Tuesday, March 31, 2015

En Plein Air: Donna by the Pool (Oil 16 x 12)

This is a plein air portrait study. I asked Donna to sit by the pool in the sun and there was strong light reflected from the water. It was supposed to be a cool day, but was still pretty hot in the sun. I really appreciated it that She was willing to sit in the sun.

Monday, March 30, 2015

En Plein Air: Dirt Road (Oil, 9 x 12)

It was so comfortable outside this morning. I drove to the interception of Wheeler Rd. and 8th Terr. There was little traffic on Wheeler, to say nothing of the dirt road. I pulled over on the road shoulder full of tall weeds and set up to paint. Over the two hours, there were a few pickups and a couple of bikers passing by and waving to me. It is a study. Mainly I tried to accurately express the value relationships the the nuances resulted from the sunshine.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

En Plein Air: Disassembled Tractor (Oil, 11 x 14)

I did a tractor study again not because I was crazy about them, but because my model was unable to show up. A young high school girl who was related to someone working on the Fresh Produce Market happened to see the portrait I did of Tommy and would like me to paint her, too. I agreed and we made an appointment that we met at the farm. I planned to paint a young girl in bright sunshine. Unfortunately, she called saying she was sorry but she could not make it. Since I was already there and got things set up and there was the disassembled tractor nearby. That is why I painted a tractor again.

Friday, March 27, 2015

En Plein Air: Firewood Trailer (Oil, 12 x 16)

It was drizzling this morning. I didn't go out till pretty late. When I got to Lane's farm, I still felt it was sprinkling. I set up anyway. Fortunately, the misty rain stopped but it was very cloudy. I simply pick the firewood trailer to pain.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Portrait Drawing: Phil (Charcoal 24 x 18)

It was VAC's Portrait Studio Day. We had two models: a lady and Phil. After I accidentally dropped in at the basket weaving group and painted Phil last time, he became interested in our portrait studio. I introduced him to Trudy, our Studio organizer, and he offered to sit for us this morning. His features and style made it a great fun to do a portrait, so I set up to draw him again instead of the lady. Honestly, I haven't drawn in charcoal for quite a long time. I simply wanted to have a change, especially I painted Phil once. It turned out to be quite acceptable, at least to myself now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Plein Air Oil Sketch: Foggy Morning (8 x 10)

It was very foggy this morning. I went to Wheeler Road and stopped at the interception of 5th Terr. and made this sketch in about an hour.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

En Plein Air: Downtown Arcadia in Early Morning (Oil, 11 x 14)

Yesterday morning, I went with VAC Plein Air Group to paint downtown Arcadia. I had never been there. I decided to paint the street corner at the interception of Oak and Polk. That was where the Old Opera House was located. I am not sure whether the Opera House was still in business. When I got there, the downtown was like deserted with very few people. After I set up, the sun cut the building on the corner in half with its lower part in shadow. I like it very much, but the sunshine lasted only about 30 seconds and the sun never came back again. I tried to paint the impression left by the 30-second sunshine. An hour later, the situation got worse as the sky was getting darker. It became windy and then it poured down. I had to stop painting and began to pack. It rained so hard that the street soon became flooded. In order to load my kit into the car, I had to jump into the water which came to my ankles. I was soaked through and drove more than an hour in all wet clothes before I got home.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Plein Air Oil Sketch: Latino's Saturday Picnic (11 x 14)

As I was driving on Joel Blvd., thinking where I was going to paint this morning, I passed by the Christian Missionary Church on the roadside. In the opening next to the church, I noticed tents had been set up with beautiful decorations of palm tree leaves and a number of flags, some countries of which I was unable to name. People were busy spreading out BBQ things including stoves and folding tables. I heard from the speakers upbeat Latin music was playing. I felt so happy about it that I made two immediately right turn and went back to the site on Edward Road.

I was told it was the church's picnic activity. With permission, I set up nearby and began to paint. I barely had time to think since people kept coming and going. Only the two ladies who were cooking papasa, a kind of Latin American pancake under the tent were comparatively stable. I had to compose my picture in a wheel-dealing way. Mainly I simply blocked in color to fill the form of people or things. I was in such a rush that I even forgot the legs of the table. Before I almost finished the sketch, a lady came to me with a bottle of iced water and a paper plate with a papasa in it. She said to me smilingly, "Why don't you just take a break and have this papasa?" It  was very touching, so, with a "thank you," I took off my vinyl gloves and accepted the food. The papasa was very tasty.

The experience reminded me of another one, many years ago when we still had our home in Valdosta, GA. There was not much going on in the small college town of Valdosta on weekend. When I found out there was going to be a Jazz festival in Jacksonville, FL the next weekend, my wife and I decided to go there. At that time, there was no GPS, I found the location online before we hit the road. When we got to Jacksonville, I felt I was driving on the wrong road and ended up lost in an unfamiliar place. As I was deciding which direction I should take, my wife said to me, "Have you heard the music? It must not be very far." I was thinking the same thing so we simply follow the music and arrived at a park with tents, bands, and tables full of food. Certainly there was a large crowd.

I never doubted the Latin music we were hearing was not part of the Jazz Festival. Shortly after we arrived, there was a break, someone on the stage urged us to get food. So I followed the crowd to get food booths. After I got the food, I asked a guy where I should pay for it. He said, "you don't have to pay." I asked whether it was Jazz Festival.  "No. This is our Latino gathering, but you and your family are our guests now. Enjoy it." he said with a smile. I felt a kind of heart-warming happiness by the surprise, not because of the free food, of course, but because I always considered it a noble sign to show hospitality or assistance to strangers. When I was a poor college student and if my car died on highway, a total stranger would often stop to assist me. Do we still do that?

Friday, March 20, 2015

En Plein Air: Del's Drive (Oil, 12 x 16)

Del owns a farm on Tuckhoe Road, too. Mainly he raise cattle. At first I tried to paint his long horns, but before I could finish, all the cattle went to the farther side of the farm. Therefore, I decided to paint the dirt road.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait: Linda (Oil, 20 x 15)

There was only one model today at Punta Gorda's Portrait Studio, so by the time I got there, many an artist had already set up around the high chair and the only vacancy left was the space close to the wall. I am not a picky person in terms of visual perspective and, on the contrary, I am pretty adaptable and love the challenge of some special angles. As you could tell, what I did today was something almost like a profile. The model's name was Linda, a quite soft-spoken lady.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Plein Air Sketch: Boat Dock on the Caloosahatchee (oil, 9 x 12)

It is a private boat dock which belongs to a trailer park in Alva. A whole bunch of happy snowbirds live there. It happened to be the day on which they planned to cruise the Caloosahatchee today, so when they saw me painting there, the boat owner warned me that I had only a half hour to paint his boat before he got things ready to sail. Therefore, I rushed through the sketch in a little more than an hour.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

En Plein Air: Hay Rolls (OIl, 9 x 14)

I went to Tuckhoe Road this morning. From the top of the  road I could see the hay rolls in the sun behind Allison and Beatrice's mother's house. so I exited into a small trail, on one side of which was the old abandoned Wakefield's house I painted before. The trail was covered with a thick canopy of oak foliage so it was very dark. No one came to bother me throughout the whole panting process except for a guy who lived down the road drove by in his van.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Plein Air Study: 1958 Caddy on Display at Local Spring Festival (Oil, 9 x 18)

I went to local Veteran Park at around 4 PM this afternoon. People had already been working for the local Spring Festival, which was a big thing in this small town. Everything a country fair should have were being set up: cows, antique car show, Ferris Wheel, food booths, bands, beauty pageant, clowns, etc. It would officially begin at 6 PM this evening and last a week according to what I was told. I just set up on the side and painted till the official opening was announced. I was not sure if I would come again this weekend. I was scared by the crowd unless I was tempted to draw the images there.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait: Talon (oil, 20 x 15)

The two models who sat for us this morning at VAC's Portrait Studio were artist Harriet and college student Talon. I painted them both before. Especially for Harriet, I had painted at least three or four times. Therefore, I preferred Talon this morning whom I had painted only once. Talon was a handsome college student with sharp facial features as you could tell.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oil Sketch: Basket Weaver Phil (21 x 15)

I must be getting senile and somehow thought it was Thursday this morning. When I arrived at VAC, there was nobody at the site. I asked Kathy and realized that it was Wednesday. Kathy smiled and said, "Come back again tomorrow." In fact, she was very nice to help me find a subject to paint. She took me to the room where the Basket Weaving Group were having their activity. So I decided to do a quick oil sketch. Phil was one of the group. The sketch took about an hour and a half.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

En Plein Air: A Camouflaged Small Boat (Oil on Canvas, 12 x 16)

I meant to go to River Haven Farm, my friends the Lewis's place to paint this morning. When I was on Baisey Rd., I noticed,  intercepted with it, a small lane with a NO Outlet sign. Just out of curiosity, I made a left turn onto the lane. Right after I did that,  there was a street  named Carbotana Dr. immediately on its right. It turned out to be a very beautiful and quiet neighborhood on the Caloosahatchee River. Almost every family there had a boat dock in a canal which led to the river. I saw a camouflaged small boat right in the shadow of a big tree.

While I was painting,  I met some very friendly people living there. A Canadian snowbird was walking his dog. He complimented me on the painting. Later a lady named Emily came with her boy Chase to see me paint. He was a cute curly-hair boy, suitable for portrait painting.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Alla Prima Oil Sketch: Ethel (12 x 10)

I went this morning to get oil change for my car. By the time it was done, it was already 9:30 AM. Since already mid-morning, I decided to go to the Veteran Park to paint. As I was entering the parking lot, I saw two ladies sitting in beach chairs on the roadside with some display racks and folded tables in front of them. As soon as I parked my car, I walked over. They were two ladies from the Jehovah's Witness Church who had set up a booth with religious books, posters, fliers and other types of literature on display. Obviously they were there to preach or convert people for the church. I asked one of them if she minded if I painted her. She said no. So I set up and began to paint. Later, a guy named George joined us. He was also from the church. To my surprise, he suddenly began to speak fluent Chinese to me. I never expected anyone in the small town of Florida to speak Chinese to me. I didn't even know how to respond in the beginning. The name of the lady who nicely agreed to pose for me was Ethel. The painting took a little more than an hour.  By the time I got home, it was only 11.45 AM.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Alla Prima Portrait: Aubrey (Oil, 21 x 15)

Today, at Punta Gorda VAC Portrait Studio, the model's name was Aubrey. It was the first time I painted Aubrey. She was very nice to dressed herself in a turn-of-the-century English lady's riding outfit. She even brought a horse whip with her. I did only a portrait instead of full figure. I would have painted a full-length figure if she had not been sitting in the high chair. In spite of my efforts before, I believe it is difficult to make changes to the way models are arranged. Besides myself, it seems everyone is satisfied with the same pose on high chair, year in and year out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

En Plein Air: Dixie (Oil, 12 x 12)

Dixie is a young mare at George's farm to which I went to paint this morning. At first, I wanted to paint another beautiful mare which was mainly white in color with a few light brown spots. Her white fur shined in bright blue on the shaded side. Unfortunately, the horse refused to pull away from the fence next to me and stood too close for me to paint her. Therefore, I decided to paint Dixie who was standing by the farther side of the fence.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

En Plein Air: Paul's Took Shack (Oil, 10 x 12)

I can't believe it! This morning the owner of the place I painted happened to be the brother of the owner of Moloy Hay Company at which I painted yesterday.

It was very foggy this morning, so I waited till the fog lifted before I went out to paint. I didn't want to go too far. When my car was nearing Tuckhoe Road, I impulsively told myself to turn left instead right as I usually would do. Remembering I once painted on Style St. the entrance of a huge hay storage place, I spontaneously drove in that direction. This time I pulled in and saw two guys were busy with a platform trailer. They allowed me to pant there. When I finished the picture, I showed it to Paul, the owner. He smiled and said it WAS his tool shack, which actually was an added roof at the back of his machinery garage. During our conversation, I was surprised to find that his last name was also Moloy and they were actually two brothers.

I am still interested in studying value relationships and you can tell that was a good opportunity to study that.

Monday, March 2, 2015

En Plein Air: Moloy Hay Company's Colosseum (Oil, 9 x 12)

I drove east this morning along Highway 80 toward Hendry  County in hopes that I could find something to paint. I turned into a few country roads in exploration but didn't find anything which I was interested in painting. Therefore, I went back on Highway 80 but heading west. As I came near Buckingham, I thought of Moloy Hay Company, so I made a left turn onto  Buckingham Rd. People there knew me. Even though I didn't stop, workers there waved to me as I passed by. Tired of looking any more, I simply painted what was leftover of its barn. Actually the lines and shapes formed a pretty good picture.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

En Plein Air: Angler Fisherman Frank (Oil 12 x 12)

The weatherman said it was going to rain this afternoon, so I decided to go out to paint in the morning. First I went to the Veteran Park. Maybe it was still too early; besides some joggers, there were very few people. I didn't see anything of the scenery that was worth painting, either. Therefore, I went on to Harns Marsh, remembering there was a Marsh Festival this weekend.

When I saw Frank was squatting by the water holding his fishing pole, I stopped my car nearby and walked over. Being a little diplomatic, I said to him, "Would it be better if you have a stool to sit on than squatting like this?" He smiled and said "Of course." So I offered to loan him my camping stool from the trunk. Frank asked, "How about yourself?" I told him that I was not there to fish and that if he didn't mind, I was going to paint him. The painting took only an hour.