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: June 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Loose Painting and New Orleans

A painter's "style" doesn't develop overnight.  I am no exception.  It has taken years to narrow in on what thrills me when I paint.  Ultimately, I aim for bold, loose, and border line sloppy as I balance reality with abstraction. 
Architecture is a painting subject that normally demands precision, but I push it into a less precise form on purpose.  Especially when I paint any New Orleans streets or buildings.  Buildings in that famous city are frequently old, sagging and battered.   That's what gives The Big Easy such charm.  It is a perfect city to paint loosely.
I recently painted Streets of New Orleans with acrylics and photographed the various stages as I went along.   I had painted this scene before so I was more confident and more able to paint freely.
Here is a fast and furious start.  I don't draw anything, I just jump right in with blocking in the basic shapes.

I then work on some of the distant buildings keeping the background light in order to lend some depth to the painting. 

I didn't like the bright blue on the front buildings so I covered those areas with warmer color.
I also lightened the sidewalks.

Here is my palette with my selection of colors.  Notice the rich greys.  I don't use a ready made grey paint on the palette because it is possible to make beautiful greys from combinations of complimentary colors, such as blue and orange in this instance.  This helps keep the painting harmonious.

I add the smaller details at this point;  windows in the distant buildings, lights on the closer buildings and reflections on the pavement.

Final version of Streets of New Orleans (acrylic on canvas, 14 inches by 11 inches, copyright Mona Vivar).  Balconies have been added as well as additional reflections on the pavement.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Painting From a Photograph

A few weeks ago my husband and I were driving around enjoying a beautiful afternoon along the Alabama-Florida border when we pulled off the road to look at the newly constructed boat ramp in the community of Lillian, Alabama.  The boat launch is on Perdido Bay.  I never waste an opportunity to snap some reference photos for future paintings, so I took several.
I was struck by the blueness of the clear, breezy day.
The pine trees and the frothy water sparkling the sunlight made me wish I had brought an easel and paints!
I especially liked this particular angle.  The shadows and light were wonderful.  Now if only I could catch it on a canvas. 
I ultimately did get my impression of that beautiful day on a canvas.  I regret not documenting my step-by-step painting process, but here is the final version.   As you can see, I ramped up the colors, especially of the sand and water.  I emphasized the purple, blue and green in the water and added zing with the red, orange and yellow of sand.  I also lightened the pine tree trunks because the darks of a photograph are always darker than the real live actual shadows.   The painted scene has most, but not all of the detail of the photograph because I am an impressionist painter who can create my impression of a perfect day. 
Copyright Mona Vivar, Wind in the Pines, 11 inches by 14 inches, acrylic on canvas
Now on Etsy at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Lure of Summer

Warm weather is here again.  I relish the sight of all that green when I open the blinds each morning.   All the birds are loud and busy this time of year.  There is a pair of brown thrashers in constant motion.  Nesting mockingbirds fly at the cat's head each time she crosses the yard.  Big blue jays steal food from her bowl.  Sabrina the old cat sleeps oblivious to the racket and uncaring about the feathered frenzy.

Meanwhile, my "Social Climber" pink rose that I planted a year ago has tripled in size.  In another year it will be in its full glory.  Big pink roses bloom.  The smell is intoxicating.
A pair of rabbits has declared the yard to be part of their territory.  I watch them morning and evening as they nibble on weeds when the yard gets shaggy.  They follow each other and frequently circle and jump around.  Perhaps little ones will make an appearance soon?  All of them can stay.  They don't eat the roses or my selection of potted plants. 
Rain cools the temperatures, and the hydrangea bush is full of blooms.  I want to take a nap.  I decide to paint those blue blooms to catch the spirit of summer.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Blue Border, 6 inches by 6 inches, acrylic on canvas
Now on Etsy at Mona Vivar Fine Art

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened At Grayton Beach

A good friend and I recently spent a lovely day next door in Florida exploring Grayton Beach and DeFuniak Springs.  We took loads of photos, enjoyed a windy beach and had a delicious lunch at Grayt Grounds (Monet Monet). 
Grayt Grounds is a Florida replica of Monet's Giverny home and garden with the added benefit of art, excellent coffee, pastries, sandwiches and a catering service.  There is also a jewelry store on site called Rock Hard Designs.  Very relaxing.

 Welcoming Front of Grayt Grounds

 Bridge and Koi Pond at Grayt Grounds

Wedding Reception setting at Grayt Grounds
So there we were enjoying a fine lunch in this scenic stop when a lady sitting with her husband at a nearby table leaned over and asked if I was an artist.  I said "Yes."  She went on to say that I looked so familiar that she was sure that she had bought art from me.  After several minutes of questions and discussion she decided that she had in fact bought a blue crab painting from me and had sent it to her father in Delaware as a present.  This is entirely possible since I have done hundreds of sales via Ebay and Etsy over the past year.  In any event, I was flattered and slightly bemused at being recognized in public outside of my local area. 
Our next stop was DeFuniak Springs and a drive around perfectly round DeFuniak Lake fronted by gracious homes and churches.  We stopped at Florida's oldest public library still in operation, the DeFuniak-Walton Library (built in 1886-1887), where the librarian wound up a giant music box for us and told us all about the collection of medieval swords that were hanging high on the library walls above the stacks. 

Walton-DeFuniak Library
All in all, it was a perfect day.  Here is a painting of Grayt Grounds I was excited about creating.  There are many more paintings to come from this day trip.

Copyright Mona Vivar, Monet's Grayton, 9 inches by 12 inches, acrylic on canvas
Coming to Ebay Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. PST at Mona Vivar Fine Art Paintings