Saturday, June 27, 2009

Palletteers Paint at Barbara's House

Here is Elwin's finished painting of the wheelbarrow and shed..
Ginger did the pool view in oils.
Alma painted a lovely acrylic of the pink allamanda on the trellis by the gardening shed.

Brenda chose the Dessert Rose and a yellow allamanda on the patio for her watercolor.
Kasey did a watercolor of the sea view from the house's front lawn.
Laura found a shady spot on the front lawn under one flamboyant tree to do a watercolor of another.
The gardener's tools and a banana tree waiting to be planted captured Elwin's eye for his still-unfinished watercolor..the finished version is pictured at the start of this blog entry.
Melissa has such a knack for capturing the Palletteers at work... she quickly whipped off this acrylic of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth did a few watercolors, trying out a new brush and some ideas for subjects.

Phyllis did a watercolor of the dieffenbachia on the patio.
Despite gray skies caused by dust from the Sahara and wind gusts that kept blowing our stuff around, we had a good morning painting at Barbara Vogt's home in Frederiksted. As can be seen from the photos, a variety of subjects attracted our group and we were all pretty pleased with our results. We're happy that Phyllis Charles could join us from Florida and sad that this was Alma's last time painting with us until she returns to STX in November. We enjoyed lunch together at Sunset Grill afterwards and so, another good Palletteer painting venture was had by all!
By the way, Brenda and I went painting the pink Victorian House opposite the Dorsch Library on Wednesday morning. Though we worked from 9-1, we didn't finish..(just the drawing took more than an hour!) so we're planning to return again this Wednesday. Good shade, several views, and pleasant passers by! Join us if you can! We paint until as long as our shade lasts :^)
Also, Thursday nite I hosted Cindy Male's figure drawing session with Bully Petersen as our model. It was absolutely delightful because in addition to Bully being a great model, he also entertained us the entire time we were drawing, telling us stories, playing his quelbe music, and singing his own original songs! Can't beat that!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Palletteers on the beach at Gentle Winds

We had
a bright and gorgeous morning on Friday when we painted on the grounds of Gentle Winds condos. The beach and pool were pristine, the breezes strong and cooling, and our various spectators friendly and welcoming. My favorite of the latter was a little girl, probably 3 or 4 years old, who, after looking at my oil painting efforts, proudly proclaimed: "I color!" Aha, another artist-in-the-making! I told her that I did too, when I was her age, and my favorite gift had been a box of 64 crayons! Her dad and I both laughed at that one! Do they have bigger boxes nowadays? I know they have more delicious colors! Our morning went all too quickly and before we knew it it was "Show and Tell" time... a few unfinished paintings but all good reminders of another great painting morning. We topped off our morning with poolside lunches from the Gentle Winds snack stand.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Palletteers Paint in Frederiksted Park

Ginger amidst the yellow flowers, drawing the row of buildings across the street from the park
Painting in the park along the Frederiksted waterfront turned out to be interesting. We were thrilled to see so many choices for subject matter and it didn't take long for each of us to set up and start creating. I was attracted to a group of pastel historic buildings across from the park that now house the Frederiksted Mall, Caribbean Museum Center, and a snack shop. Oy me! Two hours later and this is all I got done: the drawing still needs a few tweaks and then another morning in the park should see it completed.

We were facing in every direction, capturing a variety of subjects. We had a lot of curious "stoppers-by" who were interested in our group's activities and added a unique social aspect to our paintng morning. It was delightful to see so many people taking advantage of having a walk through the beautiful park.

School's out so some of our spectators were young children, like these boys, who visited with each one of us and were full of questions about painting. I think that if we painted in the park regularly, a few of our visitors would end up joining us!
It was a hot day and the park's pal and mahogany trees provided plenty of shade and the cool green grass (after some bountiful rains this month) was a great place to spread out.
Victoria House, known for its lovely gingerbread, was the subject of a few paintings..
The pier captured the fancy of a few others..

Lunch at Polly's topped off another Palletteer day! Artwork by Palletteer Helen Green is still being exhibited on Polly's walls. After lunch a few of us went to Elizabeth's for a sea swim, too! Gotta remember to pack your bikini whenever we're painting at or near a beach this summer cause a dip in the sea is certainly a refreshing way to cool off after painting outdoors all morning!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Palletteers' Plein Air Gear

I've been asked what gear the Palletteers use when we go painting. As the pictures below will show, our gear is as varied as we are. Many of us have had "on the job training," learning from the veteran Palletteer painters. Some of us have done extensive research online (For me, has been extremely helpful!) Some of us have adapted things we've learned from attending workshops.
Below is my present set-up for doing plein air. I have a half-french easel in which I store my oil paint tubes, two side trays, a paper pallette, an Art Comber (from Jerry's that has large wheels to go over any terrain easily,sets up 18” off the ground, and has a waterproof bag that I can put my easel and trays into), and a backpack in which I carry my liquids, pallette, apron, paper towels, brushes and drawing materials. When I paint, I use the pull out drawer to hold my medium (in a baby food or mushroom jar) and mineral spirits (in a Creative Mark brush washer which has a very tight sealing lid, essential for an medium.), plastic gloves and plastic shopping bags for trash. The pale blue box below the canvas is an old wet wipe box and instead of wet wipes, I cut my paper towels to fit and put them in that, weighted by a nice piece of coral. Leaning up against the tree you can see my wooden wet canvas carrier that could carry two wet stretched canvases and has protected me from getting more paint on me when I am transporting my artwork from the field. It has a nice leather handle on one end and is really lightweight.
Before I got the half french easel, I used a regular french easel, a french mistress (wood box with two wings that fold out from jerry's) to hold my paints, a paper palette, and a luggage carrier to wheel it all around (using bungee cards to hold everything onto the cart). I had a huge insulated picnic type bag in which I carried my liquids, apron, and everything else. I decided to go smaller with the easel because it was lighter and luckily, I could fit everything else into the backpack that came with it AND do without the extra weight of the french mistress.
Emy paints in water based oils and uses a full french easel. She carries her paint tubes in the easel and uses the drawer for her liquids and a plastic plate as her pallette.
A visiting artist who conducted an oil paintiing workshop used a small pochade box on a tripod as his easel. The inside of his box lid had a mount for his wood panels. He used a limited pallette of colors and used the bottom of his pochade box for his paint mixing. You can see his brush washer/container for his mineral spirits hanging from the side of his easel.. it's the same as mine because after seeing his and how handy it was, I wanted one too. A lot of plein air painters use the pochade box set-up because they are more compact. I think you can get them big enough to hold a 12 X 16 panel.
Brenda really loves her Anderson metal easel. Here it is set up for oil painting with her wood pallette. Below is a better photo of Brenda's easel when she was painting with watercolors. The easel itself can be rotated and the box attached to it opens so you have a tray on which to put your pallette, brushes, water, and rags. The only problem encountered with this easel is that it's low so not easy to use if you stand when you paint.
Alexis uses a Sun Eden easel for her watercolors ( The metal easel attaches to a tripod and I think they have different set-ups depending on whether you are an oil painter or watercolorist. You can either purchase the whole set up from them as a package deal or order items separately, which is especially good if you already have your own tripod. One of the items they sell is a tray which slides onto the front legs and has braces that slide in lower down so the tray stays perpendicular to the ground. They also sell side boxes that attach to the tray. Since Alexis travels alot giving workshops, she wanted an easel that was lightweight and easy to carry. This one folds into a bag.
Melissa is one of our acrylic painters. She uses her ArtComber to transport her gear and uses a metal easel.
Alma also paints in acrylics. She has a wooden table easel and carries a folding table and stool so that she literally has her own traveling studio.
When we paint where tables and chairs are available for us to use, our load might lighten alot.
Most of our watercolor painters carry their own table and chair so they can set up anywhere.
Sometimes a chair becomes a table..
We always manage to be comfortable, wherever we are. We also attract onlookers and visitors..
Some of the artists use lap boards of varying sizes, perfect for clipping or taping a piece of watercolor paper onto, laying on one's lap, and leaning on.
We can set up anywhere...
Sometimes we just use what's available, as in the box below which doubled as a carrying box until Elizabeth found a rolling bag.
What ever we use, where ever we are, it's a given: we're having a great time painting! Don't be afraid to join us!