Sunday, March 30, 2014

Boathouse Again

Diane Mannion, Boathouse Again, 9x12" oil on linen

Plein Air and Studio

Boathouse Again began as a plein air study on a mostly cloudy day.  The sun was out when I started! I was struck by how the boathouse looked through the stand of palms.

When painting outside, I react to the color, light, and sense of place that is impossible to see in a photograph.  It takes intense concentration and speed.  Back in the studio, I'm able to slow down and consider what colors to mix, and experiment in new directions.  I react to my painting from memory and experience.  So another benefit of plein air painting is to inform the studio experience.  I hope this practice in the studio will be evident when heading outside again.  Plein air or studio... both are necessary!

It's very rare for me, because I'm a slow painter, to finish a plein air painting on the spot.  Most are simply studies for future work or practice, building a visual vocabulary to enrich the creation of studio paintings.  I've given myself permission to slow down while doing field studies, to consider them sketches, raw material for something wonderful later.  But like fishing... once in a while you catch a good one.

Delighted to chat with many members of the Light Chasers group and also Sally Christiansen's class who came to paint along and also see my show!  I'll be painting at the Bay Preserve as much as possible during my solo exhibit there until the end of May.

My start on the porch right before the rain moved in.
Second day.  Painted with Shadow along for the first time.  Couldn't leave her home because of the new roofing noise going on at our house, like being inside a drum.  She was perfectly well behaved!  Conehead is to keep her from chewing on stitches from a minor operation on her side.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fishery Palms

Diane Mannion, Fishery Palms, 12x9" oil on linen

Painted with the Punta Gorda VAC Plein Air group this morning at the Fishery in Placida.  Weather was as bad as the last time we painted there about a year ago.  Typical Floridian downpour which may last all week.  Painted this while sitting in my car under the raised hatchback.  Still managed to get everything totally drenched... at least oil and water don't mix.

Drove over this morning thinking no one would show up in this deluge, but seven hardy souls were already massing in their sketches while standing under an overhang on the fishery building.
Above is my one hour start and later finished at home.  Used ultramarine blue and transparent red iron oxide for underpainting, wiped out lights with Gamsol, and added a bit of green.    This first layer was simply to mass in darks, patterns, and establish path of lights.

Fine work, Everybody!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bay Preserve Artist

Diane Mannion, Bay Preserve Artist, 9x12" oil on linen

The Opening

This painting started as a plein air study after spending a lovely day at the Bay Preserve with an artist friend.  Umbrellas are a visual magnet!  Love the play of light and color.  Bay Preserve Artist will replace one that sold opening night. 

Still catching up after the opening of my solo show at the Bay Preserve mansion... couldn't have asked for a better evening!   Well attended and sold well.  Many thanks to the Conservation Foundation! Thank you, friends, students, artists, and others for a fabulous celebration!  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Artist Acres

Diane Mannion, Artist Acres, 11x14" oil on canvas, plein air

Perfect weather and wonderful organization made for a fabulous paintout in Englewood today.  Artists were treated with snacks, live music, and later on... dinner, wine, and cupcakes!  Delightful visiting with so many artist friends.  Unlimited inspiration on the private grounds of Artist Acres... Florida as it should be.  I'm happy to be part of this artistic community.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bay Preserve at Osprey

Diane Mannion, Bay Preserve at Osprey, 11x14" oil/canvas


I've been invited to exhibit my paintings...SOLO SHOW in the Bay Preserve mansion... huge honor!  The opening reception is March 18, 5-7.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Diane Mannion, SOS Snowy Egret, 6x6" oil, plein air

SOS, Save Our Seabirds, Part 2

Sunday morning at Save Our Seabirds, Sarasota, Florida.   Over 2000 birds treated and released each year!  Fabulous place, worthy of visiting... across the road from Mote Marine.  Saw sandhill cranes that actually had artificial legs!  Amazing.

This little egret did not hold still at all!  He was standing in the sun when a keeper came in to scrub his cage (wish I had someone like that around my house!).  After the cleaning, the pool was filled with fresh water and a large bowl of fresh fish put out for each resident... the egret shared his quarters with two night herons. 

Had started this painting before the pool was filled, so locked in the shadows first.  Knew my model would not hold still for long, snapped an iPhone photo for reference.  Kept glancing between the real bird and the photo... could see much more color in the real life version.  Was interesting to actually see in the moment how the photo did not capture many colors or values.  The bird was almost pure white in the photo.  It's SO important to paint directly from life as often as possible.
My painting location:
Some young people helped remove a fishhook from a pelican's wing.  Lucky bird survived and would be released that night.  The record number of fishhooks removed from one bird was 19!
Here's the Light Chaser Gallery (inside and outside) for the weekend!
  Pam sold lots of paintings for us.
Terry Mason, our fearless leader, painting in all her glory!
A bird handler... holding a barred owl who had only been in training for six months.  Bird was blind in one eye, so could not be released, but seemed to enjoy all the attention.  All the birds in this facility were content, pampered, and carefully kept.  A joy to visit!

Monday, March 3, 2014


Diane Mannion, SOS BARRED OWL, 6x6" oil, plein air

Painted with the Light Chasers at Save Our Seabirds near Mote Marine in Sarasota.  This fabulous facility invited us to exhibit and paint on it's gorgeous grounds over the weekend.  SOS is responsible for treating and saving over 2000 birds a year!

This barred owl held perfectly still the entire hour I painted him.  Loved the way the sun glowed through the enclosure lighting up his face.

Here's my easel set up in front of the cage: