Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Lovely Kanapaha Botanical Gardens In Gainesville, Florida

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that Mark and I had visited the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida for the first time after dropping some paintings off at Paddiwhack. The gardens are well-established and extensive without requiring miles of walking to see various types of gardens and natural environments. In fact, one can see most of the gardens with less than two miles of strolling. The natural features include a view out over a large lake, so lush with vegetation that it's hard to see, and the Kanapaha Prairie beyond it, in a long view from a high point (at least high for Florida :>) in one of the photos.
Other photos show the hummingbird garden, with gazebo and some bright red flowers and an interesting fallen tree that forms an archway over the path.
I am glad to be posting again after traveling to Charlotte, NC to help a friend who will be relocating there. When I returned and tried to sign in, Blogspot seemed to be experiencing difficulties. It took a couple of days and some work to reestablish and post on this blog. Soon, I will be visiting your blogs as well, now that we (I hope) are up and running again.
I hope all readers in the United States are enjoying a relaxing, yet meaningful, Memorial Day weekend as we honor and remember all those who have served us and our country in the past, as well as the many Americans currently serving us in military service. Our gratitude is sincere and profound.

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Painting Exhibit at Paddiwhack in Gainesville, Florida

I know I said that I would post my new flyer next, but couldn't resist showing you this lovely display of eight of my coastal North Florida landscape paintings. I am thrilled with the grouping the owner mounted Wednesday afternoon in the prime exhibit area of Paddiwhack in Gainesville, Florida. The photos (double click to enlarge) also give you a small glimpse of the wonderful, eclectic collection of goodies sold in this fine shop.
Mark and I dropped the paintings off early Wednesday afternoon, then had a glorious, fresh, well-seasoned lunch (we LOVE breakfast-all-day places) at The Flying Biscuit Cafe a few doors down in the same strip mall. We spent a couple of fun hours at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens--which I must show-and-tell about in another post soon.
As we had done in our visit a few months ago (see 1/31/11 post), we brought a chilled bottle of good wine in a cooler and purchased lovely cheese at The Fresh Market next door to Paddiwhack, a rosemary baguette and a couple of other goodies at the Upper Crust Bakery down the row. I'm telling you, this particular strip mall has terrific stores (feel so privileged to have my paintings in this popular Gainesville, Florida spot!). We joined my beloved painting mentor, Linda Blondheim, in her studio/showroom loft up in the back of Paddiwhack for wine, gourmet snacks, and good conversation.
By the time we returned to meet Linda, the owner had hung my paintings. They will show here for six weeks, through the end of June. The top photo shows six of the pieces on a side wall just to the right as customers enter the store. In the second photo, you can see a two more, one on a blue partial wall just before the large main section of the store, and the other on the back of a piece of furniture which faces into the shop. The small honey-colored frame standing on a chest in the corner displays the artist's statement I showed you last time with my business cards on a pottery stand next to it. The flyers I made for the occasion are on the highboy beneath the six pieces. This show is an amazing opportunity, for which I am very grateful.
Question of the day: Isn't life astonishing sometimes? How did I get here from taking a painting course just for fun not too many years ago?!?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Artist's Statement--Landscape Paintings in a Gainesville, Florida Shop

Tomorrow, we will deliver a collection of eight landscape paintings to Paddiwhack, a delightful shop in Gainesville, Florida. I have been working hard to prepare the pieces for the exhibit; they will hang in a featured nook in the front of the store for six weeks. Two new publicity pieces are also ready, a flyer for people to pick up, which I will show you in the next post, and this framed artist's statement. You should be able to click on it to make it larger.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Details of New Painting and More About the Painting Process

The Lyons Club Park Boardwalk painting got off to a decent start in terms of composition, but some other aspects of the process were unsatisfactory at first and required revision. For those of you interested in the painting process, that is the topic today. The photos are close-up detail shots of the new painting I showed you last time as well as a photo of the entire piece.
As I mentioned last post, I shifted the viewpoint a bit from the reference photo, but you could see that I retained the basic elements of the scene without radical change. I raised the horizon line, which often seems to land in the horizontal center of my photos, because a painting should (almost) never be cut in half by a major element or line. I made small, grey-tone sketches of several possible compositions to consider and gridded over them horizontally and vertically into thirds (resulting in nine smaller rectangles). I try to place my focal point near the intersection of two of these lines, which is pleasing to the eye (these are sometimes called "sweet spots"). In this piece, I regard the center of interest as the area in the upper left third where a single tree stands and the boardwalk comes to a point and makes a sharp turn to follow the river bank. That is such a compelling angle that the viewer's eye is inevitably led there. But I include a path over to the right and then visual paths up, down, and around so that the viewer's eye will naturally move through the entire composition and find other areas of visual interest as well.
I thought I had chosen a perfect palette for this painting, but needed to change it along the way. I use a limited palette for each work, meaning a selection of certain tube colors which will blend well to create the entire range of color variations for the scene. Even though the viewer may not notice the use of a limited palette, the result is more pleasing and harmonious than using many randomly chosen colors would be. The palette I choose varies with the subject, weather, and season. This painting has no tube green at all; greens are blended from blues and yellows, and modified with red, purple and grey. After one change, the final palette consisted of cerulean blue, cobalt blue, paynes grey, dioxizine purple, cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, buff, and white. Although the photo is almost entirely in greens and blues, I wanted a livelier scene and added shades of purple in the water. Then, I used burnt sienna (a favorite color) to add a range of tones in the marsh grasses. This was a mistake, in my opinion. The burnt sienna did not blend well with the blues and purples I had used, so I put it back in the drawer and experimented with other shades for the grass. Some of our North Florida marsh areas include a sort of brownish burgundy grass that seemed likely to fit in, so I worked that into various spots in the grass along with some buff and greenish blends. This particular burgundy is a blend of cad red light, paynes grey, and a little purple (used with care--the purple is strong).
This painting came together a bit more quickly than sometimes (I am a sloooow painter). If you have any other questions about the painting process, please feel free to ask either in a comment or to email me (see profile for address). I enjoy sharing "shop talk" with interested readers.
Question of the day: What aspects of the painting process (if any) are of interest to you?