Monday, December 20, 2010
Every year I do a painting of snow. I have lots of old photos for reference from years back when I lived in Ohio and Michigan. I guess I get a little homesick for the snow in winter. However I don't know if I am ready to live in the north again after being in Florida for thirty years. Painting snow in watercolor is not quite as difficult as you think. The snow is actually the white of the paper so all I do is paint the shadows cast on top of the snow or the form shadows on the sides of the snow drifts. Put in a background of a forest and sky. Add a few close up trees and people walking in the snow and the painting is finished. Now wasn't that easy?
Monday, December 13, 2010
I recently visited the Atlantic Center For The Arts in New Smyrna Beach. It is a quiet place where artists could go to focus on their art in a tranquil, natural environment. The Art Center offers a residency program which brings together internationally-acclaimed master artists from different disciplines with talented artists who are selected by the masters. I stayed with a couple of the administrators of the art center while painting in the Canaveral Paint Out. As a gift I left them a painting of the Pabst Visitor Center & Gallery which is located there. It is nestled amongst pine trees, oaks & palmettos. I enjoyed the way the modern architecture of the building seemed to fit right into the landscape. The morning I created the painting the shadows were dancing across the face of the building. It was one of the moments that a building says: "Paint Me."
Monday, November 29, 2010
At the last paint out I participated in, I saw this scene that I found very dramatic. I have liked the idea of painting vertical subjects and I find alleys interesting. The strong vertical lines of the buildings and the one point perspective brings the viewer into the frame and takes you right to the vanishing point on the horizon. In the front of the composition, the bright red flowers also lead you down to the vanishing point, which in this painting is the center of interest. Most of the buildings are in shade except the building on the left so I painted a cool shadow color on them and mixed a little warm color into the shadow color. A few strokes of shadow across the road at the bottom help to tie together the buildings and the road. Don't you think flowers make a great painting subject when tied in with architecture?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A few leaves have fallen off the trees and lay amongst the rocks. The is one of my paintings which shows the hard textures of rocks and the delicate leaves that have fallen from the trees. This painting was a study of how to paint rounded rocks that lay in a stream bed. Also a study of painting leaves. I liked how the differences in shapes and colors made the leaves appear to be on a different plane. The rocks were painted with sprinkles of salt, spritzes of water and a little touch of a natural sponge. I think this is a pretty interesting composition and the subject is a little different than a typical landscape. let me know what you think about this painting.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Before I traveled to Jacksonville for my recent paintout I stopped over in New Smyrna, FL. I will be doing a paintout there in November called the Canaveral Seashore Paintout. I have always wanted to visit a place called Spruce Creek that is just north of New Smyrna so I stopped there along the way. I found my best vantage point was from the top of a bird watching tower. It was pretty quiet there. Only a few other visitors found the tower as it is about a 1/4 mile walk from the parking lot. I carried my gear up the stairs (about 50 feet high) From there I could see all around. This is the view I found I liked the most with the winding creek to push you back into the painting. The marsh contains many colors in the grasses and weeds. I enjoyed watching the birds from the top of the tower as I painted.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
The last day of the Jacksonville paintout I went into an area that was mostly warehouses along the St, John's River. Cargo ships would pull along the docks and unload merchandise. Lots of cars from Japan was mostly what I saw. Most places were chain link fences with locked gates. I drove around behind the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium and found these two tug boats anchored for the day. At least I hoped they would not be moving for a few hours that Saturday morning. I usually don't paint things that there of two of, preferring to paint in compositions of three. That is what I was taught. But I have been know to break rules. Two tugs, two buildings and two barrels. Well that makes three subjects that just happen to be in pairs. so I didn't break the rule after all. I think I like this painting the most from my event. Another artist called them a pair of candy canes. I liked tugs because they were different. One round in shape and one more square. I believe one pushes barges and the other pulls. Can you tell which boat pushes barges? This painting is still in a gallery show in Jacksonville.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I spent a week painting scenes of Jacksonville for the North Florida Land Trust. Along with 40 other artists we painted scenes from Jacksonville and other neighbor cities to raise money for purchasing land in North Florida. They are dedicated to permanently preserving natural areas and special places in North Florida. This year they wanted to keep the activity near the center of downtown thus we created many paintings of parks and historic homes in Jacksonville, Springfield and Riverside. I was traveling the first day looking for possible subjects to paint. I found a nice street scene with older homes in Riverside. I wasn't sure how to paint it until I noticed the sycamore tree, then it became obvious. I enjoy painting trees in landscapes and I also enjoy architecture. So it was easy to combine the two elements into one painting. To my back; as I was doing the painting, was the St. Jonn's River. It was a beautiful street scene on a beautiful October day.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This painting was another painting I created in my workshop class at Gallery on First. I wanted all the workshop artists to have the same viewpoint as I did so I set up the still life in advance and photographed the subject. I actually took quite a few photographs, moving items around and adding and subtracting items. This is the composition I choose to paint in the workshop. I wanted to show three-dimensional space by the overlapping of objects. The vegetables were chosen so that different values and hues were placed next to each other. The colors of the background, the salt & pepper shakers and the bowl were similar in color to lead you through the painting. (The bowl was carved by my brother in Vermont.) I like the way this painting turned out because of the lighting, the strong contrasts from the lighted areas and the dark background. Doesn't it look good enough to eat?
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Clear Creek Valley is one of the most pristine and secluded natural areas in Central Ohio. My dad volunteered here during his later days. He enjoyed the park and found hiking the path and watching the wildlife quite enjoyable. When I would visit him in Ohio we would usually take a trip there with my uncle and walk through the park. There is now a tree and a bench in the park which were placed there after he passed away in remembrance of his efforts to make the park a better place for all of us to enjoy. I travelled with my camera during one such trip in December. The trees were bare and the atmosphere was cold and wet. Typical of Ohio if you ever lived there in the winter. This painting is one of my favorites because it shows the mood and atmosphere that is Ohio on a cold winter day.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sometimes it might take me quite a while to produce a particular painting from my reference material. I kept trying to think of how to paint this ship I photographed while in Boston a year ago. I didn't particularly like my photo of the ship. I took the photo when it was raining and thought it wasn't a nice enough day to make a painting of it. Then I had another photo of the cityscape and I didn't paint it because it was too far away and uninteresting. Then there were photos of sailboats in the harbor that the composition wasn't quite right. So what do you do with three photos that just don't look quite right. Put them together into one painting. This is the end result, a painting of boats in the Boston Harbor on a rainy day.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I usually paint very representational images on paper with watercolor. However sometimes I like to leap off the edge and do something a little different, especially when it is 95 degrees outside and I am in the comfort of my air conditioned studio. I drew in the light colored roots and the moon with a masking fluid and let it dry. Then I pulled out all kinds of paint from my studio drawer and began my painting with lots of water and lots of pigments flowing together. Adding more warm colors in areas and more cool colors along the sides and in the sky. I threw is some water and some salt and let the painting dry. Sounds simple doesn't it? I repeated the process again and refined some of the tree shapes. Then I took off the masking fluid when the painting was completely dry, colored the moon and dropped in a few stars with a special secret recipe. Then the painting was done. What do you think, should I go back to documenting the landscape or continue with more of these experiences?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Do you know what a "Grain Elevator" is? This painting came from references of where I grew up in Ohio on a farm. While my dad was harvesting the grain and putting it into wagons, I would drive the truck from the farm to the grain elevator. There I would wait my turn in line and dump the grain into a bin and it would be stored until it was the right time to sell the grain. Depending on market conditions and when we needed money to pay the bills. I find buildings of any type interesting to paint. Especially if I have a story to tell in the painting. I put a few farmers in this painting to show it was a busy place to be. A few birds on the wires and a train track also help to tell the story. Growing up on the farm was an adventure in itself.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Every year in October the fields north of Lake Jessup come alive with a blanket of yellow wildflowers. Last year I took my camera and art supplies and walked through the fields at the Lake Jessup Conservation area. I took numerous photographs to use as references. It was still hot and humid in this area of Florida in October. As I walked through the wildflowers the bugs were still present so I didn't stop long enough to paint. One day in the studio all the artists participated in an event called Masterpiece In A Day. This event was a fund raiser for the local chapter of Meals on Wheels. I decided to create a painting featuring the Wildflowers & Palms that I experienced during that walk through the fields. At the end of the day the painting was sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds of the event were given to Meals On Wheels. It was a well accepted event and we have plans to do it again next February.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This week I went to Key West. Not really. I did this painting from a photo I took while in Key West a few years back. I used the photo as a reference for my demonstration in my watercolor workshop last week. I wanted to keep the sky simple, no clouds and do a wash dark to light. The light orange near the horizon was added later, as a nice compliment to the blue sky. I put in light washes of color on the buildings and fence so they they would not look plain white. A shadow of a palm on the front of the fence helped to break up the long fence and to lead your eye into the painting. The rooster was added on the fence to give some life to the painting. If you've ever been to Key West you probably saw some roosters running around, unless they were replaced by tourists.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I just completed this painting to send to a patron in Houston. He wanted this painting done to accompany a Produce Market painting I posted on this blog on June 24. Both subjects came from the Seattle area. Having Never been there I was working from a photograph that was given to me as a reference. I used my artistic license to change certain items, making boxes and barrels look wooden instead of plastic. The seafood counter was full of Dungeness Crab that was iced down to keep it cool. And of course there was salmon on ice too. A couple of people were added to the painting to give life to the composition. I wasn't sure I would be able to paint a whole bunch of abstract shapes and get them to look like crabs but I think I accomplished it. Everyone else that looks at the painting thinks so too. How about you?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
One place I always wanted to visit was Yosemite National Park. I guess my bucket list just keeps getting fuller. I didn't think I would ever have a chance to paint this park or any of its magnificent views. Then one of my students sent me some images he wanted for us to paint in class. One of these images was of Yosemite. The bright yellow of the aspen trees in fall created quite a contrast with the purple granite mountain in the background. This was a very good choice for a painting lesson. The negative shape of the dark rocks behind the light trees really made these objects contrast. Not to mention the complement of purple is yellow. A few quick brush strokes indicated the grassland and a mix of all the colors together made the stream look refreshing. Now I really want to go to Yosemite National Park.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Last weekend I delivered some paintings to a gallery in St. Augustine. While I wast there I did a quick tour of this nice old town and photographed some of the buildings. The history of St Augustine goes back hundreds of years and so do the buildings. I choose to do a painting of one of these old historic buildings. I was interested in the way the plaster looked and I wanted to achieve this texture on paper. I was working with arches 140# Rough and the paper texture was probably as rough as the plaster was. The sky was grey and boring in my photograph so I choose to make the sky brighter and changed it to an orange color. There was some orange in the old plaster and I also put orange into the window to reflect the sky color. It makes for a much livelier composition.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
This is one of my recent commissions. The photo reference was sent by a patron on one of his recent trips to Seattle. He previously owned his own farmers market business so I guess he was amazed at how large the Produce & Vegetable market was in Seattle. He also sent me a photo of a Seafood Market in Seattle so I will do that painting at a later date. I usually paint from my own photos but occasionally I will paint from someone else's photo if there is no way for me to take photos. When I work from my photos I usually take multiple photos at different angles and I can also take close up details of different sections. Then when I get into the studio I can spread out all the photos and take a little information from each photo to compose the painting. Sometimes I might take multiple photos and make a composition on the computer before I proceed to create the painting. I feel like I can taste the produce in this painting of Pike's Place, don't you?
Monday, June 14, 2010
I enjoy painting buildings, especially churches. Over the years I have painted many churches as wedding gifts, anniversaries and for other reasons. It is easy to connect with a church you belong to or one that you may have been married in. This week I was asked to paint the All Souls Catholic Church in Sanford. It is to be the wedding gift for the husband from the bride. I went on Tuesday morning to see when the lighting would be the best to photograph and paint the church. When I got there I realized the best time to do a painting of the church was right then. It was late morning and I wanted to get in the shadows before the sun was behind the front of the church. I immediately found my favorite angle and began drawing the church. The base color of the front of the subject and the shadows were one of the first things I painted. I found that there was a nice selection of flowers and crape myrtles in bloom in the landscaping for me to add into the painting. I came back the next morning to finish the painting and delivered it that night. The wedding was on Saturday. If you can think of someone who would like a painting of a church, send them my way.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I have always enjoyed painting barns, especially barns from the Northern United States. I did this painting as a demonstration for my Introduction to Watercolor class. The painting has a lot in it for the beginning student so it was a great learning demo. We learned a lot that day. Skies, trees in the distance as well as close up, a pasture and a simple barn to complete the composition. This scene came from a trip I took to Wisconsin one year. Often; when I travel, I drive off into the country with a camera and take photos of scenes I would like to paint when I get back home. It only took me six years to finally get around to painting this scene. Don't you sometimes feel the need to get back to the country?
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I was out for an early morning walk and noticed lots of lily pads floating in a nearby pond. It was early and the water lily flowers had not opened up yet. I enjoy taking a canoe or kayak into the lake and paddle around in the lily pads. I usually have a fishing pole with me too. Water lilies open later in the morning and then follow the sun as it rotates through the sky. Then they close up in the evening and wait to do it again the next day. This painting is from a photograph I took recently. I was painting these two different flowers because one flower shows its reflection in the water and the other lily shows its shadows as they danced across the lily pads. Don't you think painting a dark dramatic background helps push lighter objects forward?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Everyday deserves a nice sunset and in Florida it happens quite often. My dream in life is to have a place where I can watch the sun go down every night; and still be young enough to paint it. But for now I will continue to travel to places where my views are not obstructed by houses and buildings. Sunsets was my lesson for last weeks watercolor workshop. I moved to Florida almost thirty years ago and took this photo of the three palms. Looking to the west at the southern tip of Merritt Island I watched the sunset many evenings and have quite a collection of photo references. This workshop emphasized how to paint the sunset and its reflections with the many variations of colors. Of course another lesson in painting palms was thrown in too. I have many sunset paintings that reflect the places I have watched the sun go down. And almost just as many sunrise paintings.
Monday, May 3, 2010
The Winter Paint Out is over for another year. It was a great event and the weather held out for us all week. There were lots of wonderful paintings turned in from a great group of accomplished artists. I did this painting of the Casa Feliz during the paint out. It was designed by James Gamble Rogers II (1901-1990) a well known architect of Winter Park. I wanted to paint a section of the historical building, but when I got there I did what I usually do and painted the whole building. This painting will make a nice wedding present for the many weddings that are held at the Casa Feliz.
Monday, April 26, 2010
On opening day of the Winter Park Paint Out I did a watercolor demonstration in the gardens. Demonstrations aren't the easiest thing to do. I had the honor of showing thirty viewers how I go about creating a watercolor painting en plein air. I was emphasizing how I think in terms of abstract shapes while painting layers in different values. After two hours of talking and non-stop painting I had finished my demonstration. I think it went pretty good as only one person got up and left before I finished. I previously painted this scene a week before as I felt I should practice before I preformed in front of an audience. Doing a painting demonstration seems just like acting in a theatrical performance, including the butterflies.
Winter Park Paint Out
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Last weekend I painted on location at The Artistic Hand in Ovideo. Beautifully situated, this is a best-kep secret in the area. It is a quaint little artist's shop in this historic house in old downtown Oviedo. They have been here for quite a few years, giving classes in art and ceramics behind the house, and selling the pieces of local artists in the front. They have paintings, jewelry, ceramics, and sculptures for sale. Much better choices than the chain stores that import their goods from overseas.
353 N Central Ave
Oviedo, FL 32765
353 N Central Ave
Oviedo, FL 32765
Monday, April 12, 2010
Monroe Harbour Marina. Just a short walk to my studio. First, I asked the Harbour Master for permission to paint inside his property so I could get a closer view of the rigging. For this painting, I started with the sky, then moved into the foreground and painted the sandy dirt. Next I put some colors into the white of the hull an added the dark green underside. I finished the painting by adding the middle ground behind the boat and adding the riggings and stripes. This was a plein air study for a larger painting I plan to complete in my studio. I was told the boat belongs to a man named Santa and he was fixing it up to sell. Maybe I'll just put it on my Christmas list.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Each year for the past five years I have been invited to paint at Disney's EPCOT World Showcase as part of the Flower & Garden Festival. This event is always a lot of fun. Where else do you get to paint with thousands of people walking by and talking with you about your art. I really enjoy the kids who stop to watch me work on a painting. They like to talk about the art that they have created and what their plans are for their future. This painting is of the Tea Cottage in the Great Britain Pavilion. I used my artistic license to eliminate the other buildings that were next to the cottage. Choosing to put the cottage into a landscape setting instead having urban architectural buildings next to it. A person I met at the show said this was her favorite building in EPCOT. She purchased the painting and I shipped it to her home, back in Oregon.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I've recently started a class to teach watercolor painting. After thirty years of practice I've decided I must have something to share. The first two weeks I instructed seven students at Gallery on First. I did a demonstration in class and the students followed along. The subject was painting a white house in a simple landscape. I found a photo of an old house nearby and did a simple drawing. I started with the sky and then put some light colors into the building. I didn't let the sky dry before I started dropping colors in for the distant foliage. Mixing the different shades of green and adjusting values to make an interesting composition. I painted in the fence, darkened the side of the house and added shadows. The painting looks better than the old house did. If some one you know would like watercolor classes, please contact me so I can pay the rent on my "Old White House."
Friday, March 19, 2010
A full sheet of 22 x 30 watercolor paper is quite an ambitious painting for a paint out. I created the painting of the Path Along The Lake by working on the painting during a series of days at the same time each morning. I awoke refreshed each morning of the paint out. Especially because the temperature in the cabin was 38 degrees and I was glad the night was finally over. A lot of this painting was created while I had my winter coat and gloves on. I think spring is finally here and I look forward to a month of painting on location before the heat pushes me into the studio again. This path along the lake was where I would walk each morning while I decided where I would paint for the day. The first morning's walk produced a few deer, some water birds and I followed a bobcat for a while until he noticed he wasn't alone. Wekiwa Springs State Park is a great place to go to observe wildlife.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Another painting from the Wekiva Paintout includes a deer running across the field in front of the viewer. There were many sightings of deer in this park; usually at dawn and dusk. As I was driving through the park this deer ran right in front of my truck. I wanted to do a painting of the pine trees in the golden field of grass that was glowing in the park. So when I saw the deer run through the field I knew this would be my inspiration. The following night; a couple of hours before sunset, I started the painting. Beginning with the warm sunset and following with the distant trees the painting started taking on life. I enjoy the technique of painting natures grass so I started painting in the basic hues of the glowing grass. I painted a few of the smaller pine trees so they would blend in with the still wet trees in the distance. The sunset rapidly and I had to pack up and finish the painting the following night. What do you think about the combination of the warm sunset and the grasses with the cool pine trees and distant forest?
Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I have been invited by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens to again be one of the artist at the Winter Park Paint Out. It is an honor to paint with such a great group of established artists. Each year the participating artists create a painting in advance of the event to be juried as the poster art for this event. This was my entry this year "Albin's Courtyard." I did this painting on location over a series of days. Drawing one day, establishing the initial values another day then finishing the painting on a different day. I thought this was one of my better paintings. I enjoy the challenge of architecture and this particular view shows the variety of different angles and shapes of the buildings at the museum. No wonder it took a number of days to create this painting.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
It is winter in Florida and I enjoy the chance to paint some of the grasses that are dormant during the cold season. A recent frost has changed the color of the grasses to a raw sienna hue. A friend of mine; Linda, and I took a recent trip to Seminole State Forest west of Sanford. We stopped to do a painting of a small lake Linda and I came across. There was a variety of flora that I wanted to include in the composition; palms, pines, grasses and cactus. After finishing the painting we continued to explore the park. Seminole State Forest is one of many public properties in the scenic Wekiva River Basin. A few examples of the ecological diversity here are flatwoods, scrub, blackwater streams and bottomland forests. Be sure to get a permit in advance if you are planning to explore this state forest by motor vehicle. www.fl-dof.com/state_Forests/seminole.html
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
It was a slightly cool morning in Florida, our local plein air group was supposed to be painting at Wekiva State Park. However when I got there I realized I was the only one who showed up. This is not the first time this has happened. After a brisk walk around Sand lake in my winter coat I drove back to the main springs. A flock of wild turkeys greeted me in the parking lot and I was able to photograph a couple of them up close before they scurried into the safety of their woods. There were very few patrons in the park that morning so I set up my easel right on the bridge and began painting the Wekiva River. I was inspired by new growth on the red maples. A few brave soles took early morning canoe rides and swimmers enjoyed the warmth of the water coming out of the springs. I am looking forward to painting here next month at the Wekiva Springs Paint-Out.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I did a quick trip through Boston early last fall. I was only able to spend a short amount of time there and I didn't have time to do a painting but I did manage to take a few photos. When in my studio I like to experiment and push myself to create different moods and use different techniques. I started off by using masking fluid to preserve the light areas in the reflections on the waters surface and the lighter colors of the leaves on the trees. Then I painted right over these areas with a darker color. Letting some areas dry while some areas were still damp I continued to paint darker shapes to represent various values of the landscape. After these washes were dry I removed the masking fluid and painted very light washes on top of the white paper. A Walk In The Park was just a short trip from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The next time I visit Boston I will allow an extra day to visit the museum.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This week I did a watercolor painting demonstration for the Lake Mary Woman's Club. I had 45 minutes to do this demonstration and I wanted it to be large enough so everyone in the back of the room could see the progress of the painting. My favorite paper is 300# Arches cold pressed full sheets which are 30 x 22. Prior to the demonstration I did a plein air painting study of this composition and knew preciously what I wanted to accomplish. I started with the sky and put in the colors of the atmosphere which included various shades of blue, raw sienna and violet. These same colors are also used in the landscape and help to unify the painting. Next I painted in the basic colors of the marsh grasses before moving to the distant line of trees on the other side of the lake. I put in the foreground trees, some of the branches and pine needles and my demonstration ended as quickly as it started. However I wasn't satisfied with the painting. The actual location of the lake was a two minute walk from where I did the demonstration. I took my painting back to the lake and spent a couple more hours defining the details of the painting. A couple more hours in the studio and my painting of Lake Emma was complete.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Having the chance to complete my first plein air painting of the year took me to Kiawah Island S.C. I was visiting a friend for the New Year holidays and took the opportunity the first day to go out early and find a place to paint. I had it in my mind I wanted to paint the marsh in the winter. The earthly colors attracted my attention instead of the typical green pallet in Florida. There were not many places to park my car among the million dollar homes & golf courses but I did find a place at Bass Pond. I carried my gear to an opening where the water juts in close to shore. Walking around I found a lot of deer tracks. When I was half done with the painting, a deer went right through the marsh in front of me. I snapped a couple of quick photos and I plan to do a larger painting back in the comforts of my studio. By the way, it was 35 degrees when I did this painting. The gloves on my hands allowed my to paint for quite a few hours.