Monday, November 30, 2015

Pottery Express

Pottery Express, 8x10" oil, plein air, Diane Mannion

Lots of Pots!

Painted with the Peace River Painters at the Pottery Express this morning.  WOW!  What a place!  Located off Burnt Store Road outside Punta Gorda, well worth the trip.
Artists were everywhere.   Afterwards, we lined up our creations and shared painting tips.  Great group, great morning.  Click the Peace River Painters link for more photos.
 Kathy painting
 My View
My quick thumbnail sketch, about 2.5x3".  Scribbled the darks and general movement of the painting with Pilot G-2 pen in small sketchbook.  A two minute sketch can save a lot of time later on...  although I usually let changes happen while I paint.  Thumbnails are a visual action plan or map that that helps the brush push paint in the right direction.
Here's the finished plein air study again to compare.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fishery Truck

Fishery Truck, 8x10" oil, plein air, Diane Mannion

Placida Fishery

 Placida Fishery is a tiny old fishing village with colorful cottages and boats.  Not many places with "character" left like this, and with the property for sale, it may be high rise condos soon. 

Fishery Truck is a two day plein air painting, started last week with an Englewood group and finished today with the Peace River Painters and the SRQ group.  Could paint with different groups almost any day of the week around here!  

Painted this scene because I was struck by the light patterns on the grass.   And the old red truck.  And the cottage's colors... purple, teal, yellow, and a tin roof!  What more could an artist want?  Had to do a bit of re-landscaping and moved the flower pot into the picture plane.  The place was crawling with fishery cats that wouldn't hold still long enough to paint.  Did leave the telephone pole out which would have cut the scene in half.  

The light on both mornings was exactly the same thanks to our Floridian sun.  Ospreys called to each other while artists chatted in the background.  Snowbirds caught up with news and shared stories.  Towards noon, we gathered around for a gentle critique and admired each others productions.
Went home with a dozen blue crabs for lunch!
 A few Peace River Painters!
Our sign with Johan painting, Vlad of SRQ behind Sharon Yarbrough (our fearless leader looking splendid in the tee shirt we'll be able to order next week).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hermitage Looking South

Hermitage Looking South, 8x10" oil, Diane Mannion

Ringling Englewood Art Center Paintout

We were lucky!  Promised rain didn't happen and traffic from the Super Boat Race didn't effect us.  Many artists turned out despite the dire warnings.

I'm the judge for this event (well kept secret) and am looking forward to seeing everyone's work next week.  After glancing over a few shoulders, I can tell picking a winner won't be easy.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hermitage Cottages

Hermitage Cottages, 8x10" oil, Diane Mannion

November Morning

Ran into technical difficulties with this.  Used a fast drying type of oil paint but it turned into chewing gum on my palette.   May have been the strong sun and brisk breeze that caused the paint to congeal like old rubber bands, but whatever the reason... not using that stuff again.  Was happy with my start even though it took lots of scraping to remove most of the goo so it could be rescued.  Then went back on location to adjust the colors and details.  Phew...

Aside from standing on a fire ant nest and having ankles bitten (even though I was coated with bug spray!), it was a beautiful morning painting with lots of happy Peace River Painters on Manasota Key.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gray Morning

Gray Morning, 8x10" oil, plein air, Diane Mannion

Blind Pass Beach

Painted with friends this quiet Sunday morning on Blind Pass Beach, known to the locals as Middle Beach, located in the middle of Manasota Key.  This is one of the cottages in the Hermitage, an "artists" colony that will open it's gates to the locals for a paintout this Friday.  

The Gulf was smooth and lovely right behind me.  Cloudy, breezy and cool.  Watched a dolphin arching along the shore and pelicans fluttering about.  Thought it would be miserable painting conditions but it was perfect... didn't want to leave.  I don't go to the beach often enough! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Old Orchid

Old Orchid, 11x14" oil, Diane Mannion

Growing Pains

This one was a struggle.  Wiped, scraped, redesigned and ready to give up several times!  But considered it a challenge to just finish the darn thing.  Kept remembering Qiang Huang's words... "Flowers can never be painted, only indicated."  

The more I rendered the less I liked them.  When I boldly pushed the paint around as I do while painting plein air, I liked them better.  So what happened was that by the time I reached one side, my style had changed and I ended up repainting the whole thing.

Started painting from life in the studio, here's the setup.  Thanks heavens I decided NOT to paint the lovely print on the fabric or I'd still be at it.
I've had this old orchid for at least ten years, fortunately it thrives on neglect.  Once a year it blooms from about Thanksgiving and lasts until Christmas.  As you can see, I had to do a lot of visual trimming to fit the big old thing into my small linen panel.
Worried about studio lights and air conditioning harming the plant, I moved it outside to paint in the healthy heat and humidity.

Here's a progression shot showing the agony of redesigning.  Actually played with it in Photoshop... foolishly thinking my white parakeet might look good flying into the plant.  Glad I rejected that idea! 
So why did I title this post Growing Pains?  I learned a lot about what NOT to paint.  Learned not to render too much, although I'm a fool for details.  And hope my next painting will grow from these painful lessons into the next great stage of my artistic development. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lifeguard Stand

Lifeguard Stand, 8x10" oil, plein air, Diane Mannion

Fresh Paint

Hit my reset button this morning on Manasota Key Beach!  After weeks of other issues and distractions, it felt great getting out with the Peace River Painters and slashing away with the brush.  Painting and not thinking... or at least only thinking with my eyes. 

Too windy for the umbrella so I painted with sunglasses until the end, then removed them to see the colors.  The lifeguard came over to make sure I had painted him big and muscular... his red shorts and viridian shirt were great accents.  He put up a yellow caution flag because the water was rough and choppy.

I shrunk the distance to the surf and left out the rescue vehicle using my artistic license.  Amazing how much color the camera does not see!
Leslie's shot of me working on a sunburn.
Fran and Helga!
Happy Helga painting in MY favorite painting spot. 
Vincent (wearing his daughter's hat!) was bothered by biting ants and has learned to always spray his shoes with bug spray before painting.
Johan, recently landed snowbird from the far north and excellent artist and I'm happy to report... we're now neighbors, fellow Englewoodians.

Check out Peace River Painters on Facebook for photos of artists I didn't catch and to see their wonderful works.  Great group!