Time has flown swiftly. I was juried into the Delray Art League, and John and I started participating in their recurring show/sale, “Artists in the Park.” It hasn’t been as steep a learning curve as it is for some artists because John used to own an Internet bookstore that did live sales at shows and conventions so we’ve had a bit of experience with selling from under a tent.
The first time through we didn’t make any sales, but the “old hands” tell us that this weekend is the start of the busy season now that all the Snowbirds have abandoned their snowdrifts for the beaches of Florida.
Paint-in with PBWS
I also joined The Palm Beach Watercolor Society and I’ve been participating in their “paint-ins” and “paint-outs;” these are opportunities for the members with a live model and lots of friendly interaction. They are held at the Boca Community Center for the paint-ins. These have been a wonderful adjunct to the figure study course I took in the Fall and I’m planning to take again. For the paint-outs we have been going to the American Orchid Society for plein aire painting.
Right now, I’m in a show by The Palm Beach Watercolor Society. It was a wonderful experience to go to the reception and seeing all the work by the Society’s members. I’m planning on entering more of their shows. It’s a good way to get exposure and to meet the other artists.
I’ve also taken to making copies of the Old Masters in order to learn the body parts better so my figures are more natural.
In December, John and I went on a cruise of the western Caribbean that yielded a number of good paintings and a number of reference photographs that, over time, I’ll use to create watercolors that show scenes in Grand Cayman, Isle de Roatan, Belize and Cozumel.
One highlight of the cruise was the submarine cruise we took off Cayman. The experience was like being in plein aire or plein l’eau. Now, I regret not taking my paints on the dive, but I took plenty of photographs as we cruised by reefs, dipping as low as 150 feet at times. It was an interesting experience, sitting dry, in air conditioned comfort as the sea bottom cruises by only a few feet away. I’m sure you’ll be seeing paintings on my site soon that will be a direct result of that dive.
I’ve been notified that I’ll be the featured artist in the Remodernist group on the website Red Bubble.
After a bit of procrastination, I sent in my application for the Vermont Artists’ Week. If I get in, and I feel the chances are good, I’ll be going up there for a week in April. If all that works out and I’m comfortable with the environment and the staff, I may do one of their longer residencies. Those seem like a great opportunity.
On a personal note, the holidays were great fun. At Thanksgiving, five of my nieces were together in Florida and I had a chance to paint will all of them. They range in age from three to nine; each has her own style untainted by “formal art education.”
The nine-year-old was experimental, looking to try the techniques that I had used and to test out various tools and brushes. The seven-year-old was more objective. She plunked down this little stuffed turkey and “just drew it,” quite well in fact. The six-year-old leaned toward impressionism with a free flowing style. The five-year-old was “my little Jackson Pollock.” I’d mixed paints for them in little cups. She picked one up and dumped it on the paper, looking back at me for some sign of approval or disapproval. I said, “You can do that, but don’t mix them ALL together or they will come out looking like mud.” I kept mixing colors for her and she kept dumping. The three-year-old was just at the point where she was learning to control her brush with the help of the nine-year-old.
I recommend painting with children if you want to have fun and loosen up. It’s hard to be uptight about the outcome when you are painting with them; they are so free.
Right now, I’m working on finishing up my “cruise series #1.” If all goes well, I’ll have a number of those ready for the next outdoor sale.