It's interesting how just a few changes can have a major impact on a painting. After painting the first turtle, which was portrait style piece, by that I mean just the turtle, I decided I wanted to put the turtle in a landscape, after all I love to paint landscapes. So I had the idea that the turtle would be searching for the right beach to lay eggs, which happens at night, I think. But now, the painting looks more like an illustration (not that there's anything wrong with that) for a children's book than a painting. Maybe just too............. cute. But not sure how to change it or if I want to. Here's the first turtle pic for comparison.
This is not as good a photo as the one above, it is washed out and not as sharp for some reason.
Sometimes it seems harder to title a painting than to paint one, and titles are important. They give you a second chance to make a connection with the viewer. The first with the image, the second with the title. But I am clueless on this one. But it will come to me in time.
But one thing I want to share about this painting is that is started out as a Robert Burridge style drip painting. He usually demonstrates "drip trees", but I turned it into sailboats. For those of you not familiar with the technique, you put a band of very loose paint across the top of the canvas, you turn the canvas upside down and let the drips run down the canvas. Then you let the drips become the tree trunks and do some negative shape painting at the top to define the tree shapes, then paint on until all your areas are resolved. I did the same thing but I flipped the canvas so that the drips became the sailboat masts. Now, back to the title dilemma, something about dawn? something about a fleet? Maybe "White Sails in the Sunrise", too corny? Oh well, I have to get to work, everyone have a great day.
I spent most of the summer in a serious study of painting fundamentals, (most of the results were not blog-worthy) and most of the fall making pottery for Margaritaville, so Sunday I grabbed a few quiet hours in my painting studio and busted out a turtle. I don't think I ever painted one before but it was fun and maybe a little self-indulgent. My goal was to stay loose but not forget the fundamentals, (or rules or best practices, whatever you want to call them).
I call him Calypso, very Island-y and also the name of J. Cousteau's boat. And I see the tutle as an explorer of the seas and this painting as an exploration of fast and loose. He'd be perfect for a child's room or that white room that needs a pop of color.
acrylic on canvas
20" x 24"
to help make sure that all of Jimmy's fans have a wonderful holiday season.
I was thrilled to be included in Margaritaville's Christmas catalog. I have been making mugs and plaques non-stop for quite awhile now. ( Well, I did take a little break at Thanksgiving to enjoy my family.) However, the exposure has been great and the Margaritaville people are a joy to work with, so really who could ask for more. But please note that I am saving a mug for myself to have a hot buttered rum over the holidays.
Do you want your own copy of the catalog or to view it on line? Click here to get to Margaritavillekeywest.com then scroll down to the current issue of the Coconut Telegraph. I'd love to chat more but I have to get back on that potters wheel.
I took my acrylic paints with me on vacation just in case I got a chance to paint and sure enough there where a couple of days where it was great just to stay indoors and use my memory of Key West to paint some fun and funky conch house cottages. The above one is Pearl Street in Bloom
I call this one Hibiscus Cottage. I have two lovely hedges of red hibiscus flowers in my yard. I would love to have that riot of flowers.
I call this one Golden Rod Cottage. I was in North and South Carolina and the golden rod was in bloom all along the highways, really pretty.
I know I haven't been very chatty lately but I have been working away. I have been working mostly in oils but this is a new acrylic for a group show at TSKW that opens in a couple of weeks.
The studio isn't staying as neat as I had hoped, but then they never do.
This is the outside of the building my studio is in. I'm on the top floor up there on the left.
The address is 610 White Street. The ground floor houses the achitecture office of Tom Pope and the upstairs houses 3 artists studios. Visitors are welcome. Come by and see me, but it's good to call first to make sure I'm there and not at home making pottery. 305 304-1013
It's a second floor walk up in an old conch house in Old Town Key West.
With wavy glass windows and lots of light.
It has a great built in cupboard and creaky wood floors.
I brought in my painting gear, put down a rug to quiet the floor and my friend David Scott Meier gave me the fabulous chair and some lovely roses.
I put the chair where I can sit back and look at the easel. I put the easel so I don't look into the light from the windows. I am currently working on a sunflower painting and I want to be looking right into their faces, so I am sitting at their level while I paint.
In June I answered a "call for artists" from the The Studios of Key West, they were looking for artists to fill recently vacant studios. The written part of the applications was due July 1st. That was followed by an interview and then the anxious waiting to see if I was selected. I was thrilled when I found out I was. The studio became vacant August 8th and I moved in that day. My pottery studio remains in my house, but now I can paint in a wonderful air conditioned space where my paints can stay out and waiting for me. I neglected to take photos of the outside. I will do that next.
Thank you DSM for the chair. Thank you TSKW for accepting me. David has a blog too, check it out when you get a chance.
I was wandering around blog land and I saw a beautiful use of pink and blue together in a loose flower painting and decided to use those colors as a basis for series of my own summer flower paintings. I broke out my dollar store fake flower collection and got to work. This is the result. If you have time please check out the inspiration at True Colors. Scroll down to her June 18 post. You will be glad you did.
All of these paintings are 15 x 11 on Arches paper.
Well the answer is YES! if you are The Studios of Key West. TSKW (as they are know) is in the historic Armory building in old town Key West. This cultural mecca recently aquired a Rick Worth painted and tricked out van to give the building added curb appeal (as if it didn't already have it). It's a real feather in your cap to own a Rick Worth painted car. Rick doesn't have his own web address but his work can be seen at Lucky Street Gallery and he has a opening there on July 1.
I wish I could say that I painted this en plein air, but it has been raining to beat the band this week, so I did this in oil from a photo I took.
This is just a quick story about the recent change in my header photo. Why the Blue Heaven building you are wondering? When I arrived in Key West in 1985 I was looking for a studio space, my cute little house was only about 600 sq ft so there was no work room. This building was around the corner from my house and it had a small cadre of artists renting studios and living spaces. See that little window on the ground floor above what looks like a bike rack. That was my space, very small and dark, one window facing the street and one door. The rent was $75 a month. I can't really remember why, but over the years, the other artists went away and for years I was the only tenant. Then the building was rented to aspiring restaurant owners and the building became a lively happening place once again. Long story short the restaurant owners bought the building, the neighborhood became trendy, the restaurant decided my space would be perfect for wine storage. I was in that small and wonderful space from 1985 to 1996. So I had a twinge of nostalgia when I was doing the painting.
All those memories.
2016 update: I look at that wonky little watercolor and I'm almost embarrassed by it. But then I think, it shows growth, how cool is that?
I went on a sailing excursion recently with the Key West Art Center. Our group had an end of season (tourist season) get together before our snowbird members headed north. It was great fun and the sunset was awesome. We left from the Key West Historic Seaport on the schooner Wolf. Above is the view while we were leaving the harbor.
I got to enjoy the experience twice by continuing my watercolor series of favorite local places by doing several paintings from the above photo. This one is the "keeper". But I do wish I had made my darks a little darker. I'll have to give it another go.
The skies were very stormy and the clouds were a lovely lavender.
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. That's what it's all about.
That about sums how I was feeling while I was doing these watercolor paintings of the Green Parrot Bar. My watercolor skills are minimul, so when I see something I want to change I have to start over. This Green Parrot series had nine takes. These are the only ones I can show you.
The Green Parrot Bar is a favorite with Key West residents and visitors. There is a lovely Royal Poinciana tree just out side the doors and it is just coming into bloom. If you are ever thinking of coming to Key West. When the Poincianas are in bloom May through mid July is always pretty.