Spring

Spring Calf
Spring Calf

Inspired by a fellow blogger’s challenge to come up with something blue that says “spring”. http://decorartuk.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/something-in-common/  The local manatees came to mind right away. They are also known as sea cows and have a fairly bovine personality – sweet, slow and docile, not to mention big.

One time while walking near a dock I saw some manatees and one seemed to have a problem. After talking to a local officer they found that she had been playing this trick all along the coast and in fact she was fine, but seemed to like the attention. Silly cow.

Here’s a nice video, so you can see what they look like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7txP9MOCqs

Some basic manatee facts:

http://www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts.htm

and then there’s this – were they the basis for the myth of mermaids? I think so!

http://www.savethemanatee.org/sirenian.htm

Changing Course in 2014

As usual in the beginning of the year I think of all the millions of things that I want to do and this year I’m going to start with focusing on one thing.  It’s a huge thing, sort of overwhelming at times, but, I think I need to do it …… and it will consume the whole year.

For the past two years I’ve been participating in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) held in November – which is a challenge that Tara Lazar has organized. So, now I have two files of ideas, about 65 in all (not all good ideas) and it seems there ought to be something worth pursuing. http://taralazar.com

This year I’ve joined Julie Hedlund’s group – 12 x 12 in 2014, which is a writing challenge to write 12 children’s book drafts during the year, one a month, from the ideas generated in the aforementioned idea challenge. http://www.juliehedlund.com/

So I’m challenged and motivated to get some work done this year.

12-x-12-new-badge

Molly’s House Gallery

For locals – here is the season’s schedule for Molly’s House Gallery in Stuart, FL:

2013 2014 Gallery Flyer

My mostly beach themed paintings will be there in December, from the 5th until the end of the month.

Molly’s House is a 501(c)3 hospital hospitality house, providing temporary lodging for adult and children patients and their families who are receiving medical care on the Treasure Coast.

www.MollysHouse.org

 

Seabreeze

Seabreeze - Oil on Canvas - 20x24
Seabreeze – Oil on Canvas – 20×24

These trees are piney and I don’t know the name of them but I like the way they lean toward land as if the breeze showed them which way to grow. This is at the northern end of Hobe Sound Beach.

This painting isn’t huge but consumed a lot of paint. The paint was thickly applied with a fully loaded brush.  It’s a high key painting with hardly any darks.

Barley Barber Swamp

Barley Barber Swamp
Barley Barber Swamp – oil on board – 11×14

The only way to get to Barley Barber Swamp is to be taken there by bus. It’s located in the middle of FPL property in Indiantown, FL.  This link tells you more about how to get there if you’re local:  http://www.treasuredlands.org/blog/news and this one tells you more about the swamp:  http://www.barleybarber.org/

Once you get to the Seminole Inn and hop on the tour bus you get a bumpy ride past the FPL plant and arrive at the swamp in the middle of nowhere but is actually close to Lake Okeechobee that you can’t see from there. The tour follows a windy boardwalk through the ancient cypress swamp that is host to otter eating gators, many tree frogs and assorted rarely seen vegetation.

Toward the end of the boardwalk tour I captured several shots of the most beautiful area of the swamp where all the cypress needles had turned the land into a carpet of red. It would have been even more stunning if the sun were out that day.

The Reed Pen

The reed pen is a very simple instrument that van Gogh used to perfection during his time in Arles. Vincent made his own pens and after buying some I see why. The pens that you can buy at art supply stores are made of bamboo and the ones that I bought were marked small, medium and large – all the same price.  It took me a little while to figure out what the sizing meant. The sticks were similar in size and it was actually the points that were different sizes. After using the pens, I’ve decided to modify them to suit my needs because I find that the finer points aren’t very useful.

reed pens
reed pens

Drawing with a reed pen is fun and requires a mark making language. Mine needs more development. The paper I used was a heavy weight, 140 lb., hot pressed watercolor paper. van Gogh used laid paper and I did find some at Staples but haven’t tried it yet, other than to scribble and see how it feels. The reed pen flows better on the stationery than the watercolor paper. I’ll keep trying other papers until I find one that works best for me.

Here is my attempt at a reed pen ink drawing:

reed pen and ink drawing
reed pen and ink drawing

Red Flag

Red Flag
Red Flag

Yes, of course it’s another beach painting from Hobe Sound Beach. But, this time it’s done in pastels. Finally, I’ve gotten around to trying out the pallet of John Pierce Barnes to see how complete it is. Here’s the link to the older post:

http://hobesoundartist.com/2012/06/02/john-pierce-barnes/

It was very complete, just needed to go back to the big box for one stick of a darker tan and one better mid tone flesh color. It was nice to be limited to the smaller selection of colors and yet I felt as though I had plenty to choose from. Makes for a very portable pastel kit. If you do any plein air painting you know that’s a huge plus.

 

Fresh off the easel

More beach paintings! This time I’ve included a picture of each painting in their frames. These are small works, all 6×8 – oil on panel, and look great in wide white molding frames – the width of the molding is about 3 1/2 inches.

The brilliant blue is compliments of Gamblin – go to www.gamblincolors.com and click on Torrit Grey to see the paintings that were submitted. This year all Torritt Grey participants (remember the Torritt Birds http://hobesoundartist.com/2012/09/29/torrit-bird/) received a free tube of “Cote d’Azure” along with another tube (mine was white). The backstory is that their master paint maker, Matt and his wife Liz  went to France for their honeymoon and the water inspired this color. The color is perfect for Florida, hope they keep making it!

The paintings are all down at a small, new boutique in Hobe Sound; Juno Shoe Girl on S. Dixie Hwy.  The shop has a beachy theme and my beach paintings have sold well there. You can find more information about Juno Shoe Girl here: http://junoshoegirl.com/

More Sales!!!

My apologies for not keeping up with my blog however I started the year way under the weather and it really put be very far behind in every aspect of my life.  Plus, there have been way to many non art activities that I’ve been forced into by people who don’t appreciate my time nearly as much as I do.

But the good news is that there have been more sales that I’m happy to report and hopefully, I’ll get back to painting soon.

White City Water Lilies
White City Water Lilies
Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter Lighthouse
Caution Flag
Caution Flag – Oil – 5×7
Hobe Sound Life Guard Station
Oil on panel – plein air knife painting – 12×16

 

First Umbrella

first umbrella