Last day of my Punta Gorda Artist's Bootcamp. Will miss everyone! This demo demonstrated blocking in darks with ultramarine blue. Karen liked how the blue showed through, so I left some for her. Squawking and chirps from the bird sanctuary nearby cheered us on as we raced to capture the changing light. A heron strolled across the sand, pausing long enough to have his photo taken. Sailboats and powerboats headed out the channel. Beautiful day to paint outside!
Monday morning with the Punta Gorda plein air painters group. Clare, Lanni, Sharon, Jim, and I gathered under the trees and by the edge of the water. Much nicer painting with others nearby. Some tourists snapped our photos. Lawnmowers kept their distance. Cormorants perched on the pilings spread their wings in the sun.
Cottages like this were built near the El Palmetto Cigar Company, 1890's-1901, in Punta Gorda, Florida. This cabin was moved to the history park in 1999 and restored by volunteers. Distroyed by Hurricane Charley, 2004 and rebuilt again by volunteers.
This pastel drawing was twice the size and almost distroyed because I didn't like it. Cut it in half to save the bits I liked. Worked plein air in the shade but glare from cabin's tin roof was blinding.
Teaching a workshop at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda this summer... The Pastel Experience. Found this Devil's trumpet growing in the history park in Punta Gorda last summer. Sketched from a photo I took. It's in the datura plant family, extremely POISONOUS! Keep away from pets and children.
Pastel on Wallis sand paper. Practice for pastel workshop I'm teaching this summer at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda. Wanted to see how realistic I could get with soft pastels... not as easy as oils! This was over a landscape I had wiped off.
Perfect morning at the Bay Preserve painting with E and M. Had lunch under a shady oak next to the dock and watched the boat traffic on Little Sarasota Bay. Plein air painting isn't just about painting, but being outside in the company of good friends. This is the fourth time I painted the boathouse, still not as good as the one I lost off my car roof.
Plein air in Matlacha (mat-la-shay). Landlord of this building asked for his 15% when I sell the painting, so I'll have to raise my price. (Maybe landlords asking for a percentage of scene could be Danger of Plein Air Painting #4357). Had my shade umbrella bungee-corded to a fence while the sun cooked the lady painting next to me a deep shade of hideous pink. Painted fast so we could break for lunch. So, Dangers of Plein Air Painting #4356 (drum roll please)... OSPEYS. Little did we know when we picked our spot that we were under the flight path of a pair of nest-building ospreys! And it wasn't the poop that worried us. The sticks they were carrying were the size of broomstick handles. We watched them drop a few as they skirted directly overhead.
Painted with Punta Gorda VAC plein air artists in Matlacha, FL. Colorful little strip along a noisy road between Cape Coral and Pine Island. Stood six feet away from trucks and traffic roaring by... so I painted fast and funky. Place has lots of character and claims the most "fished" bridge in the country. Last time I painted this building it was yellow and was the Matlacha Hotdog Company, now it's a coffee shop and sells doughnuts.
Early morning, top of Wyvern Hotel, Punta Gorda. About a dozen painters enjoyed the view of the Peace River bridges, marina, and harbor. It was a challenge painting a panorama in an 8" by 10" space. Although I'm not happy with my results, it works as a painting-journal entry of that hot and windy event.
Pastel sketch in Venice today. Second in a row for pastels and oh, how I miss my brushes! All those little pastel pieces, so many colors and never the right one. Find oils so much easier even with a limited palette. And can't seem to get the details with those chalk-like sticks that I can get with a good brush. But there IS something to this medium, at least I can imagine what I want. Will need to do many more experiments. This model was extremely thin, and as E said, "Bird-like." An elegant lady.
First of a series of pastel experiments. Oils are my favorite medium but it's great practice to try something different. Pastels are closer to drawing and can be spontaneous, like this sketch of Stan. This is on Canson pastel paper, first lines with Nupastels and almost the rest with Rembrandts. (I've had a fancy Rembrandt wooden box, about 400 colors, in the closet for years. Each piece in order, neatly planted in protective foam. Too intimidating! Yesterday I snapped each piece in two, tore off the labels and tossed them in my old Guerrilla Painter 9x12, Cigar Box. I like them much better now. Just could not get the right red for Stan's headscarf... until I saw the perfect color in a friend's pastel box! He snapped it in two and gave me half! A new discovery: The Mount Vision Pastel Company! What color!!! And it's right here in Tampa.
I enjoy painting with groups of people, but sometimes the location doesn't inspire me. After searching the grounds of an over-grown motel garden, I fought the urge to leave and focused on a tangerine tree near my car. Morning light filtered through the leaves into the dark shadows spotted with tangerines. Dashed off this postcard size sketch before the mosquitos sent me running. (Palette: cad red, cad yellow light, ultramarine blue, white). So, Dangers of Plein Air Painting # 3: "There's nothing to paint." Solution: Focus on how light and color falls on one simple thing. Do a postcard size painting. Experiment with a limited palette. And don't forget the bug spray.
Found perfect spot to park in the shade with a cool breeze from shady Banyon Street. Sat on the back fender of my mini-van with the door up to paint and sip tea out of my thermos. Loved the way the light hit this beautiful house with the dark, Australian pine in the background.
Sketch on green-toned canvas using a limited palette of cad red, cad yellow pale, ultramarine blue and white. But got carried away with the feathers and used a bit of magenta and turquoise. Fun! Rita was a great model but just too darn happy... kept breaking into a smile. Face crinkled with laughter, eyes sparkled, hat feathers shook. Many artists were able to capture her bubbly charm at the Punta Gorda Portrait Studio last Thursday morning.