Saturday, September 29, 2012


Diane Mannion, IDEAL, 3.5x2.5" oil on linen
Snippet Series #24

      An ideal day for me is painting all day... outside.  A close second is painting in the studio!   Doesn't always work out that way, but any hour or two snatched from a busy day to push paint around is pure joy.
      Have been experimenting a lot with these little bottle paintings.  Actually followed a suggestion by CW Mundy (see previous post) who mentioned painting upside-down from a photo.  No, I didn't stand on my head, but had both the canvas and the computer image I was painting from upside-down.  I didn't look at it right side up until I was almost finished.  Discovered I had painted the mirror image of the lettering, which I wiped and repainted.  A fun experiment forcing the brain to see shapes instead of the object, a right left brain sort of thing.  I've often used this technique to correct portrait studies, but never while doing a painting right from the start.
      Sometimes, it's not what you paint but how and for me right now, these Snippets are perfect for pushing technique without the investment of time and energy, not to mention the intimidation of a larger canvas.  I'm attempting to work more color and energy into my realistic studies, working with values and warm and cool colors.  Tiny paintings are an ideal way to discover what happens when "painting outside the lines."  There's a world of possibilities in a tiny, nutshell of space.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Diane Mannion, JARRING, 3.5x2.5" oil on linen
Snippet Series #23

      JARRING, the title of this painting is how I feel about painting again after taking time off for a jarring life situation.   (My husband will be fine!  Phew!)  This bottle's another small practice piece shocking myself back to the palette after a break in routine.  Every painting is an experiment and practice for the next one... this one focused on brushwork and palette knife technique.   And painting glass is delightful!  (While searching for bottles in an antique shop, a dealer actually thought I painted on glass.  Same thing happened at a party when I told someone I was a painter... thought I was a house painter.)
      While painting this, I listened to the Artists Helping Artists CW Mundy interview.  Helped me paint this jar as a "painting" rather than a rendering or illustration.  JARRING my technique and having more fun while doing it.  CW Mundy shares so much about how he creates his work.  He's a wonderful and generous teacher.
      A lot of my small bottle paintings have been purchased by collectors here and around the world.  It's a thrill to wrap, pack, and send them off!  Almost as much fun as painting them.  SOLD

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Ducky

Diane Mannion, JUST DUCKY, 6x6" oil

      Found this duck napping on a partially submerged floating platform in a pond.  Took the reference photo years ago in Aiken, South Carolina.  Out of thousands of reference photos on my computer this one has always stopped me.  I think my ability to push paint around has finally caught up with the challenge of working this one out.  It's exciting to feel a little progress after over 700 daily paintings.  Now when I browse through my reference photos old ones jump out at me that I would never have been able to tackle before. 
      Here's the reference photo: 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Three's A Crowd

Diane Mannion, Three's a Crowd, 6x6" oil

      Three's A Crowd, or maybe this should be called "When Jealousy Raises It's Ugly Head."  Gulls have such personality!  The gull in the rear had an expression I couldn't resist, stiff neck and frown, as he watched his mate looking at the black-headed laughing gull.  Yes, the ones with black heads are called laughing gulls.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ink Pot

Diane Mannion, INK POT, 3.5x2.5" oil on linen
Snippet Series #22

      Ultramarine blue underpainting which shows through here and there... sorry I didn't snap a photo of that stage.   This was painted quickly from life, some days there just isn't enough time.  Gave a lot of thought to working more color notes into this painting much like the application of pastels.  Color patches not blended.  The ultramarine lends a luminosity that would not happen if it had been covered.  Maybe I'm striving for a more painterly effect rather than an "illustration."  Maybe I need a nap.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

House on Edge

Diane Mannion, House on Edge, 6x6" oil

      Magenta underpainting, then palette knife block-in, refined with brush.  Pushed color as patches of pattern.  Especially liked the turquoise window pattern.
Here's the underpainting!  
      This house is on the edge of Charlotte Harbor next to a public parking lot.  Painted it in 2010 and can see how the palm tree on the right has grown in two years and has had its thatching removed.  Captured the light in 2010 and the color in 2012.
Diane Mannion, Edge House, 6x8" oil

Friday, September 14, 2012


Diane Mannion, GULL, 6x6" oil

      Something soothing about sitting on the beach watching waves while a gull watches you.  A simple painting, water, sand, shell, and gull.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Little Blue Heron

Diane Mannion, Little Blue Heron, 6x6" oil
    This heron waded along the edge of Charlotte Harbor across from Punta Gorda searching for lunch.  The harbor water is tea colored from tannin that leaches out of mangrove tree roots and bark.  Sailors once soaked sails and fishing nets in tannin to help preserve them.  I wonder if a good soaking would help preserve us?  I liked how the sun filtered wavelets glowed orange, beautiful contrast to the reflected blue sky and silvery sand.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dark Red Geranium

Diane Mannion, Dark Red Geranium, 3.5x2.5" oil on linen
Snippet Series #22

      Great sighs of relief around here yesterday when results of medical tests confirmed good news.  After weeks of worry, spirits lifted!  My husband will be fine.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Corked Blues

Diane Mannion, Corked Blues, 3.5x2.5"oil on linen
Snippet Series #21
     Bottled and corked blues... kind of the mood around here while things are in crisis mode.  Will work through this blue period by doing snippets as practice for larger works.  Only enough time right now to do miniatures.  Cherished moments lost in paint, bits and pieces of meditation... optimistic, cool clear blue.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bottle Blues

Diane Mannion, Bottle Blues, 3.5x2.5"oil on linen
Snippet Series #20

      Still on brief hiatus here.  A lot going on behind the scenes!  Managed to paint this snippet during a lull in family festivities.  
      Love the blues in this bottle and how they reflect on the background colors.  It's only about two inches tall, an antique Bromo Seltzer sample from Baltimore, MD.  Someday, I'll spend more time on another painting and include the lettering.  Dropped this on the concrete floor of my studio just before painting it!  Could see no damage... thank heavens!