Oil Painting Workshop in South Carolina

I was going to blog all about the fabulous oil painting workshop in Kiawah Island in South Carolina that I attended but just read our teacher’s blog.. He really spelled out the week.  I learned so much. Since I am primarily an acrylic painter but now will be expanding to oils.  Here is his link:

My Kiawah 4-day Oil Painting Workshop Experience

Here are the final oil paintings that I created during the week:

One Fish 20×16″  I loved the creaminess and richness in color of the oil paint.

One Fish 20x16

Plantation Path  20×16″  This was the second oil painting I did trying to apply what I learned from our teacher about the warm and cool shadows. I kept it gestural rather than realism.

Plantation Path 20x16

“Salt Marsh Sunset”  24×24″ canvas  This one started as an underpainting but I really liked the energy and did not want to take away from the abstractness of the scene. Another tip I learned was that if you want very bright colors, do not use white to lighten. White will lighten a color but change it to a cooler pastel. This painting only used pure color.

Salt Marsh Sunset 24x24

Sunflower Bouquet  24×24″ canvas. There was a container with sunflowers in the dining room that I borrowed to paint this still life. The paint is rather thick and gooey. STill wet a week later!

Sunflower Bouquet 24x24

Three Palms at Sunset   24×24″ canvas. This one also has thick paint with no whites.

Three Palms at SUnset 24x24

Inspiration:

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Flamingo Preening

Tonight is the opening but the show will be up all month. Hope to meet you.

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“Flamingo Preening” was started while teaching seniors to paint. We are working on southern birds as a theme this month.  It is 30 x 24″ standard gallery wrap. It will be in the art show in Atlantic Beach.

Flamingo Preening 30x24

Water Reflections on the Ocean

Recently, I worked on a series of water reflections on the ocean. Trying to achieve the fluidity of water and the color of the reflections from the sky on the top of the water.

“Message in a Bottle” a 40×30″ gallery wrap painting. There is a bottle floating on the surface with a note that says “I Love You”. Originally, I had way too much detail and decided to smooth out more highlights, especially the golden reflections.  Available.

Message in a Bottle 40x30

Pink Clouds” is 36×36″ gallery wrap with a more abstract approach. I wanted to keep it with bold strokes and not overwork it. There is a little sailboat on the horizon and subtle pastels throughout.  I think this would look great above a fireplace or a room where a vision of the ocean brings you calm thoughts.  Available.

Pink Clouds 36x36

This is one of my favorites. “Surface Reflections” is 30×40″. The coloring is more greenish as I discovered while bodysurfing. Its abstractness yet visually still a bit realistic was the vision I had. Always, when I have an inspiration or working in a series, the challenges of how to accomplish the final painting. Its rather like drawing up a story board in layers. When starting, I use very large brushes and energetically add to the canvas broad shapes of colors. Each color is custom mixed for each painting and guessing how warm or cool I want the color to be. I like putting warm tinted gessoes and acrylic over areas that will eventually be cool.  Each phase needs to be pondered and then the steps to mix colors that give me the details that will eventually emerge. The use of transparent colors mixed with a glazing medium are what make the more realistic effect.Each layer has to dry before the next. It is part of the challenges that make being an artist so rewarding.

Surface Reflection 40x30

“Water Reflections” is a 36×36′ thick gallery wrap. None of these paintings need framing since I paint the edges as well.

Water Reflections 36x36

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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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

Small accent paintings

Even though my paintings are getting larger these days, I still enjoy working on smaller accent paintings. Still I paint what I am drawn to…ocean related. These are all 12×12″ except for the Octopus which is 14″. The shell paintings are a series of three, sold together for 295.00. I also think that the shells would make nice images printed on fabric for pillows.