I went out to paint this morning at the Wild Turkey Strand Preserve with the Lee Plein Air Group. I knew the place pretty well, so before I left home, I had already decided to do some figure painting in the sun. Keith was a water-color artist. Shortly after I started, Keith left the spot, saying he needed to go to the shaded area. Fortunately, by then I had got his image outline on my canvas. Toward noon when he saw my painting, Keith said with a smile, "You should have taken off at least 40 pounds."
Friday, June 23, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
It is Punta Gorda Portrait Studio Day. Today's model was Trish. Someone said she posed for us before, but I didn't remember. I was pretty impressed by her hairdo. It very asymmetrical with one side hair as short as a boy and the other side cascading down over the ear like a waterfall. Maybe it was trendy these days. I don't know. Anyway, people in this country love changes. From time to time, we all want something new.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Tom is my friend who owns a vegetable farm. He let his RV sit on the farm near its gate all year round. Power and water were hooked up to it. Moreover, a window air conditioner was fixed to the back window and a hot-water furnace was standing by its side, so relatively speaking, it was a kind of permanent residence. Judging by these facilities, it should be pretty comfortable living inside the RV. Maybe because of the limited space in the vehicle, Tom had annexed a tent to it. I had seen some Latino seasonal farm workers living in the RV before but didn't see them for quite some time. Guess they had moved on and tried to find work somewhere else.
Monday, June 19, 2017
I didn't finish the painting last week because of the shower. When I got home, I put a layer of blue paint over the unfinished work and used up the canvas. Therefore, today I started all over again.
Behind the boat is Shawn's parents' old house. With moss gathered on the rooftop and decayed siding, it must be more than a century old. Actually, I don't think anyone lives in the house anymore. They simply keep it for storage use, I guess.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
The Visual Arts Center at Punta Gorda annually organizes an art festival. Usually, a famous artist in history will be selected to be the theme. We members will make replicas of various masterpieces by the artist, in all sizes. They will be put for sale. This way, the Center will raise money to keep itself running. Ordinarily, I will donate a painting which I made by copying one of the artist's works. This year Pablo Picasso has been selected. I found it kind of silly to copy Picasso, so I got a ceramic plate to do a carving based on the drawing of Francoise Gilot by Picasso. She is also the mother of two of his children.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
I was driving on N. River Road (Highway 78) this morning. When I passed the Cemetery Road, from the corner of my eye, I noticed the road had recently been mowed and cleaned. It was a country road in between orange groves. It got its name because the road ended at a cemetery. I had painted there before. Suddenly I realized it was the Father's Day weekend. Suddenly I was curious about it, so I made a U-turn and got there. I stopped my car by a huge oak tree and set up to paint.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
This morning I went to Terry's place again. I really like his place. He and his family had quite a few banana trees and bamboos there, which reminded me of my hometown, Hangzhou, China, where you would see bamboos all over the mountains. I decided to paint the fence with the poles of uneven heights which made it look natural and graceful. I also used the shed as the midground. There were an RV and some orange color farm machinery in it
Toward the end of painting, Terry came to see how I was doing. When he saw the nearly completed painting, Terry asked me what title I would give to it. I had not thought of it yet. He immediately suggested "Jodi's Place" as a title. I happily accepted it and really appreciated him for his thoughtfulness and keeping his wife in mind. I remembered last time after I finished painting the farm and uploaded it to my blog, I simply named it Terry's Farm as its title without giving much thought to its appropriateness. It was very nice of him to make me realize that home was a place for a couple as a whole, not just one of them.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
I went to the Sweetwater Landing Boatyard again this morning. Originally I planned to paint the heavy bulldozer because yesterday I noticed some heavy machinery had been plowing their property by side of Highway 31. They seemed to be building an additional boat storage building. However, when I got there this morning the scoop of the dozer was laid down on the ground for the weekend and the machine didn't look too good in such a position. So I went to the dock and found this scene to paint.
Friday, June 9, 2017
The rainstorm was finally over. According to the weatherman, there was only sporadic rainfall in this area today, so I went to the Sweetwater Landing Boatyard. I set up right under the bridge of Highway 31. Despite the noise from the rumbling traffic on the bridge, it was pretty cool and breezy down there.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Thursday, it is VAC Portrait Studio Day. Today, we had a new model, whose name is Diane. She was a good model, very patient. I have been trying to adapt to painting in acrylic, so I kind of experimented a bit during the portrait painting.
Friday, June 2, 2017
I got a sore throat recently. That is why I skipped the VAC Portrait Studio painting activity yesterday. It was better today and I was kind of itching to go out to paint. It was humid for sure but the sky was overcast and the temperature wasn't high. When the local library called me to pick up a reserved book, I felt like it was justified to go out to paint. I remembered the hay fields I passed by the other day on Colonial Road. Therefore, after I picked up the book at the library, I went right to the fields. I did a quick sketch. It took about an hour. Even though it sprinkled a little towards the end, it didn't pour down till after I was in my car and on my way home.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
I put on jeans and a long-sleeve shirt before I went out to paint this morning. By dressing myself like that, I had the mosquitoes in my mind. The heavy showers we had in the past few days, according to the TV meteorologist, would have provided the conditions mosquitoes needed to breed. When I left home, I didn't have any idea where I was going to paint. However, the humidity I felt when I came out of the house told me it was in pretty high density and it sort of concerned me to paint outside in the open.
When my car was approaching the First Community Congregational Church, I realized that it had been quite some time since I painted at the church. I knew Pastor Debbie pretty well and respected the church for its involvement in helping the local needy people. I saw quite a few cars at the parking lot, so I told myself why not stop to check if I could do some figure paintings inside.
Stepping inside the church, I noticed that people there had already been bustling around and they looked very busy. Before long I saw Pastor Debbie who told me they were preparing for a food pantry and it would begin at 8:30 AM. By then, I noticed some people had already been standing in a line and waiting for free food. I asked if I could paint some of the volunteers working there. Pastor Debbie said no problem but she was a little concerned that they were moving around all the time. I told her not to worry and I was able to handle that. I would not be in their way. I would pick one of the staff, who could move around do whatever she wanted to so long as she was basically doing the same thing and came back to the same position from time to time. So I went to their storage room and found myself a spot in a small corner which barely allowed enough space for my easel. I decided to paint Earline, who carried stuff in and out of the room. When there was nothing to carry, she stood there for me to paint. Other staff members said jokingly, "Now she is a statue." Eventually, I made it.
Friday, May 26, 2017
This morning I first went to Tuckhoe Road to see it there was something to paint. I was surprised to know that my friends Lane and Debbie had sold their farm and moved away a half year ago. Then I called Mary to see if I could go to her farm to paint animals. Unfortunately, she was not home. After that, I tried the Pearl Road in Alva. Still, there was nothing. Finally, I drove all the way to Buckingham and arrived at the Hut Restaurant. I had been there painting a couple of times, either with Lee Plein Air Group or by myself. I noticed the wooden bridge behind the Hut was under reconstruction. Maybe the timing was good while we were still in the dry season. Before I could set up, the property owner Terry came in his four-wheeler to see what this old Asian man was doing on his territory. After knowing I was there to paint the bridge, he was very friendly and didn't mind I helping myself to his property.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Talon is our regular model at Punta Gorda VAC's portrait studio. If I am not mistaken, this is the third time I painted him. He told me he went to my USF before, but now he is a student of the Edison College.
This evening, I also attended the reception for the exhibition of Water, Water, Everywhere. It was a hodgepodge show of all kinds of artworks, 2-D or 3-D, including paintings of all media, sculptures, photographs, etc. My work Patience won the 4th merit award.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I went to the Meloy Hay Co. this morning and made this sketch. By the time I finished the painting I realized that Sean had, in fact, been waiting for me. It turned out that he didn't want to disrupt me and simply postponed the time to hit the road. I was really touched.
Monday, May 22, 2017
It is actually a warm up for my switch to the use of acrylic as a medium. Yesterday my oil paint box was too dry to be used in painting. Therefore, I decided to clean it and switch to use acrylic instead. I had plenty of acrylic paints in my storage. I knew I must use them before letting them be dried up and get hardened. However, I loved painting in oil so much that I postponed switching till yesterday when I realized the oil paints were too dry to be used anymore. The situation finally gave me a chance to switch to acrylic.
This morning, I loaded the car with the new acrylic painting kit but didn't know where I was going to paint. It was hot and humid, so I told myself that I needed to find a place with some kind of shade so that I would not get a heat stroke. I realized I had not been to Tuckhoe Road for quite some time. I knew quite a few residents along the road. Many of them owned horse or cattle farms. I painted Terry's farm a couple of times before. When I turned onto the trail at the farm, Terry saw me and knew I was was going to paint. He was very nice and would let me paint there whenever I felt like. I parked my car right by the fence when I noticed the haystack which was kind of purplish in the morning sun. It blended so well with the old oaks and the grass. I settled down right away to paint there.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
I meant to paint Tom's vegetable farm this morning. When I got there, to my surprise, the farm was a mess. The Mexican migratory workers were gone and things were in disarray. Before long, Tom came to me in his four-wheeler. "What happened, Tom?" I asked. "You know we had a bad year. I am trying to get things ready now." There didn't seem to have anything to paint there when suddenly I noticed the bike across the street. For quite some time, I had thought of painting it. The owner of the bike must have ridden it all the way to Hickey Creek Rd. And then he/she got on the school bus, leaving the bike chained to the fence.
Monday, May 15, 2017
I drove this morning along Palm Beach Blvd. and turned onto Mitchell St. Shortly after that, I made a right turn again and saw this small boat docked at someone's backyard. I was familiar with this neighborhood because I used to paint there quite often.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Carolyn is a resident of the Memories Care Section of the Winkler Court Nursing Home. I asked the section director yesterday if I could go there and do a figure with someone instead of a portrait. Kirsten recommended Carolyn. Carolyn was very cooperative. However, there was some kind of excitement during the time I was painting her. First of all, A new resident seemed to be not getting along with the old ones. She picked up a fight with Carolyn because Carolyn wanted to ask her best friend to be with her in the hall while the new resident felt they were in her way. Secondly, because of her dementia problem. Carolyn had trouble staying in the same posture for very long. She often forgot what her last pose was in spite of my reminding her. I had to use gestures to make her come back to the old pose. It was kind of exhausting. Finally, she simply left before I finished the painting.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
On Sunset road, a little off Gunnery Road, there is a plane junkyard. It is fenced in with the gate locked. I went there this morning. Through the wire fence, I could see two or three old planes were grounded there. Their propellers had been taken off. That is why they looked like jets from a distance. Even though I was unable to get inside, I eventually found a spot outside of the fence and it was good enough for me to paint.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
I went to the Harns Marsh this morning. There were not many people there. I saw a heavy-duty pickup was left on the roadside close to the water, so I drove there and stopped my car behind the pickup. I noticed two Latinos were fishing by the water; one was sitting and the other standing. I asked them if I could paint them. They didn't understand English. I took my painting kit from the car and set up. And now they knew what I was going to do. They didn't seem to mind my painting them. It took not quite two hours. With the help of sign language, the guy told me his name was Raul.
Monday, May 8, 2017
It had been very dry in Southwest Florida. For more than three months there was no rain. I went to Mrs. Foster's farm this morning and painted this scene. Because of the drought, the water in the pond had receded far from the jetty, which had lost one leg but was still holding the board top. By the time I finished the painting, I saw Mrs. Foster's car was coming up from the highway. She stopped by my easel. Winding down the car window, she asked me to see a gator was surfacing at the edge of the water. When I was painting, I didn't pay attention to that fellow at all.
Friday, May 5, 2017
I went with the Lee Plein Air Group to paint at the Prairie Pine Preserve. It was cloudy this morning. We even had a sprinkle of rain for a short while.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
I went with the Lee Plein Air Group to the Riverside Park at Bonita Springs this morning. Its kayak dock was located by a railroad bridge over the Imperial River, which seemed to be a favorite place for kayak lovers from around Fort Myers to practice. There happened to be a group of kayakers who were busying themselves launching their vessels one by one when I set up to paint.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Originally I planned to paint his hay rolls this afternoon. However, when I got there, David and his family had already moved the rolls away because of the dry weather, leaving a sweep of empty fields. I decided to paint the sky with his barn in the center.
Monday, April 24, 2017
I am back home in Florida. My car maintenance service was overdue, the first thing on my today's list of things to do was taking the car to the dealer. It was surprisingly crowded there and I had a long waiting. By the time it was supposed to be finished, the mechanic discovered a nail in the tire, which further extended my waiting. The good thing was the fact that I had my sketchbook with me.
I don't understand why in two of the following sketches there is a line when I uploaded them. My drawings don't have it, but I just leave it as it is.
I don't understand why in two of the following sketches there is a line when I uploaded them. My drawings don't have it, but I just leave it as it is.