Thursday, April 09, 2015

"Towards the Pergola", plein air, 11x14, pink, bougainvillea, Florida gardens, Society fo the Four Arts, Palm Beach paintings, Lighthouse plein air competition, palm trees, formal gardens, Florida art

"Towards the Pergola", plein air, 11x14

This was painted during the Lighthouse Plein Air competition in Palm Beach , Florida at the Society of the Four Arts. The wind geared up while I was painting this and blew my plein air umbrella off three different times. After the third time I realized it was about to storm and I began to paint furiously. That's about when the downpour hit. No warning- just torrential rain. I grabbed the painting and ran for the tiny bit of shelter there was under a roof where people can sit and eat and relax after touring the gardens. In the split second that it took me to run and put the painting into shelter, I came back to find my easel had blown over and there was a mess everywhere.

Then the rain stopped just as suddenly as it started. Luckily I had a tarp and so the mess was minimal but it kind of ruined the fun I had been having painting this piece in the beautiful garden.

In the end , it came out alright, because I took a knife to it,and finished it off with the palette knife.

The joys of plein air painting are endless!

Friday, April 03, 2015

"Poolside", 18x24, oil on canvas, paintings of pools, fruit , flowers, pink roses, Florida gardens

"Poolside", 18x24, oil on canvas

I've been taking a perspective class recently from a fabulous Russian -trained artist . The class has been hard for me since I failed geometry in high school. Here's a visual note from Wednesday's class:

My artist friends and I have been having a really good conversation on Facebook about how much perspective an artist really needs in order to be a successful painter.

I especially loved the comment by my friend and fellow plein air painter Diane Mannion who wrote the following,  "Linear perspective: The very words themselves seem to strike terror into students, it's no wonder when they hear such terms as 'multiple vanishing points' and 'conical projection'. Well, just forget them, all that is necessary for a landscape painter to have, is a sense of perspective and an eye for the obvious. Just remember these simple rules:
*Objects diminish in size as they recede from the viewer.
*The horizon is always at the eye-level of the viewer.
*Parallel lines on such things as buildings tend to converge in distance, usually on the horizon.
Whole books have been written about the laws of perspective but as with legal laws, you need only enough knowledge of them to be able to keep out of trouble."

Thanks so much Diane! Your words gave me the courage to paint this scene without measuring a single thing!  And whether right or wrong, it was painted with passion and energy, (and a little sweat.)