Sunday, October 30, 2011


Determined to keep up the momentum from the Painting the Region plein air 
event, I've been out painting several times in the last few weeks.

This past week, Bruce Ann Ferguson and I met at Mayport Little Jetties. When I arrived, she was well into a large sky painting and since the sky was truly lovely that morning, I jumped into one as well.

Here's a reference photo I took to show the drama of the values.
Morning at Mayport, oil on panel, 8x10"©2011 Jaime Howard

Here's the painting done on sight that
day (not from the photo). 
Now that they're side by side, I can see that though the values may be similar, which after all is what makes the image so dramatic, I could use some "sky time" in the practice of painting those subtle variations in the sky that seem to turn into
not-so-subtle color changes in my
Sky Study, Jax Beach, oil on panel, 6x8" ©2011 Jaime Howard

  This morning, in search of subtleties,
I parked at the beach and painted the sky over Jacksonville Beach. I hoped to convey the feeling of distance.

The blue of the sky itself becomes more intense as it gets farther "up" or 
farther away from the horizon.  The clouds that are farthest away are those nearest to the horizon. They are smaller and closer together than the ones painted higher up, which are closer to the viewer and are painted larger and with more intense values. This is what gives the impression of distance in the painting.

The feeling that a two-dimensional surface (the painting) is three-dimensional
(the sky!) is just a trick of the artist. Sleight of hand, I tell my drawing students.
Learn a few of these kinds of tricks and you are a magician! 

I'll let you be the judge good a magician I am. Can you see into the distance?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Painting at Little Jetties

First Coast Plein Air Painters (FCPAP)
met to paint today at Little Jetties in Mayport, Florida. I've been to Mayport many times, to eat at Singleton's, to board the ferry, and last week, to paint during the Painting the Region event. 
I had never been out to the end of the jetty until this morning and I didn't know what I was missing!

I dragged my rolling bag past a dozen or so FCPAP members, all in enviable  locations with views of the Intracoastal Waterway, the purple flowering grasses, the fishermen and the aquatic birds. When I got to the end, I found a shady bush and plopped down into the sand. As the dolphins frolicked just offshore, I painted.

 I almost don't care if I like it or not - I just enjoyed sitting on the beach,
watching the fishermen,women and boys, and the swimming dog. 

Driving back to the road, I stopped to watch a little church hold a baptism in the ICW. This was the best part of the afternoon - singing Shall We Gather at the River on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
The girl in the bikini didn't even bother to move.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painting the Region - Coloring the Coast

This past week has been one of the most fun of my life! Participating in Painting the Region, a plein air painting event was so great. Over 40 artists painted all week from Mayport to Vilano Beach.
My two most favorite artists stayed with me - Kelly Medford and Elisabeth Ferber. We started the week by getting up at 6 am and driving out to the beach to paint from the Hionides front porch on Atlantic Beach. After a couple of days of this, I asked if we could just stay there each night and we were welcomed to the house. From then on, I painted in my nightgown - ready on the porch before the sun came up - brush at the ready for the first light. It was great.