Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Story of "Mount Dora Charmer", and other house portraits.

On a beautiful fall day, I was painting along with a group of plein-air artists on historic McDonald Street in Mount Dora, which is a charming vacation town, forty-five minutes’ drive northwest of Orlando, Florida. Mount Dora is known for its small-town charm and many antique shops.

McDonald Street is walking distance from main street and the town square. It features charming historic cottages and mansions, most of which are on the historic registry, and each with a story to tell.

As I walked up and down the street scouting for inspiration, I observed the shapes the houses formed as they intersected with the surrounding foliage and skies. The time of day and the direction of the sun determines how the houses are illuminated and which side of the street to paint.

The Mount Dora open Paint-Out takes place every November, and is a great opportunity to join fellow painters in capturing this charming place, view artists at work around town and attend the exhibit at the Mount Dora Center for the Arts gallery.

 “Mount Dora Charmer” (pastel, 16” x 12”) is a painting of a mansion on McDonald and 9th Street

Sunnyside House” (pastel, 18” x 12”) is a painting of a house across the street from "Mount Dora Charmer".

“Abandoned but not Forgotten” (pastel, 18” x 12”) is a painting of the historic Lauthan-Platt House, which won the Judges’ Choice Award at the 2018 Paint-Out and is currently on display at the Mount Dora Center for the Arts until December 3rd.

“Sunshine at the Inn” (pastel, 12” x 18") depicts the historic Lakeside Inn, lit by a setting sun.

I hope you can stop by and catch the exhibit at Mount Dora. Also, I will be painting at the New Smyrna Beach Paint-Out, December 2nd-8th, 2018. Please visit the wet gallery located at Marine Discovery Center, 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169.

See more of my paintings at

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Story of Morning Coffee and Happy Accidents

I'm a regular patron of Barnie's Coffee Kitchen in Winter Park, my favorite coffee shop. I like the nostalgic old time feel of the place, and the big windows with lots of daylight streaming in. I especially like the blue light reflected on the floor early in the morning. I always intended to paint that scene.

When I finally got around to painting Barnie's, I decided to make it apart of the interior series I was developing, which included a figure of myself in the painting. 

The painting was accepted to the Southeastern Pastel Society 2018 International Show in Atlanta. When I attended the opening, I was surprised and horrified to discover that it looked nothing like the original. It was more abstract, and all the figures were blue gray and devoid of detail. 

It seems the new glitter pastel I used generously on the rear window, became loose during shipping, and scattered allover the painting. When I looked at the other paintings in the exhibition I noticed that others also used glitter pastel. Like me, they must have picked some up at the last pastel convention in Albuquerque. However, they used a just little bit, while I went a little too crazy with the stuff. 

After the show was over and I received the painting back, I proceeded with the restoration. I lightly bushed off the excess pastel using a soft synthetic brush. To my relief, the original painting was still preserved underneath. I repainted parts and touched up others. I kept the softer, more mysterious feel of the painting that was created by the shipping accident. Thankfully, this was a happy accident that made my painting better.

Morning Coffee - Revised
Pastel, 16" x 12"

Morning Coffee, Old                                                       Barnie's Reference Photo