Saturday, March 26, 2011

A demo by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Elizabeth made a visit to Leesburg Art Association for a demo today.

What a thrill to finally meet her. Although I had seen her DVD and watched a movie about her life and work so I felt like I already knew her.

You might remember that she is a "paper painter". She paints her own paper and then tears it into "brushstrokes". The painting is all paper pieces except for the background.

I have my fingers crossed that the club can book her for a workshop next year!

Flower and Garden Show at Epcot

What a beautiful day on Tuesday (March 22) in central Florida. It was 85 and sunny and Greg and I had a delightful time looking at the flowers, attending a workshop, browsing in the butterfly house, eating lunch in Norway, and taking lots of photos!

Here we are on the boat ride between Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

This weekend my artist friend Durinda will be painting (in Italy) at Epcot. I think she'll have dry weather for her en plein air work although I do see 89 for Sunday! Going to be a little hot.

We had a wonderful LONG spell of warm and dry weather here to a fire danger point, actually.

And so my daughter is arriving from Chicago tomorrow evening. And now the rain comes!

Sigh. It could have waited just a few more days!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) are 2.5 x 3.5" big. As most of you know, it's kind of a fun phenomenon that has come into it's own.

At my senior residential park in central Florida, the art group has found them to be good practice and not take too much of a commitment of time.

We bring them to our monthly meetings to trade. The chair of it, suggests a theme each month.

This month we are making copies in miniature of great masterpieces. As everyone explores the idea, I suggested they try "gridding" which is normally used to "enlarge" things.

Here is my sample. The colors are not very true because I chose to use InkTense watercolor pencils and white acrylic ink and one only has so many choices of colors.

Am hoping to get out into en plein air again this week if I can find a free morning or afternoon. Temps are in the mid 80s here now and so mornings are best.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

En Plein Air at the Florida Carriage Museum and Resort

None of us had ever been here before and thanks to friend, Diane, who gave us a head's up about where are the best places on the 400 acres, we found a lovely shady spot.

Sure enough...windy again. Not quite as bad as last Wednesday but it was blowing a little storm into Central Florida which dropped rain later around 7 pm.

But we had splendid sunshine all morning so painted from 9:30 to 12:30 and then had a lovely picnic lunch together. We all worked in wc except for Sherese who worked in pastel.

What a super morning. We chose the koi pond (although none of us painted the fish today), with scenic overview of the pastures below, gentle pond shadows and gates.

After lunch we walked the carriage museum ($10 each) for a unique look at the some really amazing carriages of all sizes and shapes. Most were once horse-drawn. Who knew there were that many?

This was our last hurrah for this season I think. Dawn is RVing off to NC for some sailing regattas and the rest of us have trips and company coming. We all hope to get together again next November!!!

Up north (in WI) Florie Enders has put together our en plein air schedule for the summer. So I'll be joining that gang up there in mid-June.

I have signed up for a John Lovett workshop at Dillmans in early June this summer. Am SO excited.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Wednesday Painters in the WIND!

Turns out my friend, Donna, ADORES horses and lives on a ranch. Actually, there are a ton of people who love horses in central Florida. From Orlando up through Ocala, you'd think you were in Kentucky! So yesterday morning she invited the en plein air group to paint at her ranch.
The day was scudded with clouds but temps were nice hovering around 75. The problem was WIND. Now this was my first time to paint in that much wind.

Wind certainly challenges the outdoor painter in many ways. Some of them I didn't expect.

First off if you are going to use an umbrella for sun protection...forget it. Find yourself some shade and wear a hat that clamps to your head. No big wide brimmed hat today!!!

Next you have to find a way to secure a lightweight aluminum easel. (Or give up your easel and go with sketching.) What I did was to take my milk jug of water and tie it to the center of the easel, weighing it down. You can see it hanging down behind my palette. This worked slick. The third problem is keeping your canvas or paper or other support ON the easel from blowing off. You can see I used a bulldog clip in the right corner.
It is useful to stay painting small (this is 11 x 14 canvas board). I had thought about painting 16 x 20 and had primed a board with blue (see leaning behind my chair) but it was way too big and would have taken off like a sail.

You can also see my new rolling chair/pack that I got from Jerry's Artarama on sale last week. I like it, but I can see that I still have more planning to I like to have my water close at hand. Luckily Donna had a nice place for me to put it, but I am thinking a small folding stool would be a good addition for times when nothing is available.

The 4th wind problem is how fast acrylics dry in the wind! Whew! Like immediately. Even with constant spraying with water and wetting agent...I had very little mixing time on my palette or on my painting. And I had to keep my brushes IN the water bucket so they couldn't dry out between use. A very challenging day. But I learned a lot!!! Thanks Donna.