Sunday, April 11, 2010

Winter and Sping in Pensacola 2010

Spring has come to East Hill
The day was filled bright colors of spring. The fragrance of Wisteria was in the air. This cottage in East Hill is adjacent the 17th Ave, Graffiti bridge. Working on a 16 x 20 canvas, in acrylics, I started this work around 12 noon and finished about 6 pm. People driving up from 17th Ave Graffiti Bridge were pulling over the side of the road and watching me paint. I had two young families stop and let their children out to watch the show. Lots of questions; which I was happy to answer. They always ask how much I charge to for my painting. When I tell them, I do not sell my work, (at least right now), they are confused, and wonder why do it in the first place. I try to explain that I find joy in the process. To observe the landscape, the colors, smells and details of this time and space, is a wonderful experience. I am always lifted up when I get in the “zone” where my work is at the place where the last stroke is finally made. This is a wonder place which the creative process gives freely.

A Sunday Morning Cold Front Breaking on Gulf
Normally Sunday is a very busy day for me. I teach an Adult Bible Study, (please see my other blog at and then attend a morning Worship service. When we are back at home, I take a nap in the afternoon. Finally we attend our Evening Service. Being Pentecostal is a wonderful life and we are so happy attending the First Pentecostal Church of Pensacola, you can see our church web site at

So, when I tell you that this painting was painted on a stormy Sunday morning, those who know me could wonder if I was skipping church. But I was not. On March 21, we had a Special Service that started at 2pm. Since the morning was free, I packed my paints (acrylics again) and out to Pensacola Beach. That morning there was a storm front that was moving west to east. Observing the beach, I put down a foundation of a dark blue color of sea and sky. I knew at any moment the clouds would break open, and they did! On the far horizon, the storm was pouring out in the gulf. But in the west, the bright light blue sky broke out for and wonderful display of light and dark. It seems like only the sea gulls and I, saw the mighty works of God that morning, as I attended the church service in the sky.

17th Ave Bridge in Spring

During the winter, I was under the weather both in environment and body. It was very cold, overcast and stormy in Pensacola. During the Christmas Holidays, I was fighting the flu. However I was not been neglecting my painting.

While sick at home, I found the web site of a British artist, Jon Hall at this site address: His work so impressed me that, that I bought a bunch of acrylics and large canvases (20x16) and studied his method of Plein Air Painting. Watching his web video, his style is large, free and open. He even has visitors who come by to look at his work to join in and add their touch to his work.

During the Holidays, I went out and painted three times, but due to the size of the canvas, I never really finished the picture. Also I went out doors too early, so I got sick again.

Then came the spring! I was able to finish my painting of the 17th Ave Graffiti Bridge. This is a famous landmark in Pensacola is where Graffiti is welcomed. For years kids have spray painted their names, lovers and political statements on a low train bridge in East Hill. What I saw as was a landscape with a distant horizon of Gulf Breeze, the middle ground of the Welcome Center, and the foreground with the Graffiti Bridge and a live oak tree reaching over the whole view.

I really enjoyed working in acrylics. The good and bad thing about working in acrylics is that they dry so fast outdoors. The good thing is that I can put down a color, and then place a new color on top of it. The bad thing is the paint dries so fast on my palatte that I have to re-mix my colors. But, this is a good thing, because it forces me not to over mix my paints. Thanks Jon for the new outlook in Plein Air Painting.

Storm Warnings on Pensacola Beach

Here are two oils (8x10) painted on a stormy day. I always like a beach with the wind and the waves as my subject. Notice the Red, no swimming flag off the fishing pier. I paint in the lee of the Hot Dog Shop. This building is another Pensacola landmark. This is the only standing building after hurricane Ivan. One day I’ll paint a picture of the Hot Dog Shop, maybe from the pier.

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