Saturday, March 23, 2013

Signing off for the season, Barbara Quinn-Grasso heads north to Cape Cod.  News for the MIOA will come from Phyllis and other painters...keep up the postings!

Karen Swanker and a wall of her amazing Found Object creations!

Judy Chinski flanked by two of her remarkable watercolors!

Thursday, March 21, I attended a Gallery Opening at The Esplanade. Judy Chinski and Betty Newman own this new gallery, The Artist Gallery Marco Island, and invited Karen Swanker to be a Guest Artist there. The new gallery is around the corner (to the right) from the Jo-Ann Sanborn Gallery. A beautiful, sparkling spot on the water of Smokehouse Harbor, we wish them all the best of luck!

Kathy Vondorn and her beautiful oil painting of Mary Crawford Reining in the garden!

Vince Coppola works in the open air of one of the docks.

Maggie Zografakis with her watercolor-in-progress.

Francie Best and her lovely, delicate watercolor!

Linda Masten and her pastel, viewing the Marco River over the bougainvillia.

Viewing Mary's sparkling watercolor over her shoulder.

Jerri Smith and her pastel including the Jolley Bridge.

Nancy Shelly tackles the beautiful front entrance.

Judy Harthorne paints the flowers in the entryway.

Mr. Johnson discusses his book, A Matter of Trust, with Mary Crawford Reining.

A Day Painting at the Johnson Estate!

On Wednesday, March 20, the Vernal Equinox...aka first day of spring...we had a wonderful opportunity!  We  painted at the estate of Lavon and Glenn Johnson, our most gracious hosts, at the north end of Polynesia Court, which I now call the Johnson Botanical Garden!  A large compound developed by talented and perceptive landscape architects working with the design aesthetic of the home owners, the property includes a lovely home, many paths and structures, plants of all sorts with many beautiful sculptures tucked here and there, pools, docks, an orchid house, and even a pocket-sized butterfly garden.  Overcast skies gave way to full sunshine and clear blue above, while the flowers and plants below were the subjects of many paintings...and many photographs were taken for future artworks.  Warm thank-yous to the Johnsons for sharing their paradise with us!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cathy's watercolor sings with color!

Judy Harthorn and her brilliantly colored oil!

Karen Swanker and her lovely interpretation of the shop area!

Cathy Demko is settled and ready to start.

Donald Sunshine has everything he needs to paint the scene with watercolor.

Connie Miller and her sparkling watercolor!

Kim Belanger perches comfortably under her hatchback, painting with watercolors her view of the shops.

Vince Coppola with his colorful shops!

Jane Cooper with her acrylic in progress, with Vince Coppola working in the background.

The morning of March 13 was sunny but pretty chilly, especially in the shady areas of the Shops of Olde Marco.  We all had sweatshirts or jackets on, but pealed the layers as the sun warmed the day.  As the day went on, more artists joined the session, encouraged by the warmer air.


Phil Dolcemascola, a new artist, paints along the path next to Phyllis and Joan. Phil has been studying with Phyllis, and has made amazing progress: he just won a first prize in oils at the Marco Island Center for the Arts! Congrats, Phil!

Artists and birders share the viewing tower.

Back to our day at 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge on Feb. 20, here's a look at the viewing tower where we find great views and shelter from the sun!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nancy Shelly and Maggie Zografakis paint the Blue house, or Chattel House, in the Caribbean Garden.

Nancy Norman uses pastels to create her impression of the larger lily pond in the Water Garden.

Jane Cooper works in acrylics, responding to the lovely water lilies surrounding the shelter of the Thai Pavilion.

Carolyn Burger paints the colorful front entrance in acrylics.

Cathy Demko works on the Visitor Center entrance in watercolors.

March third found artists gathering at The Naples Botanical Garden.  Two artists arrived before the 9 AM opening time, and started on paintings of the colorful entry area.  Soon after we entered the extensive and intriguing gardens, the dark clouds brought the threatened rain, so a couple of us sought the shelter of the Asian Garden’s Thai Pavilion.  Perfect for studying the small lily ponds!  After nearly 2 hours of steady rain, as we were finishing, the sun came out and the sky cleared completely.  Great timing for exploration! 


Judy Harthorn and Cathy Demko work on their still life set-up, in spite of the rain!

Nancy Norman in the rain...the lifted hatchback helps with protection!

Vince Coppola captures the tree trunks.

Jane Cooper from Canada joins the group, working with acrylic paint.

On February 27, an intrepid few of us (it was chilly and threatened rain) gathered at Plummer Park on Barfield to paint the scenery or some still life elements we brought.   I took some photos of focused artists, and then went to my set-up…and as the rain came, I left! 


Joan Kroese works with oil, in the full sun!

Karen Swanker with her painting underway.

Maggie Zografakis with her beautiful watercolor!

Dorothy McDowell paints the Refuge with acrylics.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

On February 20, we headed to the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge, down Route 41 a bit. A very sunny day (great shadows!), but with stifling humidity and heat!  Most of us sought the cover of the viewing platform. Those out on the path, including Phyllis and Joan, were nearly overcome by the intensity, although they did enjoy some awesome alligator action!  Lots of bird life too, including a great flock of Roseate Spoonbills, who gradually came closer to the platform, and even treated us to a bathing display!  Quite lovely!  Lots of wildlife photographers worked around us on the two-storied platform, bearing amazing camera equipment.

Connie Miller and her watercolors, windswept at Residents' Beach!

While we MIOA may have had some cooler days to deal with this winter, see what our colleague, Karen Thiel, who couldn't come south this year, has been doing in Montana: here she is painting in the snow at Deep Creek!