Monday, February 23, 2015

Room With a View

Now that I have to start thinking about packing up to go back to St. Louis,  it's finally gotten warm enough to paint outdoors in a T-shirt.  It is 76 degrees here on the panhandle this afternoon!  I'd stay longer but I have an important doctor's appointment.

As with many trips, I find the view from my room quite memorable.  This is my second painting of the view from my balcony. I like sitting in my room looking up river past this old tree and will miss it when I return to the frozen north. 
You don't always have to find the "iconic" view of the area you are visiting; the familiar view will do just fine!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Not Far From Home

I've been in Eastpoint, Florida for most of the time since Dec. 21st.  The weather has been completely uncooperative, not allowing me to paint outside even once.  Today I finally had the opportunity to paint in my tee shirt.  I could have driven miles to find a subject to paint, but instead I chose to paint this scene off my balcony here at Sportsman's Lodge.  The reason was because I saw the layers of landscape as the subject matter.

Look around you, and you'll probably be able to find suitable subjects not far from your front door!

Monday, February 9, 2015


In this painting of an historical meeting house in Manatee Village Historical Park, I was trying to set the feel of the day, which was overcast and rather spooky with the Spanish moss lending its ghostly mood. 

A scene like this does not call for carnival colors.  Grays were the order of the day.  The only relief comes around the bottom of the old building in the form of some warmer colors.

Part of the challenge of painting is to convey a mood to the viewer.  Consider color as one of the most powerful allies in accomplishing that goal.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Take Along Your Sketchbook

When I'm on vacation, I always take my sketchbook everywhere.  Lunchtime is a perfect time to make a record of where you've visited.  While  waiting for my food down by the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs yesterday, I took advantage of the view from my table.  Rather than trying to include the whole harbor, I zeroed in on the reason for the docks: the sponges. 

First I drew lines to indicate the direction of the string of sponges.  Then I carefully drew some of the individual sponges while suggesting the outlines of other strings.  The values and details fade the farther they are from the focal point.

I still maintain that drawing and painting focus your attention from a casual glance to an intense study of your subject.  So take that sketchbook with you!