Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Beach Sketches

These are some sketches I added some color to in my sketchbook. The wind has been rather strong and makes the oils messy!
Today we're going on a boat tour around Amelia and Cumberland islands. Hope to see dolphin, manatee and maybe wild horses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lighthouse House

Here we are at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Its been lovely. Though a little windy. I painted yesterday morning and could barely keep things from blowing away. Done a lot of sketching in my book too.
This is a house down the beach a few doors - we call it the light house. I'm reminded of Hopper's paintings when I look at it.

roughly 6x6 oil on paper

Below is a very tiny painting I did on the other end of the paper above. This is that "museum board" or carton paper that I like, though I don't know yet how to frame it. I suppose it should go under glass. I don't like the thoughts of that. That is just another reason I love oil paints so much. No messing with matting or glass framing.

I am having a thoroughly wonderful time lazing about and alternately basking in the sun and being pounded by some rough surf. Speaking of! There have been surfers here too and I've gotten lots of great photos as well as sketches! Between this trip and NYC I will have things to work on for a year or more!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Central Florida

These are just some tiny oil sketches I've done trying to record my memories of scenes we've passed while driving around. We went tubing on the Ichetucknee river a couple of days ago and drove out to a neat little hamlet along the gulf marshes. Today we're packing for our beach week. We go to Amelia Island Saturday morning.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Over the Fence

I have no idea how the color will appear on these. I scanned them onto my parents computer (and have to clean the white paint off it now. Even my quick-dry white won't dry. I guess its the humidity!)
Anyway - these little sketches are of the house behind the fence at my folks'. Its newly built but in an old farmhouse style. The first one was most complete but never thought I quite got the values correct. The white house, reflecting a lot of green and blues, was deceptive. Until I really squinted, I could not get the sky and house the correct values. I then did a "thumbnail" painting of just those values with no details. I think it is closer to reality. But maybe if I'd done it in grays, I would have gotten even more accurate.
We are having such a nice time - its so nice to NOT have to do anything. This is my one break each year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Florida Backroads

Arrived on Saturday to a very nice rainstorm. Hadn't seen rain in quite some time. We lounged about yesterday and today took a trip over to Homossasa Springs and saw manatees and a bunch of other wildlife. I sat in the front sketching the gorgeous passing scenery. Lots of trees - such beautiful old oaks! All dripping that romantic looking spanish moss. Lots of horses and cows. Its all so lush and green. Very different from Austin! I am inspired by everything here. There is a great deal of "atmosphere" - a blue haze that makes the distance recede so beautifully.

Above are just a couple little vignettes from my sketchbook. The sunset here at home might be worth painting in oil tonight. Or maybe deep dusk over the pond. I'd better go get ready.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Landing

6 1/2 x 9 oil on paper

Tomorrow I am off for Florida! I am taking paint and paper and laptop and will be painting, sketching and posting often I hope. TTFN!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hacking Around

7x 7 1/2 oil on paper - SOLD

Yesterday's post didn't go out. Setting Blogger to publish at a certain time does not work for me. I was in the infusion lab most of the day with my husband. As for him, he has improved almost fully. His strength and stamina have returned and he's been able to exercise and work. He still has some numbness. Next infusion will be stretched out to 6 weeks so we can get an idea then if he will have recurrence of symptoms and whether this might be chronic or not. Lets hope for not.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Moses Botkin Monthly Challenge

Self Portraits! Whose idea was this? Ugh! I started well enough, but soon grew to hate the sight of myself! I seriously dislike looking at myself this long. I painted one, screwed it up, wiped it off and started again. I always look mean in self portraits. I think that happens though to most artists because we are concentrating hard! I also realized it was very hard to squint and paint yourself. Squinting, we all know, helps painters mass in things and not get belabored by details.

At any rate, I did it. And here it is along with the images the rest of the challenge group created this month! I like theirs MUCH better!

Self-Portrait Loathing
12x12 - oil on panel (for the time-being)
c 2009 Robin Cheers

Me ala Schmid
10x8 - oil on canvas

c 2009 Vicki Ross

Making Up My Own Story
24x20 - oil on canvas
c 2009 Marie Fox

Self Portrait
6x6 - 0il on board
c 2009 Michael Naples

Make Me Beautiful, Rembrandt!
6x8 - oil on panel

Self Portrait with Steve's Shirt
11x14 - oil on canvas
c 2009 Silvina Day

Self Portrait
8x10 - pastel
c 2009 Mike Beeman

Up and Over Sketch

7x7 oil on paper

Tune in tomorrow for our monthly challenge postings! It was a huge challenge for me.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


7x5 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h - sold

This is really a nice little painting, if I do say so myself. :-)
I couldn't get a great photo because the dark oils are reflecting a lot.

This man, probably the shop owner, kept coming out to pose for us (not his intention I am sure!) Sherrie and I were like the paparazzi waiting to take pictures each time he'd step out. The light was just so perfect on this store front. I've painted a larger version too (below) and it will be available at Tidewater Gallery in about a week.

Antiques Dealer
11x14 oil on panel
Ask Tidewater Gallery about this painting.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Village Jeweler

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h - sold

I caught this view just out of the corner of my eye (and had to back track) as we walked to dinner one evening in the Village. The dark store interior and the window reflections made a neat composition.
We had stopped at a wine store on the way too and I loved this window display (below). I am a fan of the color pink - though not of rose' wine. There are such beautiful and interesting little shops in the Village. I am working on a series apparently because I am starting a larger painting of a book shop now.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cupcake Break

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $12 s/h
Its been ages since I've done one of these small paintings. I've done some sketches on paper or loose canvas which were actually bigger. I think the trouble I have with this size is simplifying enough. I have to find a subject that is not busy, because rather than getting looser and being suggestive with the small format, I get tighter! I find that I work on these almost as long as a larger painting. I am not certain my efforts today were brilliant, but its a start as I try to get back to my blog's purpose!

These two girls were taking a break in a stoop in the West Village, the one eating a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Wall Street

Day three of my trip, Sunday, and we were on Wall Street. Pretty quiet there on a weekend! No one but tourists again. There were a LOT of tourists. We were blown away by the masses of people everywhere. It was not like that when I had been the previous years in the fall, so I am guessing the city was full of visitors.

I'd never been to Wall Street. Its amazing how the city has so such distinct flavors in the different neighborhoods. Midtown east is skyscrapers of lots of glass and metal, mixed with old brick buildings. Same on the west side too but then there is Times Square with its own flavor. Wall Street and area seemed more like Europe (with skyscrapers) - many of the buildings there were white stone and brick and the streets were more maze-like. Some of the old buildings down by the South Street Seaport sagged and were definitely out of square!

We painted in the street (which is now blocked from traffic), a view facing south (?) towards the river. We were almost all done when a police officer came by and said we couldn't have tripods there. Can anyone explain that? Does it impede traffic? Is it a safety hazard? I know photographers have to deal with that a lot.

Anyway, the plan was to pack up and go to the Bridge Cafe for lunch. Its the oldest restaurant in the city and right under the Brooklyn Bridge. You can guess what we painted after lunch then! While there, we were entertained by more native New Yorkers - Ellen and her husband Joe.
Ellen is another artist who wanted to see how we crazy people could paint on location in the city! They were very fun people with lots of interesting history to tell about their neighborhood. She and Phil are members of Pleiades Gallery, a coop art gallery run by the artists. Its a great space, we went last year for Phil's show. Phil has a link on his site to a scrapbook of our painting trip and there are a lot of images from Wall Street. You can see our paintings progress.

14x11 oil on panel
- I don't think I got the value on the buildings right... they should have been darker. And a more verical canvas would have been better.

6x8 oil on panel
- this is my favorite painting from the trip I think.

Petra and Sherrie drawing a crowd at the bridge

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Central Park

12x9 oil on paper/museum board

Saturday morning found us at Central Park West. It was a gorgeous day. (Esp. as I was missing 105 degrees at home in Texas!)
We painted on the great lawn in the morning, then went to lunch and returned for a pedi-cab ride to Central Park South. Our cabbie, Emir, gave us a tour of sorts, and took us past Tavern on the Green (rather a mishmash of decor). He was from L.A. - just there for the summer. He earned his fare with us... with all our plein air painting gear.

My set up on the lawn

During some of my walking about, I sketched in my book too. I think that helped the whole plein air painting experience. Maybe I focused better.

A page from my sketchbook

8x8 oil on paper canvas

After painting at the south end of the park, we hoofed it to the Met. Dodged some more rain which canceled the happy hour on the terrace. But WOW! The museum is wonderful and I have tons of images to work from here in the studio. My favorite paintings were the Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. And Sargent, though we didn't get to see many. The new American wing closed early. Go figure. We had a really delicious dinner in the Petrie Court Cafe and then had to be shooed out at closing time!

Kindness of Strangers

I forgot to mention that Friday morning, on my way to our painting location, I lost my cardigan sweater. I went back to look along my path for it but could not find it. Maybe it was on the subway. Anyway, it began to rain and I was dashing between awnings trying to get less wet when a man stopped me and said that I needed an umbrella. I agreed, but commented that I had left my money behind. He said, "No, you need an umbrella. Wait here." And he went back into his apt. and brought me out an umbrella.

I want to mention this so that his good deed is honored and to remind us all that kind gestures can mean so much. Pass it on!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

West Village Shops

Still on Friday (the 26th) and the sun came out. We moved over to the park near the now-famous Magnolia Bakery. It was in "Sex and the City" apparently so now all these bus tours come by and stop to buy cupcakes. I did not enter the bakery, nor eat a cupcake. But I had a hot pretzel from the vendor on the corner who at least was doing well selling drinks to wash down the cakes.

I had more success here. Below was my final painting of the day - an antiques shop across the street.

409 Bleeker Street - 12x10 oil on panel

Sherrie and Petra painting.

Study of a corner (Toons Thai restaurant) - oil on paper

Study of the antiques shop across the street - oil on paper

These paintings are going to stay in my private collection for now. They are my reference material and souvenirs.
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