Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Walk on the Beach

Another 8x10 acrylic, done from a photo I took during a walk on the beach. I never get tired of the beach and could easily do beach scene paintings all the time! I need to sort through all my (thousands) of photos and see if I find other references I like.

This is actually a mirror image of one I did a few years ago in pastel here.  I like the pastel better in most ways, but it did have a couple things I wanted to change:
1) The horizon line was too harsh and dark. This is easily correctable if I choose to do it.
2) The lines of incoming wavelets are too perfectly straight, as if I'd drawn them with a ruler; not quite the way they are in real life.

I tried to correct both of those things with my acrylic, but I'm still less than happy with how it turned out. Still, as they say, you can't hit a home run every time. It was still fun to do.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Gold Head in the Morning

LOL, I had a reference photo all picked out and sitting on my table - with oranges and golds, that I was going to paint for my next project, as a change from the cool colors I'd been doing. Then, the morning I sat down to paint, the reference photo was gone! I looked everywhere. It had been sitting on top of the table and I had not touched a thing, but there was no photo there. As I scrabbled around I did pull up a reference for the scene about, always one of my favorite scenes, so I painted this instead, another 8x10 acrylic.

The funny thing is that this is the third time I have painted from this exact same reference, all small. I first did it as a small 6x9 pastel here, and then again I tried it as an 8x10 acrylic here. That was one of my very first acrylics when I was just beginning to dabble in them. Well I still feel like a dabbler since I've had no formal training in acrylic, but I'm enjoying them a bit more now.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Chalupa - Foubtain of Youth

This is also from the reference photos I took at the Fountain of Youth last week. I took a bunch of photos of this boat - a "chalupa" or replica of the sort of work boats they built here in the 16th century when the colony at St, Augustine was first founded. 8x10 acrylic/

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Early Morning - Calico Creek

This is a scene down the road from my sister's house in coastal North Carolina.  Whenever I visit her I walk my dog down here in the morning. My dog is an early riser so I usually get to see the pinks and violets of the soft early morning light.

This is another 8x10 acrylic.

I love this spot so much I've even done a couple pastels from this same location, namely here and here. If you stand on the path for those two paintings and turn to face left you will see the scene in the acrylic painting above. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Peacock - Fountain of Youth

This is another 4x12 acrylic. This is sort of a fun size to work with. I was at the Fountain of Youth last Saturday with the First Coast Pastel Society, and it was a chilly, windy, blustery day. Not really good for plein air, and the lighting was not so great, but I enjoyed all the peacocks strutting around, took a variety of photos, and enjoyed the 16th century reenactment going on for the weekend.

So now I'm looking at the photos for references and could not resist starting with a peacock. :-)

Saturday, February 04, 2017

The Wave

Another small 8x10 acrylic. I admit that pastel will always be my first love, but I've been having fun with these small acrylics, and they are great to take to the Starving Artist Gallery since they don't need framing under glass. In fact don't need framing at all since I paint the sides of the canvas too and just present them as gallery-wrapped and helps keep my costs down, LOL.



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Small dunes

Well I had time for another small 8x10 acrylic this morning. Pastels are my first love, but I've been having a lot of fun with acrylics lately. They go much faster than pastels, especially when you are trying to keep things really loose and impressionistic. When a small painting only takes 20-30 minutes it's not too hard to keep up with a one-a-day schedule. A few days I've even done 2-3!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Small sketch - Club Continental

Today the Art Guild of Orange Park had a plein air day at Club Continental. I stopped by but just had my sketch pad with me, so did this 5x7 sketch using my colored pencils.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Still small

Still working on small acrylic paintings. This is my effort for today, a beach with some coquina rocks. This one is also an 8x10.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Painting small

I've hardly done any painting since breaking my wrist last summer, so for the New Year decided I should try to do more. I've been working on some small acrylics since, if smaller, I can do more of them! These are the ones I've completed so far, none with titles yet.

  Egrets: This one is an 8x10.



 Flamingo:This one is 4x12.


 Moonlight: This one is 5x7.


 Heron: This one is 8x10.

 Cardinal: This one is 8x10.


 Oranges: This one is 5x7.

 Marsh sunset: This one is 4x12.

Beach Sunrise: This one is 4x12.

Lots of fun! I'm looking forward to more smaller ones.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Backyard Treasures II

The previous pastel, "Backyard Treasures", was done in order to enter into a prestigious art show the Art Guild of Orange Park was having at the Thrasher-Horne Gallery. I was not crazy about it however, and didn't think it was show quality, so I decided to try it again, this time in acrylic, and see what I thought of that. This is the result, also 11x14. I was not crazy about this one either, but like it better than the pastel.

So in the end I entered them both in the show. Surprise! This one was juried out and the pastel was accepted into the show. You just never know.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Backyard Treasures

 I have a large orange tree in my back yard. Alas it's a bitter orange, so no good for juice, but it is good for making marmalade! The oranges begin to ripen in late October, and do through January or so. I love it when the oranges are ripe though, and the sun shines on them. This is my first cut at a painting - done on an 11x14 piece of cream-colored Art Spectrum paper - a mixture of pastels but mostly NuPastel and Terry Ludwigs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Cake

We painted this as a group still life at one of my pastel society meetings - done on 9x12 UArt paper. It was fun to do, and after we all painted - the cake was cut up and we all got to eat the setup. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sanderlings and Waves

I'm not getting much accomplished lately since I fell and broke my wrist a couple weeks ago. Granted it is my left wrist, and I'm right-handed, but I still felt so washed out for days! And so many things are hard with just one hand - including this blog post typed with two fingers, LOL.

However energy is coming back a bit, and I'm still on my love affair with oil pastels, and with beach scenes.
This is done with the oilies on an 8x10 Ampersand Pastelboard - my fave surface for these.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

More small paintings

 Breaker

Sunrise II

I'm still having fun playing with the oil pastels. They are fantastic on Ampersand boards, and then blended with some turpenoid. Finish with three coats of varnish and you have a well-protected surface. I did both of these the other day - just small 5x7's on Ampersand, using my Holbein oil pastels. They have three coats of varnish each and could easily be framed without glass - a nice savings.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Winter Morning Fishing


Today a group of us from the Art Guild of Orange Park went to the Isle rehab center in Fleming Island, FL. We had several artists who brought various items for sale, and others who worked on art projects with the residents, and a couple of us who worked on art work in public spaces. There was a potter who was quite popular, but I was set up to paint right in the main lobby, and I had a great time talking to people as I worked.

The above is the painting I did this morning, from a reference photo I took last Thanksgiving weekend when I went up to NC to visit my sister and her family. Every morning I took my dog for a walk on the beach just about sunrise, and got lots of great photos. Regular pastel would have probably gotten dust all over the floor so this was done again with oil pastels. I'm learning a little more about them, like the fact that they don't layer well if laid down with too heavy a hand, so on this painting  I worked on multiple light layers. This is done with my Holbein and Caran d'Ache oilies on an 11x14 sheet of Richeson sanded paper. It was a fun morning.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Breakfast Time

More and more lately I'm having fun playing with my oil pastels - most of the benefits of the regular dry pastels but not all the mess and dust. They are a great medium to use with my grandkids! Turpenoid works great for blending them. I've been coating them with varnish and so far it seems to create a hard surface with no mess and stickiness - and could easily be framed without glass, or so it seems. The best of all possible worlds.

We'll see, so far so good. I saw this pelican just a couple miles from my house, picking up a fish at a local boat ramp on Doctors Lake and I had to take a few photos. I guess my biggest issue with the oil pastels is that they don't layer very well, unlike the regular dry pastels. The oily surface seems to prevent it, so some of my brights are not as bright here as I wanted, but could not add any more layers on top of the darker colors. Still, I'm having fun and it's all a learning experience. This was done on an 8x10 plain Ampersand board which I coated with a couple coats of the pre-mixed Art Spectrum ground, using a mixture of both my Holbein and Caran d'Ache oilies.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Six by Six



Today I had some fun playing with acrylic again. These three paintings were all done on 6x6 inch gallery-wrapped stretched canvas. It's fun working small as you are able to accomplish a lot in just a small amount of time! I need to get more into the "paint small, paint often" mindset. It's been a good week for that!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Working smaller


I'm really having fun using my oil pastels and turpenoid and creating small works. These two which I just did today are both 5x7 on Pastelmat boards I primed with Art Spectrum primer. I seemed to be working backwords. Many artists do small paintings first as studies for larger works. Me? I did larger works and then did these small ones afterwards. These are small versions of the paintings seen here and here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Ocean Sunrise


I'm getting into a painting groove these days! I had a gallery-wrapped canvas all primed so decided to paint a picture this morning of the ocean sunrise. This is a panorama view, 10x20 inches, using acrylic.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Little Kiawah Sunset


I had such fun working with oil pastels and Turpenoid yesterday, and when I was done the painting seemed so much safer and secure than a normal dry pastel which is always smudgeable. Yes, my grandkids have proved that! But the oil pastel seemed almost firm and dry enough that it seemed I could possibly even varnish it as you might an oil or acrylic. Was that possible? I some googling on the subject and, as with anything you google it seems, there were conflicting opinions of yes, no, maybe, and all sorts of caveats about the possible process,

So I decided I would just experiment, but I didn't want to risk the painting from yesterday which I was pretty happy with, so I actually repainted the scene as seen here, but on a 5x7 ampersand board, this one coated in Art Spectrum ground. The oil pastels and Turpenoid also worked well, so I tried a coat of Liquitex non-yellowing acrylic matte varnish on top of it. It went over smoothly and dried to a clear, hard lacquerlike finish. So far I've done two coats. I like how it looks, and the painting surface no longer seems capable of smudging. Of course I don't think you could layer any more pastel over it either, so this is a technique to try only when you are sure a painting is "done".

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kiawah Sunset

Last weekend I spent the weekend on South Carolina's Kiawah Island, just outside Charleston, visiting my friend Beth's vacation home. Her family owns a marvelous old place right on the banks of the salt marshes on Kiawah and the sunsets are spectacular. I took a number of photos so had to turn at least one into a painting. This was done today on an 8x10 Ampersand pastel board using my Caran d'Ache NeoPastel oil pastels. I used Turpenoid for blending. I quite like oil pastels, sort of the best of all worlds for me.

What a great weekend in SC too. I was there for the launch of Beth and friends' Low Country cookbook. Wonderful food. I cooked dinner for the family last night using recipes from it: Shrimp and grits, spinach and strawberry salad, collard greens with cabbage, and the Darby family lemon pie. All yummy. :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cindy's Pitcher

Thanks to all my friends who offered advice on how to make this painting better and stronger. I really loved Cindy's pitcher so had a soft spot for this piece. Working on the background and some cropping at the top are a definite improvement. As a result this is the only painting of my three entries that was accepted by juror Karen Margulis into out upcoming First Coast Pastel Society spring show.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sketch Club - Spring Park


Lately I've been enjoying my friend Leslie's "Sketch Club". We meet every other week and the idea is *not* to paint, but to practice our drawing skills. However today was a *gorgeous* day - sunny and upper 60s and a light breeze, so we decided to meet outdoors at Spring Park, a wonderful park on the banks of the St. Johns River. However I threw some pastels into the bag and decided to give them a try too. So when we first arrived I spent about 40 minutes on the above - an 8x12 masonite board which I primed myself with three coats of the Art Spectrum pre-mixed primer that you can buy - a jar I have had for years of the stuff, sort of a slate bluish color. I never like anything I do plein air, but it's always fun to give it a try.

After that I did break out my charcoal pencil and my colored pencils and spent another 15-20 minutes just trying a simple drawing while I chatted with friends. What a perfect day.


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Little Pitcher


I fell in love with this cute little pitcher when I saw it at a tea party at my friend Cindy's house a couple weeks ago, and I had to snap a few photos of it, and it just needed to be painted.

I'm still struggling with my "invented" background though, as the real background was just Cindy's kitchen! But I do like the pitcher. See what I think tomorrow in the cold light of day.

This is 11x14, on Richeson paper, using my cheesy Faber-Castell pastels as they were the only easily portable set, and I did this tonight over at my friend Leslie's Studio Club.

Update: Here is the current version after some reworking based on input from friends: