Saturday, July 25, 2009
Above, Elizabeth's watercolor of the garden area captured the garden's whimsical quality while below, Emy captured the historical qulaities of the kitchen wing, a cute little house in itself.
Above, Elizabeth sketched the steps leading up to the next level and below, Phebe focused on laying down the wash for her little watercolor scene she's begun from another part of the garden.
Above, a garden table under the flowering frangipani was depicted by Elwin and below, Brenda was enamored of the little eating area amidst the garden's many flowers.
Above, I loved the graceful gingerbready lines of the garden's gazebo and began by laying down my darks and then moving on to my lights before running out of time. Below, Sondra shows her talent in capturing the beauty of the architecture of the house next door in her lovely watercolor.
The air was abuzz with artistic vibes as we enjoyed a pleasant morning painting together at one of St. Croix's wonderfully unique homes! A chorus of "Wow's" could be heard as we walked through the rooms of the beautiful Christiansted home that Thia Tyler and her late husband George have restored. We loved the way the home and its garden shows a love of St. Croix and preserves some of its history! It was a great treat for all of us!
Monday, July 20, 2009
The view from the house's front verandah is spectacular! We all thought that Elizabeth did a great job capturing it in her painting.
Sondra's house paintings are always great!
Emy caught the view through one of the windows in the house.
Lucretia's painting took in the view to the east
I set up a still life involving a candle in a hurricane globe along with some of the flamboyant branches from one of the trees on the property. After painting in the cemetary this morning, I'm going to to and get some fresh flamboyants to bring home and set up in my studio so I can finish the lower part of my painting.
As you can see, the Peil house inspired us in different ways. I always find it interesting to see who paints what, as well as how the paintings of a similar view differ. I'm also infatuated with how one walks onto a site without any idea of what one is going to paint.. and then ZAP! something strikes your fancy and you are inspired! That morning I'd awoken with a pain in my back as well as a next pain when I gripped anything with my left thumb.. so I walked into the home, carrying a small 10X10 canvas, with thoughts of painting something simple and small. That changed when I saw the hurricane globed candle and the gorgeous flower arrangements our hostess, Lucretia Gordon, had set up for us in various places around the house. With Elizabeth's help, I moved the globe to the table where it could better catch the light, grabbed some of the flamboyant branches out of one of one of the vases (with our hostess's permission) and walked back to my car to get a bigger canvas... a 12X24. Even though I didn't finish, I was very happy with my choice and, guess what? I didn't feel even a squinch of pain during the entire time I painted (and it's completely gone this morning!)! Ain't life grand?!!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
On Friday we painted at the Vincent F. Mason Sr. Coral Resort, aka, the Frederiksted Pool. Not only is there a pool there, but there is also a surprisingly clean beach, complete with little palm covered shelters and lovely seagrapes.
It turned into a truely delightful place to paint: we were surrounded by several small groups of little campers from various organizations splishing and splashing, screeching and laughing, as they enjoyed the cooling waters of the Caribbean. Midway into my painting, two little campers came by to ask what we were doing. They were so cute and really seemed interested, so I took a break and brought them around to meet all the other artists. We definitely had some admirers. The little girls were so enchanted that they quickly went to fetch their friends to come back with them for a painting tour! They asked me if I was working.. and seemed surprised when I told them that I was playing.. that painting was fun for me. Then they asked if I was painting to be in a contest. I told them not a contest but maybe for a show. They didn't understand the show concept perhaps because they'd never seen one. It was a pleasant respite from painting and gave my back a chance to stretch a little bit before finishing. Melissa did a cute acrylic painting of the girls checking out my oil setup. She painted me in a nice bright yellow outfit for the picture and gave me stunning red hair.. what do you think, should I live life as a redhead for a while?
The painting below of the gorgeous flowering flamboyant gracing the resort's main building was done by Marcia.
Emy's oil painting, below, shows the beach view from the resort looking beyond the seagrape towards Frederiksted town and the hills.
Brenda's watercolor, above, captured that same view with one of the camper's moms sitting in the shade of the seagrape keeping a watchful eye on the swimmers. The painting's not finished yet.. Brenda wants to add a few more touches to the water before it's done.
Elizabeth and I were experimenting with our paintings. Unbeknownst to each other, we'd each applied a wash to our paintings. Her first painting, at the right, started out with a red toned background and came out looking somewhat oriental.. so she added some purple colors to the beach and we kinda liked the final result. We decided we weren't enamored of her second painting, in the center above, ... too much red tone. But the last one she did, with the subtle blue tones.. we liked that one alot!
Once I decided to paint the grapetree branches (see below) I thought that a reddish pink wash would provide a good basis for the greens of the leaves and for what started as a somewhat gloomy day's sky. So I rubbed the wash on and then let it dry while I drew my sketch, laid out my pallette, and mixed my paints. Because I paint ala prima (wet paint on wet paint) I decided it'd be easier to paint the background first and then paint in the leaves and branches. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I was working on the leaves that I noticed that the background in the center part of the painting was looking lavendar.. Oops! Either my wash wasn't dry enough by the time I applied my background, or my paint had thinned out too much by the time I got to the center of the canvas. Whatever. It wasn't until I got home and looked at it more carefully, out of the sunlight, that I decided I don't like the lavendar effect. The next time you see this painting, it will either have a second coat of background blue on it or more leaves, or both..:^)..and hopefully I'll have learned a lot more about using washes.
and so it goes... We adjourned to Sand Castle on the Beach for a great lunch and called it a good painting day! Hope you're having some good painting days wherever you are, too!
PS: After writing the blog entry above, I was energized so I repainted my painting's background. I added some more leaves and seagrapes too. I'm pretty happy with my results now because this is more what I envisioned when I'd begun my painting. What do you think? One of the beauties of oils is that you can do this.. rework a painting if it doesn't come out the way you want the first time around. It's hot enough here, especially lately, that even oil paintings are dry enough to paint on the next day! Voila!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Elizabeth snapped a picture of me as I was leaving with my finished oil painting (begun last August) of the view of the sugar mill and chimney through the flamboyant tree. I'm carrying it in my wet painting carrier, a very lightweight wood carrier that protects the wet painting as I transport it home.
Two watercolor renditions of the factory ruins by Phyllis. Which is your favorite?
A watercolor vista of the sugar mill and factory chimney on the Nature Conservancy grounds, complete with the picnic table provided for visitors, by Elwin.
A watercolor trio by Elizabeth: chimney, two of the many staircase entries to the Great House. Two watercolors, Marcia's above and Brenda's below, show the graceful lines of one of the flamboyants in full bloom with the factory's chimney in the background.
Below, Melissa's acrylic captured Elwin, busy at work. Doesn't she do a great job with these little caricatures?The Nature Conservancy once again triggered our creative spirits as we wielded our brushes and painted some of it's views. The cooling breezes provided a welcome respite to our early July heat and the colorful flowering trees and bushes surrounding the historic ruins helped inspire us. We all left feeling really good about our morning's efforts.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
This morning Brenda, Elwin and I met to paint in Frederiksted. Brenda and I wanted to finish some paintings we'd begun last week of the pink Victorian house next to Turtles on the Frederiksted waterfront. Elwin did a seascape of the view on the beach side of that house. While I was setting up, Brenda and Elwin were busy taking pix of the egrets in the nearby trees and several passersby stopped to talk to me. One lady and her little girl were waiting for the library to open so the little girl wanted to help me set up and had a zillion questions about what I was doing. She was so cute! The next people to come along were two young boys who admired my painting-in-progress and then went on their way. They were followed by a tourist, a local merchant, and then a lady who'd come to STX in 1960, had 11 children, and who's grandson went to school with my daughter (small world). By this time Brenda had finished with her photos and had joined me to work on her painting too. While we chatted with the lady, another gentleman came by. It turned out he was on vacation, had grown up here, and, lo and behold, he and the lady discovered they knew each other from when he was a kid! Are you worn out yet? Not done yet, after they left, another tourist gentleman came by... then cars that were driving by, stopped (two former students of mine among them) etc. Everyone asked us what we were doing, did we sell our work, could they see our other paintings... We advertised the Palletteers and told them about our next show in March (that info didn't help the guy who was going to be leaving in a few hours.. sorry), and everyone seemed to like what they saw and were interested in seeing more! Isn't that great? But the icing on the cake came when I went to grab a paper towel from this baby wipes box I keep them in on my easel and came up with a $1 bill!! I have no idea what one of our many admirers decided to put it there but it certainly gave us a good laugh! I've finally made it as a "street artist!"
I've posted pix of all our paintings!
I've posted pix of all our paintings!