Monday, May 27, 2013

Repose at Guerzido beach

Now we're in France on the island of Bréhat for a family holiday. Today and yesterday the weather has been gorgeous! I've brought some work with me to do, but am also relaxing a lot.
This afternoon I persuaded Milly to pose for me at the beach. It only took around an hour to paint her.
She is lying on the rocks which are very pink because the island is part of the granite rose coastline in France.
I did take step by step photos of this one as I went along, but I'll have to show you those when I get back to a computer as I can only seem to post one photo to my blog when I send by email.
I hope you are having some sunshine wherever you are!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wet morning on Water Street

Wet morning on Water Street
8" x 10"

The first painting of my first day of the Florida trip, in the rain in Apalachicola. I loved the reflection of the red plastic storage container on the wet concrete, and the green fishing nets sprawling along the ground. I was standing in the same spot as with yesterday's painting, but this view is looking to the right of that shrimp hut.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shrimp hut on Water Street

Shrimp hut on Water Street
11" x 14" Sold

I painted this one on my first day of the Forgotten Coast event, in Apalachicola. It rained the whole day as I recall, but we had a great spot to paint under cover, and this was my second painting of the event. I was delighted that this one sold in the wetroom. I feel especially happy when something sells which is not usually what you'd term a picturesque subject because it contains litter, trash cans, graffiti etc. It wasn't even pretty weather! I love to reveal the beauty in the unexpected. 
Here are a few progress shots from the day...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunrise over the marsh at Cape San Blas

Sunrise over the marsh at Cape San Blas
Oils 9" x 12" Sold

Another early morning one from my Florida trip. Again I was really inspired and 'in the flow' and pleased with the results. I was especially excited with the distant fishing boat and it's figures, to me they seemed as though brightly lit and so of course I painted it that way. I love the contrasting textures of thin, glazed paint and thick opaque paint in the lighter areas.
This one also sold in the wet room exhibition.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oyster boats at sunrise

Oyster boats at sunrise, Eastpoint
Oils 9" x 12"
Here I am, back in the UK and unpacked. I spent a lot of today cleaning and tidying my studio and writing my new three page work 'to do' list - daunting!

When we stayed overnight in Carrabelle last week we wanted to get up very early to get to Eastpoint, and when we arrived we were greeted with this fabulous view. There was a whole line of boats with men standing, sitting and leaning on each one, talking to one another. They were obviously waiting for something but I didn't know how long they'd be there so I set up and got to work quickly.
Apart from the very real risk of the subject disappearing altogether, conditions were quite tricky as I was looking straight towards the sun and it was already hot by 8am. There was an unpleasant smell wafting over from the giant mound of oyster shells piled up behind us. I used the triple whammy of baseball cap, sunglasses and easel umbrella to enable me to see the subject without blinding myself!

As I say, I worked quickly and the boats stayed put for about half an hour before gradually leaving, one at a time. I was told the men were reseeding the oyster beds and they had to wait in line before accepting delivery of a bucket load of oyster shells from the big heap and then taking them out to sea. Sorry I can't share a more technical explanation!

The other tricky aspects to this were
a) getting the right tonal value for the water to fall into place with the silhouetted boats and show the sparkle of the sunlight
b) getting the colour right of the water, often tempting to go too blue with water, and there was obvious pinkness reflected from the sky but what I was really after was this subtle silvery grey.

That was all quite a lot to think about before breakfast but I was really pleased that I'd managed to capture an honest impression of those aspects of the scene that had excited me.

It sold almost as soon as it was on the wall in the wetroom, and it was one of those paintings that could have sold ten times over! Everybody wanted it!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Early morning light at the Marina

Early morning light at the marina, Mexico beach
I'm packing and getting ready to travel but still time to send you a picture, this is my very favourite painting from the week. It was a magical morning, the water was still as a mirror and the light was crisp and fresh. Not only that but I was painting with my very great friends Lori and Dawn and we were all on fire that morning!
I was worried that I might be sucked into too much detail with the boats and the buildings behind, particularly as the sun rose higher and more and more information was revealed to me. However I managed to avoid the traps and successfully captured exactly the impression I was after, I was really thrilled with it. I'm quite surprised this one wasn't sold at the exhibition but it's gone to a good home anyway with a brilliant artist traded for one of his gorgeous works.
I was invited to a wonderful after party last night at a beautiful house and watched the sun setting over the beach. I'm going back to England filled with so many happy memories :-)

End of Forgotten Coast event!

One of my two walls of paintings
Well, it's all over and I'm on my way home tomorrow. It's been an amazing, wonderful two weeks and I am super impressed with the whole event! Everybody has been so friendly and welcoming and everything is so well thought through.
I'm not taking all my paintings home because six of the ten I framed up for exhibition have happily sold, including the lovely watermelon man!
I'll be able to show you some of the paintings that you haven't seen yet when I get back. By the way I'm completely better now so that's also good!
I'm so happy that I have been able to play a part in the Forgotten Coast plein air paintout, and I bring home my Quick draw medal as a souvenir :-)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The watermelon seller

The watermelon seller
There is such a nice story behind this painting. I absolutely loved this subject and the day before yesterday I was able to stop and paint it. I only had an hour and a half though because I had to give a demo somewhere else, and because it was by the side of a busy road lots of people stopped their cars to chat while I was doing it. So, it wasn't quite enough time and I didn't quite get it finished.
Yesterday was another (and my last) chance to get back there to finish it off. However, I came down with some kind of bug and woke up with a splitting headache, sickness and upset stomach.
I was so determined to get back to the subject that after the morning resting I asked my friend Sandie to drop me off back there. But all the way there I felt very poorly and when I got there and set up my kit I didn't feel good at all.
So I gave it a go but even standing up was such an effort. Being ill I suddenly felt a long way from home and I thought maybe I'd done the wrong thing in attempting it when I could/should have stayed in bed.
Then the man at the stall, who had noticed I was struggling came over with a chair for me to sit down on. I was very touched and while I was sitting on the chair shivering despite the heat he cut a watermelon in half and brought it over to me with a plastic knife and fork. I can't tell you how touched I was by his kindness.
I managed a couple of bites of watermelon with tears streaming down my cheeks, and then somehow I found those inner reserves of strength and was able to get up and finish my painting. The rest of the day and night I was still a wreck but very pleased I'd got it done and all thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Heading back from Carrabelle

Afternoon light at the marina, Mexico beach 
This morning we left Carrabelle early and spotted a fabulous scene to paint in Eastpoint, of men on their oyster boats. I'll look forward to showing you that one another day, it was a challenge but really enjoyed it.
After a late breakfast I painted a produce stall by the side of the road near Apalachicola (and the vendor and a dog which keeps him company).
I really enjoyed it, absolutely loved the subject and had lots of passers by stopping to chat.
I didn't get it finished though with having only limited time, careful 'drawing in' stage and lots of chatting, so my big plan for tomorrow is to go back.
We then returned to Mexico beach for our painting demo afternoon where I painted this one at the Marina. I was attracted to the bright reflections of the boats and also the clouds.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

TV show and student art day!

Me and Sarah and her painting
Another busy day here in Florida! We got up extremely early (4am) for our breakfast tv appearance on channel seven!
The filming took place at the welcome centre in Port St Joe, and as well as the three of us painting and being interviewed about the plein air event there was live music from a group of school children. I completed a painting while we were there, after the sun came up so that we could see the view that is!
We went from there to Eastpoint for the student art day. This is such a good event, where students from the local schools are each assigned an artist from the festival to tutor them while they paint for a couple of hours. They also receive lots of art goodies to take home with them. Then we all have a fabulous lunch together! This is my very talented student Sarah and her beautiful painting! Their paintings are framed and will be heading over to Port St Joe to join ours on display in the wetroom.
We left after lunch and headed over to the boatyard at Carrabelle to paint. I was really involved in a 8" x 16" of a couple of boats which took me far longer than it should have but I intend to frame it and take it along to the exhibition. At first it was cloudy but then the sun came out and I was ridiculously hot at times, standing in the full sun!
Amazingly I managed to muster up some more energy and went over to the comfort of a shaded area to finish off a painting of the boat called 'Jennifer Mitch' that I was painting here a couple of days ago. It didn't need much but it was great to just look at it again in the same light conditions and notice a few little changes.
We are now having an overnight sleepover at a pretty little cottage in Carrabelle before heading back towards Mexico beach tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sunset at Port St Joe

Sunset at the marina, Port St Joe
Here's an evening painting for you, the golden light along the row of boats was really remarkable. It was painted during a nocturne paint out with a large group of supporters! It was a very windy evening so I had to weigh down my easel and I kept my left hand on it at all times just in case.

Now I need to get some sleep because together with Lori Putnam and Dawn Whitelaw I am getting up at 4am to appear on a breakfast TV show painting in Port St Joe. Never a dull moment!

All the fresh wet paintings that the artists are framing and bringing in to the wet room can be viewed (and purchased) online at the website
Take a look because it's all fantastic!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Early morning shadows on Mexico beach

Early morning shadows on Mexico beach
Another great day here in Florida. This is my first painting of today, the light and weather were perfect when we arrived on the pier in Mexico beach. It was 6.30 am when we arrived, and the shadows were long and violet stretching across the soft white sand. Very beautiful!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Artists painting on the beach

Greg La Rock and others painting on the beach
Yesterday afternoon lots of us were gathered on the beach at Cape San Blas. I had only walked about thirty yards on the sand when I saw Greg La Rock painting at his easel and the sand dunes in front of him with the distant figures, and I knew I'd found my subject.
Lots of people came on to the beach to watch the artists in action, and it was so much fun chatting to everyone.

I have now framed this painting and dropped it off at the wetroom which is a fabulous temporary exhibition space where artists will drop off their still wet paintings each day and the public can view and purchase them.

Remember if you'd like to see more photos have a look for my Facebook page - Haidee-Jo Summers artist

Sunday, May 5, 2013

View from the restroom

What a great day, I won a prize today!
This morning it was the QuickDraw event at Cape San Blas, and I won an honourable mention prize - how fantastic is that?!

Let me explain the title of my painting, 'View from the restroom'. The QuickDraw was taking place between 10am and 12pm. By ten minutes to ten the heavy rain started, and it didn't stop until about 12.30! Perfect timing!
It was more a case of choosing your shelter than choosing your subject, if you know what I mean! I was painting from the shelter of the porch on the restrooms (or toilet block as we would say in England) as was Lori Putnam, Tracey Frugoli and Nancie King Mertz, all of us looking in different directions.
Hence, view from the restroom!

The organisers really look after us artists here, and we had music to keep us entertained, doughnuts and coffee.
I was really honoured to win a prize.

After everything was over here we went for a big shrimp lunch and then painted on the beach for the whole afternoon where, I am pleased to report, it didn't rain at all and in fact it was very warm and sunny on and off. It was bliss!

I can only attach one photo to my blog each day while I am here, but if you would like to see more of what's going on look for my Haidee-Jo Summers Artist page on Facebook where I'll be sharing more pics of the paintings I'm doing :-)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Florida here I come!

Great work from the figures workshop
I'm on the plane on the way to Florida, taking off in five minutes!
It's been a hectic few days (maybe that's an understatement!) so I'm sorry I haven't been in touch!
Just had to show you these paintings from my workshop yesterday called 'painting with figures in a setting', aren't they just amazing?!
These were all completed in less than two hours, as in the morning everyone was hard at work with drawing/design exercises and watching a quick demo.
I am absolutely bowled over by how well everybody did ! :-)

I'll see you in Florida!
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