This landmark restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria Island is a favorite place of mine to paint. I love the contrast of the light geometric shapes of the buildings against the bold dark shapes of the trees, as well as the festive lights strung around the cafe umbrellas! My focus with this one was on keeping my shapes simplified and my values compressed.
I've painted this same path before in the springtime, but found it had a very different feel this particular morning, late in the summer. The first one was painted on a hazy, cloudy day, whereas the light this morning was creating rich, sumptuous hues! I like how compositionally it leads the eye in and on back while creating those wonderful shadows along the way. The challenge, I find, is in depicting an impression of the sea oats and grasses without painting every single individual reed!
I'm back on Anna Maria Island now after my recent travels to San Antonio, TX and East Tennessee and back to trying to capture little bits of this island's beauty with my brushes and paints!
I've been inspired lately by another island painter from way across the pond,
Brittish artist Haidee-Jo Summers, www.haideejo.com
Check her out, she does absolutely stunning work and her depictions of sunlight on water are some of my favorites.
This one was painting on the first day of our annual summer trip up to East Tennessee. My son and his grandmother took the boat out in the pond to catch us some fish for a Fish Fry. While I only managed to catch one keeper all week, Sam & Bamma (thankfully) did a lot better and we had an absolute fish feast Saturday night!
On my last afternoon in San Antonio I had lunch under one of the multi-colored umbrellas of San Antonio's oldest Mexican Restaurant along the Riverwalk, Casa Rio, still being run by the same original family, now in it's 4th generation. The food was delicious... as were the colors of the umbrellas reflected in the water!
Since I'd found a nice, comfortable shady spot I decided to stay put a while longer and just shift my perspective, so this is the view just to the right of the Hard Rock Cafe across the river. As I was painting it and listening to the endless procession of river taxi drivers going by, giving their standard guided tour to the passengers on board, I heard a few of them remark, "And now if you'll look to your left you'll notice an artist hard at work!" So I guess after 2 days I'd become part of the tour?!
Another view of the restaurant with the lovely red umbrellas... I actually started this one in the afternoon, but there were no people as it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so I returned the next morning to finish it when there were plenty of unwitting models to chose from!
The following several paintings were done in gouache watercolors on a recent trip to San Antonio, TX where I enjoyed exploring the city's unique River Walk area. So many wonderful cafe umbrellas to paint! I'd almost forgotten how much I love the versatility of- not to mention the ease of traveling with- gouache paints!
This first painting was bought by the gentleman in the blue hat who noticed me from across the river working under the shade of a bridge (and trying to stay cool!)
I enjoyed a rare opportunity to paint the afternoon light today. This, as well as the following one, was done off the Bridge St. Pier on Anna Maria Island looking out on the inter-coastal towards Sarasota in the distance. All the while I was painting a group of sailers sat nearby in the shade drinking beer, playing their guitars and singing, as the sun made its way down across the Gulf of Mexico.