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.
This 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).
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