Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plein Air Sketch: Sun-Bathing Michigander (Oil, 12 x 21)

I had accomplished quite a lot by noon. In the morning I made myself a stack of blank canvased panels which should last me for a while. By the time I got the laundry done in the afternoon, it had passed 2 PM. Should I go out to paint? I asked myself. Seeing it was such a sun-shiny day with temperature around 73 degrees, I decided to go. As I drove passing the small Matheny Park, to my surprise, I saw a guy stripped to the waist, in shorts, sun bathing on a beach chair by the pond, his minivan's door wide open and music playing from the car radio. He looked very relaxed with his wrap-around sun glasses on. It came to my mind that the sun bather could make a perfect picture.

"Why don't I paint him?" thought I. Immediately I made a U-turn with my car and pulled into the park. As I walked toward him, I asked, "Excuse me, sir, but how long are you going to stay here?" "15 minutes, maybe a half hour at most. Why?" I said, "If you give me an hour, I'd like to paint you." He laughed and agreed, "OK. I thought you needed my space to have a party or something." So I quickly got my kit from the trunk and set up. I also set my timer for exactly an hour and started painting him right away.

The guy was very friendly. His name was Jeff and he came from Michigan.

Friday, January 30, 2015

En Plein Air: General's Backside (oil, 15 x 20)

I went out pretty late this afternoon. I didn't want to drive too far. I stopped at Lane's farm and his best horse General was outside. He was a very beautiful horse with his fur shining orange color in the sun. Somehow he just stuck in the corner of the railing. However, I liked the way the sun lit him, so I simply painted his backside.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait: Artist Dori (oil, 20 x 16)

It was Punta Gorda VAC Portrait Studio Day, today. I was a little late this morning. By the time I got there, I had to pick a "remote control" position. There were two models for the session. One was Stan who was our regular model and I painted him before. If you go to my Painting Gallery, you will see Biker Stan there. The other was our Portrait Studio artist Dori who volunteered to sit for us. I had never painted Dori so I chose her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

En Plein Air: Good Fence Makes Good Neighbors (Oil, 13 x 21)

I went to Lane's farm this morning and ran into his wife Debbie working around the stable. It was not too difficult for me to decide what to paint because the first time when I saw the fence, I told myself that I would like to paint it soon. It was the border that separated his farm from Michael's. In the picture, you will see Lane's covered bridge was under construction. I will definitely come back to paint it when it is completed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

En Plein Air: Lane's Horse Trailer (Oil 12 x 12)

I went this morning to Lane's farm. Lane is a friend I made yesterday at Michael's place. As a matter of fact, they are neighbors next to each other. Lane has a bigger farm and stable. He is now building another brand new stable now. A horseshoer was working on his horses when I got there. Unfortunately, he was leaving soon, just in 15 minutes. Otherwise, I would have painted him working on horses. He told me he would come again Tuesday week, so I was excited and planned to paint him in a week. Lane also told me he was building a covered bridge over the creek and asked me to go back and paint it.

The red horse trailer was right there a few yards from the stable, very eye-catching. I quickly decided to paint it even though there was a dung pile simmering nearby with light smoke going gracefully into the sky.

Monday, January 26, 2015

En Plein Air: Many Years of Joy (Oil, 12 x 12)

Originally I planned to paint portrait this morning, but my friend happened to be not home when I called. Therefore, I went to Michael's farm again to paint his swing set by the creek.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

En Plein Air: Mrs. Foster's Bull and Drive (Oil, 12 x 12)

I had not been to Mrs. Foster's farm for almost a year. This morning I decided to go to her place on Highway 78. She was kind and happy as she always was when she saw me. She gave me a welcome hug and then let me walk around her farm to select my subject. I stood in the shade of her barn and painted the bull. He didn't stay long but left the haystack in twenty minutes, so I had to embellish my work from memory. After I wrapped it up, I used a brand new panel to paint her drive. Overall, I like the color scheme and the composition.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

En Plein Air: John Deer (Oil 9 x 14)

It was cloudy today. I usually didn't like weathers like this. The overcast sky made me feel the same inside. It didn't clear up even after lunch. I tried to get rid of the moodiness so I decided to paint in the afternoon. I went to the "Fresh Produce" Farmer's Market on Palm Beach Blvd. I knew quite a few of its farm hands. I met Paul and Tommy there. They were very nice as always. Tommy told me that he would move any farm machines the way I wanted. I really appreciated his offer but told him to simply leave them as they were. I saw the John Deer and a truck parked there on roadside, almost at a right angle. I set up immediately. It was a rare occasion in my plein air experience that I didn't open my umbrella, not even wear my straw hat. I had on only a visor. It took only an hour and forty minutes. I felt better after the painting was done.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oil Sketch: The Shaded Wooden Bridge (9 x 12)

I went to Michael's farm again this afternoon and painted the other side of the wooden bridge. It was in the shade from the sun and looked very dark. It took a little more than an hour. My main purpose was the value relationships.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sketches at Miroma Plaza

My wife wanted to go shopping at Miroma Plaza this morning, so I took my sketch book with me. We agreed, as usual, that I simply sat and drew sketches around the Starbucks throughout the time when she was shopping there. First, I was drawing outside of the Starbucks near the fountain. As I expected, I saw quite a few bored husbands sitting there idle while their wives were shopping. I think all husbands should learn how to sketch like myself or bring their Ipad with them so that they would not feel bored at shopping centers. Then I went inside the Starbucks and was impressed by some old geeks.

Old Geeks at the Starbucks

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

En Plein Air: Wooden Bridge over the Creek (Oil 9 x 14)

I didn't go too far this morning, just to Michael's horse farm. The picture is Michael's wooden bridge on the creek on his farm. He was a little concerned about the big tree on the creek, because if it fell, the tree would have crushed the bridge.

Friday, January 9, 2015

En Plein Air: Boat Repairing (oil 14 x 11)

I went to Owl Creek Boat Works this morning. Some of the workers were repairing the back and side of a boat on the lift tracks. I set up to paint the scene. It took only a little more than an hour because halfway through the process, one of the workers told me that they were going to move the boat back to water. So I really rushed through the sketch.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait: Nicole (Oil 21 x 15)

Nicole sat for us as a model today at VAC Portrait Studio session. That was my first time to paint her. Quite a few of my fellow artists painted her before last summer when I was in New York. According to them, she was very professional, keeping good time and posture. Also, as I saw today, she always gave quite a bit of thought to what she wore before she came to pose. That means she often had the character she wanted to pose in her mind. Nicole is also a musician. Everyone is happy to have her as our model.
Somehow, while I was painting her, some of Gustav Klimt's portraits came to my mind. I regret that I was not bold enough to take a risk and try his approach.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Plein Air Oil Sketch: Rich (14 x 11)

I went to my friends the McIntosh's home this afternoon. When I got there, they were not home. As usual, I helped myself by pulling the painting kit all the way across the creek to their stable. I meant to paint the horses. Somehow, the horses were pretty high today. They were moving around all the time. Before long they all went away, too far to paint. I looked around and saw over the fence a man was fixing springle heads in his onion field. I watched him working in the sun for a while before I walked over toward him. His name was Rich, the McIntosh's next door neighbor.

I introduced myself as the McIntosh's friend and told him that I was an artist who painted in the area pretty often. Then he asked me if I was painting at Michael's farm the day before and said he saw me when he was driving on the road. Then I remembered I did waved to someone in a car, mistaking him for my friend. I offered to paint him over the fence if he could sit there for an hour. He told me he happened to need a break. Therefore, he turned over a large blue container and sat there for me, almost directly facing the sun. Rich was very friendly and we kept chatting as I was painting him. I knew I had to rush. I didn't think he would allow me more than an hour, so I focused on the major part. The painting took only an hour. When my friends came home and saw the painting of their neighbor. They laughed and said that was exactly Rich. I was glad I got him in the sketch.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

En Plein Air: Morning at Michael's Farm (Oil 9 x 14) and Sketch of Dentist's Patient

I had a dentist's appointment at 11:50 AM this morning for teeth cleaning, so I knew I'd better hurry if I wanted to paint outside as usual. I didn't want to go too far and was thinking of going to my friends the McIntosh's farm to paint as I was driving. When I was nearing my destination, I slowed down my car, being attracted to a horse stable which was, behind a fence, shining in the morning sun against a dark background. It was Michael's farm. I remembered Michael and I briefly talked to each other once before. Upon seeing me, Michael came to greet me. I immediately changed my mind and wanted to paint the stable instead of going further to the McIntosh's. I asked him if I could go inside his farm to paint. He was very friendly and invited me to paint inside. Therefore, I made this plein air painting. My sole purpose in this painting was to accurately reflect the value relationships and I think I got it.

It took two hours and a half and I saved myself enough time for the dentist appointment. 
At the dentist's office, right before I was told to go to one of the dentist treatment rooms, I just had enough time to catch a sketch of a 90-year-old patient in the waiting room.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

En Plein Air: Harns Marsh in the Morning (Oil, 13 x 13)

It was pretty warm this morning. I went to Harns Marsh. After I pushed through the doors in the fence surrounding the lock system, I simply followed the trail with my painting kit. There I came upon a place where the canal was wider with another lock system there. I set up on the the roadside and did this oil sketch. It took only just an hour and a half.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait: Rhonda (Oil, 24 x 18)

Rhonda and her husband Patrick are our neighbors. Ever since we moved into the neighborhood and started our morning walk, we have been running into the couple pretty often. Most of the times, they walked their dogs, either Arrow or Bow. Before long we knew they were educators like us. By and by, we found we had quite a few things in common. Soon we became friends. I offered to paint their portraits and they liked the idea. So this morning Rhonda was the first to sit for me to paint.