Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 Rose Study

Diane Mannion, 30 Rose Study, 8/10" o/c

                                          Last of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!!!! 

Hooray!  Dancing a jig!  Glad I did this challenge and glad it's over.

Some of the things I learned while pushing the paint brush this month:

1. Some paintings came out great, some not so great... but something was learned from each one.
2. I can paint under pressure and tune almost everything else out. 
3. Don't have to have ideal painting conditions.  Can ignore studio clutter.
4. Can paint inside, outside, in the car, or in the classroom while teaching.
5. Can paint and teach/talk while doing a demo.
6. Larger paintings take the same time for me to do as much smaller ones.
7. I can paint faster and looser.
8. If it's not finished, I can call it a sketch or study (great discovery).
9. I can stop working on a painting before over working every detail.
10. I can have more fun painting, not take it too seriously.
11. Can push technique and experiment more!
12. I can paint 'till midnight if I must, but don't like it.

I enjoyed being part of the almost 300 hundred artists that also painted in this challenge.  A special thanks to Leslie Saeta for leading it.  Please visit her blog to look at the other artist's work.  And listen  to AHA, Artists Helping Artists Blogtalk Radio.  Here's a link to the Challenge show.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

29 Hibiscus Sketch

Diane Mannion, 29 Hibiscus Sketch, 8x10" o/c

Worked this study from a snapshot taken at the Punta Gorda History Park this morning.  Wanted it to stay loose and unfinished... like a lot about this one (just trying to figure out why).  No Gamsol or any other mineral spirits or mediums were used at all.  Simply paint out of the tube and tiny bits of linseed oil.  The underpainting was linseed oil and ultramarine. 
#29 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge on Leslie Saeta's blog.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Calla Lily

Diane Mannion, CALLA LILY, 8x10" o/c

On the way home, stopped at Home Depot and found this plant that begged to immortalized.  Some plants just call out to me that way.  Set it up in the studio and did a quick study from life.  
#28 (I can't believe it's almost over!) of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Backyard Plein Air

Diane Mannion, 27 Backyard Plein Air, 8x10" o/c

Beautiful day here in SW Florida for January 27!  Was going to bring this pot of begonias inside the studio, but set up my plein air easel outside, instead.  Plein air paintings usually take me under three hours to paint, the studio still lives have been taking much longer.  So I pretended this was just another plein air landscape, squinted a lot and painted fast.  It's a love/hate relationship... I love this  from a distance, and hate it when my nose is near the paint.  It's all a life-long learning experience, so no painting time is ever wasted.  And this is number 27 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bougainvillea Study

Diane Mannion, 26 Bougainvillea Study, 8x10" o/c

Wanted to experiment with the same palette as yesterday's rose painting.  Three colors plus white, Rembrant Transparent Red (which I love!), Grumbacher Pretested ultramarine blue, Gamblin Indian yellow (also a favorite!), and Grumbacher Pretested titanium white.  This painting didn't work out as well as the rose painting, but it was interesting playing with the range of these colors.
#26 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

25 A Rose is a Rose

Diane Mannion, 25 A Rose is a Rose, 8x10" o/c
A rose is a rose is a rose and darn hard to paint!  Buds and daisies are a cinch, but roses cause me all kinds of grief.  Happy with how this one turned out (a miracle!).  
Limited my palette to Rembrant's transparent red, Grumbacher Pretest ultramarine blue, and Gamblin Indian yellow.  Plus Grumbacher Pretest titanium white.  That's it.  It was impossible to make "mud" with such a limited color selection.  I also think the colors all work together as a whole, harmoniously.  Bravo to me!  Some days I'm much happier with the outcome than others.
First wiped the canvas with Indian yellow and allowed some to show through here and there as the paint was applied.  Finished in one four hour session, alla prima, which means all at once, wet into wet.  Did not use ANY medium, just paint straight from the tube.  Lid was on the Gamsol right after I toned the canvas at the beginning.  Cleaned brushes by pulling paint off with Viva paper towels.  Worked standing... keeps me looser, sitting causes me to fuss and fiddle too much.  NFS

 #25 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge... only 5 to go!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Message in a Bottle

Diane Mannion, 24 Message in a Bottle, 8x10" o/c

Started this as another demo while teaching yesterday... not the best way for me to start a painting!  The only thing left of the demo is the top of the cloud on the left and some of the water.  Everything else is painted completely from imagination.  This is 24 of the 30/30 Challenge.  With teaching and everything else going on, this challenge has reached the most difficult point for me.  But only 6 more to go! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Petals on the Beach

Diane Mannion,  23 Petals on the Beach, 8x10" o/c
The twenty-third painting in the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge created by Leslie Saeta.  Over 250 artists are looking forward to crossing the finish line!  My self-induced theme... all 8x10" horizontal oils with a flower theme.  Yes, this one counts!  Rose petals are a common sight on the beaches down here after weddings and other celebrations.  It was either that or a flower beach towel.
This was painted as a class demo for a cloud and sky painting lesson.  Also illustrated how to soften the horizon for aerial perspective.   The class challenge was to paint clouds and sky using only red, yellow, blue, and white paint.  Turned out to be a great lesson in color mixing... noticed major learning and technique jumps with a few artists.  And a least one left with a signed painting ready to hang!

Monday, January 21, 2013

At the Garden Center

Diane Mannion, 22 At the Garden Center, 8x10" o/c

Favorite place to visit for inspiration, just about any garden center will do.  Found purple/blue delphiniums blooming near cadmium yellow canna lilies, how perfect is that?   This is number 22 of the 30/30 Challenge.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Diane Mannion, 21 Cognac, 8x10" o/c

Found this colorful, tin cognac box (unfortunately, empty) in LA years ago.  It lives on top of the refrigerator and serves as a tea box.  Always knew I would paint it someday.  It's number 21 of the 30/30 Challenge... only nine to go.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Porch Angel

Diane Mannion, 20 Porch Angel, 8x10" o/c

Getting there!  #20 of the 30/30 Challenge.  Pleased with this one, from a snapshot I took years ago in Wilmington, NC while walking the dog one morning.  Always wanted to do something with it, perfect for my flower theme, but had to invent the flowers, nothing was blooming.

Friday, January 18, 2013

19 Rose and Ribbon

Diane Mannion, 19 Rose and Ribbon, 8x10" o/c
19th of the 30/30 Challenge.  I can paint a portrait or plein air landscape in under three hours.  This took twice that time and it's still not there.  Maybe, I'll rework it when the challenge is over... or leave it as a lesson learned.   But I really like the ribbon. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

18 Julie's Hibiscus

Diane Mannion, Julie's Hibiscus, 8x10" o/c
18th of the 30/30 Challenge... hitting a wall here, but will continue on.  Why did I need to do this?  Flower theme, thirty paintings in thirty days... all 8x10" horizontals?  Phew.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beach Daisy

Diane Mannion, BEACH DAISY, 8x10" o/c

17th of the 30/30 Challenge.  This is the same beach daisy that I visually transplanted onto my painting buddy's hat, painting #15 of this challenge.  
Tough day teaching a rowdy class, the (over 60 year old) brats were having so much fun painting they refused to listen to a word I said.  Had to move half the class outside so they wouldn't be bothered by these hooting and hollering paint slingers.  One student, fortunately, was hard of hearing so it didn't bother him a bit. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

16 Copper Pot and Apples

Diane Mannion, Copper Pot and Apples, 8x10" o/c

      16th for the 30/30 Challenge.  Started as a class demo in Punta Gorda this morning, finished later.  I like some bits of this... relished painting the apples, like the purple flowers, but it's not one of my favorites.  If I had time, I'd add more things in the background, which I can always do later.

Monday, January 14, 2013

15 Eileen Painting

Diane Mannion, EILEEN PAINTING, 8x10" o/c

      15th of the 30/30 Challenge... halfway, yay!  Painted with my painting buddy on Venice Beach this morning.  The Twins or The Two Sisters... two pine trees in the distance are a landmark well known to local painters.  And because my 30/30 Challenge theme was flowers, I visually transplanted one of the sand daisies onto Eileen's hat.  Fabulous painting weather! Sold

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Les Fleurs

Diane Mannion, LES FLEURS, 8x10" o/c

      14th of the 30/30 Challenge... tomorrow's halfway!  Forgot my hat for yesterday's demo, so stopped at an outlet shop, then found this perfect box to paint for my flower challenge.  Finished this painting and went outside to photograph it in the shade and a COYOTE!!! was strolling down the middle of the street at 2:30 in the afternoon.  Lucky for me, I had the zoom lens handy!  Here are the shots.  Wow!  Totally amazing to see this animal in our neighborhood.  John said he heard them the other night, howling.  We live near huge state parks, so they have lots of room to roam.  It was as large as my 60 pound standard poodle!

Art Center Flowers

Diane Mannion, 13 ART CENTER FLOWERS, 8x10" o/c
      13th of the 30/30 Challenge.  This one is a plein air demo I painted at Ringling Englewood Art Center yesterday.  Had a great time talking to other artists and folks while I painted.  And of course, had to paint flowers for my 30 day flower theme... pink hibiscus caught the sun perfectly.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Diane Mannion, 12 VIOLETS, 8x10" o/c
12th in the 30/30 Challenge
      One of my paintings was juried into the National Face and Figure Show in Punta Gorda, FL!  And two paintings were selected for the WPSE (Women Painters of the SE) 2nd Annual Show.  I'm honored. 

Friday, January 11, 2013


Diane Mannion, 11 Meditation, 8x10"o/c
 11th 30/30 Challenge.   This painting's titled, Meditation because of the way I feel when I'm focused and seeing clearly.  It's like a prayer or meditation.  Felt calm and centered with the rest of the day ahead to do nothing but paint.  Pure joy. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

10 Blue Teapot and Roses

Diane Mannion, Blue Teapot and Roses, 8x10"o/c
      10th of the 30/30 Challenge.  Started this while teaching a painting class.  Students like to watch me paint but it's difficult to focus.  Could only get a start and took hours later at home to finish.   This one was tough!   It's almost midnight...
      But now I'm a third of the way through!   Hooray!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

9 Chocolate and Flowers

Diane Mannion, Chocolate and Flowers, 8x10" o/c

      9th for 30/30 Challenge.  Started this one while teaching a painting class this morning.  Susan brought chocolates to share which we consumed with gusto after painting.  Wild group, didn't get much accomplished on this painting until I got home.  The baby food jar's a device I use to teach students to look at the form and study how the bottom turns.  No, it's not flat with pointy corners, the form turns... sometimes our brains trick us into seeing forms like a symbol instead of what it is.  If I can only teach students to SEE... to really look at what they're drawing... then they'll be better artists!
      And it always helps to have someone else look at your work.  Showed John this one and he spotted something that looked like an optical illusion (like a cheap  magic trick, he said).  I hadn't noticed it at all until he pointed it out.  Corrected it, so don't try to find it now.  The stem on the foreground flower had looked like it punched a hole in the middle of the lid, went down, and reappeared inside the glass!  Made the stem longer and wiped out the place where it appeared to connect.  Looking and really seeing isn't easy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

8 Venice Cat

Diane Mannion, Venice Cat, 8x10" o/c

      Number 8 in the 30/30 Challenge.  Begonias, to keep the flower theme going, and my Venice cat.  Have always wanted to paint it.  Found in Venice, Florida and was made in Venice, California by Gary Steinborn.  This cat usually lives in an antique bird cage as the cat that ate the canary.
      Now that I've seen this one posted, I see bits here and there I want to change, but at least it's a start.  For instance, I want to bring some of the cool lights under the cat into the foreground.  And if I just consider these 8x10"s starts, or sketches... takes a little pressure off for the challenge.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

7 Bougainvillea and Copper Teapot

Diane Mannion, Bougainvillea and Copper Teapot, 8x10" o/c

      7th in 30/30 Challenge.    The bougainvillea bushes are in full bloom around the house.  Snipped these and put them in a pot by the north studio window, painting from life again, but they started wilting as soon as I sketched them in.  Even though bougainvillea, like hibiscus, can live a day in or out of water... these were drooping fast.  Half way through the underpainting, I wiped everything out and started over.  Just didn't like the composition and the teapot was difficult to draw.  Painted the bougainvillea first on the second attempt, painted the background, then the pot.  Went back to the bougainvillea and hit it with a few highlights.  Funny, how I like those strokes best after hours of fussing with everything else.  NFS

Saturday, January 5, 2013

6 Blue Canning Jar

Diane Mannion, Blue Canning Jar, 8x10" oil on canvas

Sixth in the 30/30 Challenge.  It's going to be a long month!  And weekends are the hardest.  But one thing's for sure... several of these challenge paintings wouldn't have been painted if it wasn't for the challenge.  Bought these flowers at the farmer's market in Venice this morning... some colors just do not exist in paint tubes!  This was painted from life, direct painting.  Nothing wrong with painting from photos, but looking at the real thing instead of a flat photo... is a pleasure!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fountain Geraniums

Diane Mannion, 5 Fountain Geraniums, 8x10" oil on linen
 Fifth in the 30/30 Challenge!   Painted the fastest and like it the most.  Working from old photos for some of these challenge paintings.  The reference photo for this painting was taken at a local garden center that unfortunately went belly-up.  And at the time I took this snapshot, I knew I wanted to paint it but couldn't without being too tight.  My painting skill is now catching up with what I want to express... have finally gotten to the point where I can work from photos and change almost everything.  Interesting to look back at my old photos and discover new material.  Changed a lot for this painting, colors, design, perspective, added the background window and the kitty.  Really having too much fun with this challenge.  Thank you Leslie Saeta for starting it! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dave in the Gallery

Diane Mannion,  4 Dave in the Gallery, 8x10" oil on linen

      Dave posed for us this morning in the Punta Gorda Visual Arts Center, excellent model!  
This is the 4th painting in the 30/30 Challenge.  My theme is flowers, 8x10" horizontals, so how convenient to have Dave pose in a gallery filled with flower paintings! 
      I'm really enjoying the camaraderie of the other artists painting in this challenge.  So nice to know I'm not the only one pushing a brush, and also, I admit... feeling a bit of pressure to produce.  It's good for us!  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hibiscus Near Screen

Diane Mannion, 3 HIBISCUS NEAR SCREEN, 8x10" oil on linen

      Third for 30 Paintings in 30 Days.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fancy Hibiscus

Diane Mannion, 2 FANCY HIBISCUS, 8x10" oil on linen

      Second painting for Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days.  My theme is plants and flowers, all in a horizontal, 8x10" format, larger size than I usually work in for daily paintings.  Hoping it will help me paint faster and looser by using larger brushes, also.