All about the inspiration behind the art. Acrylic Paintings, Impressionism, Art, Southern, Modern, Contemporary, Coastal, Flowers, Famous Places, New Orleans, Florida, Gulf Coast, Food, Expressionism, Fauve, Cityscapes, Architecture, Decor, Painting, Beach, Tropical, Seascape, Landscape, Still Life Mona Vivar Fine Art: November 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I missed seeing Bigfoot while I was studying night skies with Van Gogh

I am currently exploring impressionism with several of the master painters of that genre.  Last week I worked through a few of Monet's ideas.  This week I painted a night scene using Van Gogh's creative imagery.  I am fascinated with Van Gogh's use of saturated colors and rich brush strokes.  He painted a number of night scenes, and I chose to study his painting of the night sky over the Rhone river in Arles, France.

Vincent Van Gogh, "Starry Night Over the Rhone"
Van Gogh's painting is truly magnificent with those dazzling yellows and blues.  I am especially drawn to the lighter section of sky in the middle of the painting.  I love his whimsical stars!
I applied the things I liked best in Van Gogh's painting to my favorite scene of the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine.  I used similar colors, brush strokes and, of course, those funny little stars.
Mona Vivar, "Starry Night St. Augustine", acrylic on canvas
I have a lot to learn from the great artists.  Each exploration helps me develop my skill and point of view.  Next week, I work with Cezanne.  Meanwhile, what's all the hoopla in the news about Bigfoot?  I haven't seen one lately.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oops, it's almost Thanksgiving. Blame the Masters of Impressionism!

Oops.  I let more than a week pass since my last post and suddenly realized that it is almost Thanksgiving. Well, I have a good excuse.  I was working with Masters of Impressionism on honing my painting skills.   I mean that I take lessons from those long-dead artists from time to time to increase my own abilities and fine tune my eye for color.

First, there is Claude Monet.   He and I worked on a painting of the Lightner Museum (located in St. Augustine, Florida).  Monet did a series of wonderful paintings focused on hourly views of the Rouen Cathedral in Paris, France in the late 1800's.  I decided that I had much to learn from his series and applied his ideas to the Lightner Museum.

Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral
That was Monet's great piece of art (one of many).  I used that painting as inspiration for my favorite view of the Lighter Museum tower.  I focused on complimentary colors of purple, blue, yellow and orange to create a shimmer of sunlight and shadow.  I also tried to lose the hard lines of the building by softening the edges with color shifts rather than hard line.  You know, that "fuzzy" look that the greatest impressionist images have....
 Lightner Museum, Mona Vivar, acrylic on panel

Well it's not Monet, but I learned a lot just imagining he was by the easel urging me along.  I really did lose track of time.  I had a great experience.

Next post will explore Van Gogh's techniques.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Painting inspiration of the state parks

As an artist, I am always looking for images that spark an interest in me.  Most of the time all I have to do is look around my own locale, but if I want to challenge myself to go deep with thematic imagery, I visit a state park.  There are many that are within a few hours drive that provide unique painting opportunities.

One of my very favorite haunts is Wakulla State Park and Lodge just south of Tallahassee, Florida.
The Lodge is beautiful and historical with only 27 guest rooms and a stellar dining room, but the real treat is outside in the deep, mysterious water of the spring that the Lodge faces.  The spring is clean and full of wildlife.  There are fish, wading birds, ducks, alligators (lots of alligators) and manatees.  All can be seen from the shore, but the best viewing can be had from one of the boats run by the knowledgeable river guides.  It is a magical place that brings much peace and provides endless painting inspiration.

Manatee drifting in the spring
Grandeur of the spring
My interpretation of sunset on the spring
I invite you to visit your closest state park and see what nature has to offer.