Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where in the World is.......?

Durinda? Have you been thinking I disappeared? Actually, I have been on the go! There is so much to see and do and paint in the Sarasota area that I check messages at night and then away I go!

My screened in porch/studio at the house is quickly filling up with paintings!
A few shots from the last 3 weeks: I have been to two watercolor demos at the Venice Art Center with friend and former art teacher from Chattanooga, Christina Anglin, who lives in Englewood now. Dee Winterhalter does beautiful oriental style ink paintings. Her specialty is iris. You can see why.

Ron Sanders is a very traditional watercolorist. His demo was a landscape from the southwest where he combined three photos for the composition.

I don't know how the photos decided to arrange themselves, but if you can follow the flow: I painted outside a new gallery in an area called Burns Court. It was Sunday so it was closed, but the owner Jill Kaplan came by and wanted to shoot me painting there and so I shot her. For you Chattanoogans, she represents John Henry, the sculptor. He has a large work on the Bay here. You can't miss it, it is huge and red! It is part of a peninsula project he has in Florida with works in different cities. I was painting with friends, Susie Covert (in front of the orange building)and Jane Keeling. Both wonderful artists and great gals! Susie is represented by M Gallery here on Palm Avenue.

This area has a very active group of Plein Air Florida called Plein Air Sun
Coast. They paint on Thursdays. We have been to the Powel Crosley Mansion where I painted a lovely window which reminded me of Italy! We also painted at another estate the week before, Phillipi. I set up in the rose garden there. On Mondays, I have been studying with Katie Dodson Cundiff. Katie is a signature member of PAF and teaches plein air out of the Southern Atelier. The first week we painted at the Sarasota Sailing Club where she is talking about her painting of some drydocked boats. Guess what I painted?- a yellow boat (for those who were on Amelia with me, we painted boats). The next week we painted in the Ringling Museum rose garden. I had a young architecture student come by and ask to photograph me painting so I asked if he would shoot me in return!
I put it lots of links in case you want to see some of what's here and some of the great artists around.
Whenever you paint in a new or different area, it can take some time to adjust to the different colors and atmosphere you see. Here on the coast, the light is stronger and changes very quickly. The morning light is very different compared to the afternoon light. The foliage colors and plants are either very grayed if in the sky or very intense up close. I have been working with my double primary palette and then adding some brighter colors of turquoise, violet, and magenta. It is still a challenge to mix what's there! My mantra is "see what you paint and paint what you see."
I leave for Montgomery tomorrow to teach for the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts Arts Integration workshop for three days. Then, fly back and my family is coming for the weekend. We hope to visit Mickey and Minnie for a couple of days.
Coming up in February- my friends will be coming down to paint, Ginny Stiles from Leesburg, Florida and then the SLAC gals will take over the town. I also have a couple of workshops next month. One with noted watercolorist Tom Lynch and a week with the master David Leffel. Very different artists and very different approaches so I am excited to watch them both! So, I will do my best to post what's happening here.
Wishing you sunshine wherever you are!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Every Artist's Dream!

Be prepared for what I am about to tell you! Painting in Monet's Gardens is every painter's dream if you love flowers, gardens, French architecture and landscape. What better way to experience the life of this famous artist than to live in his village and actually paint in his gardens! I have been fortunate to have been twice to experience this. I am about to make you an offer you can't refuse!
Art Study ( in Giverny is able to offer us a week of living in Giverny (see the photos above for the house, the sunny kitchen, and the artist studio) at a reduced rate in the early fall. You can read all about them via their website and see that the other workshop sessions are listed. This one would be early September. I have been during that time and the gardens are aglow with dahlias, sunflowers, nasturiums, and the waterlilies! This is THEIR season! I can't guarantee the weather, but it won't be summer and it isn't too cool yet. I remember being quite comfortable painting out. We will have daily access- yes! Daily access to the Gardens to paint!
I have met Cello Bennett and been to her house and toured the studio. I can tell you that she is a very gracious and accommodating hostess. She is carrying on the en plein air experience for artists after the passing of her husband, Gayle, in March of this year. IF you ever thought you would want to see Monet's Gardens and Home, paint the French countryside and small villages, live and eat the French way, and actually paint in Monet's Gardens, this is the time for you!
Because Cello is giving us a reduced rate which includes all meals prepared by our own French chef except 3 lunches and 2 dinners (which will be events in themselves)and includes ground transportation for our side trips to paint around in the area, she is asking that we respond with a YES or a strong MAYBE asap. The deadline I am setting is February 5 for you to respond to me (no deposit yet). I need to tell her we have 7 painters interested! And, you can bring your nonpainting spouse or friend or other! Just remind them that it is a quiet village where they can relax, read, walk, ride bicycles, take photographs, etc. Of course they are welcome with us anywhere we go too! She will give a 10% discount on that second person with you!

This week will be YOUR focus. Bring what you want to work in, Cello will provide easels and turp for work in oils, watercolors or acrylics. I will offer as much or as little direction as you want. Take tons of photos. This is a chance of a lifetime for you as an artist or if you know an artist who might be interested, please tell them to contact me! I know the economy is all we hear about, but it isn't going to get any cheaper and this opportunity may not be offered again and for some of us, we ain't gettin' any younger! ;>)
Email me at: if you are thinking about it, have questions, etc before the deadline of February 5. Feel free to pass this information on to your art groups and friends. I am sure no painter will want to miss out on living every artist's dream!
Dreaming in French!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Life at the Beach

New Year Greetings to Everyone! I hope your holidays were filled with joy. I have been catching up on different blogs and newsletters the last couple of days and really amazed at the determination of artists to make the new year a successful and productive one. Everything from keeping a daily log to writing long term goals, improving marketing, etc. has been in their articles. Good thoughts! I am in my "good place" for two months now; the place I envision when scary or hurtful things are occurring ...the dentist(sorry Jason), etc.. It is also the place where I can let my creative juices flow. No normal routines, no interruptions, nothing to keep me from painting or drawing or just thinking. It also gives me time to self reflect.
I will be working on plans for the coming months: new classes, new workshops, and new paintings, of course. I hope to keep you updated on works in progress.
In the meantime, I hope you will also have a block of time in your life to just enjoy the stillness.
Peace! (that's my message from my "hippie" house at the beach ;>)