Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bait Boat, Sarasota Bay

Diane Mannion, Bait Boat, Sarasota Bay, 9x12" oil


      This painting took a long time to finish.  Painted the underpainting in burnt umber and it sat around my studio for a year.  Meanwhile, every time I looked at it, I saw something else I wanted to change.  So finally... finished it today.
      This old boat captured my attention one morning when I was painting at Selby Gardens.  It came out of a side channel, the captain waved and headed out to the bay.  A cast net was on the bow for capturing either bait fish or mullet.  I liked the spray-painted letters and numbers on the side.  And loved the turquoise pipe used for a fender.  And the way the light lit up the red plastic buckets... oh, joy!  And the yellow foul-weather pants... an artist's delight.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Request Wind

Diane Mannion, REQUEST WIND, 8x10"oil

Couldn't resist painting this for the challenge!  The theme is superstitions.  Perfect.  This is what happened on Friday the 13th, August, 2004 when hurricane Charley blasted up Charlotte Harbor and crossed Florida leaving a trail of destruction.  This seedy old boat yard is infamous for feral cats and rotting boats.  We drove by the day after the storm and saw this sailboat, unfortunately named- REQUEST WIND!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Diane Mannion, SUNSTRUCK, 6x6" oil
      Rather than being struck by lightning, I decided to paint Sunstruck inside, instead.  Here's a demo about my process... click to enlarge:
       Diane Mannion, Garden Shed Rose, 6x6" oil

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Bougainvillea

DMannion, Birthday Bougainvillea, 6x6" oil
       Painted for Carol Marine who had a birthday this week and we painted to celebrate on the Weekly Challenge at   
       A friend asked me how I like painting small works.  While painting this little one I thought of a few reasons why.  Coming from a background in illustration, I'm comfortable with small spaces to work in, and using small brushes.  Trouble is, I want my work to be "painterly paintings" and not tight illustrations.  I took a workshop with Sally Christianson at the Venice Art Center.  She looked over my shoulder and said, "I think you need to use larger brushes."  That bit of advice helped a lot!  I now use the biggest brushes possible, even on these small works and then work with smaller ones to finish it off.
      So here are a few good reasons to work small:
                 1. Small enough to do one a day and still have time for other projects.
                 2. A way to explore techniques without using much paint.
                 3. Improve ability faster by painting a lot of small ones rather than a few large.
                 4. Each painting doesn't become "precious" allowing for experimenting.
                 5. Eases "fear of big, blank white canvas."
                 6. Portable for working en plein air.
                 7. Useful for illustrating (almost) daily blog posts.
                 8. Less expensive to frame.
                 9. Make perfect gifts.
                10. Can quickly develop a portfolio.
                11. More easily decide what your favorite subject matter is.
                12. Best paintings can be used as reference for larger paintings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Time For Tea... Painting Fast or Slow

DMannion, Time for Tea, 6x6" oil
This was painted for the Paint your Mug Challenge.  I had painted my favorite mug a few months ago using a tight technique that took a few days.  Thought I'd try a looser style with this one which took a few hours.  Here's the first mug:
DMannion, MY MUG, 6x6" oil
There's a movement among the daily painters to paint fast and loose.  Spent some time last night looking at Carol Marine's paintings and watched her video.  She makes it look so easy.  Sigh.  But I learned a few things by watching her paint!  It's not that I want to paint just like her... but somehow grasp a few of her concepts to merge with my own style.   Painting is a never ending learning process... good thing it's so much fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Breakfast Club

DMannion, The Breakfast Club, 8x6" oil

      Egrets waiting for breakfast bait snacks early in the morning.  Their big yellow feet look like they're wearing rubber boots.  This fisherman was casting his net for tiny silver bait fish in the Gulf, Venice Beach, Florida last winter.  Painted from a snapshot that I changed a lot, but the birds were actually lined up like that.
      Back in cool, SW Florida after a grueling week in San Antonio, Texas.   Had packed my watercolors but funerals are not the most inspiring time to paint.   And it was well over a crisp, one hundred degrees every day.   So this week is daily painting make-up time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blue Heron

DMannion, Me and My Shadow, 6x6" oil
      This heron was taking his daily stroll along the edge of the Gulf one morning, searching for a friendly fisherman to toss him a shrimp or two.  Sometimes, little boys like to chase and toss shells at him, but he just flaps his wings and moves along to stand by the next fisherman.
      I'm traveling to Texas for the next few days.   Packing my watercolor box, no oils, and may get a chance to post from there.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Alla Prima Floral

DMannion, Beach Flowers, 6x6" oil
      These purple flowers were growing near the pavilion at Venice Beach.  I was struck by their translucent color and how they glowed in the overcast morning light.  Used naples yellow blending towards permanent rose for the sky.  Amazing designs and shapes in the leaves and vines.  This plant is a morning glory, blooms in the morning and dies in the afternoon... except on cloudy days when it may live and dance in the wind until evening.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekly Challenge

DMannion, Blue Moon, 6x6" oil
      Another entry for the Daily Paintworks Weekly Challenge. .  Although I don't like working from other people's photos, I changed this around enough to make it feel like my own work.   Belinda Del Pesco's challenge painting is gorgeous and I love her title, "He Hung the Moon for Me."  Her black and white reference photo that was part of the challenge, a value study.  Judging values from the photo and inventing the color from imagination.  The photo had a dreamy, romantic quality and I kept thinking of the song, Blue Moon... thus my title.  I'm caught up with all the Challenges, that is until next Saturday when the next Daily Paintworks University homework is assigned. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weekly Challenge Floral

      Catching up with Daily Paint Works Weekly Challenge. .  This is the Nature's Arrangement Challenge:  Use only cad red, cad yellow, ultramarine blue, and white.  Large, medium and small brush and paint for one hour.  Desert Rose A is my challenge entry but I wanted to work on the painting longer and use a few more colors.  Desert Rose B is the polished version.  I added indigo and permanent rose, a little cobalt for the background flowers.  Deepened the contrasts and sharpened a few leaves.  One benefit of this challenge was getting the subject down fast.  Just couldn't leave it that way.  Painting fast is one thing, but I relish the slow, meditative process and don't like to rush it too much.