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.

aPage 01aaPage 02-03bPage 28-29

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.

dPage 62-63b

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

A Painting as a gift

“Happy Dog” is a painting I created for some very good friends who are going thru a hard ordeal concerning their 6 year old boxer. Their “Honey” has been diagnosed with cancer and has had surgery and now possibly chemo. we are all so sad and concerned.

I have been working larger lately and hadn’t thought about my friend’s condo being quite small with very little wall space. The painting original is 40×30″ so I photographed it and had a 16×20 canvas giclee made for them as a gift. They were pleasantly surprised when I gave it to them this afternoon.

happy dog 40x30

details

happy dog honeyhappy dog palm

I did a photoshoot this morning of HoneyChild in my photography studio. Such a sweet dog!!

Tropical Paradise painting

“Nearly Home” is a 24×48″ gallery wrap just completed. I was inspired by another painting I had completed recently. I cannot post the other one yet because it is a gift.

My goal was to use fluid and broad strokes and keep the landscape more impressionistic. Even though there are a lot of paint strokes, they are not entirely random. Making each stroke finite and not working into it and blending takes a lot of self control.

nearly home 48x24

Details of some of the brush strokes.

nearly home palmsnearly home signature

A Peaceful Tropical Landscape

Over the holidays, I painted this 30×48″ scene. I wanted to do an abstract painting originally but the more I worked on it, the more fantasy was added. After a few days, this emerged: a small landscape of the reflections on the water and the glow of the lights in the little house. It is called “Silent Night” and I hope the feeling it gives you is a positive one. The moon at the end of December was another inspiration that was incorporated.

Enjoy!

silent night 48x30

detail of house

silent night house

Tropical Landscape commission completed.

hopetown paradise 48x36This commission took a lot more time in the studio because of the size and also the client’s directives. Originally, they wanted an “Abstract Expression” of their favorite place in the Abacos, Hopetown. They sent various photos of the famous lighthouse and their navy blue yacht and instructed me to use lots of texture and bright colors. Abstract is an odd term and I had to explain to them that if they wanted the lighthouse and boat and all the elements of a LANDSCAPE, it would be far less “abstract”. My brush strokes were quite loose and bold, mixing palette knife and large brushes, mixing custom colors to go with their rug in the room that they will hang this painting in, adding more texture and complimentary colors, enhancing the sunrise…etc. I finally went with my style of expressionistic painting to complete the landscape.

 

“Hopetown Paradise” is 48×36″

 

ContactSheet-001

Photos sent by customer as reference: ( I also used some of my photography from several trips that I took a decade ago. I have actually been to Hopetown three times to shoot weddings. Such a cool island.)

inspir

Colorful Tropical Landscape

While waiting for a collector’s final directives for a commission that they wanted to have me do, I started a landscape to work out some ideas and techniques. They said they wanted it abstract, palette knife, textural, yet still have a tropical landscape as the design. Now, what some people consider to be abstract doesn’t mean void of imagery but just looser brushstrokes and not realistic. More expressionistic? Impressionistic?  Its hard to define since it has elements of all. This painting is 60″ wide and 48″ tall.

The couple really liked this but it ended up being larger than they needed. They have decided to have me paint a 48×36″ gallery wrap and instead of a random island, they specifically wanted a landscape of the Hopetown lighthouse (in the Abacos) with their sailboat docked by the shore. I will post when completed the final painting. I have been working on it for a week and really like how it is progressing.

This larger tropical painting is available so if you have a large wall, it would be perfect…and an island life image will spark memories of past island vacations.

Island Life 60x48

Here are some details showing the impressionistic brush strokes. Deliberate strokes giving the hint of the flower shapes or palm fronds…but not detailed or realistic.

Island Life boat

Working on a painting this large is very physical. My arms and back get very sore after several hours but I love working large. Its rather bold and fun.

Family in CaliforniaIsland Life flowersIsland Life sky

Two similar paintings worked on within a few weeks allow for exploration

“Morning at Turtle Bay”  40×30′ was painted in a larger size from a similar painting that I did after visiting St. Kitts earlier in the year. (“Nevis in the Distance” See below). I had taken photos while painting on this idyllic beach. It was a windy day so the sailboats that would have been sailing that day came around the tip of the island to anchor and wait for the wind to die down. The first sailboat still had one sail up still while getting in position. There was a little dock and we swam in the shallow water. Paradise.

Of course on this second painting from my photograph, I changes a few things and tried to make the water reflect less wind in the cove. This painting will go on my wall at home.

Morning at Turtle Bay 40x30tropical decor

Then, after completing the larger 40×30″ scene, I wanted to explore the idea again to learn and be bolder with my new ideas. My husband remarked that he didn’t understand why I painted two of the same painting. I wanted to change the time of day like it was a summer evening with the moon lighting up the sky. I also wanted to try making the colors more brilliant and colorful.   These two new paintings really made me happy while painting it and I am assuming that the happy feeling transcends to whomever purchases the painting.

“Twilight Sail”  40×30″

Twilight Sail 40x30

Escape To The Coast

Nevis in the Distance is 24×30 was done earlier in the year and was my inspiration for the two new larger paintings.

Nevis in DIstance insp

“All You Need” is a smaller landscape 24×20″ and done from the same photos I shot while on that beautiful beach.

All you Need 24x20

“Sand Bank Bay”  24×24 is from a Str Kitts trip two years ago. Sand Bank Bay is on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island and near the most southernly points. Available for purchase.

Sand Bank Bay 24x24

Flamingos on my mind

Since I have a show in a couple weeks at the Grand Bohemian Gallery in St. Augustine called “Destination Paradise”, I decided to work a bit more on the theme of tropical birds and animals. The top painting is inspired by a photo I took while in Key West of two flamingoes in a arboretum. It is called “Rock Pond” and is a thick gallery wrap 24×36″.

Rock Pond 36x24

This painting is more fanciful with a dragonfly and two flamingoes. By the way, I looked up the proper spelling of the plural of flamingo can be flamingos or flamingoes.

This 40×16″ gallery wrap painting is called “Spring Joy”. It has metallic gold and irridescent touches throughout and looks more captivating with room lights.

Spring Joy 40x16

Here is the invitation to the upcoming show. Hope to see you!

Kessler-KESSMKT-0139-CORP_Gallery POSTCARD 1 pic HOR WHITE

Flamingo

“Coral Plumes” is a small accent painting 20×10″. It would be great in a bathroom or as accent in any room. I also am offering the image to be printed on demand through my website.

Coral Plumes 20x10

details

Coral Plumes feetcoral-lumes-linda-olsen

“This is a 24x36x1.5 gallery wrap painting called “Flamingo Gossip”. Its more impressionistic in style and was inspired by a photo I took at the San Diego Zoo.

Flamingo Gossip 36x24

Parrots!!

After working on monkey paintings earlier in the year and recently, I wanted to continue my tropical rain forest theme in include birds and other animals.

“Parrot Choir” is a 40×30″ painting with three parrots

The other two parrot paintings are small 20×10″. I have also shown ideas for having my art printed on various decor and wearable items. This is an option on my website and a great option for collectors who have no wall space; at http://www.linda-olsen.pixels.com