Friday, June 29, 2018

Painting and Saling

I got to go sailing on this beautiful boat, Gift of Time, in the Gulf off Cedar Key.
Bob G spent many years working on this boat and sorting out all the details with a boat builder.  It was a one man job for the most part. There are still many of the functional and rigging details to work out but it's finally ready to sail.  It was built from plans with the finest materials and meticulous detail.  This was not the maiden voyage but only about the 3rd time it's been in the water.  This was, however, the first over night adventure. I love sailing so this was a chance to get out on the water. 

After some time at the ramp setting up the rig we were joined by a couple from Gainesville, We got the boat in the water and motored out the channel. It was mid day before the breeze picked up and we had motored all the way out to the last marker so we turned around and headed back with a steadily increasing wind all the way back. She sails great! Handles well at the helm and likes a good bit of wind.There was a it of boat traffic as we neared the ramp and dock area so we headed up to wind and pulled down the sails.
Unfortunately I don't have a bunch of pictures of us salting.  We were too busy sailing !

 After we dropped off our crew in the late afternoon, we found a good spot to anchor with some other boats and got to enjoy a Cedar Key sunset. It's been years since I slept on a boat so I was a little apprehensive about the rocking motion and sounds of the water on the hull. But once the sun went down and we got a bite to eat there wasn't much else to do but hit the bunks. Sleep came instantly.

I grabbed this little 5 x 7 sketch with the Elegant Writer marker and a water brush before the sky started to show some color.  I wasn't prepared with my paints to attempt a sunset painting.  Sunsets are tough because they happen so fast. I really need to start way ahead of time with the drawing and get all set up with some mixed colors so when the last few minutes of color start to happen I'm are ready for it.
  Sunrise is another story. I have more time as the light increases and the sky goes from gray purple to orange and yellow.

It's so nice to have a chance to just sit and watch the sun come up.  The sky changes every second from one beautiful scene to the next. Keep your eye on my newsletter and my Etsy Store to see when this sun rise becomes an oil painting

It was a beautiful morning sky.  I can see an oil painting of this one coming up

That's not to say it's easy!  But it's fun to try to knock out these little watercolors as fast as possible as the sky changes quickly! It's great practice. But I will use these little sketches as reference to do a bigger oil

It was a beautiful morning with an interesting sky

The little 5 x 7 watercolors of the sun rise and my portable set up 
Cedar Key in the morning before all the power boats launch.  Given more time, this would be a challenging subject to tackle. 

We pulled up anchor and motored around a bit more before heading to the ramp to put her back on the trailer to head for Gainesville

I had time to do one more water color marker sketch as we cruised by the Atsena Otie island. It was a brief but very enjoyable trip on a beautiful little boat.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Something New From Something Old.

 I was in my "paint room" organizing and packing paintings for  the "Vine" show (video of set up) . When I came across an old oil and cold wax painting from January of 2015 and it reminded me of the springs. I was sort of lamenting the fact that I didn't have the painting I did at the Springs Paint Out so I decided to re work the old one into something new.
Blue Springs Re Visited, 8 x 10, Oil and cold wax on panel
Contact me for details on delivery
as of this writing it is still for sale at the Vine,

This is what the painting looked like in 2015 and It had some of the same colors so I thought maybe it could be about the springs. 
  I got out the color studies I did from the weekend at the springs and looked at pictures of the painting I did that day.
Blue Springs 6 x 8 oil on canvas panel painted on location during the paint out

Here is what I came up with and below is the process I went through.

3 watercolor studies i did on location at Blue springs

These first 4 images are done with the drawing program on my phone.  I wanted to get an idea of how it would look if I altered the original


I got this far with my editing and decided to go for it
starting point

The first application of paint. All the work on this version was done with the palette knife

the finished 8 x 10 painting

If the pay pal button is still visible the painting is still for sale.  Thanks for the your continued support.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cade Museum Paint in out

I was out of my comfort zone. The new Cade Museum was having their "sneak peek" preview on Sunday and I was invited, with another painter, to paint live and on location inside the building on Thursday. Michelle Nagri was also there doing a photo shoot of the beautiful and interesting building interior and exterior for her blog. It was a different situation than I had been in before. I would be indoors and painting "whatever I wanted." I didn't have all day. The museum would be open for 4 hours so I would have just 2 or 3 hours to paint.
  I have never really painted interiors before so I really didn't know what I  was getting myself into. I had not been in the building before but I knew it was 2 floors with lots of glass. Would I be doing an aerial view of the parking lot? That might be interesting. When I walked in I found that the ground floor is one big room with glass side.
I felt like a fish out of water. We just got the invite on Thursday and the event was on Sunday. Fortunately I had just come back from painting the Springs and my paint kit was ready to go and so was I. It usually takes me several hours and at least one painting to get my skills back and feel comfortable enough to get started. This day was a little different because I had had the practice at the springs but didn't have the luxury of time I had to get set up and get to work if I was going to do an actual painting.
  I've learned that the best way to get started is to just start.  A composition will often appear almost anywhere if you look hard enough. So the more important thing for me is to find a comfortable place to stand. The light in this place is great. It's like standing outside in the shade. So I set up camp in front of a big bank of windows overlooking a small part of the pond and the park. I could have taken a wider view and brought in some distance and more purples and blues. Instead, as I often do, I zoomed in. 

This clump of grass and reeds was right in front of me and I thought it might make a good painting.  I liked the contrast of the dark holes around the base of the reeds. The lines of the dried weeds were creating some interesting angles that I could use some scratching through the paint to create. I liked the 3 main shapes, and the light against dark and the dark against light. Reflections are always interesting and challenging to me. Lines, and shapes, here we go.

The big sketch book came first.  What is interesting here? is it worth a painting?

Just getting started with a couple of small sketches.
It almost always helps me get started if I do a value sketch first.  I can figure out where things are going on the page, what's the composition, where are the darks and lights.  How can I make this interesting? Here you can see the charcoal and chalk study on the right and at the top of my hand held "easel" I have started a gouache color study.  I can also see in these sketches that I was thinking about the clump of grass as an island in the pond with some background around it.

Getting started laying in the big shapes of dark and mid tones on a toned board.

Nearing the end. I often like to work flat or almost flat instead of vertical so I turned my box around and made the top my table. I've got the main subject in and I used the knife to move paint back and forth over the reeds scratching back to the canvas in some areas
The completed 8x10 oil on panel. You can order it here unframed for $160.00.  This painting sold through my news letter  Ignore the button if you see it 

Tracy was getting started on a visionary piece.  This was her first attempt at doing a painting in public!

she dove right in and got a pretty good start on it

She didnt get it finished but it's a great start.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Springs Paint out.

Day one
 Many of the most beautiful springs in Florida are in North Florida. I joined with about 15 other painters to go on location and Paint the Springs  This paint out was sponsored by Lanza Gallery and Art Supply of High Springs.

the boat ramp at Hwy 27 over the Santa Fe river. I was able to walk along the bank and find a good place to see the river and other bank to do some sketches. I got there around 3 pm so only had time for a couple of sketches. I liked this view of the old trunk in the sunlight surrounded by shadow

The sun and wind kept changing as usual but when the wind let up the water smoothed out and gave me some good reflections. Graphite and hard pastel on toned paper
 This sketch was done with speed ball Elegant Writer markers.  Water based ink that can be spread with a wet brush. The black is made up of a green and red ink that separates when thinned with water

This is the same view but zoomed out a bit.  The tree trunk can still be seen in the dark shadow but now the trees on the right are lit up and, in the real scene not captured well by camera, the contrasts were strong with the surrounding foliage

 I always feel like I need to go as fast as possible when sketching out doors. I probably ought to try slowing down and strive for more accuracy.

The Great Out Doors was very nice to us!  They gave us free appetizers and beer at the end of the first day. Thanks to Tina Lanza for setting this up

Day 2
 we all went to Blue Springs which is now a state park. It being Thursday, the crowds were pretty small and it was fairly quiet. It was a beautiful day and several people were painting
this is the spot I decided to paint from. I"m in the shade and I liked the color gradation from sandy blue in the background to deep Prussian blue in the deep hole

you can see the edge of the ledge and the deep hole from this angle

I did a  5 x 7 gouache (watercolor) sketch to get the hang of the shapes and colors and got started on the 6 x 8 oil

I got this 6 x 8 oil on canvas panel done on location in one sitting. That doesn't seem like much but it's pretty huge for me. Thanks to Robin Popp for giving me the right blue for the job!
  Day 3
 Friday was Ginnie Springs day.  What a completely different place it was !  It was like a giant party. This spring is still private and it's big including 3 springs and lots of camp sites, People with loud music from their pickups and people floating down the river in packs singing and yelling.

Several of us set up at a picnic area around the Devels Eye Spring.  I got one 8 x 10 started but the complicated shadows and reflections got the better of me.  I gave up when 4 people decided to splash around right in fornt of me
Day 4
 Saturday was much more productive  We were invited to paint at the launching area belonging to the Blue Bird sub division.  I managed to get there early this time. There were about 5 of of to start but later in the afternoon it was just me and Frank Barone
when I was neer the end and putting in the high lights, the sun had moved and light as shining on the left bank so trees.

I should have left that left side darker as a balance of values for the bright light on the right. 

It took 2 or 3 hours to get this 8 x 10 oil done with brush and palette knife.  I still had to work on it at home a little before hanging it in the show.

This 8 x 10 however, went much faster.  I picked a simple composition and worked fast mostly with the knife.  This is an on locaton shot but I did work on it some when I got it home. All paintings are for sale and hanging at the Lanza gallery and Art Supply in High Springs.  It was  a successful paintout and I had a good time adn got some decent work out of it.