Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Diane Mannion, GODIVA, 3.5x2.5" oil on linen/mounted, 2014 Snippet #1


Warm wishes for the best year ever to all my friends and family.

Once again, (third time!) I made the commitment to paint 30 Paintings in 30 Days along with Leslie Saeta's group in January.  But since that promise, lots of opportunities have come up... therefore, I'll paint a much smaller, 3.5 x2.5" or Artist Trading Card size.  
Also known as ACEO (Artist Card Edition and Original), is an art form collected around the world.  My 2013 Snippets Series almost sold out (gifted a few) across the US, Canada, Europe, and even Russia.  
All January 30/30 Snippets will be auctioned through Dailypaintworks with bidding starting at 50 and free shipping.
Great way to use up my world's most expensive linen scraps.   It's also a terrific way to practice painting techniques, experiment, slow down and fiddle, or paint faster.  These small paintings are like practicing dance steps or keys on the piano... an artist's workout session.
I know I'm a day ahead here, but my work doesn't show up in the online galleries until tomorrow.
 Warning... More horn tooting:
*Two of my paintings have been accepted into the Punta Gorda National Show. 
*And another into the Women Painters of the Southeast Show.
*My painting, Rachal's Five, which won the Bowles Award for Outstanding Portraiture, Punta Gorda VAC, Greatest Hits show... also won the PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD!  


Thursday, December 19, 2013


Diane Mannion, HARRY, 10x8"oil on canvas
This painting is a Dailypaintworks Facebook Pick of the Day!
Punta Gorda VAC Portrait Group

Delightful morning painting with the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center Portrait Group!  Harry was an excellent model, too.   It's a pleasure painting from a live subject... never happens when working from photos.  Although I snapped a few reference photos, didn't want to touch it up, has the loose feeling of a plein air study.  Pleased with it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rachael Is Five

Diane Mannion, Rachael is Five, 24x18" oil on canvas, NFS

Bowles Award Winner for Outstanding Portrait

Warning: Lots of horn-tooting ahead!

Last night this painting won the Bowles Award for Outstanding Portraiture at the Greatest Hits Exhibition in the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center.  All the paintings in this show had won prizes in previous shows.   Rachael is Five had a ribbon from the Venice Arts Center and had been exhibited in a Punta Gorda National Show.

This is the second Bowles Award for my portraits, first was for Mahogany Woman which also took top prize in the Woman Painters of the SE exhibition at the Corse Gallery, Jacksonville, Florida.
 Diane Mannion, Mahogany Woman, 20x16" oil on canvas, Sold

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dazzling Surf

Diane Mannion, Dazzling Surf, 9x12" oil on linen, plein air
A Dailypaintworks.com FB Pick of the Day!!! Yay!!!
This painting juried into the Women Painters of the SE, 2014 Show!
Great Morning

Painted on location this morning with my artist buddy at Caspersen Beach, Venice.  Close enough to the surf to feel a cool splash now and then.   Pulled the easel back a few feet away from the incoming tide.

"How lucky we are!" we said, thinking of folks up north dealing with ice and snow. 

And as if the morning wasn't perfect enough, this Great Blue Heron struck a pose right next to us!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Use With Steam

Diane Mannion, Use With Steam, Snippet #28, 3.5x2.5" oil on linen

Antique Vicks Jar

Love painting jars, especially this one because it has my favorite colors, teal and ultramarine blue.  Found this tiny antique in shop near San Antonio last year.  Painted it before as Snippet #2.  Holding on to #23 until the paint dries then will put it up for auction.

Even though I tell my students to never ever put their fingers in paint!   Couldn't resist just one touch in the middle of this one to lighten the value.  Do what I say not what I do.

Snippet #2 from last year. Sold

I have three large paintings on exhibit at the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center, GREATEST HITS SHOW, all winners from past shows... December 9-26.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Diane Mannion, Charleen, 8x10" oil on linen

Portrait Practice

Charleen is receptionist and office staff member at Ringling Englewood Art Center.  Her delightful personality greets folks at the door... lovely young woman.  She posed during the painting class I was teaching, unfortunately only for two twenty minute sessions, wish it had been a few hours longer.  This had to be finished from iPhone photo reference later.

Portraits are the most difficult subject for any artist to tackle.  Not much room for errors, everything has to be precise to capture a good likeness.  If it's off, it's really jumps out.  Landscapes and still lifes are much more forgiving.  But great skill sharpening practice for any artist!  

Friday, December 6, 2013


Diane Mannion, KC, 10x8" oil on linen


Fun painting portraits for a change and letting the plein air, fast and speedy technique creep in.  This is KC, director of the Ringling Englewood Art Center who was nice enough to pose during the painting class I was teaching.  Only two short, twenty minute sessions though... only enough time to do a quick sketch.  Finished from iPhone photo later.

KC's photo of my unfinished painting and her empty chair.

Paint Away!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fresh Wind and Morning Market

 Diane Mannion, Fresh Wind, Snippet #27, 2.5 x3.5" oil on linen, studio

Diane Mannion, Morning Market, Snippet #26, 2.5x3.5" oil on linen, plein air

A Couple of Snippets

Fresh Wind started while teaching a class about the benefits of painting small once in a while.  These small studies are similar to thumbnail sketches, done with paint instead of pencil or marker.   Great way to experiment without a lot of time or materials invested.  They are painted with left over paint from other projects, and scraps of Claessen's double oil primed portrait linen (too pricey to waste!).  

Once dry, I mount them to boards.  A project for next week's class that I plan to photograph and promise to post.  Stay tuned.

Morning Market was painted this morning at the Englewood Farmer's Market while sitting next to Jacobina Trump... fabulous artist, check out her work.   We found a spot in the shade and had a great time capturing the feeling of the place while chatting with tourists and other folks.

It helps to change subjects, medium, working sizes, and brushes to keep yourself challenged.  I often tell my class... if you can control a tiny space like this... it sharpens your skill for larger works.  

These are the ATC Artists Trading Card standard size, 2.5x3.5"sometimes called ACEO... Artist Card Edition or Original.   There's a world of collectors out there for these.  I've sold them all over the States, Europe, and even Russia.  I've sold enough scraps to buy another roll of Claessen's linen and a few more tubes of paint!
Paint Away!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Assael Medium

Diane Mannion, Assael Medium, Snippet #20, 3.5"x2.5" ACEO, oil on linen
New Snippet Series

A collector charmed me into painting a few more of these little gems for my Snippet Series.  
The first batch is almost sold out. 

They're painted on canvas, paper, or linen and mounted on board.  A great way to use up those spare scraps and extra paint.

I want to give my Snippet inspiration credit to Duane Keiser,  for his Oddiments.  Check them out!

Delightful working small today after finishing a 40x30" canvas.  Although I have painted these jars fast as an exercise... ten minutes each, I allow myself to take as long as I want with the Snippets.  Some take as long as an 8x10" plein air study, a couple of hours at least.  

I love to linger while painting... the longer I look, the more I see.

An artist friend gave me this little jar filled with a sample of the medium used by Steven Assael,
another fabulous artist to check out!  No, I haven't tried this medium.  I'm happy using paint from the tube and a speck of linseed oil once in a while.

Just noticed, the first time I painted this jar as a snippet...sold to a woman in Russia!

Purchase or auction information will be posted soon.  
Or contact me directly via email (dianemannion@yahoo.com) for special requests or commissions.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's A Shore Thing

Diane Mannion, It's A Shore Thing, 40x30" oil on canvas

National Show Entry

Finally finished one of my entries for the Punta Gorda National Show!  Have two backup paintings ready also.  Don't know why so many deadlines happen around the holidays.

Painted on top of an old one that was never finished.  Thought it would be easy... not!  Had plenty of reference material, plein air studies and photos, but this was a struggle.  

Not only is this painted on an old painting, but I kept changing it and during the process, estimate it's three or four new paintings thick.  Kept getting it and losing it.  I could see what I wanted in my mind but achieving that vision was almost impossible.  Maybe the next one.  

Simply had to stop and let this one live.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Diane Mannion, Kisses, 6x6" oil on linen
Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Show

Proud to announce that my painting Kisses, has been selected into the 4th Annual Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Show.   This is the third year I've been accepted into this prestigious exhibition and with over 1000 entries, no small feat.

  Reception: December 7th
Exhibition ends: December 20th.

102 Kalmus Dr
Costa Mesa CA 92626

Please contact the gallery for purchase information.
350.00 framed in a gorgeous King of Frames, Arroyo Gold Floater
714 546 2156
1 800 506 7624

My painting, LATE MORNING was selected for the BOLDBRUSH FAV 15, 10/2013!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Erratic Array

Diane Mannion, Erratic Array, 8x10" oil on linen

Random Still Life

Class arrangement for informal still life.  Placed objects helter-skelter on a low platform and had artists choose one area to paint.  This was a paint along demo which I started along with everyone else.  First step was to do a thumbnail sketch, which I did... but in the process of painting I unfortunately ignored.   My sketch was a vertical composition but the yellow bowl caught my eye and I flipped the panel to include it.  Then pulled the aqua pitcher into the scene.  Yikes.

Took it home to wipe-out but something about the light spilling across the surface lured me into finishing it.  A good example for working out a painting instead of wiping it out.  Don't give up too soon.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trinity Methodist Church

Diane Mannion, Trinity Methodist Church, 8x10" oil on linen, plein air

Arcadia Paintout
Sponsored by DeSoto Arts and Humanities Council

Glad to see so many painters around Arcadia yesterday on such a gray, gloomy day.  I'm really a sunny day painter... love light and shadows, but did the best I could.  (iPhone snapshot of my painting not the best shot). 
The town is well designed for painting outside in the drizzle though, lots of awnings and overhangs for protection.  Arcadia is an interesting place filled with antique shops and wonderful architecture.

The artist's paintings will be on exhibit until January 4, 2014  at Florida Outdoor Properties, 207 E Magnolia Street.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten Minute Jars, 2013

DailyPaintworks.com 10 Minute Challenge, 2013!

 Third year I've subjected myself to the dailypaintworks.com, 10 Minute Challenge led by Carol Marine.   Fabulous exercise and good but tough practice.  Interesting what can be accomplished in only ten minutes.  Painted each jar in ten minutes.
Used same jar the first two years, but this year settled for a simple baby food jar.  Set a kitchen timer for ten minutes and waved the magic brushes.  Beads of sweat popped out on my forehead,  teeth clenched, head ached, heart beat faster.  Walked around between each 10 minute session, stretched, pet the dog, opened the refrigerator...  It's not easy!  Takes total focus.
First row-ultramarine blue, red iron oxide.
Second row-ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson.
Third row- black and white
Fourth row- Party colors and all of above.
Now comparing the three years, searching for evidence of skill advancement.  Worrying about getting too loose!  But pleased with the results of a painful, painterly tradition.

Diane Mannion, 10 Minute Jars, 2011, oil on panel
Diane Mannion, 10 Minute Jars, 2012, oil on panel

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Light Catcher

Diane Mannion, Light Catcher, 12x9" oil on linen

Don't Give Up!

This started as a class project and almost ended as a wipeout!  After demonstrating how to simplify composition into a few areas for massing, had artists go outside and collect thumbnail sketches and notes.  These would be turned into a small study, mostly from memory back in the classroom.  I attempted the same project... along with my iphone camera!  Also suggested students take a snapshot if they wished to finish the painting later.

Managed to get a first stage block-in for the class demo without using photo reference, planning on wiping it out later.  But there was something intriguing about the light.  Sometimes, it becomes a learning experience to see if a painting can be saved.  Next day, working with photo reference, I rescued this painting from the wipe-out rag.

I often see students give up too soon.  Perhaps, it's resistance to breaking through to a new skill level... growing pains.  

Don't give up too soon.  Give it time.  Be gentle with your creative self.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Durrance and Olympia

Diane Mannion, Durrance and Olympia, 16x20" oil on canvas.
House Portrait

Pleased with how this turned out!  Commissioned portrait of a new house in the old, Florida Cracker style, recently built in the charming historic district of Punta Gorda. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Muhly Grass

Diane Mannion, Muhly Grass, 8x10" oil on linen, plein air

Floridian Pink Grass

Painted with a couple of artist friends this morning in Venice.  The muhly grass is still bright and gorgeous.  Florida does have seasons!  Instead of orange, falling leaves up North, we get fields of pink flowers.  Fall seems like Spring here, air conditioning turned off and windows opened.  Ahhh.

 Muhly grass field at Shamrock Nature Park, Venice
 Baby Gopher Tortoise visited under my easel.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Shadow Thanks

Diane Mannion, Shadow Thanks, 6x6" oil on panel.

Thank you, Dr. Campbell

Painted this for the vet that saved my standard poodle's life this week.  Shadow was in surgery in the middle of the night for a twisted stomach.  I had fed her chicken hearts mixed in her dry dog food thinking they were a treat.  Didn't realize after microwaving them that they would turn into un-chewable rubber.  Shadow gulped them whole which clogged her pipes like corks and caused the stomach to bloat and twist.  She would not have lived through the night without Dr Campbell.

Shadow's doing fine and I will never feed her chicken hearts again!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr Clark Campbell, and techs Tomeace and Rick.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pansy Pandemonium

Diane Mannion, Pansy Pandemonium, 18x24" oil on linen.

Pansy Pandemonium, the title slipped into my mind while going through an internet nightmare today.  Heck of a hullabaloo!  Chinese company has been copying my work in oils on canvas and selling them.  Sickening.   I've notified sites and have asked for advice about this problem.  If anyone out there knows what to do please let me know!

Here are the progression photos of this painting:

And finished painting again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baby Food Jar

Diane Mannion, Baby Food Jar, 8x10" oil on linen.

Teaching Demo

A quick demo painted while teaching at Ringling Englewood Art Center today.  Passed around a few baby food jars and the assignment was to paint them larger than life.  One student set his jar up near the window where shadows were cast by the window shade.  It was also a partly cloudy day so the light kept changing and the shadows moved fast! 

Keeping in mind that painting glass is easy (ha)... just think about the shapes and values.  The same principle applies when painting a portrait... thinking only of the shapes that you see, not that the thing may be an eyeball... makes it a lot easier.  

Set my easel next to the artist that planted his jar in the sun and had a go at it.  Was thrilling!  Too bad I also had to stop and teach once in a while.  A lot was painted from memory because light and shadow changed constantly.  Concentrated on the basic shapes and hit a few light and color notes when I saw them.  The same thing happens while painting the Gulf from life... see an effect that happens a few times, memorize it, then attempt to capture it in paint.

A couple of new artists in my class have had medical illustration backgrounds and their skill level is evident!  It's a joy sharing knowledge with artists at any level.  The higher the skill the harder I teach!  Or the higher the skill level, the more difficult it is to teach something new to a student that thinks they know everything.
Does that make sense?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hermitage Artist Retreat

Diane Mannion, Hermitage Artist Retreat, oil on linen, plein air.
Ringling Englewood Art Center Plein Air Art FEST 2013

Cool, slight breeze, a few interesting clouds, lots of happy artists painting along with the sound of
 the surf.  Paintouts usually make me nervous.  I don't like painting against the clock in a competition, although it's an excellent exercise.  So I pretend it's simply another plein air painting adventure and try to relax.  This time, however, I was chosen to be the judge (Yes, so much power has gone to my head!) and because of that, out of the race.  But I still felt the need to"perform" or at least come up with something decent enough to hang on a wall.

We had a delightful opening last night at the art center!  The show looks wonderful.  It was difficult to choose the winners because everyone that painted was a winner!  However, one artist was outstanding and took top honors... Jacobina Trump, who painted three large fabulous paintings filled with energy, color, and confident fluid brushwork.   It was an honor meeting her and I hope to paint with her again soon.  Visit her website here.

My painting and all the others will be on display until Nov 26 at the Ringling Englewood Art Center, 
350 S McCall Road, Englewood, FL 34223   941 474 5548

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On the Rocks

Diane Mannion, On the Rocks, 8x10" oil on linen, plein air.

Rocky Sketch

Another perfect morning painting on Caspersen Beach, Venice!  Endless compositions, colors, shapes, and forms in one location... an artist's dream.

These rocks aren't a natural part of the Floridian landscape, probably added along the shore for erosion protection many years ago.  But they're an inspiring subject to paint... artists are thankful for the form and structure, how they cast light and shadows, and especially how they look submerged reflecting translucent shades of purple and blue.

Give an artist some rocks, throw in sun, surf, and sand... and they're entranced.  Doesn't take much.  It's no wonder paint-slingers often haunt these rocks.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tickled Pink

Diane Mannion, Tickled Pink, 6x8" oil on linen, plein air.

In the Pink

"I believe in pink!" - Audrey Hepburn

Pink Pain might be a better title, painting muhly grass was an excruciating challenge!  It's only in bloom this time of the year.   So when invited to capture this pink splendor in a field, I jumped into the knee-high thick of it.  Sneakers and ankles bug-spray-zapped, I stoically stood in the mist of stinging red fire ants.  Ahh, the joy of plein air painting!

Muhly grass is a difficult subject, so many layers, so much pink!  So many wonderful shapes and colors and textures!  Had to work fast with the late afternoon sun sinking and shadows growing.  
Pink Fields Forever
I love my friend's muhly grass interpretation.  

Eileen Wright, 8x6" oil on linen, plein air.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Diane Mannion, LATE MORNING, 6x8" oil on linen, plein air!

Dailypaintworks.com Facebook Pick of the Day!!!

Late Start

When my painting buddies wanted to meet at Caspersen Beach this morning, I said...YES!  
John went along to ride his bike while I painted.  Of course we had to stop at Benny's Bada Bing Bagel Shop on the way so we arrived a little (a lot) late.  

My friends were down on the beach and well on their way through the block in stage.  I set up on the boardwalk and had a good bird's eye view.  Painted fast to catch up and I'm pleased with the results.  Starting late and finishing early is a good way not to overwork it. 

 Sheila and Eileen.
The magic of painting on location!  Would NEVER see these colors in a photo.  There's nothing more satisfying (well almost, winning lottery ticket, or...) than bringing home a piece of time frozen in paint.  And even if it's not a masterpiece, it's a valuable piece of reference material for future studio work. 
View from Eileen Wright's easel.  8x10" masterpiece!!!

Here's a link to Sheila Thornton's painting... check it out!

And John rode from Venice to Nokomis and back and managed not to get hit by blind zombie drivers.

Friday, October 25, 2013

On the Way

Diane Mannion, On the Way, 16x20" oil on linen

Plein Air to Studio

Lined up my favorite 8x10" plein air studies and had my husband choose which one he liked best... we both picked the same one.  This is a path to a beach on Manasota Key where I paint often.  Last summer the beach sunflowers were in full bloom.
Here's the original study on my easel and the first day's effort.  That's Too-Loose LaWreck in the background waving me on, a wood sculpture collaboration between my husband and yours truly.
This is how it looked by the end of the next day... too greeeen.

I've had many folks ask for larger versions of my small plein air studies.  Working on a few commissions and a body of larger works for galleries... a major transition.  I'm addicted to painting outside so it's difficult to stay put in the studio, especially when Floridian weather is cool and fabulous.

Entry for the Punta Gorda National Show, 2013!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quaker Parrot

Diane Mannion, Quaker Parrot, 6x6" oil on gessoboard

Bird Series

Another for my bird series.  While going through old reference photos, I found this shot of a Quaker parrot I snapped a few summers ago in Punta Gorda.  There's a large tree in a park which is home to a flock of these noisy, comical creatures.  When I zoomed in I noticed this parrot held a scrap of what looked like a candy or potato chip wrapper.  No wonder he liked hanging around the playground during lunchtime.
The thumbnail sketch.  I liked the leaf patterns and how the parrot blended into the background.