen, ©Diane Mannion
#27 of 30/30

Just Beachy

I know I'm lucky living in Florida!  Especially with all the cold and snow warnings up north right now.  Had my fill of living upstate NY driving and sliding on icy roads.  Do miss painting snow though, but sand is a happy replacement.

And the beaches here are filled with paint-able models!  Having fun experimenting with figurative work during this 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  But SO glad it's almost over!

All of these paintings will be auctioned on Ebay after they have a chance to dry.  Will give plenty of warning here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Palm Study

Palm Study, 6x6" oil/linen, ©Diane Mannion
#26 of 30/30

Darn Palms

One of the most difficult trees to paint, at least in my opinion... are palms!  This is a study in preparation for teaching my classes this week.
 Painted the purple palms on linen about a year ago, so the paint was dry.
Started with broken color in the sky, dark to light, warm to cool.  Then blended with soft brush.  Got so carried away with painting, these are the only progress shots I managed to take.

Only four more to go for Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Girl in Pink Skirt

Girl in Pink Skirt, 6x6" oil/linen, ©Diane Mannion
#25 of 30/30
A Struggle!

Wiped this and started over, was almost ready to give up, but glad I pushed through.  Took twice as long as most of these little paintings.

Painful progress report:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Patch of Sun

Patch of Sun, 6x6" oil/linen, ©Diane Mannion

#24 of 30/30

Bougainvillea is actually not a flower but brightly colored, papery bracts that surround a tiny white, insignificant flower.  This branch was cut from a gigantic bush in our Floridian yard.  Filled with thorns, it's known to snag and scratch folks riding by on lawnmowers.

The colors are amazing but difficult to paint!  Have never been happy with the results... even after trying every pink and red in my paintbox.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blue and Tangerine

Blue and Tangerine, 6x6" oil, Diane Mannion
23 of 30/30

Painting in Punta Gorda

Painted along with my students yesterday in Punta Gorda VAC.  Had this one roughed in but finished later.  Beginners to advanced in my class, working in watercolor, acrylic, and oil.  

Showed a few contemporary artist's work on my iPad and pointed out various working methods and techniques.  Colley Whisson and Daniel Keys for brushwork and style.  Joseph Raffael's watercolors for working methods and scale.  Charles Reid for watercolor technique.  My list of favorites is endless...  

Explained how still life painting is great practice for everything else, from landscapes to figurative... it's all about the color and values flowing through the composition.  Almost doesn't matter what the subject is!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Murcot Tangerine

Murcot Tangerine, 6x6" oil/linen, ©Diane Mannion

#22 of 30/30

Afternoon Demo

Started this in my class yesterday afternoon as a demo and finished later.  Same set up as yesterday's watercolor, different viewpoint.  Yesterday's watercolor was a Dailypaintworks FB Pick of the Day!

Only seven more paintings to go for Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  Hooray!  Lots of experiments with subject matter and techniques.  Looking forward to working larger next month.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

First Tangerine

First Tangerine, 6x6" watercolor, ©Diane Mannion
#21 of 30/30
First Tangerine Picked From Our Tree
This was yesterday's watercolor class demo painted from a still life set up.  Was only able to get it to the half way point because I was busy teaching my talented students.  Hope they realize the importance of drawing and painting from life!   There's so much more to "see" and discover than what is captured by the camera.

We started off with thumbnails and I explained how to visually move things around for the sake of composition.  Because of my square format, had to pull the rose and tangerine into the frame, instead of rendering the set up exactly as it was.  Explained that this is a painting, not an exercise in exact draftsmanship.
This is as far as I was able to get during class, but good example of how I build up layers of glazing, working in small patches at a time.

 Happy to discover my good camera still works, except for the LCD screen which I can live without because I can see through the viewfinder!  At least I'll still be able to photograph my artwork.  Puts off a big purchase for awhile longer.

#21 of Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Flowers on Vintage Tablecloth

Flowers on Vintage Tablecloth, 6x6" oil, ©Diane Mannion
#20 of 30/30
Playing with Light and Patterns

This is #20 of Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!  Made it this far, the rest should be easy.  I always say "Never again!" but always gain a lot from these experiences.  This is my fifth time!

Have focused on figurative paintings for this challenge and working from old photos with the goal of working up enough small studies for larger works.  Gave myself a break today and painted a small still life... also from photo reference painted from my iPad.  Really pleased with this one... would love to see it 6'x6' instead.

Again... my good camera died, so this is an iPhone shot.  Will replace image later with better technology.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Summer Visit

Summer Visit, 6x6" oil, @Diane Mannion
#19 of 30/30

My good camera stopped working today, hopefully it's just the battery... sigh.  This is an iPhone shot, just doesn't capture the details.   

Revisiting old snapshots and doing quick studies to see if there's anything I want to work up later.  Figurative studies have become the theme of my Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  There's a wealth of old family visit photos I've always wanted to do something with.  This one is Rachael when she was about five... about five years ago.  Now I wish I'd taken a lot more photos!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beach Reader

Beach Reader, 6x6" oil, ©Diane Mannion
#18 of 30/30
Painting Over

Painted this quick study (it's a weekend and family calls!) over an old painting I rejected.  Used lots of thick paint (reading about Van Gogh may have influenced this).

Here's the old painting I turned upside-down during the first, sketch stage.  It was a rose that didn't make it.  Qiang Huang says... "Flowers can't be painted, only suggested."