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Plein Air in Fresh Air

Oil painting of the four trees in front of Nick's Restaurant at Basin Bayou, Florida - www.joanvienot.com
Oil painting of the old fishing boat, Pompano, at Nick's Restaurant - www.joanienot.com

After a month of high pollen alerts, torrential rains have cleaned the air and a very chilly air mass ushered in an ideal day for plein air painting, with stark shadows and bright colors.  I met up with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters at Nick’s Restaurant in Basin Bayou, which is on the north side of the Choctawhatchee Bay, halfway between Freeport and Niceville, in Northwest Florida.  Shortly after we arrived, the neighbor released his penful of exotic chickens, and they provided distraction and amusement while we painted, the young roosters strutting around, trying their first crowing in cracking, adolescent voices.

I remembered what I had learned in Morgan Samuel Price’s workshop  2 weeks ago.  I worked with the intention of creating the illusion of space, with horizontal surfaces catching much more light and vertical surfaces much less, using values to lead the eye through the painting.

For my first painting, I was interested by the four trees along the shoreline, so I opted not to include the boat, “Pompano”, which stood on dry-land props between two of the trees.  My interest was that one of the trees was as orange as it was green.  After I finished it, I painted a second, smaller painting, this one of the boat.  Both paintings accomplished what I set out to do.

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“In Plein Sight”, in Emerald Coast Magazine

Emerald Coast Magazine, April-May 2014, www.joanvienot.com

Joan Vienot In Plein SightEariler this year, I saw a news photographer at one of our painting sites, but I thought he was taking pictures of other artists.  To my surprise, the photo published is a photo of me, working on my painting at Oaks Marina, in Niceville, Florida!  The print version of Emerald Coast Magazine uses the photo for the whole page, with the story inset.  The story in digital format can be found at http://www.emeraldcoastmagazine.com/April-May-2014/In-Plein-Sight/  Story by Diane Dorney,  and photo by Scott Holstein.

Oil painting of the view from the Oak Marina at Niceville, Florida