Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Portrait of Nicole

8" x 10"
Set out to do an experiment at the last portrait studio session.  Thought I had put a thick enough underpainting of acrylic medium to be able to wipe off paint down to white.  Only used burnt sienna and a brush or rag with turps to erase with.  Unfortunately, the thin paint didn't rub off as I had hoped.  But when I brought the monochrome painting home and looked at it for a few days, I couldn't resist finishing it.  The original value study gave the final painting dramatic contrasts with the back lit lighting.  Not only was the model back lit, but the strong studio lights glared directly into my eyes.  Now I know why artists often wear baseball caps, inside or out... brims cut glare.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The One That Got Away

8" x 10"

BOATHOUSE number 1 (oil, 8" x 10") was one of the best paintings I ever did.  It had been a beautiful day at the Bay Preserve, Osprey, Florida.  My painting caught the sunstruck side of the boathouse and it's refections perfectly.  Had even added a friend painting on the dock under her silver umbrella.  Took the painting back to my mini-van and placed it on the roof, wet side up, while I packed away my supplies.  Then drove off to Sarasota.  Hadn't gotten very far when I pulled over and checked the roof...yup, it was gone!  Drove back around twice and couldn't find it.  Only hope it flipped off and landed neatly on someones's windshield and they said, "Oh, yes.  It's raining art in Sarasota again."  I hadn't signed the painting, so it can't be traced back to me and I won't be arrested for causing an accident or littering.  Most likely, it stuck to the bottom of a truck tire and is in Alabama by now.  But a few week later, I painted it again... BOATHOUSE 2.  Not nearly as good as the one that got away.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Frank, Again

10" x 8"

Oil sketch painted at the Venice Art Center.  Had green acrylic toned canvas which I left showing on the shirt.  

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowy-white Beard Portrait

8" x 10"

The portrait studios in Punta Gorda and Venice have had a run on snowy-white beards lately.  Frank is a sculptor who posed for us in Venice. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Afternoon Painting

5" x 7"

Once in a while it's my treat to tend to Julie and Joan's parrots while they are away.  I get to feed, water, and play with them.  Spent a cloudy afternoon in the lani (what a screened in porch is called in Florida) listening to two African grays, a cockatiel, canary, finch, lovebird and a parrotlet chattering, chirping, and talking away.  "Harley wants cracker," said Harley. "What's the matter?" asked Davy.  Lyric said, "Hi Lyric," while I painted this orchid for my friends.  When it was finished and propped up by the kitchen window to dry, a neighbor walked across the yard collecting pine cones.  "Put them around my plants, keeps the armadillos and possums away," she said.  And she liked my painting.  All and all a very good day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Simply Simon

20" x 16"

Almost every time I visit a park near Englewood Beach, Simon is sitting on his lawn chair looking perfectly content.  This particular morning, he said an eagle had been nearby calling to her young.  Seagulls soared overhead, pelicans dived after fish.  Simon agreed to pose for me ( I'll give him a copy).  I like how his tire tracks leads the eye into the painting, his car is parked just off to the right.  The entire background is from my imagination.  I left out the clutter of houses and boats.   Wanted a simple scene focused simply on Simon sitting in the sun,  knees sparkling with suntan lotion.  Although this is a studio painting, the background is painted from lots of plein air experience at similar locations.  Simply Simon is on exhibit in the Faces and Figures show, Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center until the end of the month.

Friday, December 4, 2009


12" x 9"

It's impossible for children to stand still long enough to paint them.  Took a series of photos of Rachael and worked from them.  Sometimes I work from a grid to lay out the drawing, but with this one, I put the image on the computer screen and pretended she was posing.  Like the simplicity of the ballet stance, long neck, shoulders back, determined expression. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Plein Air Painting

10" x 8"

Early, overcast morning in Venice, Florida.  Found a spot under tall palm trees to paint along with Sally Christiansen's group.   I had painted a bird flying low over the water with its reflection, but someone thought it looked like a dolphin so I painted it out.  Later, two people paddling bright yellow kayaks came by.  I wished they had showed up went I first started, oh well, that will have to be another painting.  The sky and lighting changed constantly during the two hours this took to paint. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Plein Air

10" x 8"

This painting won second place in Artsensations plein air competition, Punta Gorda, Florida.  Started painting at nine am and finished 11:30.  Put a frame on it in the back of my mini van then took it to the exhibition.  An unexperienced volunteer stuck her thumb on the lower left figure... smearing it completely!  "It's oil!"  I yelled, too late.  Corrected it after the event.