Friday, March 29, 2013

Morning Sunrise, 10x10 Oil on Canvas

Have any of you artists ever painted something, then been bothered by it every time you look at it? This is the updated version of this painting. In the first version (below) there were just too many things going in conflicting directions, which jarred me every time I saw it. I have a problem of painting what I see, and sometimes you just have to change what you see to make a painting.

I reworked the painting, toned down the vertical reflection, and made the sunrise part warmer. Our flashy sunrises in Florida can look very contrived and unreal, and caution is needed to avoid a "painting on black velvet" look. We can't help it if our sunrises are fabulous here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mystery Bird, 6x6 Oil on Canvas

I am not sure what this bird is, and if anyone knows, please let me know. He was hanging out in the Everglades looking so cute, I just had to paint him. I donated him to the Lagoon Fest to be held in October 2014 to benefit Oyster Restoration for the Indian River Lagoon.

I read in the paper that a large number of pelicans and manatees have died here on the Space Coast, and it's likely because of the sorry condition of our waterways. The Banana River and Indian River are polluted by runoff from pesticides and fertilizers, and this is good for no one. Our river used to be full of clammers and I never see them any more. I don't think a green lawn is the priority here. I think I should have pride in the sorry-looking lawn we're sporting these days. I'm looking at it in a whole new way.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Everglades Sunrise, 6x6 Oil on Canvas

I left my warm and cozy cot with sleeping bag, blankets, and jackets, to go look at the sunrise. It was worth it. The birds loudly proclaim the morning, as do the rich colors. I forgot to even notice where the alligator might be lurking, the one we saw in the lake the day before.

There is a fine line between not being at all scared of alligators and being too scared of them. Stay fifteen feet away, the rangers advise. Don't crouch down and look small and edible. This is very good advice.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spoonbill Stretch, 5x7 Oil on Canvas

This is my ode to the Spoonbill:

I am a silly bird.
Folks look and say, “What is it?”
My face is like a spoon,
My plumage is exquisite.

Speaking of exquisite things, I went to the Ruth Funk Textile Museum at Florida Tech in Melbourne, FL for an exhibit of beautiful dresses made of garbage. Incredible! It is called "ReDress: Upcycled Style" by Nancy Judd. I was lucky enough to meet the artist, who signed my sketch journal. 

Can you imagine, dresses of crime scene tape, target bags, and inner tubes? Nancy's mission is to save the earth from the garbage left from our conspicuous consumption. She makes us think. Below are my journal sketches, with an inner tube dress and a Carmen Miranda outfit of Target bags.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

River of Grass, 6x6 Oil on Canvas

We painted on site at the Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook, and it was so nice chatting with all the travelers who came through. This is the dry season, so most of the grasses are high and dry right now. 

Very Gator-y Place

Gumbo Limbo Trail

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Everglades Sketch Journal

This is just fun. Ever since Diana Gessler's class, I have enjoyed journaling my experience in a sketchbook. If you go to the Everglades, be sure to stop at the Robert is Here fruit stand. Robert started as a six-year-old child in 1959, selling cucumbers on the corner. He was so small people couldn't see him and would drive by, so his father put up a sign that said, "Robert is Here." Now Robert is raking in, as this place has a booming business, with every fruit and vegetable you can think of.

Below, this is exactly how we looked sleeping inside the little tent. It was cold at night, and we were like mummies. Our picnic table was decorated with a lamp, which Cindy brought in case we had electricity at the site. We didn't.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Piney Island, 5x7 Oil on Canvas

This scene was painted  in plein air very near our campsite in the Everglades. The only wildlife was an alligator lolling at the shore and a huge black spider that got on my paper towels, possible a Regal Jumping Spider, though I can't be sure. I flicked him away without introductions.

Painting the scene
These photos are courtesy of Kathy. Here Cindy and I are in the mangrove forest, a wonderful tangled, twisting example of some of the world's most amazing trees. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ibis Wading, 6x6 Oil on Canvas

I am definitely losing it. As I was finishing this up, I had a feeling of familiarity. I then realized I have painted this very picture before. Then I meant to post it before leaving for the Everglades, but I didn't. I definitely needed the getaway.
Mating Dance of the Alligator
 My Pieces of 8 friends Cindy, Kathy and I (referred to by Cindy as Thelma, Louise 1 and Louise 2) went camping in a tent in the Everglades. No electricity. And yes, it is cold at night down there, believe it or not. Perfect in the daytime, though, and it is a non-mosquito season. I never saw so many alligators, and it is mating season so the booming and posturing were very impressive, rather like a reptilian singles bar.
Home Sweet Home

Cindy Photographing Kathy Photographing Tree Snail
It's a jungle out there. I will now be doing an Everglades series.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Zenqueen, 11x14 Matted Pen and Ink Drawing

This is an 8x10 matted to 11x14. These Zendoodles can be very time-consuming. Also, with this technique, more is more, not less is more. It's hard to figure out what the price should be on something that takes so many hours, and that brings me to a great quote from a noted artist in the Blogosphere:

"...pricing has little to do with time and effort. Besides, the per-hour rate for painters ranges between that paid to falafel folders in Casablanca and plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills." 
Robert Genn

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Siesta, 8x8 Oil on Canvas

Ahhh, the warm Mexican sun...just makes one (or should I say Juan?) want to have a little snooze. I thank my sister Genie for the photo that inspired this.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Step Up Cottage, 8x10 Pen and Ink Drawing

Back to my own little world. It's fun seeing these come together with their myriad patterns. Maybe I will actually plan out the next one. However, that kind of discipline may defeat the purpose of this relaxing way of working. I do have something in mind, though. Stay tuned...