Sunday, October 28, 2018


SEA U LATER, oil, 16x20"

New Gallery Season

Delivered a few paintings to the Hughes Gallery for the 2018-19 season which is just getting started down here in SW Florida.  
 GOLDEN MORNING, oil, 16x20"

 HERE COMES THE SUN, oil, 20x16"

WATER PEOPLE, oil, 20x16"
 This painting is back from touring six museums with the American Society of Marine Artists.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

9 New Watercolors

Great Blue and White Herons, sketchbook watercolor, 5x8"
My favorite painting of this group!


Still splashing about with watercolors... haven't stopped since the 30 watercolors in 30 days challenge.  Watercolors in the morning, once in a while a pastel, and oils in the afternoon, not a bad plan.  

I think it's healthy for an artist to work in different mediums, one informs the other.  I've learned a lot about simplifying masses with watercolor, and a lot about color with pastels.  My oil paintings are showing the results (I hope).  Have not been showing oil paintings until my show in March at the Hughes Gallery in Boca Grande.

Here are a few recent watercolors:

Snookhaven Again, sketchbook watercolor and gouache

Morning Splash, Chadwick Park, 6x9" on Arches cold press

Wave Study, sketchbook watercolor and gouache

Card for Angie, watercolor, 8x6" Arches cold press

Farmer's Market, sketchbook watercolor

Safe Anchorage, sketchbook watercolor, Chadwick Park

Poinciana Trees, sketchbook watercolor, Englewood Sports Park

Blue Shed and Poinciana Trees Again, sketchbook watercolor

Have outfitted my Strada easel for watercolor or oil just by changing the original palette with matboard.  Love how an Arches block fits inside.  John drilled holes in the side panel to hold brushes.

Blue shed with the thumbnail sketch

Stormy and my rolling studio setup on location.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Snook Haven Sketch

Snook Haven Light, 5.5x8.75" watercolor, plein air

Let It Flow On the Go

Haven't posted since my September 30 sketchbook watercolors in 30 days but have used those sketches to produce studio work,  translating watercolors into a large, studio paintings.  That 30/30 time and energy wasn't wasted but instead helped energized my creative expression and output.  Watercolor, gouache, even pastels have informed the way I paint with oils.

Thrilled to learn that watercolors are a quick and easy way to gather reference material for "serious" work, which means only taking a sketchpad and watercolor box into the field instead of more cumbersome oil painting equipment.  And (bonus observation)... I can easily sketch almost anywhere, in my car (auto-painting), standing or sitting in public places (urban sketching), or blending in with tourists on the beach.  I've become a stealth-sketcher!

I'm also becoming a minimalist, cutting watercolor supplies down small enough to tuck in a pocket or purse.  Have sketchbook, brush, and paintbox always ready to travel... to let it flow on the go!

Painted at Snook Haven this morning with the Peace River Painters, a talented group of artists.  Sat near the water with an Arches 7x10" watercolor block (140lb paper cold press) on my lap and happily splashed away.  And when I pulled the masking tape off (love those clean edges)... I didn't hate it!  Oh, happy day!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Sweet September

Sweet September, 30 sketchbook watercolors in 30 days


This isn't the first time I've signed up for a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, a tough decision, difficult at times (especially on weekends)... but always worthwhile.  My self-induced rule was painting from life in watercolor in a sketchbook.  I had used watercolors for many years as an illustrator and wanted to play, instead of work with them.

I've painted with gouache and discovered I could do a pretty awful watercolor and "save" it with gouache.  For this series, I kept a bit of gouache handy as an emergency device but wanted to work mainly with transparent watercolor.  Gouache is an opaque watercolor which can cover mistakes and hide horrible bits (and came in handy it did!).  

During the past 30 days, I studied watercolor books, discovered brilliant watercolor artists online, watched Youtube videos and relearned how to use this medium.  I rediscovered the joy of splashing about with watercolors!

The caps on my old illustration Winsor and Newton watercolors, carefully stored in airtight containers, were so old they crumbled when I opened them.  Thankfully, Winsor and Newton replaced the caps when I reported the problem!

I also used Daniel Smith and Schmincke watercolors.  Treated myself to a nifty little Schmincke travel palette that fits in my purse (12 pans which I refitted with 24 half pans).  

Sketched image with mechanical pencil Graphgear 1000 Pentel 7, or a Pentel waterbrush.  The only brush I used for the main part of painting was the Escoda Versatil #12 travel brush (LOVE IT!), held lots of water, covered large areas or small details with a fine point.

Started series in a Non-watercolor paper 6x8" Moleskine sketchbook, then to a 6x8" Handbook with watercolor paper.  Have a 6x6" Pentalic watercolor sketchbook waiting in the wings.  

Discovered many new directions and possibilities in this challenge.   Watercolor has become my favorite sketching medium and will inform my oil painting.  These 30 watercolors are only the beginning!

Strada Easel 30 Paintings from Life Challenge, Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings in 30 Days September 2018 Challenge

Happy Painting!