Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Skies and the white dot trick

Here in the Keys, we have been having some really lovely big skies. The dark clouds move in, drop some heavy rain and move out. Leaving bright clouds and puddles. This is a painting of those skies with a marina in it. One of the things I learned while doing this painting is the white dot trick. I often use a dark spot in a painting to stop the eye from moving out of the picture plain. It acts like a period at the end of a sentence. In this painting I found that a white dot works just as well. I got this little insight when I placed the little area of light that comes between the two boats in the lower right hand corner. There is also a more muted one in the peak of the building at the edge of the left side. I have been looking at the work of English landscape painters lately, so this is painted with the palette I call my "gray skies palette" Lemon yellow, vermillion, ultramarine blue, naples yellow, yellow ochre, English red, and titanium white.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Searching for a title

Sometimes it seems that finding the right title is harder than painting. This lovely blue heron and turtle are from a photo on In the photo they were facing away from each other. But I wanted the painting to be about their relationship. I placed them facing each other and they are having a converstion. They are very comfortable in each other's company dispite their differences. Now I just need a title that will say all of that in two or three words. It may take me awhile but I will come up with one. This painting is 20" x 24" and is still on the drying rack.

P.S. However, a painting where they are not looking at each other might be an interesting way to show a shift in their relationship.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Low country marsh

I have been experimenting with painting with oils on a very absorbent ground. It is an acrylic gesso mixed with calcium carbonate. While this technique is new to me it is not new to others. It really speeds up the drying of the first coat of paint and lets the second coat go on without the colors getting muddy, which so often happens in oil painting. I did tweak this painting a little after I took the picture. I made the marina in the distance a little whiter and I made the the edge where the reeds hit the water a little darker.

I call it "A distant marina"

14" x 18" not sure if it is finished.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunny Day in Tuscany


I did a lot of painting this week and I have been continuing my "travels". I went to Italy, England, and the low country, USA. Here is my painting of Tuscany. I enjoyed wandering around these hills, but I'm not sure if the painting is finished yet.
12" x 16" oil

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loose and Juicy Flowers


Loose and Juicy Flowers

This week in painting class there was a large vase of flowers to paint. I had a large canvas and decided to paint loosely on the canvas the same as I did on paper last week. (See earlier post) I covered the canvas with various blues mixed with a lot of water. While it was still wet I sprinkled it with alcohol. That is was created the spots with halos. Then I took white and did a thin negative shape painting of the vase, flowers and table top. Then I laid in the large yellow flowers as focal points and worked all over the canvas adding more flowers and leaves.

This is the finished piece. I'm happy with it.

This is what the sky looked like while we were painting (the class is out doors). If I ever put two twin clouds like that in a painting they would just look fake.


"Wild Flowers" 24" x 20"

framed in a white frame SOLD

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The colors of summer

I love watching art instructional DVDs. I recently added several new ones to my collection with the intention of watching them while I am on the elliptical trainer. It is amazing how fast 35 minutes go by while I am watching someone who wants to share painting skills. One of my new DVDs is by Robert Burridge, on painting loose floral paintings. I have taken a Burridge workshop before so watching the DVD was like a refresher course and I think I put it to good use with this fun painting. Another exciting thing is that Mr. Burridge is going to be in Key West in February conduction a plein air workshop. I have already signed up and can't wait.

Most of my other DVDs are on plein air painting and it is so beastly hot I'm not sure when I'll paint outside again. Although now that I think about it my studio isn't air conditioned so what's the dif? ( At least I'm out of the sun and have lots and lots of fans.)

"The colors of summer"

11" x 14" acrylic on paper

matted and framed (black with a gold edge) to 16" x 20"


A Moment in Venice

Late summer and September is when Key Westers head for Europe and other fun spots. The town gets quiet and everyone is sick of the heat and mosquitoes, so it's a good time to "get out of Dodge". I won't be headed to Europe any time soon but thanks to I can be a vicarious traveler. On there is a section where artists (very generously) share their photos and allow other artists to use them without any copyright infringement issues. I found a lovely little photo of Venice that was really fun to paint.

Note to artists; You might have to go through a lot of photos before you find one you like.

Recent firing.

Last Friday's firing had the recently discussed chip and dip pieces, some fish spoon rests for Margaritaville Key West's web site, some coasters and a special order plaque.

A customer came to me about a month ago with a special request. She wanted the above saying on a plaque that could be outside in the weather and she wanted it a certain size. Other than that I could do what I wanted. I came up with this little scene to go with her text. I hope she likes it. It leaves via UPS tomorrow for her house in Tallahassee.

Three chip and dips, one very tropical and two not so much.

Of the three chip and dip pieces I made recently I decided to do only one with a tropical theme and two that are packed with bright colors but no specific motifs. I do love the tropical flora and fauna but I can understand that not everyone does. So for those people, there are two color-packed contemporary style chip and dips.

Tropical chip and dip $124.00

Comtemporary chip and dips $94.00

In 7 Artists Key West gallery now.

604 Duval Street
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