Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Cloudy Day at Sharky's on the beach", 12x9, oil on Raymar panel, Venice Florida, plein air, alla prima,sand dunes, sea grapes, sea oats, stormy skies

SOLD"Cloudy Day at Sharky's on the beach", 12x9, oil on Raymar panel

This was the scene that greeted us this morning as we arrived for the second day of Hodges Soileau's annual workshop in Venice, Florida. The weather was freezing (by November Florida standards) and we all kept adding layers of clothing as Hodges did his demo.

As you can see from the photo above, the light temperature was very gray, with a cool light and limited value and contrast range. What was very cool about this day, however, were the whitecaps on the water, (an aftermath of Hurricane Ida), which are atypical for the Gulf Coasts' typically serene aquamarine waters.

When painting plein air, I happen to love days like this, when you don't have to chase the light every fifteen minutes, and deal with the enormous range in values that you can get in Florida on very sunny days.

Although this was a three day workshop, I will unfortunately miss the third day, which is the part I like the best and learn the most from-portraiture. That being said, this was the fourth year that I took a workshop from Hodges and I feel very fortunate that I have had these opportunities with this incredibly talented artist. The very first year that I took his workshop I had only just begun to paint and barely knew how to hold a paintbrush. I was totally out of my element and scared to death of everyone in the class. Nonetheless, Hodges made me feel comfortable and was very sensitive in all of his critiques.

Thankfully, I have grown a bit since then, and I have finally been able to absorb a little bit of the finesse that Hodges employs with his painterly approach, and sensitive brushwork. I used an earthy palette to obtain the above result and I must confess that even though I consider myself a colorist, I now realize the importance of limiting the range in which one must go in order to "push" color.

Whether or not my collectors will approve of this new subtlety in my palette remains to be seen, but I have to admit that I was very happy with the outcome of this painting which was an attempt to be both painterly, and also replicate the cool color temperature of the day to the best of my abilities.

Please contact Leah Sherman at Collector's Gallery and Framery in Venice , Florida, at 941-488-3029 if you wish to purchase this painting.

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