Thursday, November 21, 2013


Diane Mannion, Kisses, 6x6" oil on linen
Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Show

Proud to announce that my painting Kisses, has been selected into the 4th Annual Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Show.   This is the third year I've been accepted into this prestigious exhibition and with over 1000 entries, no small feat.

  Reception: December 7th
Exhibition ends: December 20th.

102 Kalmus Dr
Costa Mesa CA 92626

Please contact the gallery for purchase information.
350.00 framed in a gorgeous King of Frames, Arroyo Gold Floater
714 546 2156
1 800 506 7624

My painting, LATE MORNING was selected for the BOLDBRUSH FAV 15, 10/2013!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Erratic Array

Diane Mannion, Erratic Array, 8x10" oil on linen

Random Still Life

Class arrangement for informal still life.  Placed objects helter-skelter on a low platform and had artists choose one area to paint.  This was a paint along demo which I started along with everyone else.  First step was to do a thumbnail sketch, which I did... but in the process of painting I unfortunately ignored.   My sketch was a vertical composition but the yellow bowl caught my eye and I flipped the panel to include it.  Then pulled the aqua pitcher into the scene.  Yikes.

Took it home to wipe-out but something about the light spilling across the surface lured me into finishing it.  A good example for working out a painting instead of wiping it out.  Don't give up too soon.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trinity Methodist Church

Diane Mannion, Trinity Methodist Church, 8x10" oil on linen, plein air

Arcadia Paintout
Sponsored by DeSoto Arts and Humanities Council

Glad to see so many painters around Arcadia yesterday on such a gray, gloomy day.  I'm really a sunny day painter... love light and shadows, but did the best I could.  (iPhone snapshot of my painting not the best shot). 
The town is well designed for painting outside in the drizzle though, lots of awnings and overhangs for protection.  Arcadia is an interesting place filled with antique shops and wonderful architecture.

The artist's paintings will be on exhibit until January 4, 2014  at Florida Outdoor Properties, 207 E Magnolia Street.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten Minute Jars, 2013

NFS 10 Minute Challenge, 2013!

 Third year I've subjected myself to the, 10 Minute Challenge led by Carol Marine.   Fabulous exercise and good but tough practice.  Interesting what can be accomplished in only ten minutes.  Painted each jar in ten minutes.
Used same jar the first two years, but this year settled for a simple baby food jar.  Set a kitchen timer for ten minutes and waved the magic brushes.  Beads of sweat popped out on my forehead,  teeth clenched, head ached, heart beat faster.  Walked around between each 10 minute session, stretched, pet the dog, opened the refrigerator...  It's not easy!  Takes total focus.
First row-ultramarine blue, red iron oxide.
Second row-ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson.
Third row- black and white
Fourth row- Party colors and all of above.
Now comparing the three years, searching for evidence of skill advancement.  Worrying about getting too loose!  But pleased with the results of a painful, painterly tradition.

Diane Mannion, 10 Minute Jars, 2011, oil on panel
Diane Mannion, 10 Minute Jars, 2012, oil on panel

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Light Catcher

Diane Mannion, Light Catcher, 12x9" oil on linen

Don't Give Up!

This started as a class project and almost ended as a wipeout!  After demonstrating how to simplify composition into a few areas for massing, had artists go outside and collect thumbnail sketches and notes.  These would be turned into a small study, mostly from memory back in the classroom.  I attempted the same project... along with my iphone camera!  Also suggested students take a snapshot if they wished to finish the painting later.

Managed to get a first stage block-in for the class demo without using photo reference, planning on wiping it out later.  But there was something intriguing about the light.  Sometimes, it becomes a learning experience to see if a painting can be saved.  Next day, working with photo reference, I rescued this painting from the wipe-out rag.

I often see students give up too soon.  Perhaps, it's resistance to breaking through to a new skill level... growing pains.  

Don't give up too soon.  Give it time.  Be gentle with your creative self.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Durrance and Olympia

Diane Mannion, Durrance and Olympia, 16x20" oil on canvas.
House Portrait

Pleased with how this turned out!  Commissioned portrait of a new house in the old, Florida Cracker style, recently built in the charming historic district of Punta Gorda. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Muhly Grass

Diane Mannion, Muhly Grass, 8x10" oil on linen, plein air

Floridian Pink Grass

Painted with a couple of artist friends this morning in Venice.  The muhly grass is still bright and gorgeous.  Florida does have seasons!  Instead of orange, falling leaves up North, we get fields of pink flowers.  Fall seems like Spring here, air conditioning turned off and windows opened.  Ahhh.

 Muhly grass field at Shamrock Nature Park, Venice
 Baby Gopher Tortoise visited under my easel.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Shadow Thanks

Diane Mannion, Shadow Thanks, 6x6" oil on panel.

Thank you, Dr. Campbell

Painted this for the vet that saved my standard poodle's life this week.  Shadow was in surgery in the middle of the night for a twisted stomach.  I had fed her chicken hearts mixed in her dry dog food thinking they were a treat.  Didn't realize after microwaving them that they would turn into un-chewable rubber.  Shadow gulped them whole which clogged her pipes like corks and caused the stomach to bloat and twist.  She would not have lived through the night without Dr Campbell.

Shadow's doing fine and I will never feed her chicken hearts again!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr Clark Campbell, and techs Tomeace and Rick.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pansy Pandemonium

Diane Mannion, Pansy Pandemonium, 18x24" oil on linen.

Pansy Pandemonium, the title slipped into my mind while going through an internet nightmare today.  Heck of a hullabaloo!  Chinese company has been copying my work in oils on canvas and selling them.  Sickening.   I've notified sites and have asked for advice about this problem.  If anyone out there knows what to do please let me know!

Here are the progression photos of this painting:

And finished painting again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baby Food Jar

Diane Mannion, Baby Food Jar, 8x10" oil on linen.

Teaching Demo

A quick demo painted while teaching at Ringling Englewood Art Center today.  Passed around a few baby food jars and the assignment was to paint them larger than life.  One student set his jar up near the window where shadows were cast by the window shade.  It was also a partly cloudy day so the light kept changing and the shadows moved fast! 

Keeping in mind that painting glass is easy (ha)... just think about the shapes and values.  The same principle applies when painting a portrait... thinking only of the shapes that you see, not that the thing may be an eyeball... makes it a lot easier.  

Set my easel next to the artist that planted his jar in the sun and had a go at it.  Was thrilling!  Too bad I also had to stop and teach once in a while.  A lot was painted from memory because light and shadow changed constantly.  Concentrated on the basic shapes and hit a few light and color notes when I saw them.  The same thing happens while painting the Gulf from life... see an effect that happens a few times, memorize it, then attempt to capture it in paint.

A couple of new artists in my class have had medical illustration backgrounds and their skill level is evident!  It's a joy sharing knowledge with artists at any level.  The higher the skill the harder I teach!  Or the higher the skill level, the more difficult it is to teach something new to a student that thinks they know everything.
Does that make sense?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hermitage Artist Retreat

Diane Mannion, Hermitage Artist Retreat, oil on linen, plein air.
Ringling Englewood Art Center Plein Air Art FEST 2013

Cool, slight breeze, a few interesting clouds, lots of happy artists painting along with the sound of
 the surf.  Paintouts usually make me nervous.  I don't like painting against the clock in a competition, although it's an excellent exercise.  So I pretend it's simply another plein air painting adventure and try to relax.  This time, however, I was chosen to be the judge (Yes, so much power has gone to my head!) and because of that, out of the race.  But I still felt the need to"perform" or at least come up with something decent enough to hang on a wall.

We had a delightful opening last night at the art center!  The show looks wonderful.  It was difficult to choose the winners because everyone that painted was a winner!  However, one artist was outstanding and took top honors... Jacobina Trump, who painted three large fabulous paintings filled with energy, color, and confident fluid brushwork.   It was an honor meeting her and I hope to paint with her again soon.  Visit her website here.

My painting and all the others will be on display until Nov 26 at the Ringling Englewood Art Center, 
350 S McCall Road, Englewood, FL 34223   941 474 5548