Monday, June 21, 2010

Symbols of Summer

Plein air painting in my sketch book.

9x12 on hotpress watercolor paper

I painted the lemons this past Saturday. Acting on a suggestion an artist friend made, "paint an ugly painting first". So with that in mind and no preconceived images in my head, I saw the lemons in my kitchen and thought I would even go a step further to insure it would be an ugly painting by using a scrap of hot press paper. I had no expectations of having a beautiful painting. How could I when I know I don't like painting on hot press. But, now, I am liking hot press. I don't know if I will buy any more at the moment. I will just use the scraps I have. I am happy with the way this bowl of lemons came out. As you know, my constant struggle is to try and paint looser than my natural style. This is a little loose for me. This has me almost in the groove to paint the cyclists.

The painting of the beach umbrellas brings such wonderful memories back to me. I took out my watercolor sketch book to paint in as another method to trick myself into painting loose. I ended up going on a trip down memory lane. Before I had kids I would always paint "a scene" of the place we were visiting in plein air style. I can only say, I wish I had taken my sketch book on more trips now. It doesn't have to be a great painting. Just a little memory of that place, painting and noticing all of the details. I can remember many details of the day I sat under my umbrella with my husband painting this scene. It was around 10:30 a.m., in Nice, we were the early birds on the beach. Many couples and families filled the chairs around us. One family had a boy and a girl. They came to the beach fully dressed, hung out for a while and then changed into their swimsuits. Lots of fancy sunglasses and cocktails. Someone ordered a Salad Nicoise, I remember because it was the first time I had heard of this before. I ended up ordering my first Salad Nicoise. Then around noon, a gorgeous model walked back and forth on the stoney beach of Nice barefoot showing off the swimsuits and wraps that you could purchase at the shop! She had long hair blowing in the wind. Never once did the stones on the beach seem to hinder her swimsuit strut. And they say a photo is worth a thousand words.


  1. Both the painting are great. Thank you for images in your words about Nice also. The model needs to be painted in somewhere.

  2. Thanks, Anthony. If anyone is going to paint a model strutting in a swimsuit, I think it should be you! You would be able to capture the human body perfectly with all of your life drawing experience.

  3. What a WONDERFUL memory... Do you supposed anyone purchased the swim suits?
    Of course I would wish that if I purchased the little scrap of cloth, it would make the body it covered as beautiful as that of the model... LOL... not likely...
    Anyhow I LOVE your beach scene watercolor... just fabulous!!


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