Day #16, #17 & #18 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of painting with my neighbor/artist/friend WB, who helped me understand a bit more about oil paints. My past experiences with oil left paint in my hair, on the sleeves of my shirt and several smears in my car and great confusion when I realized I could easily fix mistakes by painting over them

Yesterday’s oil painting experience was actually enjoyable, and not quite so confusing or messy. WB did a great job explaining the ins and outs of what I’d always considered a chemical nightmare. We painted and laughed, and before you knew it, I had three small paintings under my belt! And now I’m a bit ahead of this 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.

So here they are….my second foray into the world of oils. Not unhappy with the results and don’t be surprised if you occasionally see some other oil paintings.

Definitely an artistic stretch for me, but don’t worry. I don’t plan on foregoing my beloved watercolors. In fact, I plan on painting the sea urchin in watercolor, so we’ll be able to do a comparison.

“Did You Art Today?”

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Day #15 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 15. Nautilus Shell.

Another painting of a shell in my friend’s collection. Thanks LJ for the reference photo.

We are halfway through the challenge. The optimist in me is saying terrific, I got this. But, frankly, this is also the point where I wish it were done. I usually like to get ahead a bit on these challenges, and that’s not been the case this time. And it’s not looking good for “getting ahead” next week either. But, I know I have the best cheerleader in my husband. He’ll be encouraging all the way.

Look for something completely different tomorrow. I’m going to paint with oils today with a friend. This was not very successful the last time I attempted it. Suspecting I’ll need a hose down by the time I’m finished!

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #14 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 14. Not a Gift from the Sea, but a gift from me.

Believing one of the greatest gifts in life is to know you are loved, I am sending out as much love as possible today.

Please join me on this Valentine’s Day as I make a conscious effort to send love to every person I encounter.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #13 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 13. Double Gift.

No, I have never found one of these on the beach. But it is still a gift from the sea, and in fact a double, maybe even a triple or quadruple gift.

When I learned a friend had an amazing shell collection, I asked her to post pictures and for permission to paint from the photos. She graciously allowed me to use them and I found myself torn as to which to paint first.

Having never seen one in person, I was fascinated by the curvature and ruffled look of the edges. I believe this is a lace murex. Painting it presented it’s own set of challenges. With only a picture, I was unable to turn it this way and that. Felt I labored over some of the painting, resulting in more hard edges than I usually have, but generally pleased with the effort. Next one I pick will be a bit easier.

My friend’s shell collection not only represents the beauty and engineering of nature, but shelling trips with her Dad while they were stationed overseas during his career in the service. I can visualized them strolling the beach, the excitement on early morning adventures in an exotic location. The delight in their discovery of treasure. Sharing time spent with someone you love. These shells are a gift of memories and it makes my heart full to think of their wonderful time spent together.

She is considering downsizing, obviously, a difficult decision when it comes to any type of collection. I offered to buy some, so I could see and hold these wonders collected in love. (And in addition, they’d look lovely and I thought they’d be happy in our Florida home.)

She called me “silly” as she’d already put aside a box to send as a surprise.

And while I have ruined her surprise, I will forever be surprised and grateful for the gifts that we are given each day. Thank you LJ. You have given more than you can imagine.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #12 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 12. Starfishies

While I found no starfish on our recent vacation, I have a lovely photo of a live starfish floating in Big Pass that connects Sarasota Bay to the Gulf, and my “Jersey” guest room has dried starfish hanging above the bed.

They are definitely gifts from the Gulf.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #11 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 11. Augers.

No beach today. Sunday Funday is breakfast with the neighbors and polo. I did a sketch at polo,and also managed to get my painting finished tonight. Not the best picture, as it was taken under artificial light, but a pretty good representation of the piece.

These are my favorite shells. The are small, difficult to find and don’t take up much room. My home is filled with bowls bulging with gifts from the gulf. Last week I actually took some back to the beach so others can find them. My auger collection is small, commensurate with the size of these treasures. They tend to be grey or golden, and I love their elegant shape with it’s small twist at the top.

Our week at the beach is over. But I am grateful for the reminder of why we moved to Sarasota. Our weather has gone from six weeks of chilly, to absolutely gorgeous. We were in the pool tonight.

Suspecting it won’t be long until we’re back at the beach.

Oh, and here’s the polo sketch from Sarasota Polo Club Today.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #10 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 10. Ring Billed Gull

We headed north yesterday to enjoy Coquina Beach and a yummy lunch at The Beach House. It would be Russ and Lee’s last day to enjoy our beautiful weather before heading back to cold Pennsylvania.

The Gulf was not very generous with it’s shells. Leaving them broken into bits and pieces where the waves crashed onto a small shelf along the shore. But while admiring the turquoise, the white sand and enjoying the slight breeze someone graciously released the dolphins. Very close to shore, breaching often, one of our gifts came in the form of these graceful creatures entertaining us while we guessed which direction they would surface next.

In trying to take pictures, I was invariably too late to catch them. Many of my pictures did catch a blurry ring-billed gull who sat nearby amidst the laughing gulls. As part of the marauders who stole sandwiches right out of people’s hands, he seemed to reign, perhaps because of his bigger stature.

Disappointed to not get the dolphin photos, I started erasing theses “failed” dolphin shots from my camera. It was disappointing…they were so close. Bingo….close….what was close? The blurry gull. He was still sitting right in front of me.

Listening to my muse, I decided to work with what I had been given, versus being disappointed with what I thought I had missed

There is beauty all around us if we just open our eyes to see.

Another Gift from the Gulf.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #8 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 8. Turkey Wing…..topside

Today’s Gifts from the Gulf were augers and seaweed. You’ll notice this is not an auger, however, I used the seaweed for the background texture. Laying it on top of the paper and spraying my watercolor paints over it. Not having my vast array of stencils I normally use, I’ve had to be creative for stencils while on vacation at the beach. Using plastic bags one day, cut out paper another day and seaweed for this one. Wonder what Gifts from the Gulf I’ll find today?

‘Did You Art Today?”