Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Tuesday's at O'Leary's Tiki Bar", 12x16, oil, plein air, paintings of Florida, Tiki bar, O"Leary's Sarasota


"Tuesday's at O'Leary's Tiki Bar", 12x16, oil on gessoboard, plein air
Note: This painting rec'd an honorable mention at the Venice Art Center's Spring Member's show.

I spent most of the afternoon at O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill in Sarasota. Now lest you get the wrong idea, I was painting, not drinking!

Twas another cold, windy day, which is why I tried to find the least windy spot on the bayfront to paint. Kids played ball in front of me, people came by and took pictures of me painting and one  inebriated fella tried to get a date with me.

When I got home I tried to pick some of the sand flies out of the paint, but after a while I gave up. I figured it's like having pepper with your salad- it adds a little flavor.

Here was the scene at O'leary's when I started:

 I wish that they had left the umbrella up as I liked it better that way, but it was undoubtedly too windy to allow it.

Please email me at maryannejacobsen@com, if you would like to purchase a piece of Leary's Tiki Bar, at Sarasota's Bayfront-complete with sandflies added at no extra charge.

Update:  "Tuesday's at O'Leary's Tiki Bar" received a merit award at The Venice Art Center's "Art of Everyday Living" exhibit. Reception Friday 5PM, April12th

Sold through Collector's Gallery in downtown Venice.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"A Reflective Moment", 8x8, oil on panel

"A Reflective Moment", 8x8, oil on panel

Worked on water reflections today using the technique of Morgan Samuel Price. She is an expert plein air painter, who has written two very informative books. I am taking a plein air workshop with her this week, and I confess that I am exhausted. We painted out in the wind and cold yesterday, and I came home and went to bed at 8:30. Today it was even colder so we had a chance to paint indoors, thankfully.

Although I have been enjoying these workshops I have taken in the past couple weeks, I'll never take them so close together again! Hope I can absorb everything I have learned in such a short period of time!

Please send me an email at, if you would like to purchase this pretty little painting of the Myakka River in Southwest Florida.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Shady Spot", 8x8, oil on panel, small paintings

"Shady Spot", 8x8, oil on panel

Last week I took a three day workshop with Kim English. If you are not familiar with Kim's work, google his name and you will be in for a treat! He is one of the finest impressionists in America today!

Kim enjoys painting street scenes and integrating people into his paintings and that was what our group focused on last week.

Kim had us do 5 minute paintings with a live model, after which we had about ten seconds to wipe it all out and get ready to start over again! It was hard, but by afternoon most of us had settled into the routine. By the third day we were doing  20 and 30 minute paintings, which was a true luxury after the 5 minute sketches!

Kim is an excellent teacher and I think I learned a lot from his workshop. One thing I want to do now, is get better at painting figures in plein air landscapes.

So today, I painted the scene above from a photo I took last week of our model on location. My goal in this painting was to make an interesting design, something that I don't normally think about. I liked the small pieces of light from the parasol, skirt and footbridge integrated into a mostly dark-valued composition. I have a lot more to think about now, when I paint. Hopefully, that's a good thing!

Available through Collector's Gallery in downtown , Venice, Florida.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"The Fish House, Monhegan Island", 14x11

"The Fish House, Monhegan Island", 14x11

This painting was painted to be a companion piece to "The Red House, Monhegan Island." and has sold through Galerie du Soleil.

I added the fellow in red shirt and the boat with red sail to tie together the color elements from the first painting. Also the path and flowers mimic each other somewhat, as does the island of Manana in the background.  Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine is quite a special little island and paradise for artists, fish lovers, and eccentrics, too lol.

The Red House was made famous by either Jaime or Andrew Wyeth, (can't recall which!) who painted often at Monhegan and had a summer place there. The red house is on Swim Beach and right down the road is Fish Beach which is the location of my second painting of The Fish House on Fish Beach Road.

Here are the two paintings side by side:

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Patterns of Light", 12x16, oil on board

"Patterns of Light", 12x16, oil on board- sold through Galerie du Soleil

This was painted a few weeks ago and I forgot to post it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"No crabs today!"plein air, 11x9, oil on board, boats, fishing baots, snow crab legs, Osprey, Florida

"No crabs today!"plein air, 11x9, oil on board
(Note: Click on the photo to see the image better.)

This morning I went to Bay Preserve to paint with my friends. It was a zoo! I think the entire Sarasota County crew team was there, and with about 100 high school kids, boats going in and out of the water, no toilet paper in the bathrooms, and way too many cars going in and out near where I was painting, I decided to leave after about an hour of frustration.

I made my way over to Snook Haven, only to find the situation worse! There was a cop directing traffic and tram lines set up on River Rd, shuttling people (mostly Snow Birds, of course) to the newly renovated water front restaurant,which had always been a quiet, sleepy place whenever I had been there in the past. Bummer #2!

Disappointed but not willing to give up, I finally ended up at Blackburn Point, at the bridge that goes over to Casey Key. What luck! "Captain Jake", the snow crab boat was there, and with the water and air very still, it didn't budge even an inch for two and a half hours while I painted!

Here's a photo of my great spot but PSSST! Please don't tell anyone else about it!

I left a lot of the detail out on the boat, but I intend to go back there and try my hand at this one again, and maybe do a studio piece from it as well.

So happy it turned into a great plein air day in spite of the way it started!

Friday, March 08, 2013

"Goldilocks and the Two Pears", 12x24, oil, sunflowers, pears, apple, purple grapes, still life

"Goldilocks and the Two Pears", 12x24, oil on wrapped canvas

This is a recent commission that was to be similar to my painting, "Sleepyheads with Fruit", which sold some time back. Whenever I am asked to do a commission of a painting that I have already done, I become very worried since I know I can never replicate exactly something that I've done before. In this case, rather than sit there and worry about it, the first order of the day was to go out and find sunflowers for the set-up.

I quickly discovered that sunflowers must be out of season since all I saw were an abundance of tulips, hydrangeas and other spring-like flowers. I finally found a store that had sunflowers but they were very different from the ones I had used for "Sleepyheads with Fruit" which had big, dark brown centers. You can see the two different set-ups below.

Above is my set-up for "Goldilocks and the Two Pears". Below was the set-up for "Sleepyheads with Fruit":
I definitely preferred the flowers I had purchased the first time around, but there wasn't much I could do about it, other than copy from a photograph, which I didn't want to do!

I finally opted to go somewhere in between the two and made the centers darker than the ochre ones I had purchased, but less dark than the ones for the first set-up.

Recently, I went to my hairdresser and told her that I didn't like my last hair cut. I showed her photos of how my hair had looked when she first cut and shaped it back in the fall and told her that I wanted her to do the exact same cut again. After an hour of the silent treatment (very unusual for this gregarious young hairdresser!), Lanka finally turned around and said to me angrily in her cute Russian accent, "How would you like it if I asked you to paint the same painting exactly the same way again?"

I totally get it now. Sigh.

Monday, March 04, 2013

"The Red House, Monhegan Island", 14x11, oil on canvas

"The Red House, Monhegan Island", 14x11, oil on canvas
Note: You can click on the image for better viewing.

Two summers ago we visited Monhegan  Island on a hot August day. I couldn't believe that Maine could be so hot, especially some thirty miles out to sea in the cold Atlantic! Well, it was way too hot for me to want to paint outdoors, so instead I dragged all my paint gear around the island shooting photos wherever I went.

The Red House looks out towards the loading dock on the island. It is well known for its distinctive color and over the years has gone through numerous rennovations and additions.

Over the weekend it was so cold here in Florida that I looked for something warm to paint, and found it in an unlikely spot! You guessed it- Maine! Here's my reference photo for the scene:

I took out some of the boats and figures in order to simplify the scene. I suggested the lobster nets and the tiny house across the water on the little island of Manana but tried to keep it simple so the eye would focus on the red house.

To learn more about Monhegan Island you can go here. To see my painting of Fish Beach Road on Monhegan you can go here. The painting took a second place ribbon last year at The Englewood Art Center.

Friday, March 01, 2013

"Before the Rain, Ca' d Zan", 12x16, oil on board, plein air

"Before the Rain, Ca' d Zan", 12x16, oil on board, plein air
Note: you can click on the image to view the impasto and brushwork better.

It was a busy week! Tuesday kicked off the Light-Chaser's "Paint Sarasota!" paint-out. The day loomed unseasonably nasty, with high winds and a 50% chance of rain. Normally I like days that are overcast, so I don't have to worry too much about rapidly changing light conditions. But the wind was quite harsh and a couple artists ended up chasing their easels rather than the light!

I chose to paint at the Ringling Museum again, feeling totally captivated by the surroundings of banyan trees, Venetian architecture and statues of cherubs and angels lurking in the shadows. I chose to paint Ca' d Zan once again, feeling that the light conditions could evoke a sense of atmosphere.

In the end, the experience was pretty challenging. I found myself running my paints and painting back and forth between the hatchback of my car and the easel that I had set up in front of the museum. It would sprinkle, then stop, then start again and I alternated between painting under the hatchback and trying to paint under my plein air umbrella. In the end, I finally got thoroughly soaked but managed to save my painting from annihilation!

Thursday morning the 73 Paint-Out participants set up our easels in the courtyard of Art Center Sarastoa for judging by renowned plein air artist Morgan Samuel Price. Much to my surprise, my painting was chosen for an honorable merit award, which meant a coveted spot in the Light-Chaser exhibit and a fabulous gift certificate for supplies and framing at Florida Frames!

It was a tiring week, but rewarding. I'll post my sunny day painting tomorrow!

Check out Morgan's website here. She is an amazing painter, teacher and author of two books on plein air painting.