Polo Sketches

The new owners of Sarasota Polo Club have changed the way seating is now handled. And while I know it’s a business and they are doing wonderful things for the field, those of us who have been ardent followers for years feel we’ll eventually be squeezed out.

Premier seats that were once on a first come, first serve basis, are now over double the cost of a tail gate ticket. The first week we encountered this we paid the double amount, got second row seats, only to have latecomers get the reserved seats in the first row without paying double when those who reserved them didn’t show up. And frankly, the view from the second row was not worth the cost. Chalk that up to difficulties with a new system.

The following week we sat in the limited area available in front of the premier seating, but felt bad, as we took spots that we know were usually taken by people we know who we see every week.

They are now charging for premier tailgating spots in an area that was always first come, first serve. This weekend the area closest to us was populated by a huge party that never turned their music down during the entire game, making hearing the announcer difficult. They are now having a vendors row, making parking more difficult.

Suspecting they will soon ban, or charge extra for the spots we go three hours early to secure. Suspecting our weekly games will soon be more like monthly, or every other month.

Going to the polo games was always a charming event. Snowbirds, tourists, residents all mixed up with sunshine and the love of horses and sport. A camaraderie ensued, predicated on the happy chance accidents of meeting people from your hometown, or someone who worked with a colleague of yours. The feeling on the tailgate side is different now. Them (those who have paid more) and us. A feeling of division on the side of the polo field that was always for everyone. Divided, sort of like our country.

I understand the new pricing, and the enormous costs of running this operation. And I am grateful to have been able to see so many well-played polo matches and have such inspiration for my art. And I am grateful to the new owners for keeping this Sarasota tradition alive.

Good luck Sarasota Polo Club. Even if we become less frequent spectators, we will always wish you well.

“Did You Art Today?”


Bring Your Art Outside

(Thanks to Marilyn Schmal for the use of her photo)

For the past two Wednesday’s I have been teaching some basic plein air drawing and painting to both experienced and beginner artists at the Sarasota Audubon Society’s Nature Center. I have another two classes scheduled.

It’s been nearly three years since I’ve taught and while a bit rusty, I remember why I like it so much. There is nothing more rewarding than doing your life work and being able to pass along such a joyful experience to others.

My twelve students make my heart happy when they share their creative experiences when doing their homework assignments, and when we share the work they complete in class.

We may all paint or draw the same thing, but our individual style is what sets us apart from each other. We are all looking at the same thing, but it is always interpreted differently. Influenced by our past experiences, our heart, our mind, the way we handle a brush or pencil and our view, both physical and personal.

Take time this week to appreciate our differences. No one’s Art is right or wrong. It’s just an extension of who we are. I think we’d all get along better if we “Arted” more.

“Did You Art Today?”

Polo Sketches

Back on the polo grounds this weekend. While I used no new brushes on this sketch, it was fun to add another polo sketch to my dedicated polo sketchbook.

My dearest friend is visiting from Philadelphia. Then we realized the people around us were from South Jersey. Soon Jim found out he had some acquaintances in common with these people. Snacks and alcohol were shared.

Sarasota Polo Club is making some changes to the way they handle the seating. While I’ve been expecting it to happen, the additional charges for the premier seating was confusing and seemed to harbor resentment instead of the friendliness that always prevailed at these matches. Hoping that the changes made in the future don’t compromise the atmosphere that has always made these matches a Sunday Funday.

“Did You Art Today?”

No Brush Left Behind #8 – Work in Progress

Have not had much opportunity to spend time in the Studio. Too much volunteering!

Today’s work in progress is for the February Paint My Photo monthly challenge. The theme is STANDING. Rather than use one of their photos, I am going to use one I took at the polo fields before a match. Lots of standing going on in this picture. I will download it to the PMP site, so it is eligible for me to use for the challenge

This is an odd one for me. I don’t usually paint in sections, more preferring to attack a painting in an “everywhere at once” mode, and finish it in one sitting. But this is a complicated subject (still not sure I have all the wrapped legs in there) and I am doing it in a rather small (8″ x 10″) format.

As we have company coming in tomorrow for a bit, not sure when you’ll see the completed piece, but I’m thinking it might be a study for a larger painting.

Brush Report;

1″ flat, Richeson Professional 7010 England and 1″ Richeson Kolinsky 6229 Germany. As I’ve said before, I am not a good wash artist….but these are both keepers. No splitting of the hairs and hold a lovely belly full of paint. Used them on the sky, grass and parts of the trailer.

Brushes remaking to use: 145

“Did You Art Today?”

No Brush Left Behind #7


Chubby Bluebird (5″ x 7″ watercolor, Arches 140 lb. CP paper)

Just used one new brush today as I needed to do a quick, small painting as a donation for Sarasota Audubon Society’s Photograph show raffle.  I did use two of my travel brushes (my tried and trues).  This bluebird is based on Hughva’s photo that can be found on Paint My Photo here.  (You need to set up an account to sign in – no fee and in this way they are certain the Photographers are getting the views they deserve for providing their photos for our use.)

If you’d like to win this painting in the raffle, stop by the Sarasota Audubon Nature Center’s reception for the Photo Show at 999 Center Road in Sarasota on Saturday February 2, 2019 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Raffle tickets are $1.00 each.

fullsizeoutput_c58Brush Report:

Brush is marked Kolonok.com Russia, #10, 1001.  I believe it is sable by the way it behaves.  It holds a place of honor in the brush holder on my desk.  Holds tons and tons of water in it’s fat belly (perfect for this painting), and makes a sweet little point.  Another “go-to” brush.

Used:  1 Brush

Remaining Brushes to use 147.

“Did You Art Today”





“All Decked Out” 7″ x 10″ watercolor depicting a lovely Arabian in a costume class, is on it’s way to it’s forever wall.

Thanks LEA.  It’s always a treat to sell a painting, but especially rewarding when another artist purchases a piece.

From the Sunshine State of Florida to the Sunny State of  California, “All Decked Out” is heading to it’s new  home.


“Did You Art Today?”

No Brush Left Behind #5 – A Foray into Abstract;

fullsizeoutput_c4dI love art challenges.  The people who have the vision to create them and keep them going are an inspiration.  They always push and pull me along a journey I would not have taken.  Preferring, instead, to stay in my safe zone…where all good passion goes to die.

This month’s Paint My Photo Challenge was an abstract.  I have never enjoyed abstract painting.  Don’t understand it, and the word that crosses my mind most when viewing it is: “Why?”  You can try to explain it to me, and I may get some of it, but I will probably will still be thinking “Why?” in my head.

Wasn’t even going to participate.  But experimenting with my brushes and had some paint left over.  So I originally messed around with some shapes, colors, etc.  It is in the recycle bin.  Then I tried the bird abstract that I blogged about in No Brush Left Behind #2.  That looked like a child did it. And the best thing I can say about it is that I used some of my brushes for the challenge.

From the Paint My Photo Site, I picked a photo by John Warren of a canal with dappled sunlight which can be found here.  And another 6 brushes from the unused yet bin.

While I am still not crazy about abstract.  There are parts of this that I really like.  Like the part where I got so frustrated I took a razor blade and scratched through the paint down to the paper.  It created a texture that simulated the windows in the reference photo.

Most abstracts I see are dark paintings with random splotches of color to grab your eye.  The palette I used (my normal) gave this a light and whimsical feel….not my association with abstracts. Maybe I’d like them more if they were all bright and happy.

All-in-all, a frustrating but fun experience.  Frankly, this will probably become part of a collage, but I am not totally unpleased with it overall.


White Sable Goliath.   Sure did cover a lot of ground.  Soft and pliable.. Holds lots of water and paint and made those great green splatters (when tapped on my finger) in the top right hand side of the painting.

White Sable Skyscraper (Big Flat)  Also covered a lot of paper.  But the best part was using the handle to smear out some watercolor ground to get some texture in the white space.

Long handled cat’s tongue – All the markings came off with the top layer of the veneer. Very stiff bristles.  Used it to scrub out and soften sections.  Did a great job!

Liquitex 8 Kolinsky Plus Round 590.  Dropped lovely puddles of color, and despite it’s fat looking tip, came to a decent point.

Rafael 8802 made in France Rigger – One of my “go to” brushes.  Not just used for expressive lines, but pushed on and jiggled can make some wonderful shapes.  Love this brush.  It holds a place of honor on my art desk.

Loew-Cornell 7050C Script Liner – Another “go to” brush with similar properties of the Rafael….just not as fine pointed and doesn’t bend quite as easily.

Used: 6 Brushes

Remaining brushes to use: 148 (So happy to be under 150 at last!)

“Did You Art Today?”

No Brush Left Behind #4 – Polo Sketch

Didn’t even get to finish my sketch at the polo field on Sunday. Too much fun going on.

But, in addition to my travel brushes, take an extra to try. A Robert Simmons E85 round. Used it for the grassy area. Not a fan. Nice flexibility, held water, no point. Are we seeing a trend here.

NOTE TO SELF: Try with acrylics.

BRUSH REPORT 1/15/19 – Thankfully no new brushes found,

Used: 1 Brush

Remaining brushes to use: 154

“Did You Art Today?”

Here We Go Again

My first foray into the local art scene in Florida.

When we lived in NJ, I would quite often participate in the local art shows. A chance to get your work seen, enjoy the camaraderie of other artists, and perhaps win some prize money. Schlepping paintings, paying entry fees and banged up frames were the downside to these shows.

As our life is such a whirlwind of events, visitors and the beautiful spontaneity of retirement, I had not entered any shows in Florida yet. We never knew when we were going to be home to pick up non-accepted paintings or we weren’t here to pick paintings up at the end of the show. . Also, the wealth of talent here is extremely impressive…..and a bit intimidating. But, as far as I know, no one ever died because they weren’t juried into an art show.

For 2019, one of my other art goals (besides the No Brush Left Behind” challenge) is to get back to spending more time with my art. Experimenting, playing, painting what and when I want. Today I dropped off two paintings to the Suncoast Florida Watercolor Society’s Aqueous exhibition which will be held at the Manatee Art Center until the end of February. One was accepted.

Considering it’s inclusion in this show a good omen.

“Did You Art Today?’