Thursday, November 28, 2013

En Plein Air: Rainy Day at Forest Park (Oil 9 x 12)

This is the shortest-time plein air painting I have ever made. Altogether it took barely two hours, including setup. It is the view from my window. I didn't turn on lights lest the colors in the scene look different. I started at 2 PM yesterday. By 4 PM I was utterly unable to discriminate between colors. Only the difference in value could I tell. I blocked in large chunks of color before I handle details. The cars didn't look much different in color as the dusk was falling. I simply did it like slicing a loaf of bread and then touched here and there to show different planes. The scene appears like a forking road, but actually not. On the slope, the left-hand road comes down from Forest Park while right-side road is Union Turnpike, coming uphill. I had to stop painting when it was totally dark inside.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sketches at the Airport

Yesterday at the airport, I grabbed three sketches before I boarded the plane. Unfortunately, I had my right-side shoulder tendon torn when I moved my luggage. I don't know it was because of my age or because I didn't do it the right way. Anyway, today, I have difficulty lifting or moving my right arm the way I want to. Besides, it is painful if I strain the arm muscles. Therefore, I am unable to hold my arm in a painting position. I don't know how long it will stay like that. Hope it won't be too long. It comforts me a little to realize it is the coldest and windiest day of the year today. The temperature has dropped to 20s and the wind was so strong that it is not possible to paint outside. I went out this morning and did some grocery shopping and felt not quite used to the biting cold of New York, especially coming right from Florida where people could comfortably open all their windows and doors when they get up in the morning. Hopefully, the weather will not stay as severe as it is for long and my arm can allow me to paint again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Alla Prima Portrait: Betsy (Acrylic , 19 x 24)

As I said last Thursday, Betsy was to post for us this week again in the same costume. I didn't continue the past week's portrait but started afresh this morning, only from a different angle.

You'll see my paintings in New York, hopefully next week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

En Plein Air: Jonathan and Henry's Tree House (Acrylic 12 x 16)

I went to my friend Woody's island on the Caloosahatchee River. This is the tree house Woody and his wife built for their children Jonathan and Henry. After I was done with the painting, the two brothers shared with me their art portfolios. I was very much impressed by their drawings and paintings. they are both imaginative and hard-working. Their artworks showed they were not only creative but also had a pretty keen sense of perspective which was usual with their ages.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

En Plein Air: I-75 Overhead Pass/ Exit 138 (Acrylic 9 x 12)

That was something I had long wanted to paint. The three exits of #136, #138, and #141, are usually the ones by which I got on I-75. Each time I went by the overhead pass, I told myself that I would come to paint it someday. I was fascinated by the lines and different shapes, especially geometrical shapes, in the scene. My original plans were to do it yesterday but it was raining. So I went there this morning. Interestingly, a couple of times when people drove by, they honked and did victory gestures with their hands to cheer me or encourage me. Of course, I had to respond with my gesture of thanks. It was a simple scene. I finished it by 11.30 AM in spite of the fact that I drove back and forth a few times to select the right spot before I finally set up.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Alla Prima Portrait: Artist Betsy (Acrylic 20 x 16)

Betsy and I knew each other quite some time ago when we painted together at Portrait Society, but I didn't know she was also a member of Punta Gorda VAC till this morning when she showed up as our model for the portrait session. Betsy was a very thoughtful lady. Unlike some of the models we had before who wanted to pose as effortless as possible, Betsy was very serious about posing as model. Before she came, she did quite a bit of thinking and decided to dress like a character in John Singer Sargent's painting. She got everything so perfect. I really appreciate her consideration. VAC portrait studio unanimously agreed that we want to paint her dressed like this a second time next week. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

En Plein Air: Kathy of Ft. Myers Beach and Walking to the Sea

This morning I went with FMBAA plein air group to paint at Port Sanibel Marina behind the Lighthouse Restaurant. I thought I found a vintage spot on the end of a boat dock with a yacht behind me. Unfortunately, right after I blocked in color, it got windier and I had to paint with one hand holding my easel. I even reclined my board further down to resist the pushing wind more effectively. About an hour after I began, I realized I needed a tube color from the paint box. So I had to release my hand on the easel in order to open the box. Suddenly, a gust of strong wind blew my palette up in the air and then dropped into the water by the yacht. I thought I was going to lose the palette when a guy from a boat nearby came with a long-handled fish net. He got back my palette with the net, fortunately. However, I could not stay there to paint since the wind kept blowing. One of my fellow artists said with a smile that I had really become a "water" colorist. There was only an hour and a half left. I took my stuff and went back to the lawn. Kathy was painting there in a chair. I quickly set up and made this sketch.
The second painting was the one I did last Friday on Ft. Myers Beach during the Quick Drawing. It was a pavilion imitating Polynesian style near the Times Square.

Monday, November 11, 2013

En Plein Air: Meloy Hay Co., Lehigh Acres, FL (Acrylic 12 x 16)

Last time when I was at Meloy Hay Co. to paint their house and farm machinery, it was in the morning and the sun was right behind the barn facing me and glaring in eyes. That is why I went there in the afternoon today. Before I went out to paint, I put on my canvas panel one more layer of gesso as underpainting with some sand in it. What a coincidence. I read Joseph McGurl's talk about his plein air painting last night, he did the same thing except for the sand. He use acrylic underpainting for oil. It was very effective, When you add paint on top of each other, you won't feel it slick or too soupy. I will make it my routine preparation no matter whether it is for acrylic or oil.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Drawings on the Beach

Yesterday I was involved in the Quick Drawing on Ft. Myers Beach. Actually it was not about drawing but about plein air painting. I don't know why it was called drawing since no one was drawing there. However, between events, I did go to the beach to draw. Standing under the fishing pier from the sun, I grabbed a few sketches. Here are some of them.




Thursday, November 7, 2013

En Plein Air: Times Square of Ft. Myers Beach (Acrylic 16 x 12)

It was the last day of PAINT THE BEACH festival. I went to the Time Square to paint the scene this morning.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

En Plein Air: Recharged for the Next Voyage (Acrylic 12 x 16)

It was the second day of Paint the Beach Festival plein air painting. On my way to Ft. Myers Beach, I decided to go to the area of Doc. Ford Rum Bar. The building in the background was the Estero Bay Natural Preserves Office with a laundry room for sailors. it was right next to the San Carlos Bridge. As a matter of fact, I stood on the dock in front of the office and painted a shrimp boat with the Lee Plein Air group. Today, I stood at the fishing pier right under the bridge and got a sort of bird's eye view. I loved the color of the sail cover. Overall, the whole picture was unified in a blue color scheme. The painting took a little longer than usual. I was done by 1 PM.

When I was painting, several couples who passed by to look at me paint the scene stopped to ask me whether I was the guy being interviewed and broadcast on TV last night. I guess my Anglo-Saxon face wouldn't let people forget me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

En Plein Air: Shrimp Boat Dock and San Carlos Bridge (Unfinished)

Acrylic, 12 x 16
Acrylic 16 x 12
It was the first day, today, of the Paint the Beach Festival Plein Air Painting. I went to Main St. to paint the shrimp boats. There were quite a crowd there painting including Neil and David. As I said in the previous post, the dock was crowded with an unusually large number of shrimp boats. Maybe they were unloading their catches. The boat in middle is the Miss Dawn. Therefore, I'd rather call my painting Miss Dawn in Labor.
By noon, I basically finished painting it. Considering the strong wind, I stopped and went for lunch. In the afternoon I went to the waterfront by Nervous Nellies. It was cloudy in the afternoon and the light was totally different than yesterday. I set up to paint anyway. As you may realize, James Whistler's bridge kept coming into my mind for the composition. Later things got worse. The Tarpon Marina's tour boat left its dock in the middle of my painting. Besides, it began to drizzle. Therefore, I had to stop and hoped someday I can continue to work on this painting.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Plein Air Seascape: The Galaxy on Dock (Acrylic, 12 x 16)

It was scheduled for this afternoon to get painting paper or canvas stamped for the Paint the Beach Art Festival. Of course, there was also a party for artists on the second floor of Nervous Nellies. Thanks to the committee and our volunteers, the festival really started on the right foot. It was very thoughtful of them to prepare everything for the artists. I went to Ft Myers Beach early today in order to check out the spots I plan to paint for the rest of the week. When I got the Seafood Market & Restaurant on Main St. with the wooden dock in my mind, what I saw was quite a few more shrimp boats were docked there than before. Maybe they simply happened to come back to unload their catch. There was a rusty beat-up boat named The Galaxy. I immediately took out my easel and made this acrylic sketch.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Alla Prima: Old Man, His Dog, and the Fog (Acrylic 12 x 19)

Recently I changed my biking route. For quite a few times on E. 5th Ave., I often ran into an old man walking alone with his dog. He went in the same direction as I did. I noticed he walk very slowly as if he had some difficulty. He used two walking sticks, one in each hand. From behind, in a distance, people would have thought he was cross-country skiing if it had been a  cold winter morning in places like Pennsylvania instead of Florida. Every time I passed him, we exchanged hi. It was very foggy this morning. When I saw him from behind, I was stunned by the harmony implied in the picture they naturally formed. I mean the old man, his dog, and the fog. Luckily, I had my camera in the moneybag. Therefore, I asked for his permission to take picture of him when I caught up with him. I made the painting when I got home.