30A Songwriters, Chautauqua, and Girls Getaway, an Exciting 3 Weeks

January 21, 2014 in Landscape, Plein Air

Oil painting of the view from the Oak Marina at Niceville, FloridaI am painting 3 weekends in a row, or at least I plan to.  Let’s just say I’m taking my vitamins, in preparation for that much painting!

Last week I went to the Oak Marina, in Niceville, for the weekly outing with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters.  It was a bit breezy and chilly, but nothing like the 40 hours below freezing the week before!  I dare say no one here in Northwest Florida was out painting that week!  I know I wasn’t — I was huddled by the fireplace.  This week I just put on my wind pants and turned up my collar.

I was working on a canvas panel that I had underpainted with a sort of a russet color acrylic, which initially I regretted, because it was difficult to cover when I was trying to paint my sky.  Later in the painting I achieved the results I had wanted, when I scratched down to the underpainting for the detail lines.  Accomplished fellow painter Charlotte Arnold told me to feather downward on the juicy paint to turn my splotches into Spanish moss, on the huge oak bordering my painting.

Oil painting of eucalyptus in a blue pot at Grayt Grounds of Monet MonetThis past weekend was highlighted by the annual 30A Songwriters Festival, one of two amazing festivals produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance, the area arts organization here where I live.  I was privileged to work with my friend Leslie Kolovich who produces podcast interviews.  She had several singer-songwriter artists and groups in her studio over the weekend, who performed live and impromptu for us.  You can listen to those podcasts at www.supradioshow.com.  Below is a quick iPhone photo of THE Jeep Rosenberg being interviewed (I love this job).

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Oil painting of Chinese lion statue at Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet

In the mornings I painted plein air in the gardens at Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet, the wonderful coffeeshop and event venue that is displaying some of my work.  They put my work on easels throughout the gardens, for the weekenders strolling through with their coffee, who chatted with me while I painted.  It was downright cold the first day, so I looked like the Michelin Man, dressed in my quilted snowsuit.  The second morning was much warmer, and I enjoyed the sounds of a band playing for the coffeeshop patrons while I painted.  Grayt Grounds is selling my work online too:  Click here!

This weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, January 24-25-26, 2014, I will be painting “on the circle” around the lake in DeFuniak Springs, FL, for the Chautauqua Festival.  A number of painters from our local plein air group will be there, as well as some traveling specifically for this event.  The festival has dedicated a room for us to hang our wet paintings, and has invited us to show our work.  On Friday the 24th, I also will be attending the opening reception for the A+Art “Outdoor Magic” exhibit of plein air paintings at the South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College.  I might still be in my painting clothes!!

And the weekend after that, on Superbowl weekend, I will be painting in Rosemary Beach, during the Girls Getaway, again with other local plein air painters.

Anyone can paint at these events.  If you want to paint with us, you may contact me through this website and I will put you in touch Beckie Perrott, who graciously informs us of all these plein air opportunities.

This last painting I made this weekend, was one of the two stone Chinese lion statues in the gardens at Grayt Grounds.  With the typical bugged-out eyes, and a large pearl in his mouth, this iconic statue was harder to paint than I thought it would be.  I ended up not painting much of the surrounding foliage, spending most of the time trying to capture his face.  This lion was different than most of this type.  Most of these are in pairs, as is this set, and the male lion has a ball under his right foot, and the female an inverted cub under her left foot, but this lion has a four-legged critter sitting under his right foot, a critter I could not identify.  I’ll have to ask the owner, who owns the jewelry store next to the coffeeshop.

Most of my paintings and images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot

 

The Present Moment – Artist Joan Vienot

October 27, 2013 in Landscape, Plein Air

PhotoByJeffreyJonesI am thrilled to be showing my paintings at Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet in Grayton Beach, Florida, November 2-17, 2013.  The opening reception will be November 2, 2013, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  My show is titled “The Present Moment”.  I chose that title because the show features my plein air paintings, which are for the most part painted outside, in the open air, on location.  As such, painting ‘en plein air’ is a very temporal effort, constrained by weather, lighting, bugs, heat or cold, you name it, requiring the artist to be very much “in the present moment”, with mind and senses completely focused on the work and not wandering to yesterday’s political discussion or tomorrow’s fun workshop or how much laundry is waiting at home.  I also will be showing some studio pieces painted in a plein air style.

Here are some of the announcements and stories about  my coming show.  The first one is the one I am especially excited to share with you, a 20-minute live interview with Claire Bannerman, produced by www.supradioshow.com.  You will hear me explain my take on the process of painting and how it can be so very different from the product which the viewer sees, and you will hear a little about my personal history and my involvement in the art scene of South Walton County in Northwest Florida, where I live.

SUP Radio Show — Your Global Art Showcase with Claire Bannerman — Artist Joan Vienot Debuts in Grayton Beach Florida: http://www.supradioshow.com/2013/10/artist-joan-vienot-debuts-grayton-beach-florida-sup-radio/  (The podcast interview media player is at the bottom of the text on that page.)

Walton Outdoors — Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet to Showcase Local Artist Joan Vienot Nov. 2-17 — http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/grayt-grounds-of-monet-monet-to-showcase-local-artist-joan-vienot-nov-2-17/

SoWal — Reception and Exhibit Opening for Local Artist Joan Vienot Nov 2 — http://sowal.com/story/reception-and-exhibit-opening-for-local-artist-joan-vienot-nov-2

Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County — “The Present Moment” Joan Vienot’s Debut Exhibition — http://www.culturalartsalliance.com/node/520

Below is my plein air painting of Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet, in Grayton Beach, Florida, painted across the street from the building and front gardens in September of this year.

Oil Painting of Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet, modeled after Giverny

 

 

 

 

Laguna de Siete Colores Adventure

December 25, 2012 in Landscape

After completing the Artist’s Way Workshop led by Joyce Hogue at A.Wickey Gallery, I think I need to start over and really read every word of every chapter of the book.  There were so many times I would read something and think, Oh, yeah, that’s not really about me or my life, when really there is a lot more truth than I was comfortable admitting, descriptions of ways that I sabotage efforts to create art.  Most especially I realized that I am not exactly being truthful when I say I don’t have time to do my art.  I took a good look at how I spend my time, and I noticed that I seem to be able to take off on a 5- or 10-day adventure at the drop of a hat, so it is absolutely untrue that I do not have time — it’s merely that I have not been scheduling time for my art.

 
 
 

So this-coming year, I resolve to expand my definition of myself, this time as an artist, as well as an adventurer.  Oh, I’ve been calling myself an artist my whole life, but when I am honest, I realize that time-after-time-after-time, I have resisted when it comes to actually producing art.  Sometimes it is the inertia of couch-sitting that holds me back, sometimes it is thrill of unknown adventure that I would rather do, sometimes it is the attraction of friendship and companionship, and sometimes the aggravation of bills or work commitments, but I am realizing that just about any excuse not to produce art has resulted in greatly limiting my artistic output.  If I really want for my dream of being a full-time artist to come true, I will need to quit ignoring the call of the paint and to start producing finished works.

At the very least, I will have an additional 3 hours of empty time every week, when I have been attending the 12 sessions of the Artist’s Way Workshop. Last week one of the participants hosted a party for us all, at her house.  Our assignment was to make a small gift using a quote form the Artist’s Way book.  I made and framed a 3×3″ watercolor of an orange, above right, with the quote that “sometimes we shake the apple tree, and the universe delivers oranges.”  This quote is significant to me, in that so many times in my life, I may have had a wish, a dream, or set an intention, and events come to pass which meet and exceed that intention in ways very different from how I had imagined.

I missed class the week before, while I was in Mexico at a retreat called Laguna de Siete Colores, named for Laguna Bacalar, in the southern Yucatan.  I was there to shoot promotional photography for The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show and for Undertoe Mexico Stand Up Paddleboards, the producers of the retreat.  The paintings at left are all oil on canvas panel, and this series is from the sunrise at Tulum, our first morning in Mexico.  Sunrise is always inspirational, and the colors are so warm and bright in the first hour after sunrise, the “golden hour.”  I plan to paint many more from this adventure in Mexico.

My present intention is to review and refresh my skills with painting, since I have only just begun oil painting late this year, after about 30 years of making drawings and watercolor paintings.  My goal is to join up with the local group of plein air painters, who paint every Wednesday morning.  I am limiting my work on these practice paintings to only 2 hours at most, so that I develop a faster and looser style of painting, which is more practical for plein air painting, due to rapidly changing light and weather conditions.

I have found that my brushes are pretty sad, so I have ordered 4 new ones, and also a new tube of titanium white,and new oil painting medium to make my paints more workable and to help them all dry more quickly and with the same degree of gloss.  I’m still pretty stingy with the paint, not mixing big enough batches of each color, which is forcing me to remember which tubes I used and in what quantities in order to get each color.  So far the color mixing has come back to me fairly easily, and I very much appreciate the fact that oil paints dry pretty close to the same color that I mix, as opposed to watercolor paints, which always dry more muted and lighter in value than when they are wet.

I usually post photos of my paintings on Facebook on my Joan Vienot Art page as soon as I finish them.  The tern painting was very popular, selling the same day I posted it.  Contact me if you are interested in any of my paintings.  Since they largely are practice pieces, I am maintaining reasonable pricing.

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Finished piece: Whispering Statue

Around one month ago, the Artist’s Way workshop assignment was to open a book, and select a two-word phrase, and make a piece of art out of it, or write a poem, or whatever mode of expression we chose.  When George Harrison did this, he wrote the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” after seeing the phrase “gently weeps” in the first random book he picked up.  I didn’t actually open the first book I picked up, but instead selected the title of a Nancy Drew mystery, The Whispering Statue.  I selected for my inspiration a piece of concrete yard art in my own yard, a gift from a dear friend, a statue of St. Francis of Assisi.  Below is the progression of the painting.  The statue stands next to my birdbath.  Click on any of the images for a larger view.

Most of my images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot

 

 

Photography in British Columbia, Canada

June 21, 2012 in Photography

I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks.  Lest my readers think I have fallen off the earth, I haven’t, and here’s proof, a photo of me right now, working on my computer, early in the day, still in my PJ’s.   2500 miles away from my home, I am in British Columbia shooting photography and video for friend and fellow stand-up paddler, Leslie Kolovich, the host and producer of The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show, a collection of podcasts discussing everything and anything about the sport and recreation of stand-up paddling.

Leslie’s website, www.supradioshow.com, also includes a a number of posts On the Road, some of which are elaborated in much more detail in a series titled “On the Road with Leslie” for the Standup Journal, the premier quarterly magazine of standup paddling.  We are in British Columbia to produce another article in that series.

We were invited to British Columbia by fellow SUP (Stand-Up Paddle) enthusiast and environmental activist Bob Purdy, who made a commitment more than a year-and-a-half ago to paddle every day to support his personal connection to the planet, in his mission to encourage us all to change the way we live.  He is convinced, and I concur, that if we all commit to changing even just one thing in our lives, that together we will create a wave of change for the betterment of the planet.  I am starting with a small change in my life, and that is to actually use all of the re-usable water containers I have collected over the years.  Who knows why my willing spirit ever bought them but never actually used them.  You may think this is an inconsequential change, but it is my commitment, to reduce my consumption of products packaged in plastic.  When we each make a change, and really commit to it, the ripple effect will become a tide.

Today is Day 538 of Bob’s daily paddling.  Five days ago, on June 16, 2012, World Paddle for the Planet Day, he completed the extraordinary feat of paddling the entire 80-mile length of Okanagan Lake without ever getting off his SUP  board.  It took him 19 hours, and was grueling towards the end.  The weather changed from glassy calm to 2-foot swells, from tailwinds to flat calm to headwinds, throughout the day.  Bob paddled through rain, wind, and sun.  We took an extra paddle board on the support boat where I rode, armed with my cameras.  I was honored to paddle with Bob for 12 miles in the middle of the day.  Leslie started the day beside him, paddling an amazing 20 miles, 16 of it continuously, more than double the distance of our training paddles at home in Florida.  Other paddlers joined in for sections of Bob’s paddle, and he also paddled alone for a good bit of it, with the support boat far enough behind that he could not hear us.

Bob’s purpose in this momentous effort was to call attention to his mission and thereby to attract participation in his effort to create a wave of change for the betterment of the earth.   His mantra is “One person can make a difference.  STAND UP and be that person.”  He supports the David Suzuki Foundation, and all donations he collects go to the foundation to support their mission to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future, directed to Canadians but of universal message.   As a side note, David Suzuki’s daughter was the opening speaker at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

As guests of Bob Purdy and his life partner, Sharon, we have been wined and dined in a non-stop paddle-tour of the beautiful southern part of the province of British Columbia.  For my part, the kind of nature photography I have been doing here is right up my alley as far as my personal preference.  And the human interest angle is perfect for “On the Road with Leslie”.  Below is my unedited video for part of a segment on one of our cultural tours, First Nations Cree Russell Podgurny, singing for us in a pit house at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia.  Leslie posted this clip on www.supradioshow.com as a prequel to upcoming posts.  It is an honor and a thrill to provide photography and videography for the SUP Radio Show.

Special thank you to Leslie Kolovich and Bob Purdy for assistance with this post.