Monday, March 29, 2010

Painting at EPCOT

International Flower and Garden Festival

Fitting that I would be assigned the United Kingdom with my English/Irish ancestry. Smashing!

EpcotI loved every minute. The architecture inspired me. Interacting with the guests as I painted was pure pleasure. Most of us artists never miss an opportunity to yak up our inspiration and technique to anyone who'll listen. Children provided special delight with their inquisitive questions and comments. Kids today? Smart far beyond years. I was so impressed with their intense study of my works in progress and resultant thoughtful remarks.

My foray into plein air painting caught the eye of one Mom who requested that daughter be a quick study included into this street scene. A special gift for Dad. I answered yes of course, and painting was sold.

plein airSame for painting below except it was Mom's friend and accompanying daughter.

United KingdomThe results were new friends visiting from New Jersey. Thank you for making my day so extraordinary!

International Flower and Garden FestivalI'm honored to have been invited to this prestigious event. The generosity of everyone involved was amazing. The EPCOT staff was absolutely incredible and wonderful to work with. I think I behaved myself and hope to be invited back next year...

"Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language." - Walt Disney

Monday, March 22, 2010

Painting at Epcot

Studio painter I am.

So it was with great curiosity that I considered an invitation from Florida landscape painter extraordinaire Linda Blondheim. She organizes a group of painters to ply their craft at Walt Disney World's International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. After assuring me there's plenty of architecture for subject, I decided what the heck. You see, I don't care to paint landscapes; i.e. trees, bushes, grass, etc. There's all that green and miles of branches and gazillions of leaves, blades of grass and on and on and on. How to edit all that bramble? I'll gladly leave it to the specialists. Therefore, you'll find me in jolly ol' United Kingdom painting castles. Perhaps I can improvise a knight in shining armour aboard a mighty steed. March 26th - 28th.

In other news: here's my latest painting:

horse in water"Water Training" oil on panel, 20" x 16"

It's tight, a bit stiff, but I'm quite happy with the lighting and water effects. More info on the piece here: Water Training

"It seemed to me that it was possible to translate light, forms, and character using nothing but color, without recourse to values." - Pierre Bonnard

Monday, March 08, 2010

After the Extreme Cold

Fast and wide, the Oklawaha River put on an extraordinary show today. Our very wet "dry season" combined with an unprecedented cold winter created conditions of rarity and delight.

oklahawa riverThe water was incredibly high and the current swift.

alligatorsAnd oh, the alligators! The critters were out in numbers as the air finally warmed above the water temperature.

reptilesMost were timid, however, as if the extreme cold had left them feeling vulnerable. Even the usually congenial turtles who adore striking a pose would have nothing of our stalking canoe. Snakes were not to be seen and I searched for them in earnest. Most likely still sleeping away the deep chill.

ocala national forestOnly the big guns allowed approach and even they slid into the watery depths as we neared. Nervous was the atmosphere.

gatorsNext month will mark the beginning of breeding season and caution will be the operative word. The gators will become territorial and hold their ground making even a seasoned reptile lover such as myself hesitate. But today I was queen of the river!

I have an underwater camera just in case I crash my car into a river, and at the last minute I see a photo opportunity of a fish that I have never seen. - Mitch Hedberg

P.S. As we returned to Gore's Landing, a big fish suddenly propelled itself high out of the water towards me - barely missing the canoe. For a micro-second, in mid-air, our eyes met with astonishment and our mouths went agape. It was the heart-pounding moment of the afternoon.