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: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

From Real Life to Still Life with Winslow Homer and a Conch Shell

Of all the subject matter I paint, I find still life to be my favorite.  The objects stay put.  The lighting I arrange stays the same.  I don't get bit by bugs.  I stay warm enough or cool enough.  And I can easily enjoy a cup of coffee while making painting decisions.

Today I used my big Conch shell and a Philodendron leaf as my subjects.  I also added a small postcard print of a Bermuda watercolor by Winslow Homer.   I like having an odd number of items for better balance.  Each of the items relate to each other in that they remind me of tropical beaches.  Here is the photo of my actual set up.

I did not want the burgundy background in my painting, so I cropped the image on my canvas focusing in on the shell, print and leaf.  I used a turquoise blue background in my painting.  Everything else I left pretty much the way the set up appeared.  I emphasized repeating shapes and colors in my painting, especially in the flowing curved lines of both the leaf and the shell.  I also made the colors warmer and more intense.  I like a lot of contrast.  I used acrylics because I enjoy their spontaneous nature.

Here is the finished painting.

Mona Vivar, "Conch and Bermuda", 14 inches x 11 inches, acrylic on canvas
Available in my Ebay store tonight, January 31, 2013, after 6:00 p.m. PST at
Images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ignoring the News and Painting a Series

The news has been bleak lately, so I have turned to my easel for solice and have focused on painting in series.  I start by thinking of a place or subject that gives me a good feeling and then look closely at the different elements that make up that place.

Take New Orleans for instance.  I have been steadily contemplating elements of what makes that city so unique.  Some of the things that come to mind are the streets with their bars and shops, the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, the old Garden District homes, the French Market, the delicious food, the trolley, Mardi Gras...the list goes on.  Each one of these elements lend themselves to lots of colorful paintings. 

Join the fun and enjoy!

Mona Vivar, "French Market Fresh", 10 inches x 8 inches, Acrylic on Canvas,
Available in my Ebay Store this evening Jan 24, 2013
Mona Vivar, "Garden District Splendor", 10 inches x 8 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
Now in my Ebay Store
Mona Vivar, "Trolley to St. Charles", 8 inches x 10 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
Now in my Ebay store at
Mona Vivar, "French Market", 16 inches x 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas Panel
Mona Vivar, "Jackson Square Dream", 10 inches x 8 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
Mona Vivar, "Jackson Square Dream", 14 inches x 11 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
Mona Vivar, "Into the French Quarter", 18 inches x 24 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
All images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Betty White (We All Need a Little Sunshine)

Betty White turns 91 today and I hope she has a wonderful day.  She is a bright, funny ray of sunshine that we all need.

Today the south was blasted by cold winter air that made me long for warm sunny days in St. Augustine.  I keep thinking about how beautiful the lion sculptures are that guard the bridge.  Especially at dawn.  Those lions almost come to life when the early morning light gilds them.  So I did a painting of one today the way I see it.

Think warm thoughts.

Mona Vivar, "Morning Lion of St. Augustine", 10 inches x 8 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
In my Ebay Store at 6:00 p.m. PST tonight Jan 17 at Mona Vivar Fine Art Paintings
All images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Alabama Wins National Championship (and sunsets here are great too!)

I am very happy that my school won the National Championship in football last night.  The State of Alabama has had a history of fine college football teams.  Another thing people should know about this state is that there are fine sunsets to be enjoyed on a regular basis. 

A few days ago I was in a parking lot near Mobile Bay when I was bedazzled by a truly gorgeous sunset.  I quickly took a picture with my phone and then went home to paint what inspired me.  I completed three paintings right away. 

Mona Vivar, January Sunset, Acrylic on Canvas, 5" x 7"
Mona Vivar, Delta Sunset Winter, Acrylic on Canvas, 9" x 12"
Mona Vivar, January Clouds, Acrylic on Canvas, 16" x 20"

All images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Working on the New While a New Congress Works on the Old

In honor of this fresh new year I have decided to paint in a looser, more abstracted style.  Artists generally have to fight the urge to tighten up (in other words they get more rigid and caught up in details) as they work on their paintings, and I am no exception.  I want people to recognize the subject matter of my paintings, but I also want to evoke emotion.  Let's just say I want to depict reality--only better!

So this week I am painting New Orleans.  Mardi Gras is coming up in February, and I want to be ready.

I also opened a store on Ebay at Mona Vivar Fine Art Paintings on January 1.

Mona Vivar, "Jackson Square Shimmers", acrylic on canvas
Mona Vivar, "Into the French Quarter", acrylic on canvas