The weather's not been cooperating for good plain air painting lately, so I took the easel inside today and did a little painting of our tree (hung with sand dollars and starfish) in the light of the fading sun- which finally came out at the last minute!
1 hour study of silhouetted dunes against a moody sky alone the path behind our place on Anna Maria Island. I particularly liked how the setting sun lit up those cat tails in the foreground as if they were on fire!
Painted with the Light Chasers plain air group again this morning at the Bayfront Park in Sarasota. There's so much good subject matter around there! Decided to challenge (and blind) myself by looking towards the rising sun and working with a high key palette.
So, it turns out hay bales aren't as easy to paint as one might think! I have a feeling I'll be returning to this field to tackle them some more... One can learn a lot about value by observing cylindrical shapes on a flat plane!
I have been wanting to do a painting of my 8 year old daughter for a while now. Her favorite activity at the beach is hunting for coquinas, those tiny shells that burry themselves in the sand whenever the waves recede. She'll spend hours in this little squatted position filling her bucket with them. Several times she's even gathered enough for me to make a bowl of coquina soup!
I used a photo I'd taken of her for this piece, as well as some quick little plain air sketches.
Can you tell it was a COLD grey day in Florida the morning I painted this one? If so, good, that means I communicated well! Brrrr... it was freezing, first time all year I donned my wool gloves to paint!
Did this one on the first day of Lori Putnam's workshop at the Bay Preserve at Osprey last week. Only had about an hour and a half to get something down after her inspiring demo! Experimented with a limited palette of Napthol Red, Cad Yellow Light, Ultramarine Blue and Warm Whitel
Couldn't resist one more little dune study before the sun set the other night! Sometimes its hard to tell if a painting is done or not...nice thing about painting right around sunset is eventually you're forced to put the brush down cause it just gets too dark to see anymore!
Did this painting (during a particularly stunning sunset) as part of Greg Summer's Looking Out My Backdoor challenge, where over 160 artists from around the world painted their backyard views from within 100 feet of their own backdoors. While I've painted from this spot on several occasions, this week was the first time I'd ever painted itas my subject. (Liked it so much I did 3 in 3 days as a matter of fact!)
Looking at the painting now I still feel like I ought to be squinting as the sun sets over the ocean...
The sun kept disappearing on me yesterday, still, it was a lovely cloudy morning to paint on Anna Maria Island. When the temperature dropped and the wind picked up, however, I was forced to call it quits as I couldn't stop shivering and shaking... Don't know how all you plein air painters up in the snowy north do it?!
Painted on Casey Key in Venice, FL last week with The Light Chasers Plein Air painting group. I was inspired (and challenged!) by the abstract qualities of the outstretch roots and play of light and shadows.
Christmas came a little early to the owners of this house, located in St. Pete Beach, today!
While I don't typically paint portraits of people, I am happy to paint "house portraits!" The couple's daughter commissioned this painting as a gift for them, recognizing that one day in the future, should they sell it, it would be lovely to have a painting to remember it by. If you have a house, a special view or favorite place that you'd like to have turned into a painting, either for yourself or as a one-of-a-kind gift, feel free to email me at email@example.com. Though I prefer to work form life when possible, I can work from photos if you are not local, and can give you an idea of prices according to the size you'd like.
My 8 year old daughter was gracious enough to pose for me a bit this "slightly chilly" afternoon on the beach (thus the pink hoodie.) It was fun to work on gesture drawing the figure with my oils. Inspired by the English artist Haidee-Jo Summers' work, I'm thinking of incorporating more figures in my paintings somewhere down the road, so will be tucking these away in my ideas file...
Shadow play, abstract shapes, stark contrasts of dark and light, moving water... and I get to wiggle my toes in the sand for a few hours! That's all the ingredients I need to make for a great morning of painting!
Another in my on-going study of water in constant motion (aka waves.) I have to admit, when I started this one I wasn't holding out much hope that it'd turn into anything. In fact, I think I spent much more time just staring at the waves as they crested and crashed, with my brush poised in midair, than I did painting! All the while I kept thinking to myself, this is an exercise in futility! But in the end, all that studying seems to have paid off, because it turned out pretty good... I think so anyway!
I was itch'n to get my brushes wet this morning, but didn't have a lot of time, so I walked across the street to my friend's yard and painted the view of the neighborhood clubhouse from across the lagoon.
All of us artists participating in the Canaveral Seashore Paint Out painted one evening that week at JB's Fish Camp as customers looked on. Of course, I was immediately attracted to the bright red umbrellas! Painting all the people who we're milling around was definitely a challenge, but I was happy with the way it turned out.
It was the pink umbrella that first caught my eye in this scene along the banks of the Indian River in New Smyrna Beach. Then I noticed the young woman playing so joyfully in the water with her little dog. When they took a break and sat down to rest I quickly painted them in. As she was leaving I thanked her for being my "unwitting model." She told me her mother had just undergone a radical mastectomy that morning and that she'd traveled from GA to care for her for the past 10 days. This was the 1st time that she'd had an afternoon all to herself and the 1st time she'd ever taken her dog to this beach... and I just happened to be there to capture that moment of release and relief...
This sweet little yellow house just touched me when I saw it. I loved the shapes and shadows, as well as the Aderindack chairs lined up I on the porch, very inviting. Reminded me of the kinda house Edward Hopper might have liked to paint too.
While painting this little ice cream shop on Canal St. in New Smyrna a Beach I got a craving for ice cream myself... "When you're done with the painting," I told myself. Well, when the time came that was as good a reason as any to put my brushes down and call it done!
This nocturne painting was done in the lovely little garden patio courtyard behind The Third Wave restaurant in New Smyrna Beach. Even with a headlamp on my forehead it was still difficult to really see what colors I was putting down... I only hoped it would look as good in the daylight as it did in the dark! (Luckily, I think it did!)
A photo of the painting in progress taken with my camera flash.
For my afternoon painting on the 1st day of the Paint Out, I chose to do this historical house on the Canaveral National Seashore property. I liked the idea and challenge of relating the geometric shapes and shadows of the house to the square format of my canvas.
Set my easel up at the end of the Canaveral Seashore National Park this first morning of the Paint Out and played around with reflections and shadows. Had to move it back a few times as it's apparently a very popular place for fishermen and kayakers launch their boats!
Before the sun set completely on the same evening as I painted The Garden Party, I got one more little beauty in. The light in the sky was fading softly into pinks and purples, reflecting in the river as I did this one, like changing notes of color behind the palms... thus the title.
This little painting sketch was done at the kick off party held in the garden behind Clay Gallery for the Canaveral Seashore Paint Out in New Smyrna Beach, FL last week- a chance to warm up my brushes for the week of non-stop painting ahead!
This is my other piece in the Paint the Town Bradenton exhibit, a beautiful old wooden boat housed in someone's yard. I've long admired it, however there are usually a bunch of cars parked in front of it... but not today! Don't you just love the turquoise blue and rust orange paint peeling off the bow? So much good stuff in Cortez!
Truth is, I can't recall ever having had the blues in Cortez! It's such a charming, quirky, unique little fishing village with the most amazing subject matter for paintings everywhere you look... not to mention some of THE BEST seafood around! If anything, it can be a bit of a sensory overload.
Feeling ambitious, (this is a Paint Out week after all!) I decided to challenge myself this morning with studying the reflections in the water. Figured why not? I'd either sink or swim!
Fortunately, for as ever-moving and complex as reflections can be, I think I managed to stay afloat pretty well in the end. Will be submitting this one (along with another Cortez boat painting) to the
Day #1 of the Bradenton Paint Out (and day # 28 of the Daily Painting Challenge) found me on Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island- which really wouldn't be different than any other given Sunday, except that today I was surrounded by a bunch of fellow plein air painters! Loved the good company! Also loved the dune shadows (of course) and footprints in the wet sand after a night of thunderstorms... Evidence that a few others had enjoyed an early morning walk on the before we arrived with our easels.
This week I am one of 30 artists participating in the "Paint the Town Bradenton" Paint Out. It kicked off Saturday morning with a Quick Draw in which we had 2 hours to start and complete a painting within the perimeters of the RiverWalk Park. This was my entry. As a side note, when I laid in the color for the water I actually second guessed myself... but yes, it was in fact that brilliant a shade of blue!