As a native Floridian, I paint natural Florida landscapes and seascapes in wet-on-wet acrylics and alla prima pastels, though I venture elsewhere at times. Bold colors combined in unusual ways figure highly in these paintings, reflecting the atmospheric effects of Florida's unique climate. Often, the settings are highly romantic, as parts of Florida still echo the wilderness of its not-so-distant past. Wet-on-wet technique involves painting directly in/on wet paint. Most people are familiar with wet on wet through the Bob Ross's work in oil paint. Two years of formal private art lessons during high school (and some college courses) gave me a solid background of training in art theory as well as various media and genres. I won some best-in-show awards during this time. However, a writing career and family redirected my course. Some years later, study with original Highwaymen artist R. L. Lewis—also a retired public school art teacher--has taken me in a new direction as I explore the demands and freedom of wet-on-wet acrylics. The Highwaymen are known for developing fast and unconventional methods of painting. The fun and drama of this method has inspired me to develop an alla prima style in pastels, as well. Alla prima means “at first attempt,” and in both paint and pastel, it leaves out many of the traditional preparation processes. Instead of sketching out the image on the canvas or paper, putting down layers of color to gradually build the desired effect, and (for paints) letting each layer dry before putting in details, the artist works directly on blank canvas or paper. In acrylics, this method takes advantage of the interplay of the wet paint. With pastels, the artist uses pastel pigment, paper color, and paper texture to build a painting. I am a retired writer and book editor who is still an active English and reading coach when I am not painting.
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