Occasionally, I bite off more than I can chew when it comes to these daily paintings. The small size is difficult to work in if your subject is too detailed, too many moving parts. I think this is one of those times.
Though it turned out OK, it's not the loose painting style I've been striving for. Well, tomorrow is another day.
On our trip to the beach
this year, I wanted to make sure I did some sort of artwork while on
vacation. I took a sketch book and pencils with me everyday as we packed
for the walk to the water. Though some days I did nothing, I did manage to do some work.
As everyone knows, seagulls can be a pest at the beach. Drop some food, or god forbid, throw some food toward one, and you'll suddenly have a whole flock giving you the stink eye. This year I discovered a new appreciation for these birds. They actually will stand still for you while you're drawing them. For anyone that's drawn outdoors, sketching people without them knowing (or as I like to refer to them as "Non-Paid Models") can be difficult. It teaches you to sketch quickly, because, unless they're sleeping, people do not seem to stay in one position very long. These birds will stand in the same position for minutes at a time if there is a remote possibility that food will soon arrive. I filled pages of my sketch book with my new friends.
I'm hitting the home stretch for my upcoming one year anniversary. I'll have 21 paintings posted in the next 24 days. I've established a nice routine over the last couple weeks, so I know I can do it. This painting is from our vacation. One of the items you always see in these southern sea-side towns is the use of bright colors for the houses. Seeing a pink house is West Virginia would look odd, seeing it near the beach seems normal. I also like the hurricane shutters a lot of home have there.
This scene is a road on your right as you cross the marshes to Tybee Island. It was evening and the road looked wet and the sky was interesting. Now to my drowning story. My friend Rafe had suggested that we could swim to an uninhabited island (Little Tybee) just off shore from the beach to hunt for shells. At low tide we would just have to swim a narrow channel, then walk/wade the rest of the way. So the next morning off we went. Rafe, his two daughters, myself and my daughter Suzanna. As we began to swim across the channel everything was fine. I was at the back, making sure no one lagged behind. 10 minutes of swimming, 15 minutes, 20 minutes...still no one had reached the shallow waters. Though I can swim, I hadn't swam this long without resting in quite some time. Breathing hard, I started to think "I don't believe I can make it. I better turn back.". I turned to go back, but it was too late. We had swam more than half way. That's when I started to panic. My heavy breathing picked up and I thought "I can't believe it, I'm going to drown on my vacation. Crap, that's going to ruin an otherwise great trip!". I rolled on my back to catch my breath, but my panic was full blown by then so that wasn't going to help me. I had to suck it up and start swimming harder than I ever had. I went into full Tarzan mode. I could feel my heart beating like crazy. I keep thinking "please do not cramp up Mikey!". That would be the end, I thought. Finally I saw Rafe walking out of the water. Relief. Only about 20 yards to swim. As I walked out of the water onto the sand bar, Rafe said "We're not quite there yet. We'll need to swim one more channel. It's about the same width as the one we just cross." That's when I told him of my embarrassing near-drowning episode. "Why didn't you say something." he said. My response "I wanted to die with dignity" It's funny now, not so funny at the time. That was the end of our adventure. The old man of the sea was spent. I rested, and we found a more shallow channel to cross back to the beach.
So I'm still behind schedule with painting this week. Before I went on vacation, I had completed a painting on Sunday and posted it on Monday and then throughout the week. This allowed me to photograph the previous day's painting in the daylight. Daylight photos look much better than these late evening ones. I picked up a lot of glare on this one, so I'll re-shoot tomorrow. Our vacation this year was spent at Tybee Island, Ga. It's about 15 miles from Savannah. I look a lot of photos while at the beach. So you'll be seeing those images appear as paintings this week or so. Tomorrow, if I have time, I'll tell you about my near death experience while swimming. Don't laugh, I'm still moaning and crying about it.
Back from vacation. I took Monday off to catch up on my sleep. Tonight I thought I'd pick something easy to paint. I poured over my photos from the beach and chose this scene. I should have learned by now that when I try to choose something "easy" to paint, it never works out that way. This is a photo of my youngest daughter Maddie at the beach. Low tide to be exact. I like the composition on it, not the execution.
The Teel family will be heading south for a week's vacation at the beach. I've been painting up a storm before I leave so that I'll have some paintings to post during our trip. These puppies belonged to my daughter Maddie's best friend Rebecca. Dachshunds to be exact. I liked the way their tails all lined up together.
Recently I spent a few days in our nation's capitol for business. When I go to DC, I always stay with my friend Rafe and his ever-growing family. He lives in Annapolis, MD and always feeds me. While there we went to a beach on the Chesapeake Bay (or was it the Severn River) to relax with his boys, all four of them. Next to where we were setting was a stack of kayaks, canoes, boats and a catamaran. The colors on them were nice and bright and as the late evening sun started to cast the long shadows, I pull my phone out and shot this image.
Annapolis Beaching (alternate title "Why can't I live here")
Another painting of the bird sanctuary. This is towards the far reaches of the raised platform. It takes you into the trees and, specially in the summer, the bugs. The sky had a nice warm red in it this evening. Once again, love this new camera. These last few blogs have the best representation of what the real paintings looks like since I began, nearly one year ago. Money well spent.
I'm very excited about this painting. I've hit on a nice groove recently with my work and this one continues the trend. This scene is the bird sanctuary that's located in the middle of Canaan Valley. It has a raised wooden path that allows you to walk back into the woods. There are natural springs that bubble up in the water along the way. These raised wooden paths become a nice blue-purple when the sun begins to set. I really like how the sun glows at the top right corner of this painting.
Another Canaan painting. We recently purchased a new camera. I've been taking my daily paintings photos with my cell phone since I started doing this blog. After seeing how much better the camera is, I'll not be using the iPhone again.
This scene is from the trail that begins near the Black Water Lodge. It winds it's way through a forest of hemlocks and has several smaller waterfalls on it. The rocks near the tea-stained stream are covered in a bright green moss. Very cool.
Over the next few days I'm going to be posting paintings from the photos I took during our vacation to Canaan Valley, WV. Though it rained most of our time there this year, I managed to shoot some nice images. I've also managed to get ahead of the curve and paint a few pieces over the weekend. Now I'll be able to get some nice photos of these paintings.
This painting is from near the lake where we stayed. High grass with lots of wild flowers.
This is a photo I took in downtown Charleston, or what used to pass as downtown. Like a lot of smaller cities, lack of parking and a big honking mall, put a hurt'n on the city. This used to be Stone & Thomas department store. We had two large, multi-floor, department stores on one block back then. Sometimes it's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that there were more people living in the city limits of Charleston, WV in the early 1960s, than there are today. Very sad. By the way, I ordered new gessoboard panels two weeks ago. When they arrived, I realized that I had ordered the wrong size. So I might have to take a small break this week until my new order arrives.
A couple of posts ago I proclaimed "this is the worst photo I've taken" of one of my paintings. I'd like to redact that statement and use it here. "this is the worst photo I've taken". I have just got to get ahead of the curve on taking this photos. I need to start one day early, then shoot the image the following evening before it gets dark. It's now 10:20pm and it's way too late to shoot the image outside. Shooting inside, in the low level light of my studio is killing me. So tomorrow I'll re-post this painting with a better photo. Anyway, now that my whining jag is over, this is one of the photos I took during our vacation to Canaan Valley. This is near the cabin we stay at. It's a good thing I took this photo during our first day there because with the rain that came later, it never looked this serene again.