Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunset Cruise

Bikes are fun

 We've been having some wonderful sunsets lately here in Key West.  The kind with giant pink clouds on the horizon that are always a favorite subject of mine.  I've been wanting to paint more of these iconic Key West beach cruisers, so I decided to combine the two. 

 Bikes like this are common all over the island.  No hand brakes and seat and tires that are a little wonky.  They often have a dog in the basket, but I gave this one some sunset colored flowers.

 Bikes are a great way to get around the island. And if you come for a visit they are super easy to rent.

Beach Cruiser
acrylic 24 x 24 "
©Maggie Ruley 2015
September is a great time to visit Key West the crowds are gone and the water is still  warm.  If you are coming for a visit be sure and let me know
A great place to rent bikes is Eaton Bikes. It's right around the corner from my studio. I love that they have local artists painting "art bikes" for them.

Front door of Island Inspirations
with Beach Cruiser
photo Maggie Ruley

What's coming up in Key West

There's always some sort of festivity going on here and next on our list of "Things to do" is
Key West BrewFest

6th Annual Key West BrewFest

Key West BrewFest
September 2nd – September 7th, 2015

Because the last 5  BrewFest’s have been so much fun and such a success, we’re doing it again and creating a 6 pack! Join us, in Key West over Labor Day weekend, September 2nd – September 7th, 2015. The Southernmost Hotel Collection has teamed up with the Key West Sunrise Rotary of the Conch Republic to host Key West BrewFest.  All proceeds to benefit the Rotary Club and their charitable efforts.  Events from beer dinners, beer brunches, happy hour parties, pool parties, late-night parties, seminars and the Signature Tasting Festival Event are some of the great activities we have on tap for you! And, try tasting over 150 beers in one weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's All In the Story

Bermuda Rooster
Photo, Ed Galda

It's all in the story.

Okay, so I get an email from my cousin Ed, well not really my cuz, he's my cousin's husband, asking me to do a painting of a rooster based on the above photo.

First thought: What's not right here?  The rooster is mostly in shade and he's just a tiny part of this photo. So I'm not really sure what he wants. 

 But then, he gives me the story and I totally get it. Here are some tidbits  you need to know.  My cousin's daughter, April, is a professional athlete. She races all over the world in cycling races.  I love my cousin and her husband to the moon and back and the fact that they are her hugest fans is totally cool.

He tells me what happened and why he wants the painting and that is everything I need to bring his story to life. 

Here's what he wrote to me:

"Here's the story behind it.  On Father's Day 2013 we were in Bermuda.  April had a bicycle race (Bermuda national championships) and volunteered her father to be driven to a street up in the hills, given a stop sign and a vest, and told to control traffic at a tricky intersection (with no bathroom and little shade) for 3 hours.  I would step under some trees off the road periodically and this chicken seemed to take exception to my presence.  I turned to look at him and was met with this aggressive pose.  It's one of my favorite Bermuda stories"

Well, once I knew he had an aggressive rooster story to tell I was on it.  Here is my take on his story.

Bermuda Rooster
acrylic on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2015

When I painted his rooster I was very careful to keep the coloring and the stance the same as his photo but I had to bring the rooster's face into the light so I could give it a mean glare.

P.S.  I loved how he would stand in the middle of nowhere for his daughter and face down a rooster.  We have lots of roosters in Key West.  They can be tough.

P.P.S.  Here is the testimonial I got from him when he received the painting.
"Love the painting more and more each time I look at it.  You did capture everything so well.  You've moved up on my list of favorite artists and are now ahead of Monet, tied with Miro, but still behind Van Gogh and Delacroix."

Really?  Tied with Miro?   I love Monet, not a fan of Miro.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Words of Wisdom from Picasso

That is so true, the best way to stay inspired is to keep working.

I'm experimenting with ways to make my paintings feel a little like my pottery. So I quess, one form of my work is inspiring another.

Painting in progress with pottery plate for inspiration
Maggie Ruley handmade ceramic platter and
acrylic painting 18 x 18"
©Maggie Ruley 2015

Painting in progress
acrylic 18 x 18"
©Maggie Ruley 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Finding Inspiration

Misty Dawn
acrylic 20" x 16"
©Maggie Ruley 2015

Finding Inspiration

We have been having some really lovely sunrises lately and my friend Judy Pino has been taking some wonderful photos of them.  I'm always inspired by them when I see them on Facebook. Scroll down and see how she has captured those peach tones, just yummy. 
I paint a lot of sunsets, but somehow the sunrises seem softer, quieter.  So I glommed onto her photo and painted Misty Dawn. Inspiration isn't about copying something, it's about discovering something.  I'm going to say that again, in case you are just skimming through this.
Inspiration isn't about copying something, it's about discovering something.
Judy and I have been painting students of Jim Salem for years. He is hugely inspirational to all his students. I've talked about Jim's painting classes in the past, and if you want to be so inspired, do yourself a favor and click on his link.
Dawn photo by Judy Pino
used with permission
Thank you Judy!
©Judy Pino 2015
Judy is also an avid painter and world class fisherwoman.
My painting students are always looking for fresh ways to paint palm trees.  Palms are harder then they look.  I tell them the air around the palm tree, the negative space, is what makes or breaks a palm.
My students decided they wanted to paint the sunrise palm.  I gave them a quick demo (that sold before I got a photo of it) and off they went to create their own palm trees.
It was a very small class that day
students of Maggie Ruley
photo Maggie Ruley 2015

Note to Readers:

I've decided to post more often.  I paint all the time but I often don't  blog because I feel like I don't have anything IMPORTANT to tell you.  Well, that's the way studio life is.  You just keep painting and very often there isn't anything earth shattering about the piece.  You paint, you learn, and hopefully, grow.  I'll be sharing more of what I paint, but sometimes it might just be a picture and a short blurb about what happened that day. And some days I'll have some fun things to tell you.


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