Will trade this painting for a Bambi Airstream trailer. Visited the Airstream Rally in Sarasota today and strolled past at least two hundred. Have always loved these things, the classic shape, the shine! My favorite is the 16' Bambi. Below are a few snapshots of the oldest trailer in the rally.
No, it's not a new diet, although you can eat pansies. After my car handle broke off when I opened the door this morning, plastic crumbling like an egg shell, I thought I would paint a cracked egg as a still life to memorialize the moment. We were out of eggs and didn't feel like a trip to the store, so I chose pansies instead. And they did cheer me up a bit.
A group of terrific painters from the Plein Air Painters of Florida, led by Terry Mason, met on the beach and painted the morning away. I tucked under a palm along a shady path and painted this view of the Gulf. There's a drop at the edge of the beach, so it's not possible to see the edge of the waves on the shore. And the people walking along could only be seen from the waist up. Not many waves today anyway, flat blue sky and water, but what lovely shadows the dunes make in the morning sun, purple-blue lacy patterns on the sand.
Here's a photo of my paintbox under the palms, and one of Terry Mason painting on the beach.
Yesterday while we were painting, someone noticed a spindly, young tree in the park that had a dozen very large pods hanging on it. No one could figure out what they were, didn't look like a fruit, were very hard and about five to six inches long.
Took one home and John knew right away what it was... "Mahogany pod." Leave it to a woodworker to know this stuff. And he remembered when we parked under a mahogany tree in Fort Myers and how loud the pods sounded hitting the car, leaving dents.
Florida's a dangerous place... falling coconuts, crashing Royal Palm fronds, and now we have to worry about mahogany pods.
Long ago, mahogany forests were plentiful in Florida, cut down for wood... now an endangered species. I'm glad many are being replanted, but in parking lots?
Painted while teaching. Demonstrated how I arrive at a composition while drawing with a brush, thinned ultramarine blue and simple lines. Then mixed up puddles of color on my palette using ultramarine blue, cad red light, cad yellow light, and white. Getting to know a basic palette makes a good foundation (and is the fastest way for a new painter to learn, then add all the extra tubes of exotic colors later on. I've painted a chart of the dozens of colors I own on the inside lid of my pochade box for easy reference).
Painted sky, then dark masses, remembering to squint a lot to simplify the view. Had student pose for figure in bandstand and standing on sidewalk for scale. Explained that a plein air painting doesn't have to look like a photograph... it's an impression, a reflection of that time in the morning, a visual note taking experience. Wonderful to see so many students arrive with new paintbox easels.
My entry into the Daily Paintworks Weekly Challenge: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Challenge. A rose is a rose is a rose... and not so easy to paint! Wanted to do a quick, loose painting but got tangled in the leaves. Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
Wheeled this three foot tall statue on a hand-cart into my Bootcamp class and had the students draw it. It's a plastic resin reproduction I found in Target (always on the lookout for something to draw). At least it held still... but the enlarged ear threw most artists, including myself, off. The ear is used as a major landmark for drawing the portrait, almost everything is related to it. The top of the ear lines up with the eyebrow and the bottom with the nose, etc. Started this in class while lecturing but finished at home, after major readjustments. Palette simply, red, yellow, blue, and white. OM.
This lovely young woman posed for us today. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and the tears flowed. The older and wiser artists in the group assured her that it was probably for the best and someone better is out there. She had picked the Hongkong Orchid off a tree on the way over, color so strong it looked artificial.
Always wondered about this place, tucked at the end of a parking lot at the edge of the beach. Something sad and timeless, it had survived the building boom and was now surrounded by glitzy new buildings. I had painted it before and when a group of plein air painters decided to go there this morning I hoped in the car. But the fog was so thick, the waves on the beach were almost invisible. No one else showed up to paint. The flag solved part of the mystery for me, it wasn't flying the last time... POW MIA. Tells a lot. I was struck by the profile looking down on the table. And someone, somewhere is still waiting.
Here are the paintings I did a few years ago of the same motel, looks different with the sun out:
Took my Artists Bootcamp to Ponce De Leon Park to paint yesterday morning. A good, brave group showed up with easels and paints. It was cold and windy for Florida, had to anchor the easels, and wear sweatshirts and jackets. Several students had never painted outside and a few had never painted with oils. Everyone loved it! And that's the most satisfying thing about teaching.
Just had to paint this jar again after the Ten Minute Jar challenge (previous post)... and work on it as long as I wanted. Really missed that ticking timer! Felt like my brush was moving in slow motion. And it was hard to know when to stop. Could have kept going another two hours. Used this painting and my Ten Minute Jar painting for my demo today at the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center. While talking, I worked on still another painting of this jar. (Yes, I'm getting tired of looking at it). Then, when I was packing to leave, someone knocked both paintings off their easels. Thick, fresh wet paint! A jarring experience, indeed. Had to touch this one up on the lettering, but both survived.
My entry for the Weekly Challenge: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Challenges.
The task was to paint the same object several times... at only ten minutes each time. Terrific exercise! When the timer goes off, brush is put down and no cheating. This tiny, two inch tall jar contains a Steven Assael painting medium recipe given to me by an artist friend.
Top two rows: #2 bristle filbert, ultramarine blue, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, and white. And #4 sable and black for lettering.
Bottom two rows: #2 bristle filbert, permanent alizarin, thalo blue, cadmium yellow deep, and white. #4 sable and black for lettering.
My heart raced faster than my brush while the timer ticked. Good practice for increasing painting speed and loosening up brush stroke technique. Today, I'll let myself paint the jar again... this time taking as long as I want!
This dinghy was from reference photo I took years ago. It was actually on a dock next to a sailboat at a marina. The beach and water are from memory and imagination... and that's when the words trickled in while I was painting...
"Storm's coming," she said. But he left anyway, ignoring the static on the radio, the wind, the clouds, the choppy seas. She watched and waited and in the morning found the dinghy stranded on the beach like an empty shell.
(It's fiction, folks. But it could have happened. An example of reverse illustration, finding the words during, and after the artwork is finished). If anyone wants to continue writing this episode, email me privately. Thanks!
Steamy day. Can hear mosquitoes buzz. Parked the car in the driveway, tore off my clothes and dove into the ice cold pool. Ahh! Such is life in Florida.
This is my entry for the Daily Paintworks Weekly Challenge. Each week a photo is posted and artists interpret the image in their own way. A great exercise! Really interesting to see how one image is translated in so many ways. Daily Paintworks is my favorite daily painter group on the web... worth subscribing to...www.dailypaintworks.com.
Painted this morning with the Punta Gorda VAC Portrait Studio group. So many events happen on Thursday mornings that it's not possible to make it every week, but it's a treat when I do. Nice group of talented artists, and there were so many, we had two live models to paint from. A good, relaxed group, a little chatter, lots of laughter, and all levels learning from each other. Wish I could make it more often.
Painted this portrait with the Zorn palette... black, white, cad red, and yellow ochre.