Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Boat Docks

I was recently part of a group of artists participating in a marine and wildlife exhibit at a local Art Gallery in Orlando. I was asked to work on a painting in the gallery while the patrons were viewing the art that was available for sale. I had recently been to Cedar Key and thought that a painting of that area would be a good subject to work on. I enjoyed my short stay there at Cedar Key. I spent a lot of time walking around the old boat docks and viewing the boats from the spaces between the mangroves. Some of the old boat docks are in dire need of repair and for some reason I am attracted to them. Perhaps it is because I don't have to draw a straight line. Are you one of those people that say you could never be an artist because you can't draw a straight line?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lake Maitland Morning

Sitting on a boat and painting is one of my favorite pastimes. I feel as if I am the only person in the world and nothing else matters. Once is a while a boater will come by on a kayak and nod as they pass by. They are probably wondering what I am up to. Then there is the guy with the oversized boat and wake boarder that come too close to me and create waves that make it difficult to paint. After a few minutes they are gone and I am allowed to continue in peace. This is a painting from Lake Maitland. Most of the lakefront is built with houses on the shoreline. Sometimes I prefer to just leave the houses out of the painting. When searching for a place to paint on a lake, I usually look for a place that is secluded and in the shade on the hot days of summer.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Casa Feliz

This is my most recent commission. The patron picked up the painting this week and took it to Tampa to be framed before he gives it to his wife for her birthday gift. I found out he choose this historic brick building because this was where he and his wife were married. I waited for over a month to be able to go to this location and take reference photographs because it was always cloudy and rainy in the Florida afternoons. We had decided on this side of the building and I wanted the light from the afternoon sun to be lighting up the old bricks. There was finally a day with few clouds in the sky and when I got there; another wedding was being conducted right where I wanted to paint. I had to leave. I did end up going back there the next day and the rain held off so I started my painting. It took a few more days to finish it up. The Casa Feliz is obviously a favorite place for weddings.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Statue In The Garden

I was invited to a friends home on a lake to consider possible inspiration for painting. I thought she wanted me to do a painting for her. I took many photos of their multi-million dollar home and envied the people who lived there. When I contacted them later they told me they didn't really have room for any more paintings. What a shame. I could have painted in their garden for hours. Later on I decided to do a painting of one of their statues. It looked so beautiful and secluded as it stood along the side of the house anchored in fragrant flowers. I have been told not to put the focal point in the center of a painting; like I did this time. But sometimes I just don't like to follow the rules.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

When I moved to Florida over 30 years ago one of the first things I purchased was a surf fishing rod & reel. I have enjoyed many days of getting my feet wet in the sand while casting my line out into the ocean in attempt of catching a fish or two. I've had whiting, red fish, and even a couple of sharks take the bait on my line. It's such a joy to be out there. If I actually catch a fish that's just an extra bonus. Sometimes I leave my fishing poles behind and take my paints and brushes to paint the waves in the ocean. One such day a fisherman stood next to me and fished for hours. I decided to add him into my painting along with a couple of his bird friends. Let me know if you like this painting.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sunset on Lake Maitland

While painting during the Winter Park Paintout a couple of months ago I took my easel down by the lake at Kraft Azalea Gardens. I watched the sunset over lake Maitland with the cypress tree silhouetted against the sky and lake. On the first night I painted the sunset. Then I went back a few days later and painted the cypress tree. The water level was so low that the cypress knees were exposed more than I had ever seen them before. This painting was sold at a silent auction to help raise funds for our church to send members on a mission trip to Nicaraqua.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cedar Key

Spending a few days in Cedar Key was like stepping back in time. Quite a nice area to enjoy boats, marshes and sunsets. The last evening there, we were there provided with a beautiful sunset from The Hideaway Tiki Bar just before Tropical Storm Beryl set it. I was able to get up the next morning and do two paintings before the bands of rain started to sprinkle drops of water on my watercolor paintings.
One of the most photographed sites is the now dilapidated pier; which used to have a small house on it. I resisted the temptation to paint it, until I saw the wonderful colors of the morning clouds before the storm set in. Then I headed for that old pier, knowing I I had just the right opportunity to paint it in front of the sunrise.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Chicks

I was photographing an old barn in St. Augustine where they keep the horses for the carriage rides. I noticed a couple of chickens scratching in the dirt by the barn so I snapped a quick photo. I used the photo to do a painting of chickens in my studio. I liked the idea of one white chicken and another that was quite different. I emphasized how to paint light colors to look like white feathers. Then I painted a darker brown chicken and used darker strokes of paint to show the differences in the feathers. One chicken was placed in front of the other; just slightly, to help me get the 3-dimension feeling on the flat surface of the watercolor paper. A few dark boards were painted in the background to add a little interest. Do you think I should add some chicken wire to complete the coop?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lakeside Living

The Winter Park Paint Out is over for another year. It was a great adventure to paint with 26 other artists and see what each person created during this week long event. The big gala was a sold out event again this year. Many patrons came to see what the artists painted and they purchased paintings to support the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. Winter Park is a great place to paint with views from Rollins College, Park Avenue shops, the chain of lakes and local parks nearby. I had a chance to paint at a private home on Lake Osceola during the event. I chose this view that showed a little of the porch and the pool house overlooking Lake Osceola. The shadows across the lawn made the scene so inviting. I didn't want to leave there when I finished my painting. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go back and paint there again someday.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Gardner at The Polasek Museum

This is a painting of Randy when he was busy taking the tops off the older flowers. He is the person in charge of the gardens at The Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. I'll be visiting with him next week when I am painting in his garden during The Winter Park Paint Out. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculp­ture Gar­dens hosts its Fourth Annual Win­ter Park Paint Out dur­ing the last week of April. Twenty-six pro­fes­sion­ally acclaimed plein air artists will roam across Winter Park cap­tur­ing many of your favorite land­scapes and land­marks with oils, water­col­ors and pastels.
I will be doing a painting demonstration at 10AM Wednesday 4/25 under the big tent. I hope you'll join us.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Day At The Beach

One of my favorite subjects to paint is the beach with the ocean and the sky in the background. I've done quite a few paintings of the beach and many are now in the homes of people who enjoy the beach as much as I do. Mom said she took me to Panama City Beach within a few days after I was born. I can't remember it; however, it does explain why I still have sand in my sandals. There are many things I enjoyed painting while creating this scene; the sky, the sea oats, the ocean and now I am trying to master the waves of sand on the beach. Just a few strokes up close to show how I saw the ripples in the sand, I didn't need to do it throughout the painting. This painting is now hanging in a condo in Satellite Beach, FL. Wouldn't you like one in your home?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cabin at Wekiwa State Park Youth Camp

After a week of painting at the Wekiwa State Park and the the Wekiva River it is good to sleep in my own bed again. Not that having a cabin all to myself was that bad. I would have liked a little heat on a couple of those nights. The full moon kept the path lit at night so I could find the bathroom. I got a few nice photos of deer and turkeys early in the morning when I was looking for the next spot to paint. I will go back to my studio and create some paintings from the photos; one of these days. As I sat on the front porch of my cabin, I painted the cabin next door in the youth camp. The shadows of the trees stretched across the wall of the cabin. Can you imagine sleeping in that building with ten kids?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spruce Creek

Sometimes a sky can be bold and beautiful. Many cloud formations make for great paintings. I always wanted to live somewhere that I could watch the clouds pass over the landscape without ever seeing any buildings in sight. For now, I'll just drive out of the city and watch the clouds from one of the local parks I visit. This painting of clouds is from Spruce Creek near New Smyrna, FL. I was doing a demonstration for my class last weekend showing how to paint clouds in the sky. The secret is to paint them loosely and quickly in watercolor. If I spend more than five minutes painting a sky, I think I have overworked it. The rest of the painting was painted rather loosely also. Sometimes; not showing a lot of detail, lets the viewer use their own imagination to connect the dots. And I'm not referring to the birds in the sky. Did you notice them?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lake Helen Barn

During the last plein air painting event I attended in Lake Helen I went for a drive through town one morning. I found this little old barn on the outskirts of town. It was one of those old barns that looked like it was about to fall down. Overcome with growth, this barn hadn't been used in years but it stood there as an icon of days past. I stopped my car and did a quick painting. As I was painting, a person stopped by to tell me she saw someone painting that barn some twenty years ago and she purchase the painting from that artist. She was so proud of it she went home and took the painting off the wall and came back to show it to me. The field was full of pink wildflowers. She told me to come back in May and I might see some of the wildflowers at that time. I was especially interested in the white tree that stood out in front of the barn, I painted part of the tree with a masking fluid in the beginning then added a few more small branches with white in the end. I feel like the limbs are reaching out to touch you.