Photo illustrations from the St Kitts trip

As I have been still inspired by the beauty of the tropical island of St. Kitts for weeks, I went over a few of my photos and enhanced them to reflect the stunning colors. Some of these did not require a lot of enhancements and some I went a bit wild. I usually use Photoshop and a few additional filters to achieve the effects you see here. Also I do like to add borders on some. Printed on archival art papers makes for a stunning display. Enjoy!

Camping on Dutton Island

Last weekend we went camping on our local Dutton Island in Atlantic Beach. The weather was perfect and the bugs were only bothersome at dusk (when we were eating of course). We hiked around and some friends kayaked. A big bon fire at night and guitar strumming make the evening more magical.  There were about 7 or 8 tents in our group, same amount of dogs. I had forgotten that we have all this beauty in our back yard.

Prints available on demand.

Island Art

This was the first painting I worked on when I finally got back into my studio at home. I must admit that working in my studio with air conditioning and music playing is my preference even though plein air does allow an artist to really see differently. Probably its best to do some of each.

I called this painting “Outside Inside Outside” because of the fact that I was looking from the outside of Kate’s kitchen window with the shutters opened, into the kitchen where lunch was being prepared and then out the north window at the palms on the other side. SO glorious how the tropical breeze blew right through the house. No bugs except some lizards and perfect weather. The orange metal roof and tropical flowers all around.

As you can see, I again started with the entire painting loosely brushed in with brown glazes and then other colors layered over the original brown textures. I liked how the browns peeked through between the wooden shingles.

If you haven’t already done so, please send my blog link to your friends. You never know if my Island Art would go perfectly in their home. I appreciate you.

Outside inspireWindow Outside prog

Turtle Bay was so inspiring

Turtle Bay is on the very southern tip of the island of St. Kitts. We were cordially invited to spend the day painting at a new friend’s home on the beach. The island of Nevis is visible in the distance. We swam and enjoyed some rum punches with the family and painted all day. The day got quite windy and the sailboats started coming around the island to anchor. The first boat still had one sail up while they anchored so I took some photos for reference that day. SO glad I did because I really liked the composition.

Again I started with a mixture of browns to sketch in the scene with brushed washes. When that dried, I was able to add some other tints for the basis of the design. I also added the little dock that was just outside of the shot but on other photographs.

In my work, I am trying to explore the feelings I have from an experience and inspiration so adding bright colors and more abstract tendencies work well. My paintings are more in the category of impressionism/expressionism.

Painting is available and would look great with beach decor.

Nevis in DIstance inspNevis in distance progression

Monkeys on the Islands

Here is my reference photo that I shot at Shipwreck in St. Kitts and the completed painting. Originally, my vision was to do a dark painting of mostly browns and darks. However the more I worked on it, bright colors started to emerge so I let it go in that direction. I may start another with the original intention but I liked this one in the tropical colors. There are times that I fight with myself on when to stop or what direction to head for (as most artist do, right?)

Monkey on Mppnlight inspMonkey progress

Paintings that were completed since returning from the Artist Retreat

After returning from the wonderful week in St. Kitts, it took over two weeks to design a coffee table book of the journey. The last post had a slideshow of the final book design.

Then last weekend I finally was able to get into my studio to paint. I was still highly inspired form working with the thousand photos I shot. A few in particular I had set up with a painting in mind for later so I have been now printing my photos and painting from them. This one is a view from Kate Spencer’s kitchen window, on her plantation on the north end of the island.

Below are my references and some photos of the progression of how I mapped out and worked on the various layers. Starting with a brush and a mixture of raw umber,  burnt sienna and glazing medium…I painted the entire surface of the white canvas. I used creative license to change my layout before I started.

For more information on this painting, go to my website: http://www.linda-olsen.pixels.com

Kitchen Table view inspKitchen Window progress

Artist Retreat in St. Kitts was glorious

I was very fortunate to be included with three other artists from Jacksonville on a week long retreat on the beautiful island of St. Kitts. Our host, fine artist Beth Haizlip got us up early daily to set up our painting gear at a different location. Since her family has a vacation home there, she mapped out and got permission for the various venues before we arrived.  Plein air painting has its pluses and minuses. The pluses are that as an artist, we are able to really see the scenes we are capturing. The colors and flavors are more vibrant. When you first arrive at a site, finding the spot and the scene that is interesting to you is key. Cropping in your head just the part you want to paint and setting up your tripod easel, paints, water, brushes, rags, palette, umbrella etc. Sometimes the views were so amazing that it took a bit to relax and decide what to paint.

As you start painting, you have to contend with the wind and sun, people coming by to see what you are working on (this is a minus for me since so many people want to make comments and chat which breaks up your concentration). Many times, my easel blew over and scattered my supplies a couple times but hey, no biggie. We were in PARADISE!!

The local art gallery, Dale Art and Originals, in Christophe Harbour set up a gallery opening on the end of the week. We all brought more paintings for the show over in our luggage and Dale advertised the event so there was a great turnout and several sales.

Artist Retreat in Saint Kitts was Inspiring

I just returned from an amazing artist retreat with 3 other women artists. Not only was it amazingly gorgeous, I learned a lot from working with other painters and we were able to offer helpful critique. Everyday, Beth Haizlip, Debbie Pounders, Julie Garcia and I would get up early and set up on a different part of the island. Painted all day and then enjoyed the people and beauty of the island.

The first day, we painted at an iconic hot spot; bar, snorkel and restaurant which happened to be its last day in existence since a large hotel is slated to be built. Setting up to paint plein aire is so difficult with the breeze and people milling about. My easel blew down a few times. The first photo here is of a woman and I at the gallery where she purchased my painting of that day. She had watched me paint two days before and dreamed of owning it. SO honored!!

Other locations during the week included spending the day up in the hills at a Batik manufacturing and tourist attraction. Too many looker-ons for me. But it was really pretty. Then one day we went up to a sugar cane plantation on the northern end of the island where the famous painter graciously allowed us in her home to paint. Everything was so inspiring and beautiful that it took me an hour to get my jaw off the ground before I could even set up. Kate Spencer is amazing.

More later… got to go paint with my Artistic Chicks club.