Oil Paints

In a couple of weeks I will be taking an oil painting workshop in Kiawah Island near Charelston so decided to bring out my oil paints to paint this mermaid. What I discovered was that oils have its pros and cons over acrylics. I liked how buttery the paint is, how opaque and creamy, how the colors blend so nicely.  The cons for me were that it took 3 to 4 times longer to complete the painting because of the drying time and the gaps in letting some areas dry a bit to be able to work on an area. Another part I did not enjoy was the smell and messiness. I was constantly using rags and wet wipes to clean my hands.

“Sunrise Mermaid” is very large  48×36″ so a lot of pricey oil paint were used.

Mermaid at Sunrise 48x36

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Southern bird with metallic golds

“Preening” was started as a rather small (for me) canvas 24×24″. My senior students wanted to have a class on birds so we all did similar subjects as I painted the tutorial and they followed along with me. Again, I wanted to leave modern, gestural brush strokes and not try to go for realism. Many layers of different gold acrylic paints were used in the background as well as several coats of glazes of transparent colors like red iron oxide. This photo does not reflect the metallic golds…which shine.

Preening 24x24

Underwater Fantasy

“Rachel” was completed this week finally. She is 48×36″ thick gallery wrap. Since I made the scene up, there were many challenges. I wanted to show how light hits objects under the water and included the reflections of the water on her skin and the coral rocks that she is perched on. A red octopus slithers up through the crevas to visit.

Rachel 48x36

 

Here are some details:Rachel detailRachel edge

Rachel loves her jewelry and shell bra…

Rachel face

Various stages from sketches to final on this acrylic painting.

ContactSheet-001

Rocks

Recently, I completed three canvases of rocks in a stream. I also did a demonstration at the Atlantic Beach Arts Market. One already sold but I have these two available. I liked the simplicity of the scenes and the reflections in the water. Every year, my painting style evolves and I find it more interesting to keep the emotion and the gestural brush strokes rather than working out the realism.

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Rock Reflections 36×24″ gallery wrap.

Rock Reflections 36x24

Rocks 24×24″ gallery wrap

Rocks II 24x24

Mermaids!

For a commissioned project from a company in the UK, I needed mermaids that were more rectangular. The three original mermaids were tall and slender so I had three canvas giclees printed and then I painted more underwater landscape on the sides.  After I finished painting, I varnished each canvas and will sell as hand embellished giclee prints. Each are 20×16″.

This one I am calling “Bubble Bath”.

Bubble Bath

Highland Mermaid

Highland Mermaid

Siren Turnaround

Turnaround 2

Here are the original paintings that were too narrow for the project.

Before mermaids

Painting Retreat in St. Kitts

In early February, I was fortunate to be in St. Kitts with 5 wonderful artists for a week long painting retreat. Everyday, we got up early, ate breakfast and then packed up our easels and paints to paint in a different location on the island. Sometimes we painted in two locations a day…exploring and creating works that remind us all of the fun and inspiration we experienced.

Plein aire painting is not easy. You arrive at a destination with gear in tow, scout a vantage point and place that you want to paint, find a comfortable spot in the shade, set up and go. For me, the pressure of deciding what to paint quickly was diminished by the beauty before our eyes, the island breezes and the comraderie amongst the artists. Some painted with acrylic, some oils and one, watercolor artist. We painted in Rosey Cameron’s art gallery in the capital square of Bassaterre, the Christophe Harbour Marina, at a private home on the beach in Turtle Bay, at a old salt mill turned into a hip resturant, at a world famous artist’s (Kate Spencer) home and studio on the northern end of the island. We took a boat to the sister island, Nevis to paint at Golden Rock, a hotel with beautiful arboretum and gardens. The group was dedicated to being productive as we were invited to show our results at a show at the end of the week at Dale Art Gallery at the marina. Dale had a lovely gallery opening for us on our last evening.

Not only being inspired by the beauty of this friendly island, I find that my work improves by painting what I see, the other artists way of working, the laughter and love between everyone in the group, and working quickly. Even when I get home, I find that my creativity has improved and new discoveries implemented.  Unfortunately, this year, I got the dreaded flu when I returned, so was very ill for nearly 3 weeks.

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This painting of the popular hot spot and resturant, Salt Plage sold at the gallery opening.bSalt Plage 16x12

24×12″ painted at Turtle BaybTurtle Bay

Painting in the courtyard at Golden Rock in Nevis.

Artist Retreat in St. Kitts and NeviscmGolden Rock Courtyard 12x12

The marina where we painted and also had the art show on our last evening.

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Some of the other paintings completed on the days painting at the marina, the capital and Kate’s studio:

Moonlit Bay 12x12Morning at Taxi Dock 24x12Palms in the Breeze 12x24Shutters at Roseys 18x14The Journal 20x16