Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A rainbow for you!

Gorgeous rainbows yesterday. Big lumpy rainclouds rolling by, with the Sun peeking through every so often. This rainbow went all the way across, but I'd need a fisheye lense to capture the whole scene. I stopped on the side of the road to watch for a while.

See that surf? I feel sorry for our visitors who want to dive, it's too rough for me! I have other photos of this scene when it's at it's normal calm, but they're buried in my computer someplace.

I see that I have lots of visitors here, even with no promo on my part. I'm impatiently awaiting the mid-January seminar that'll get me moving with marketing. I'm thinking three small paintings a week, or more, and a Tuesday sale of reproductions, very inexpensive. The thought of trying to do the business end of selling paintings scares me to shivvers!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fish so cute, they follow your cursor. Click and see...

Lionfish info

Everyone here knows about Lionfish, there are posters around the island. There is nothing that can be done. Can't be spearfished, they live 300 feet deep, as well as all the way up to waist deep.

A female can begin laying eggs at one year of age. They live fifteen years. A female is a full sized adult at three years old. They spawn thirty thousand eggs, every six weeks. And the babies mostly all live, they're a tough fish not prone to parasites or diseases.

In twenty years, they have spread from eleven (they're testing genetics)females off Miami all the way up the East Coast, Bermuda, down through the Bahamas, and on to the Virgins, and just recently they've been found in Belize. That's against the currents.

They are occasional cannibals, but that's it, they have no predators. Sharks won't eat them.  One source says Coronet fish eat them, but Coronet fish usually stay in sea grass fields.

One scientist quipped that chefs ought to come up with tasty recipes, because any fish that tastes good is fished to oblivion. They do get to eighteen inches and three pounds. But they are difficult to handle because of how extremely poisonous their spine are, even several days after they're dead. No more monstrous invader could have been designed.

And recreational divers say, "Look!  So pretty!".   Yes, where they're from.  Not in the Caribbean, please.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My hatred of Lionfish

Thanks for the question, Rene.

Lionfish were imported into Florida for years by the tens of thousands for the saltwater aquarium trade.

They have become established in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 1996, I think the year is. In only twelve years, they have spread from an original six fish(DNA tested) near Miami, Florida, up to Maine(summers) to Bermuda, all of the Bahamas, Little Cayman, east to the Virgin Islands, and the first one in Belize was reported a couple of weeks ago.

Lionfish are native to the Pacific. They have no predators in the Atlantic and Caribbean. They are multiplying and spreading at a mind boggling rate. They eat nearly constantly, and can consume another fish 2/3 their length. They also eat lobsters, crabs, and just about anything that moves. They grow to eighteen inches long, 45 centimeters, and live from shallow to much deeper than scuba diving limits. Their spines are extremely, dangerously venomous.

"They are decimating tropical reef fish populations. They are alien, and there is no way to be rid of them. They hunt by herding their prey with their huge pectoral fins. No fish in the Caribbean/Atlantic hunts this way. Our fish are defenseless.

"In studies on controlled plots, the OSU scientists determined that lionfish reduced young juvenile fish populations by 79 percent in only a five-week period. Many species were affected, including cardinalfish, parrotfish, damselfish and others. One large lionfish was observed consuming 20 small fish in a 30-minute period."


I guess I'm a coral reef historian.

I cry.

I hate Lionfish.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008


Let me introduce you to one of my favorites, Belle. Belle is a 'sheet' or 'plate' coral, and lives very deep, 108 feet, 30 m,,,see the blue tinge of the deep blue sea in the photo?, the surrounding bottom is grayish white when you're there looking at it. This is in Cane Bay here on St. Croix, in the Caribbean Sea. Called sheet or plate because this coral is very thin, this is, umm, like a pizza crust spread out over the rock below. The hole, or dent, is where Belle's polyps lost out a fight with a 'wire' coral, a type of black coral, that looks like--- a wire. See it? Belle is more than three feet, a meter, across. Quite large, and well more than a hundred years old.
This is a photo, correct colors, taken from about a foot, thirty centimeters, away. The specific type of coral, Latin named, is decided by the placement of the corralites, polyps, the wonderful little white stars. I love them so much!!! Another type of plate coral has the polyps on top of the ridges. And another has the ridges sharp, and meeting into little shapes, with the coral polyps inside.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Winds

The seasons are changing here in the Caribbean. The Tropical

Waves, low pressure systems, have stopped rolling off Africa, and a high pressure system is stationary north of the Virgin Islands.

When this happens in late November, or during December each year, the wind kicks up, and the surf rolls in. I went for a short snorkel last week, but it was rough and the water was stirred up and no fish were about.

So, I'll go post a few more guppy images, and begin to design a guppy paint stand, as I plan to paint hundreds of little portraits of these pretty little fish. (on the wway, Beck!) Here are some, and some more over on the guppy blog. I'll be ever so happy to get the photography sorted out!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

poor computer, in hospital!

Arghh!  Sick computer!  Will post as soon as it's healthy and back home!  I miss my www!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Guppies!!! Hey, Blennies and Gobies are so much more important. I've made a separate blog for the guppies.

Gadzooks. What am I thinking, other than I am as delighted as a child about my gups now that I've started taking photos of them, and I can SEE them, rather than by just quick glimpses. There are international clubs and expos about guppies, also. Maybe they'll be my cash cow for little easy paintings. Very colorful paintings! ha.


Haha, maybe a bad title, I might attract satanists or wierdos. They're just little fish! I'm trying to think of another name for that blog before I get too far into it. Gee, I might be a sensation in the World of Guppy Enthusiasts!

And I really need to refine my photography. These fish stay in constant movement. OK. No more guppies here. I'll add a link, hum, something new to learn, links...

Thanks for stopping by, it'll be back to coral reefs soon, I'm getting over the twisted knee that's prevented me from diving for two weeks now...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Guppies!

I'll eventually get better photos.  They're in a kiddie pool.  A kaliedascope of color!  I want to do little portraits of them.  Click the image for a much larger view.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Dream

I have a very clear image in my head from a vivid dream last night.  It will NOT go onto paper or canvass. arrghhh, but anyone who's ever tried to draw or paint  an imagined image knows what I am talking about.

I was dreaming about being on boats, and being around boats.  In a bay, surrounded by spruce trees. (changes?) All the men were struggling with rusty anchors.  I was watching.  Then, I turned my head and saw--- a wonderful, huge, ancient anchor half out of the mud.  My anchor.  It would hold nearly any boat or even a ship, secure.  I went to it, and pulled on a fluke, and it moved easily for me.  I touched the shank, and it was solid, and easy.  Like new.

I believe, right now, that my artwork, and this blog, is my anchor, keeping me safe.  The energy comes from an ancient source.  That may sound crazy, but it's true.

I cannot draw that anchor I saw-- see --clearly from that dream, but I know it is there for me. 

Thankyou, Lord, I have been so very fearful of late.

And thank you, dear visitor, for checking my poor blog.  My life is an explosion in a spaghetti factory, but I will settle soon, and begin painting ---a LOT.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A sketch

A sketch.  Of what??  And what needs correcting?

I thought about creating a free online coloring book about the coral reef, and all the critters and stuff.  Y'know what I mean, like, wow, man.  (lol)  I'm still considering it.  There' so much ignorance of what's there, and how it lives.

I might still do that.  For adults, as well as kids.  Children.

OK  things to do...

Thanks for stopping by my slowww blog.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I dislike winter.

I want to say I hate winter,,, Even here in the Caribbean! Yes, the seasons change here, a lot.
Polydamus Swallowtail
Lemon Swallowtail(from SE Asia: uh, oh...)
but I am trying to delete "that word" from my vocabulary, like I cleaned up from the old hippie s---f---d--- dumbie talk. Ha, once I met a young guy from southern California, and he said, "----man, like, ----, y'know what I mean!!" I replied, "NO!! I have no idea what you're saying! Speak English!"

Poor boy, he was stunned, and never really replied, couldn't, and although we could have had many interesting converations, we didn't. "----man! Like ----!y'know-what-I-mean?
Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar munching passion fruit vine

Winter has begun early this year, with two Canadian, blame it on someone!, cold fronts bringing rough seas all the way here, one thousand miles southeast of Miami.

Gulf Fritillry Butterfly on Bouganvillea flowers
Hold still!! Wish I could get closer!!
I am separated from my paints. I am still here in the rental, the house has most of my stuff, ten miles, 45 minute drive away. My income, from the USA stock market, has shrunk like a man's haha in an Alaskan blizzard. But this might be good, might force me to get moral support and business help and begin selling my little paintings.
"White Peacock" butterfly, with birdbites

In the meantime, I'm running around taking photos of caterpillars and butterflies!! Gadzooks, they're beautiful!

But I miss my fishies, critters, and corals.

OK, worn out for now. Thanks for visiting me!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Slow Times


I'm stumbling along slowly here, not diving because it is too rough, from cold front from Canada or someplace.  Big surf, murky water.

Here are a couple of photos for you.

The fishie is a Creole Wrass, and, yes, he's standing on his head.  If you look closely, there's a little black and white fish along the middle of the Wrass''s back.

Milling around.  These fish usually swim up in the water column, high above the reef.
But, sometimes they come to 'cleaning stations', here, you can see, close to the bottom fish, a little yellow and blue juvenile Spanish Hogfish.  His job is to peck off any parasites or fluff he can find, from the Wrass, or other fish that come by, and pose.  The pose is usually head down, with an open mouth.  Fins a-flutter. 

The first fish picture I posted here has a ?? another cleaner fish, the black and white striped little guy.  Sorry about no name, they all run together, sometimes.

OK, soon to get going again on this, my dear blog.  Thanks for looking in!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi, there,,,,

I'll post something. Still not painting, stressing with the move-that's-taking-forever.

I named this coral "Bad Hair" All those things sticking up are Rope Sponges. The little bushy things in the sand on the left are corals---animals, not plants. More on them in another post.
Looking a little closer, those yellowish corals are Maize, or Butterprint corals, a type of brain coral. The wine colored worm looking things in the bottom right are rope sponges, I don't have my book here, so I can't give a better name. Over on the left is a spotted looking thing, a Great Star coral, with a Christmas Tree worm. (click on the image for a larger view, then the back button to come back here)

Here is aother view including two Christmas Tree worms. They feed by capturing microscopic critters that float by, and get caught in their feathery,,,, umm, I don't know the name, Mantle? haha. Besides white and red, they can be yellow, brown, black, and maybe even blue. If you get very close, they instantly zip back into their shell that runs along under the surface of the coral.

The two star corals have different kind of algae that give them their, in this case, pink or orange/rust colors. The rust colored coral is feeding a little, the polyps semi-open.

OK, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 10, 2008



Wowee, what's happened to me?  Am in the process of moving to the new old fixer upper house I bought.  I just don't have any energy.  One or two carloads a day.  I'm getting very bored with not painting, it'll return soon.  OK, sorry I don't have anything interesting for you this post.  I'll feel guilty and come up with something better!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


LOBSTER!!!!  folks get so excited over these ugly beasts.  I don't eat them, too strong a flavor to me.  This photo is from a year ago.
I sometimes take a hotdog along on a dive to feed them, although lobsters are so scarce they aren't to be seen on every dive.  They love hotdogs, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, too.  haha
One wonderful coral, and two sponges in this blue cast image.  The rest is overgrowing algae.  This photo I took at about sixty five feet deep, 20m, along the Salt River drop off; on a storebought tourist boat dive.  All the people in the group I was with swam right by this bug, and were too far ahead of me for me to get their attention.  I'm a slow poke.  See more that way.  My dive buddy?  It's called, "Same Ocean, Same Day" buddy diving.
My little SeaLife camera died, so I am forced to order a part for my expensive Canon.  Then  I'll get excited about painting for you once I can dive with a camera again.  Seeing that Jackknife fish, and not being able to capture an image was...  deflating or something.  Right now, I'm looking out a window at a stupid yard that needs mowing.  Such a waste of time and carbon!!
Same dive, another bug that only I saw.  They wave their long antennae at you.  I can't imagine them saying more than, "Huh?  Duh?"  Or sometimes, "Eeeek!!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Messy Blog

I had intended to join the One Painting Every Day movement.  I have lots of little canvasses waiting.  So, perhaps I'll quit hurricane cleanup and get back to painting.  My house has electricity, hooray! Six days without, but lots of people still don't have power.  Our lives are so fragile, depending so much on electricity!

This is a bit of scenery that I like.  The tall things are sponges of different types.  Out of the sea, and into air daylight, they'd be purplish grays and bright 'red wine' colors.   Let's look closely at some parts of this photo.

The orange octopus volcano sponge in the middle is-- orange. And the little fish, a Wrass, is bright yellow.
The brightest colors one sees on the reef, here in the Caribbean, are the colors of the fish.  Perhaps they're basically a little silvery under the reds and yellows, so they reflect more light?  If you dive deep, a red sponge looks black, but a red fish still looks red.  That's a Blue Head Wrass.
For a painting of this place, I'd have to change something about those sponges running up off the image.  They cut the upper half in two too much.  Maybe.

I need to go back here and see what's off in the distance, a whole two hundred feet beyond here.  Not just a blue void!  Snapper back there running away from me, believing I could have a speargun.  Fish behave much differently in places where there's no spearing allowed.
Great Star coral down in front(not a plateful of olives).  A wavy sponge, and three Mustard Hill corals beside the orange sponge.  Oh, and a purple rope sponge on the left.  And a few other animals.  None of these thingies are plants, you know!
I guess this photo is too complicated to use for a little painting, hey?  LOL
But the dive shop still doen't have electricity after the hurricane, and my tanks are empty.  Boo.  Maybe I can find one to rent---  And I'm back online at home with my computer full of photos, so at least I can post some underwater images of some kind for you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another sandy dive---

A quick sketch from memory of a little four inch, ten cm, Jackknife Fish. It-he-she was swimming around just a short way from the safety of a lone coral head that is out in an open sandy area, out of sight of any other coral. He-it-she was nosing in the sand, looking for some tidbit to eat.
Hmm, looking at the sketch now, a painting would have the coral higher to push it more into the background. The fish looks a lot larger than she-he-it is.
The dive yesterday was odd. I join all sorts of online sites, just recently one about dive buddies. All of them seem to be in Nevada or Missouri or someplace! But, last week I got an email from a man here on St Croix, saying, "I just love to dive!" We agreed to meet at Cane Bay Beach for a dive.
I should have known, well, I sort of did ... he was wearing gloves. He just wanted to hunt for lobster. At the end of the dive, he got out of the water before me and waited on the boat ramp. I was poking along looking for what beach goers lose in three feet of water, watches, jewelry, money... When I took off my fins, and started walking toward the ramp, the man turned without saying anything, and started walking to the nearby dive shop where he'd rented his tank.
I went to my car, and took off my gear and stowed it, not needing to go to the dive shop. I waited about three minutes to see if the guy would reappear, but then figured he was gone, so I came home. Should I apologize for ruining his dive??
My dive was really good, tho'! I don't usually go half that far in one dive. A big, lone Horse Eye Jack swam by, there were Southern Rays all over the place, must have seen five or six. And now I know where to find a Jackknife fish, and will go back for photos as soon as I sort out a camera. Actually, there were two on that little coral head. I know the area so well that I can go right to it. Oboy!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

no coral, not a painting

I like to swim over the open sand sometimes. Different critters there. I'm fairly sure this is a Spotted Trunkfish, I don't have my books at hand at the moment. These guys go about the sand puffing holes, puff-puff-puff, trying to find whatever that can to eat. There are a lot of worms, crabs, and other things that live on and just below the surface.
Funny fish, their bottom side is flat, and their sides are flat, too. If you cut one in two, whack! with a machete, you'd find that they're shape is triangular.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh, No!

I just bought a house. it's SO UGLY!!!! hahaha. Built in 1972, and needs everything. I need a plumber, electrician, roofer, chainsaw guy, backhoe guy, driveway builder(Gigantic rut, the driveway),,,, new floors, new screens, new kitchen, new tiles, ------help!!!!
If you squint real hard, you can see the Sea miles away. The unimproved road requires a 4WD. Waaaaa, I'd rather be painting, why'd I get myself into a remodelling job??? I wish I had a million dollars for a waterfront place, or more like a million five. Cheap here, compared to the other Virgins.


The sea has been very rough lately, big surf generated by a far off storm in the Atlantic. I went for a cameraless dive today, but would have taken only five or ten photos. Can't find the camera, it's buried in all my junk someplace. I need a housekeeper.

Poor me! wwaaaaaa

There are un-photographical jiggling white specks making the sea downright cloudy, like fine snowflakes, or white fog.. I believe they're itty bitty critters called copepods. Carl Sagan didn't have any idea of big numbers! He didn't see these critters in the sea. If you go diving, and think the sand is stirred up, look more closely, and you might just see jiggling specks. The little boogies on the reef with tiny mouths are stuffing themselves, for sure. I guess. OK, now go back to the top, and see if, in the dark areas, you can find little white specks. But they don't jiggle in a photo, and I don't know how to move that photo down here where it's relavant. Eeek! All for now, and, once again, thanks for stopping by!

Worry Painting

Detail, "Worry Painting"

"Worry Painting" 10x8 inches, 22x25 cm, oil on canvas

Been watching my stock portfolio too closely lately. And reading a doom book about how the Arabs are running out of oil. I am too far from friends and only have one brother. Owell, here is for painting, not groaning, and not for my astract paintings, either. Just bought a house that's going to be a pain, needs a LOT of work! Everyone I tell is so happy for me. I'm not fearful, what is the word? Strange weather coming in this morning. Ah! But I HAVE been painting, just not in a disciplined way. Sure wish I could hear music. Poor poor me! I'll delete this post in a week or so...

Thanks for being a shoulder for me to cry on.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Another Friday's quickie with the Ladies. I'm not a very good member of this plein aire group, I always show up late, and run away early. I did have lunch with them in a little cafe, only five beides me this time. I couldn't hear anything anyone said. Being nearly deaf is really boring!

The painting is shiney acrylic, and is supposed to be a little plant in a pot close up, with a stone arch holding a bell in the background. We were painting around the grounds of one of the old sugar etates here on the Island, very charming places, with lots of old stonework and huge old trees. I do this for comic relief from the extreme realism of coral paintings.

Something coral tomorrow or the next day. I need to work on this blog, add some features, and post more often!!! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Finished a week's business, office to office, buying a house, and getting taxes done.  Brother and I finally got wet, went for a snorkel.  I didn't take my camera.  Somebody kick me!  I cannot show you the Burrfish we found trying to hide under a mini-ledge in three feet of water.  I occasionally go without the camera, and ALWAYS regret!  sigh and owell.  Back to painting today or tomorrow for sure.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Coral Polyps

Great Star. Hungry. I love these little guys so much. The world and life that we know would be vastly different if everyone loved them.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Great Star Coral

These are Great Star coral polyps. Since this photo was taken during daytime, they don't have their tentacles extended to catch food. I would love that. Just sit there and do my thing, and have food just float by. A cheeseburger floats by, OK, catch it and stuff it in my mouth, haha. These guys make me think of how Japanese subways are so crowded at rush hour.

Many sources say that coral polyps hide down in little holes. That couldn't be more wrong. Polyps are so soft-bodied it's hard to imagine. Their skeleton is formed underneath them, like people have bones inside them. And coral skeletons are sharp as razors. The lightest human touch pushes coral's flesh into their skeleton, causing much harm.

Polyps grow from one single baby polyp that, once old enough, "buds" little polyps on their edge. Sort of like how one little bit of grass spreads. They are always connected like a rug, and they share food and bodily fluids. This 'rug' of polyps lives covering the hard white part of the coral that you find for sale in some stores, ugh. Skeletons as ornaments?

Here's a photo of another coral that had some sort of sand dwelling critter move in close by. The sandy guy built a little mountain of sand that covered part of the coral colony. I happened by, and dug away the sand, uncovering the lower polyps that had smothered. This is a side-by-side comparison of the healthy polyps and their siblings' skeletons.

Here are the same polyps, ten weeks later. They're making babies, clones if you will. And some have their tentacles extended, waiting to catch passing food. The bare skeletons have been overgrown by algae.

The polyps are a little pale because the sea was too warm when the photo was taken.

Thanks for stopping by, time to go for a dive and see what I can find...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reef Scenery

Here's a blue photo for you, this is why I need to paint intead of click a camera.  The water filters most of the colors from the sunlight.  Red is absorbed first, then yellow.  This scene is in about thirty feet, ten meters of depth, off the north shore of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean Sea where I live.

These fish, Black Durgons, have a striking white line at the base of their dorsal fin.  The way they swim, going through the water looking for bits of floating things to eat, they undulate their dorsal and anal (top and bottom) fins to move through the sea.  As they slowly swim, they lean over on one side, and then the other.  Dancers, they are.  They usually stay up in the water column, high over the reef.  But I guess on this day, here is where they found their prey, tiny jellyfish?  I don't know what they eat.

At night, they sleep down in crevasses and cubbyholes in the reef.

I'll get back to painting soon.  Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Whew. and more...Srum?? ACEO??

I'm still trying on new pictures for my title background, stay tuned!  I'll keep this  strip photo in mind the next time I go diving, and see if I can find a wide, narrow view, good new thinking. 

I read that I should have a logo.  That'd be easy, as soon as I go back through my hunderds of paper photos and find that one of that fish...  Back when I had a film camera, I was on a dive seeking one sort of sponge to photograph.  I noticed a fish that seemed to be following me, a Grey Snapper.  I'd poke along for a few minutes, look back, and there was the fish, a few feet behind me.  After a half hour or so, the fish was still there.  "Oh, OK," I thought-said to him, "I'll take your picture."  I focussed and clicked, and the fish, I swear, seemed to smile, then turned and slowly swam away.  I just wish my old film photos were sharper focus and brighter and nearly as good as my digitals.

I got started this blog because I discovered the 'daily painting' movement.  I actually thought I could paint a small image of a fish every day, or one coral or one scene.  I still have over two hundred little canvasses sitting there, "We're waiting!" Ha.

  And now, reading another blog, (http://blog.lisacall.com/2008/08/scrum-training.html)  written by a fabric artist, I discover this word SCRUM which has to do with finishing small projects that are components of larger projects, a way of working started by software people who have to really be productive on the leading edge of their profession.  I cannot imagine the energy in a small software developing company!  One important part is to test and finish each bit then move on.  I'll have to begin using that thinking.  The only half finished projects that are OK are my garden plants that take their time growing!

And ACEO, Artist's Cards, Editions and Originals.  Strictly 2.5x3.5 inches, oh, what's that in cm?  I'm teaching myself Metric.  So that's, haha!, 6.35x8.89cm.  ACEO's are supposed to be for trading, like Baseball Cards.

Funny numbers.

And no bloglist on the side of this blog.  So much to do and learn!

I am determined to finish another painting today, one of the unfinished ones, and also to see about getting some blank cards, 6.35x8.89cm.  Ha!  funny numbers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not coral at all! The Palletteers

Palletteers, Estate Mount Washington
12x9 acrylic on Ampersand board
So much fun! On Fridays, we painters get together different places on the Island. I've gone with these ladies places that I never knew existed! This is such a sweet place. There's a little sign that says, "Public Welcome" Wow.

This is my second ever Acrylic painting, using the little red bag in another post below. Acrylic paint dries SO fast, but not --- something. Tonight it's still sticky and ? vulnerable. Should be cured tomorrow, we'll see.

Such fun!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Longspine Squirrelfish

Longspine Squirrel Fish and and Reef

8x10" oil on stretched canvas

This is a classic pose for this little fish. All spiked up and fully at attention, ready to run away. That thing he's under is supposed to be a Maze Coral. I'm just going to have to slow down and let my pickiness take over so that my corals look something like they're supposed to. Oof, hundreds of tiny, 'perfect' brushstrokes.


Yellow Sponge #1
10x8 oil on stretched canvas
Finished. Take a break time. Most of this painting has three layers of paint! Too light, too dark, not right, not right AT ALL!!
Gadzooks this is difficult! I don't know why non-painters think this is so easy. I rank painting right in there with going to the Dentist. But I love my teeth, may I keep them all to the day I die.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Acrilics 'Go Bag'

I recently bought Da Vinci acrylics, the liquid kind in squirty bottles. I keep them in this bag, so I can either paint in my studio, or take them someplace to paint plein air. The Ampersand board and brushes need a better compartment, I'll figure that out soon. There's a coffee can with the snap lid for water, but I'm not happy with that. I'm looking for a replacement. There are zipper parts of this little bag that I don't use---yet. I can take this in the car, and paint in my lap, easy!

Funny, the big art supply companies have "portable" gear, but it's all awkward and a pest to use. With this, as with my oils-in-a-box, (in an earlier post, scroll down) I have made my gear much more simple and easier to use and control.

I'm wondering if, once I become accustomed to the fast drying acrylics, if I'll give up the slow drying, complicated, poisonous oils? Maybe, although I'm such a romantic.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Starts

I've just read, again, about a discipline called "Notan" that is beginning a picture by drawing or painting in stark black and white, extreme contrast.  I guess someone dislikes bland, shadowless art.  So, I think I might play with this some.  I'll begin another blog soon using these black and white ones for an online, downloadable, free coloring book.  Hmm, the little lines are supposed to be two fish, they'll eventually look like fish---I hope.

This kind of coral, Grooved Brain Coral, is so beautiful.  I am having trouble capturing it's filigree prettiness.  Keep trying!  I was going to put some color on this one, but the paint isn't dry, and I was smudging it all over, booooo.  I wish I could paint for six, eight , ten hours a day, but my eyes can't take it.  It's like I cannot see after a while.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Started, One Stopped

Started, as usual lately, 10 X 8 inches, what was that in metric? 25 x 21. OK.

This sketch is a "Do Not Touch'' sponge. They're velvety brown, can get as large as a horse, and if you touch, you'll get stung, perhaps severely. Hence the name, which is a direct translation from the Latin, or scientific name, N. nolitangere. I would never call them harmful because the human has to blunder into the sponge. The sponge just sits there, never moving.

Is this one done or not? The Blue Headed Wrass, the fish, was an afterthought, and looks like it. Pffft. I want to be finished with this one, but will probably add some more fishes. And do some other stuff.

I'm wrestling with the idea of selling vs. not selling my little paintings. I'm quite fond of them. In the past, someone bought a nice painting I'd done, and later threw it out in the trash. That hurts.