Thursday, April 29, 2010


10" x 8"

Painted Jack at the Venice Art Center with limited palette...  cad red, cad yellow pale, ultramarine blue, and white.   His skin really was that red.  Must have been fishing, playing golf, gardening, or just hanging out at the beach.  Nice man, great model.  Thanks, Jack!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Portrait Studio

10" x 8"
Another portrait from Punta Gorda's portrait studio at the Visual Art Center.   Used limited palette of ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow pale, and white. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dangers of Plein Air Painting #2

Little Vizcaya
6" x 8"
Danger of plein air painting #1 was the fatal attraction of rainbow beach umbrellas (a visual challenge I hope to torture myself with again),  and danger #2 is COCONUTS!!!   While painting this scene in Boca Grande I was nearly conked on the head by two falling coconuts!   They landed with a thump about four feet away from me.  I looked up and saw dozens more in the tree over-head.   The owner of this house drove over in his golf cart to warn me: "More people are killed around the world by falling coconuts than shark attacks or lightning strikes!"   He also told me his house was built by the same architect that built Vizcaya Mansion in Miami, so he named his house, Little Vizcaya.  The architect's name was F. Burrall Hoffman who built Vizcaya in 1917, so this Boca Grande house must be from the same period.  Took the coconuts home and celebrated this painting with pina coladas!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


16" x 20"

      Caught the last patch of blue sky this morning before the clouds moved in.  Annual Historic Old Englewood Village plein air festival.  Exhibition will be at the Englewood Art Center, 350 South McCall Road, Englewood, Florida.  941 474 5548 for more info.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dangerous Beach Umbrellas

Beach Umbrella Magnet
8" x 10"
  A familiar scene along the Gulf beaches... beach umbrellas.  And a dangerous subject for plein air painting.  I'm pleased with the background and foreground, but the umbrella, which drew me to it like a magnet, dominates the scene too much.  It didn't help that the folks sitting under it packed up an left before I could finish.  Beware.  This summer I'll try to tackle umbrellas again, anyway.  Nothing like a challenge!

Painting available at Melange Gallery, 252 Tampa Ave W, Venice FL 34285

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Portrait Demo

10" x 8"

       During this demo, I found it difficult to talk and paint at the same time.  Discovered my observations were shared by Betty Edwards in her classic book, DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN.   "... that I couldn't talk and draw at the same time, and that I lost track of time while drawing."  I've watched many artists give demos and most seem to overcome the obstacle.   Daniel Greene chattered away as fast as his brush.   Hodges Soileau elegantly mixed paints with words.   Romel de la Torre paused to talk and then kept the audience mesmerized with confident splashes of color.   Sally Christiansen blended pastels with energy and inspiration.  And this weekend, I watched Greg Biolchini paint a still-life and keep the room entertained with flair.   Painting demos are a skill acquired with practice.  I'm thankful for my students patience as I practice switching from left to right brain-mode.
       Elaine Again, the demo for my Artist's Bootcamp started out with the Zorn palette ( black, white, yellow ochre, and cadmium red).   Reworked at home with ultramarine blue.  

Friday, April 9, 2010

Plein Air Reworked

Venice House Again
8" x 10"
      Painted this house before and it was no problem.  This one took lots of reworking but liked it enough to finish.  A woman was raking leaves at the bottom of the driveway.  I painted her in, then out.  Loved the red wheelbarrow in the garage.  Like the first time I painted this house, the white front door called out to be turquoise.  It's great to finish a plein air painting on the spot, but I have nothing against reworking it later if it can be a better painting!  This was another Venice Invitational painting from that one week when the sun only came out for a few hours. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Portrait Sketch

The Conductor
10" x 8"
Venice portrait studio sketch.  Wes Schumacher, conductor of Sarasota Orchestra, posed for us.  I experimented with a limited palette of vermillion, naples yellow, white and black.  Worked perfectly because of his tux and hair color!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Venice plein air

10" x 8"

      And another from last month's Venice plein air invitational.  I'm so far behind posting here, but busy painting away and teaching.  Did three paintings in Boca Grande today!  They were only little ones.  And I was almost conked on the head by a coconut.  I'll report more on that event later.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


8" x 6"
     Self-portraits are not easy.  Wanted a loose, plein air style, but had to work and rework the likeness.  From a snapshot I took myself and painted from computer monitor. 
  Happy Easter.  Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Plein Air

Windy March
8" x 10"
      Another from Venice Invitational last month... blowing sand chased me off the beach in less than an hour.  Sky cleared then clouded up again.  Nothing held still even for a minute.  Clouds streaked by, waves pounded, colors changed.  A painting like this has to be done mostly from imagination.  Memorize one cloud, a patch of sky, a wave, and then put it down in a convincing pattern.

Friday, April 2, 2010


10" x 8"
      Portrait study, Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center.... because of Spring Break this young beauty was able to pose for us.   Many great sketches were produced!