Monday, December 31, 2012

1 American Lotus

Diane Mannion, 1 American Lotus, 8x10" oil on linen
      American Lotus...this pond is located near the Jacaranda Library in Venice, Florida and it's so thick with these plants not a bit of water shows.  John thought it looked like a scene from another planet.   The colors and shapes of the seed pods are incredible! 
      This is the first painting for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge with Leslie Saeta.  I know, I painted it on December 31... but my blog has to be posted the day before for things to show up on the daily painting groups I belong to.  Thought I would get a head start on the New Year and work up a couple of paintings.  Ha!  Note to self... choose less complex subjects for this challenge.  Painting with a theme in mind is part of the challenge... my theme is flowers and to make it even harder on myself... all 8x10" horizontals!  Will be a tough thirty days, I'm also working on a large painting commission and teaching!  And painting with a plein air group and two portrait groups.  I'll be able to find flowers easily while painting plein air, and for portraits, well maybe a flower in the hair or background.  SOLD

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Diane Mannion, JADE PLANT, 8x10" oil on linen

      Last painting for 2012... and it's the 170th.  Last year I made it to 200, but this year painted a lot more larger size paintings so I don't feel too bad.  Here's the demo for this one:
 Stage 1
It's the one on the bottom left... working on one sheet of linen taped to a board.  Will cut the paintings apart later and mount them.  Started Jade Plant with a transparent underpainting and then sketched out the location and composition with my new, handy-dandy Colour Shapers (find them at Jerry's or Blick).  Nice thing about this technique is no extra paint to muddy things up at this stage, removing paint instead of adding it.
Stage 2
Added darks and wiped off lights with Gamsol and paper towels.
 Stage 3
Worked with opaque paints (using white and opaque colors).  Signed it!  It's not an ego thing (maybe just a little)... but I like to scratch the signature with my meat skewer stick and it only works when the paint's wet.  Finished the bottom right and scratched it in before the painting's finished!  So now I know I HAVE to finish it!
Tinkered all over, finished jade plant which is the star of the show.  Played with light and broken color, an impressionist technique.  Polished the pansy, too.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Venice Model

Diane Mannion, VENICE MODEL, 8x6" oil
      Painted this model last week at the Venice Art Center portrait studio.  She took less breaks than we did in the two and a half hour session!
     I'm doing a January 30 Day Painting Challenge with Leslie Saeta and many other artists across the country.  Follow the link and sign up!  Great way to start the New Year! SOLD

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blue Bird

Diane Mannion, BLUE BIRD, 8x10" oil on linen
      Scene from my SW Florida garden today... growing subjects to paint for the new year.  This blue bird planter is near the canary cage where my canaries sing all day.  I'd rather sweep bird feathers than shovel snow, but may have frost tonight so shutters will be closed to keep the birds cozy.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Silver Bird

Diane Mannion, Silver Bird, 8x10" oil on linen

   M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S !

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Diane Mannion, RICK, 8x6" oil

      Painted and partied at the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center this morning.  Rick was a fabulous model who got back into the perfect position after every break.  Was great painting along with such a talented group!  And the Christmas party lunch was delicious... just one more cookie, please!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cactus

Diane Mannion, Christmas Cactus, 8x10" oil on linen

      Played with a few new Rosemary brushes that just arrived from England!  Rosemary also sent a chocolate surprise which disappeared immediately.   
      Experimented with Gamblin's Chromatic Black, new on my palette.  Found it useful for toning down colors, interesting... transparent, bluish black.  Didn't seem to deaden colors like the more opaque Ivory Black.  John discovered somewhere online that the paint was called Ivory because it was once made from burnt elephant tusks, who knew!  I hardly ever have black on my palette, mix my own from red, blue, and yellow, but will continue working with Chromatic Black to explore new color possibilities.
      Pushed this painting in a more impressionistic direction than I usually work.  I'm happy with a few bits here and there, mostly the last few brushstrokes... deftly applied by my lovely Rosemary brush!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stepping Back In Time

Diane Mannion, Stepping Back In Time, 24x18" oil on linen

      Yes, Rachael had a blue streak in her hair and also chose her own outfit... seven year olds, what a riot!  Loved the contrast of a whimsical child and the old, historic place.  
Stage 1: Loose drawing with charcoal and burnt sienna on linen.
Stage 2: Transparent colors, unusually wild.  Just wanted to get rid of white and design color patterns.
Stage 3:  Settled into painting which took about a week.  Most fun and fastest were the sneakers!   Finished painting above.  

Friday, December 14, 2012


Diane Mannion, BECKY, 10x8" oil

      Becky posed for us today at the Venice Art Center Portrait group.  Lovely model!  Wish we had longer than two and a half hours, seemed to fly while painting... but for poor Becky it must have seemed forever.  Not easy sitting still!
      Finally finished a large painting today, just in time to enter the Portrait Society Members Only competition.  I'll post it tomorrow along with a few in-progress photos.  Too many deadlines this time of the year for major shows.  Has thrown me completely off posting a daily painting, even though I've been pushing the brush day and night.  Larger paintings take a lot longer, at least for me.  Wish I could paint faster.