I loved this post. Perhaps because i feel the same about both the ocean and painting, but also because it has given me things to investigate and discover.


I love how art never fails to move me in many different directions. As I study different art styles and learn about art techniques and methods, my pathway often leads me away from visual arts to other forms of creative expression.

Today, I discovered the author, Christopher Paolini. His name and his works were unfamiliar to me. I think I’ll check him out at our local library. What led me to Paolini was a search for quotes about the sea — my current focus in oil painting.

Here’s is my most recent seascape. I’ve titled it The Sea in Motion because that was the effect I wanted to capture, insofar as I was able.

July 12 - Sea in Motion

Here is the quote I found:

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say…

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Satisfaction Guaranteed

I don’t think any one was disappointed with the workshop today, even if they may Not have been completely happy with some of their work (like me). Anna is so good at pin pointing what improvements could be made. It’s a shame I can’t show any of the successes in a show. Here are my creations for the day. The first 3 are small (8×10) exercises in depicting emotion, the next is a large canvas piece (can you locals guess what it is?), and the last one is a 12×16. Many will guess that it is ocean but it is actually a glacier. It along, with a couple of the smalls needs some work. See others work here.

“Peace”                                                                         “Anticipation”                                                                             “Rage (3)”

Excitement Grows

I’ve spent the day looking through various photo albums on my iPad in preparation for a workshop tomorrow. It has made me so so so excited about “Immersion in Abstract Painting” by Anna Miller at the Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra. She suggested for us to gather names of abstract artist whom whose work we enjoy and to bring examples. For me this starts at JW Turner, then to some Bahaus members like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee,  as well as Odilon Redona, Dali and Frantisek Kupka. After that many from the 1950s-80s. Sonia Delaunay, Richard Diebenkorn, Arther Dove, Hans Hoffman, David Hockney, Judy Chicago, Georgia O’keefe, Richard Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko.  As for current artists… sadly I have a gap in my knowledge from the 90s – now.  I do love Joan Fullerton, Nancy Eckels, and Carole Frye and others whose work I have pinned, but whose names I have not retained.

I have taken a workshop from Anna before and she is an excellent teacher. My ability with abstracts was much improved after it. I look forward to expanding and further honing those skills in this workshop.

When is something Complete?

I’ve collaborated on various art projects with members of the Art Guild of Orange Park. However, my favorite collaborations have been with my now 2 1/2 year old grandson. In this one he did a base of watercolor and then I put some pastels on top. At first I wasn’t impressed with it, but it grew on me. I like it as is but am thinking of making it even more mixed media. Some of you remember me saying in the past that I have to be careful when doing mixed media not to go overboard and add too much. I’m thinking some type and then some acrylics to help the collage bits to blend in. What say you? Leave it as is? Or give it more oomph?


Technical Difficulties

I believe in myself enough to think that I have some pretty fantastic and wonderful ideas for art pieces. However, I often fail in the execution (especially for assemblages) for various reasons. I’m having difficulties with proportions in this piece. I’ve looked up the average size of each animal, but am still a bit unsure. The wolf’s average length is 4.5 – 5 feet, a Beluga’s average is 9 feet, an the Snow Owl is 20-28 inches. This Beluga is only showing about a third of it’s body. Is it the right size? Too big? Too small?7CFDAD8C-F716-42FA-8093-ED7E4BB5E9D5

Freeing Oneself to Create

Yay! I’m coming out of a long and deep dry spell. This is actually the 3rd phase of a piece. I’m mad at myself for not recording the first two – the drawing and an underpainting of fluid acrylics. This is a painting that has been in my head for YEARS. It is one of a series that I call my Om Visions. They are visions that have come while listening to an album of music called, “There’s No Place Like Om”. Music that helps me sleep on difficult nights. It’s actually the 2nd vision. The first one has not yet been begun, though I did a watercolor study of it during on of my 30 day challenges. The third is also languishing in my psyche. The fourth is my Blue Angel (“These Wings are Heavy”).  This will be called “Trinity”. There are more very specific elements to come….


Evolution of an Angel

I started on the mixed media part of this piece that many of you are familiar with. Sadly, after working on her this evening and not being happy with the results, I forgot to take a picture of my unhappy result. This is a phase after I took some glazes to various parts of the piece. My studio is not well lit at night so I hope I am as happy with the results in the daylight. You may have to enlarge to see that there are real feathers as well as paper feathers decorating her wings. She is by no means done.

So Proud

I am so proud to have won and Honorable Mention in the current Jacksonville Watercolor Society show. It’s my first time entering one of their shows! The work of these talented artists is truly impressive. It is a huge honor to have won in such an august field and has me on an emotional high like never before. Thank you “Poppies”, Italy and Robert Leedy for making it happen. “Poppies” was created from the many reference photos I took while studying with Robert last year.



Desire Springs Forth

The desire for Paper Making that is! Why it always seems to be that I get a huge hankering to make paper at this time of year, I don’t know. Something about birthing ? Is Couching birthing? Blending does bring forth a new being. And it is a joy to behold any of it, and all of it.                                                                                                  Like my Sumi-e, however, I think I need to go back an learn it properly. I have been so enthralled with that I haven’t slowed down enough to perfect it. I definitely want to learn how to do thinner more delicate and orderly pieces.

The Final Two

These final two pieces from my play date, had me moving in a landscape direction. They aren’t complete, but I’m not in the least bit certain what I will do to them next. I will leave them hanging in my studio some where, so that I can ponder that, and wait for inspiration to strike. Oh and the other good thing about “play dates”? Lots of material for blogging!

oil paintings by mark toner




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