Monday, December 27, 2010

Wildlife Habitat

It is known that bats tend to migrate south for the winter and return to their roosts during the spring season. My wife and I are so excited to know that more than half of our colony of bats decided to stay in their bat house for the winter this year. They are officially in hibernation mode. I took a sneak peek early one morning, around 6 am with a flash light. This is something I would not recommend due to possibly disturbing them during their nap, however I just had to know if they migrated or not. It's going to be a good year for bats next spring. Now if only I could get those purple martins to occupy their houses this spring. My wife and I would have fulfilled our backyard wildlife habitat goal. :-)

Our bat houses where approx. 200 bats roosted last summer.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Belleview Art Festival

The Belleview Art Club held a Belleview Art Festival on Nov. 13th around Lake Lillian Park. Sorry for the late post. It was a beautiful cool, sunny Saturday. The festival had local artist from around Marion County, food vendors, music played by an orchestra and raffle tickets for art items were sold during the event. I set up my small tent with my portable display easels and I had a browse box with small matted prints and note cards on sale. It was good to have people stop by my tent to see my plein air paintings and to discuss the process of painting. I was also very happy to have taken 1st place for one of my paintings during this event. Now that the winter is here I am indoors working on another wall mural. I will post the mural project once I have painted the last brush stroke. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Art in the Garden

There is a new piece of art that has been added to the Rodriguez garden that might have others cringe or find kind of odd. Unlike the other statues in our garden that are of the classical Italian decor, this particular piece of art has a special purpose for its significance to our backyard. You see this piece of art has a couple of jobs to attend to while standing at his post. Besides his usual duties of scaring off any evil and harmful spirits that may enter our domain, he is also the gatekeeper to our hundreds of bats that come out to play at night from our nearby bat houses. I know, I know that cringe thing again. My wife and I enjoy our new addition and we love sharing him with our friends and family. There is a side of me that embraces the gothic world and I enjoy painting it from time to time. I'm just glad that my wife Terry can see the good in it also. Now Let's Paint!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Painting at Sholom Park

I had a wonderful morning painting with my friends of the Ocala Plein Air Painters this past Saturday. The weather could not have been any better. I arrived a little later than I usually get at a painting location. Our group had planned to get together for lunch at a nearby restaurant after our paint out so I had to get moving with my subject. I wanted to keep my painting simple due to the time factor. A lone tree in a field of green caught my eye. I immediately set up my gear and started flinging acrylic paint. I finished around 11:45 ready to have some good conversation with my friends. I hope I can get to our next paint out location on time so as to not start out in a rush on a beautiful morning. Take you time and enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Soak up the autumn morning sun, the birds singing and the cool breeze touching your face. I hope to show up early next month when our group meets to paint in downtown Historic Micanopy. Now Let's Paint!

16"x20" Acrylics on Canvas

Ocala Plein Air Painters

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mural, Mural on the Wall

This summer I had another opportunity to paint a large mural. This was a 10'x10' mural project in the front entryway of a beautiful two story home. Cypress wood was used throughout this beautiful home ie; large cypress tree trunks as columns, exposed cypress ceiling beams, large cypress steps leading to the upstairs and so much more. The mural was a scene from pictures I had taken of the Silver River in Ocala, Florida. My client wanted me to incorporate a gator, herron, and turtles in their mural even though they are not seen in these pictures. It was good to paint a large mural again.

On another note, in the past blog, I had mentioned how my studio was occupied with house furniture due to a flood in our house. I am very glad to say that my studio is back to normal again instead of a storage place. So it's time again for Jose to start painting in his studio. Now let's paint!

Here I am on my walking stage between two ladders.
Notice the guides on the wall and the image I used for reference.

The finished mural.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Out of Commission

Wow! it has been one hell of a winter and spring for me. I have been out of commission for about three months now. At least out of commission from my studio works.

My studio work came to a stop this past winter which has been one of the coldest winters in my 20 yrs. in Florida. To put things in perspective, it all started when one of our water pipes in the house busted and flooded 4 of our rooms, including hallways. The majority of the rooms had carpeting which all had to be replaced. Our homeowners insurance helped with some of the expenses. It's a very long story so I am trying to keep this short.

All our furniture had to be moved into my studio, hence the out of commission from studio work. This turn in my life however did not keep me from painting outdoors once a month with my group OPAP (Ocala Plein Air Painters). Thank goodness I could still swing a brush to keep my painting skills sharp.

It has been a long three months of major repairs in my home with everyday and weekends devoted to repairing our home. My wife and I are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can't wait to get my studio back in order to start painting, blogging and spending quality time with my friends and family. Now, Let's paint!

That would be my studio. You can see my wall easel in the very back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Double Vision

In an earlier blog I talked about painting two panels side by side. I decided to share this painting project as well. This project was a couple of hand painted signs for the Hilton of Ocala.

I usually do not like to paint the same painting twice. I find it very boring to repeat the same subject over and over. If painting the subject twice wasn't bad enough, I had to paint the same exact painting about 20 feet up on the front entrance of the Hilton building. This time the painting was about a 5'Hx10'W mural.

The two smaller paintings were resting on my makeshift easel. I had them very close together so as I painted a particular area on one, I would immediately do the same to the other. It was a scene to see me go from side to side like a large digital printer, only it was just me flinging around a brush and paint.

These signs were to be installed outdoors in an entry driveway of the Hilton, so I used a high gloss outdoor enamel sign paint. After the paintings were fully dry I sprayed them down with a clear finish for added protection.

Even though I do not like to paint the same exact subject over and over again, sometimes one needs to bite the bullet and do what is necessary in order to pay those pesky bills. Now let's paint!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Paintings in Progress

This is kind of a funny story looking back at it now. For the most part I like to choose my subjects for my paintings. My wife always says Jose does what Jose wants to do and when he wants to do it. Which brings me to this story.

My wife and I have always wanted to finish an area on our back patio. Well, the visit of my sister-in-law and her husband during the holidays motivated us to finally do something about it. Family visits always have a way of pushing one to finish a long overdue project. I only had three days to finish two 4'x2' vertical paintings and have them hung up by the time our guests showed which was supposed to be on the fourth day.

Not being the type of artist that likes to paint for decor purposes, this was that type of project commissioned to me by my lovely wife Terry. Terry wanted the paintings to tie in with our backyard which is a beautiful lush garden that is hard to describe without one actually seeing it to appreciate it. It was also to match with the blue color theme that she had going in this area; hence the decor part.

The paintings are a project continuation from the article I posted earlier about blending a background. Keep in mind I had three days alloted and I usually do not paint for more than three hours per session; 4 hrs tops. I had plenty of time for the scene in my mind. I painted the background one evening. The next day I started the painting in the afternoon. I figured I would finish on the third day if I worked all day. Not!

As I was painting on the last day alloted and I think I was 3/4 of the way done with the painting, the phone rings. Guess who is showing in about an hour. You see our guests decided to drive through and show up a day earlier than scheduled and surprise us. Ahhhh! But I'm not finished! The panic fills the air. Working quickly, I slap some paint here and there, and then the edges because it is a gallery wrap canvas and would look silly if the paint did not continue on the sides.

I told my wife I would need to finish it at a later date and proceeded to hang the paintings. As we were hanging the paintings the edges where still wet enough to come off on my hands as we hung them. I was working in acrylics as usual so you can imagine how quickly I took them off my wall easel. It was a stressful time but looking back, it seems kind of funny now. I still have hours left to finish the paintings because the paintings are still missing more foliage, highlights and blue tinted birds of paradise flowers to match the blue theme. So in essence the patio project I have procrastinated on for some time now is still not completely finished. Well, it's back to the studio for final brush strokes. Now let's paint!