Cynthia Maniglia – “Chloe” – 2017

All I can paint today …
Our little Bichon had to have bladder stone surgery. Waiting for her to feel better…
Watercolor and touches of white chalk paint.

Petrea Bush by Garden Gate


Petrea bush at garden gate - acrylic by Cynthia Maniglia.jpg

Here it is, almost done. The Petrea (also know as “Queen’s Wreath”) bush and garden gate at Crowley Nursery & Garden in Sarasota, Florida. Acrylic painting, work in progress. Just need to put a few more finishing touches and sign. I love the color and atmosphere of this piece. It was fun to paint.

Sketch First, Then Paint

I’m glad I sketched this scene first (see my previous post). I’ve always wanted to sketch things out before painting them but never did. For my last two acrylic paintings, I’ve finally given this practice a go – and  I’m glad I’ve learned the advantages/benefits of doing this. Sketching first helps me work a few things in my mind and plan a little before putting brush to canvas.

In the past, sketching first seemed like an added layer “work” to me. I liked to approach a painting very spontaneously. After all, to me sketching was sketching – seemed to be more about lines and drawing – and painting was painting, freer and more about color. I don’t feel that way any more. Sketching is becoming more about tone, value, proportion, perspective, and color too as I add it onto the page.

As I approach a sketch, I think to myself that I am exploring the subject matter and I let that sense of exploration guide me. In my my mind, I’m thinking how would I handle that if I were painting it? What kind of shapes are these? Is this something I want to explore more in a painting? Now, I like to sketch first, then paint!

Finished and Signed ~ Acrylic Painting


Pink Flowering Bromeliad ~ acrylic on canvas by Cynthia Maniglia

Thank you for all of your feedback and “Likes” on my painting. After letting it sit, per the majority of comments, I decided the painting needed more definition and depth, as well as rearrangement of some of the leaves. Phthalo blue to the rescue! Plus a little lemon yellow here and there. I’m extremely happy with the outcome, as this painting reflects my love of plants and is the result of much time spent in the garden studying botanical life here in Florida. It also reflects over a year of watercolor painting, a medium many master artists used as a precursor to works in oil on canvas. I feel working in watercolor on large pieces of paper is too unwieldy for me, involves too much prep and needs costly framing to enjoy, so I prefer to work large on a stretched canvas surface. This is 19 1/2″ x 16″.

I’m thinking of adding a coat of vanish sealer on this. I’ve never used that before. Anyone have experience with it?

Thanks again to all those who chimed in with your thoughts!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Tangerines and Star Fruit

Tangerines and Star Fruit.jpg

How lucky we are to have such generous neighbors who share the bounty of their gardens with us! The other morning, a simple chat over a wooden fence with my neighbor in the morning while I was out walking my dog resulted in my coming home with a large bag of fruit. The tangerines had fallen from the trees due to the heavy winds from a recent storm. Would I like some? But of course! The star fruit need a little more ripening. “Just put them in a bowl and let them sit a while on the counter. They will be ready when they’re more of a yellow color. The yellower, the better.” They’re still ripening.

My painting is a little off kilter. The coffee mug is a little crooked – but I like when there’s a slight shift of perspective in a painting that is not meant to be photorealistic but rather more impressionistic and stylistic. I drew and painted it in two nightly sessions.

After Gardening

Painting the backyard after gardening, Cynthia Maniglia.jpg

I’ve been thinking of signing up for a watercolor class at a local botanical garden, as well as volunteering there. After gardening in our own yard, I decided to sit down with a glass of water in the living room and paint what I saw looking out of the lanai and into the backyard. No need to go anywhere special to paint, I thought. It’s not where or what I paint, it’s how I paint it. This is done in watercolor with an expressionistic style. The colors evoke the feel of fall in Florida, for me. I used my Reeves travel pan set and the brush that came with it, although I find it best to use different brushes when painting. This was a good exercise in trying to shape a scene and composition using different kinds of brush strokes. A quick 15 minute exercise.

Autumn’s Yellow Mums

Autumn’s Yellow Mums in Newtown, PA ~ Micron black fine ink pen and watercolor

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and
autumn is a mosaic of them all.” ~ Stanley Horowitz.

A little postcard-sized page I did in my sketchbook
on the flight from Philadelphia to Tampa yesterday.