Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This is Thanksgiving week, and no plein air painting and no figure group this week. I am working on my large white cow painting, trying to finish it this month! So nothing new this week to post. Instead, I thought I'd post a painting I did of my hairdresser's koi fish that I entered into the People's Art Exhibition at Space 301 this summer (July-September). The fish were fun to paint, but the water was a bit challenging for me. This is acrylic on canvas, titled "Connie's Koi No. 1". I love Connie's wonderful little garden with lots of beautiful flowers and exotic plants, and two small koi ponds. This is a composite of the fish from the two separate ponds. We can recognize the individual koi fish in this painting. Shortly after this painting was finished, the koi in the lower right corner died - so this is sort of a memorium.

I also did a quick little pen and ink of Connie's koi for one of the Mobile Art Association meeting announcement postcards earlier this year. Here it is as well.

I have taken a slew of photos of Connie's koi fish and hope to eventually start a series of koi paintings. They are so colorful and lively - you can't help but show movement in your paintings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Plein Air Painting on Dauphin Street, ETC....

Yesterday was Thursday and a busy day. In the morning I met downtown on Dauphin Street with two of my plein air buddies: Missy Patrick and Lydia Host. We met at Cathedral Square Gallery, and painted from the nearby street corner. Lydia and Missy did small oil paintings looking east up Dauphin Street. I had a great view of the opposite street corner including Cafe 615 and the new Bull Restaurant, both in the same block as Winzell's. It was a cool but sunny and clear day - good light for plein air. I almost finished my watercolor onsite. Had to make it to Figure Group last night; so I finished the watercolor tonight. I was pleased with the finished product, mostly because it has some nice colors in it - yellow building, green vines, green door, yellow sign, red sign.... Made for a fun painting. The biggest challenge was painting in the reflections in all the windows. Here is the finished product.

Once I finished this, it made me want to finish another previous plein air watercolor I started last month but never completed. Here is my watercolor of the Mobile Harbor waterfront from the last time Missy, Lydia, Thayer Dodd and I got together. I was able to finish it because Thayer was good enough to email me a photo of the ship dock she had taken that day. Tonight I added some color to the water in the river, and worked on adding further contrast to the shadows and a couple more details. It is still a little rough, but I think it captures the bustle of the port activity that day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Figure Group and Miniature Art

Well I promised to post some figure drawings from our Figure Group sessions. We meet on Thursday nights at Space 301 studio space. We usually have 8 or 10 sessions in the spring and again in the fall. This is a great opportunity for drawing or painting the figure, and experiencing comraderie with fellow artists. Here are some recent drawings from the last 3 sessions - most of these are around 20 minute poses. I finished off the last 2 drawings when I got home.

Also, on Saturday this weekend was the opening reception for the Spanish Moss Miniature Art Show sponsored by Dr. Java Coffeehouse. I entered a small pen & ink of two pears, and was very pleased that it got juried into the show. The show will hang at Dr. Java's until 2 December. It is a great "little" show - lots of amazingly done miniature art. Check it out - this is a great excuse to enjoy artwork over a hot cup of latte. My drawing is around 4" x 4", so it is not really miniature, but it met the requirements for this show (all work 8" x 10" or smaller). Will post photo of the drawing when I bring it back home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Plein Air, Reception and Figure Group!

Tuesday was Veteran's Day and was a day that several of us finally got to do some plein air painting. Lydia Host and Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough painted in the morning, and Jami Buck, Gail Bramer and I painted in the afternoon (all due to conflicting schedules). But we all painted at Langan Park and the weather was beautiful - kind of an Indian Summer type of day with the trees showing alot of color not necessarily typical of the southern Gulf coast.

Here is my plein air painting attempt from Tuesday at the park. This is oil on board. I had trouble at first preventing the paint from sliding right off the board, but finally got the knack of it and tried to make it work for me by scratching off paint for effect. It is interesting to compare what others did with this beautiful day in the park. I checked Lydia's and Mary Elizabeth's blogs and they were apparently able to focus in a little closer. But this was a learning experience for me to capture all the different textures for the different vegetation, as well as the reflections in the lake.

Tonight is Missy Patrick's reception for her solo show at Gallery 54. Will go straight from there to our Figure Group session, which is held at Space 301 downtown. We have a really good group and have had some great models so far. Will have to post some figure drawings next time. I'm so happy that I have time for all these art activities, and grateful for the art community in Mobile that has so much to offer if you will search it out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vision Outside Fellini's

This is only my second posting to this blog. I wanted to include a painting that had hung in the Mobile Art Association Fall Juried Exhibition, which we just took down on Halloween Day. My painting won the Alabama Art Supply Merchandise Award ($100), which I was very pleased with since this is the first art award I have ever won. Here is a photo of the painting, which I titled "Vision Outside Fellini's".

There is, of course, a story behind this painting. My husband and I had just eaten lunch at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants on Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans called Fellini's. This restaurant used to project old Fellini movies on their walls before Katrina. As we exited the restaurant to the street we saw a woman walking with her pitbull along the sidewalk. After they passed us we turned around and noticed that the dog had a pet chicken riding in his backpack! This was such an absurd sight, I thought I just had to go home and paint it. I had no camera, but the image was pretty well registered in my mind. When I got back to Mobile, I checked out some books from the library about pitbulls and also researched the web for images of dogs walking, doggie backpacks, chickens, etc. - and even found a webpage that had a photo of the Fellini's restaurant sign. I then composed this painting. I had great fun in composing and painting the details on the dog's face and feet. The judge who juried the show had some constructive criticism on this painting, mainly regarding the background (realism vs. illusion?); but I decided to learn from the painting and not try to adjust it - especially since I had already varnished and sealed the painting. (The difficulty with the background reinforces my desire to learn more from my plein air painting so I'll be more comfortable painting grass, trees, architectural details, etc.) This is acrylic on canvas, 24" x 36".