Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Wild ride! The end of the 100 days for Spring!

I know I've said it before, but what a wild ride these past few days have been! I am humbled indeed by the response to the new works for Spring 2019. It seems I cannot paint fast enough of certain pieces. I am so happy people are adding to their collections, or starting new ones with my work. Some of them are new collectors, some are are returning to see what speaks to them. Some are filling their walls with multiples, others are dreaming of the day they can own one 
                                                                                    of my works in their new homes currently being 

The income has been terrific and I am slightly closer to my dream of going to Zimbabwae, Africa to teach Art and a craft to the villagers for them to sell to tourists that come to their home in Chidobe.

That being said, this post finishes the 100 days for the Spring. It has been a crazy week, trying to paint every day. I am also teaching up to 3 days a week for my church, Shepherds place, and the Eastern Shore Institute of Lifelong learning. ESILL. I love to teach, and 8 hours a week seems just about right.

The Orange Beach show was amazing, with 14 large and small pieces finding homes with collectors new and old. Last year was a                    disappointment, only selling $195 worth. I did        not even make expenses last year.                          God showed up in a big way this year though! The weather was again an issue, but it cleared and brought large crowds on Saturday and Sunday.

Arts & Crafts was this past weekend as well, bring the usual cold front and it's accompanying rain. The crowds were large on Friday, but Saturday dawned with rain and cold that made people run through the show. This year was wonderful with collectors coming by to see the new works, and some purchased pieces to feather their nests. I am still amazed that I get to earn money doing something I love to do every day! Thank you for the collectors, and the future one's too!
I sold 3 out of my 4 manatees this weekend as well.

                                                                                  I love that you follow the blog and sometimes                                                                                                comment. Blessings on all who enter here.....                                       A wild ride indeed!


A Wild Ride! Acrylics on canvas~ various sizes
Days 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, and 100! Plus a couple more thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Shells, Shows, and Showers

Shells, Shows, and Showers
We had all three this weekend!
The first of many shows for the spring season was held in Orange Beach yesterday and today.
I was fortunate to be one of the artists that had a successful adventure at the park. The weather held off, and the many expected storms did not come. Several artists were not so fortunate. My neighbor in particular was from Dallas, TX. A sweet gentle man, his large paintings garnered him a second prize in the 2D category. His sales however, were not so great. He only sold prints from his works, and one small piece. He probably will not be back to the show as he did not even make a quarter of his goal. I've been there, last year at this same show, I made a grand total of $195.00.
This was not even enough to cover expenses for the show in 2018.

This year, I was indeed blessed, receiving 2 patron awards and
 a kids choice award that really made me smile!
The pieces from India are going really well to several homes in the area. 
I was very pleased to have a previous collector purchase my largest piece before the show even opened! The sepias sold as well, with several shadowboxes finding new homes.
I sold 14 pieces this weekend!
this wonderful weekend presents a problem for me.
I have a major show next week!
No less than Arts & Crafts in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama.
Needless to say, I will be a painting fiend over the next few days.
I will probably be barely taking time to eat and 
perhaps not sleep because of all the possibilities in my head. I will also have to pull most, if not all of my works from a local gallery in order to have the inventory necessary for a show.
Shows are extremely hard work, but oh the rewards if we have what people are looking for in the art that decorates their homes.
Shows like this make us so happy as artists, with many people loving to see the works and the uniqueness of the pieces I am blessed to be able to create. 
Some of them even bless us further, by taking them home!

That being said, I am further blessed by the man that God blessed me with. He supports and sometimes tolerates the shows I do, willingly lending a helping hand just because he loves to see me happy. He is happiest when I am selling, and he grieves for me when I don't!
I am elated that God sent this man to be mine all mine!

With the time change, Chris got up too early!
 A nap was in order, and this bench was the perfect resting place. 
Oh how I love him!
Tell someone you love them today, we are not guaranteed tomorrow!

Shells, Shows and Showers, Acrylic on canvas, 6x6
Day 94 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The conchs have it!

 The conchs have it!
At least around here for the time being. The top one is a horsehead conch, the other is a regular conch, often used for conch fritters. (BTW, I don't care for them at all!)
My first Show at Orange Beach  started today. Chris helped me set up yesterday on his birthday and then we went to Art Walk in Fairhope in the evening. We brought BBQ Deer meat sandwiches and they were a hit! I also brought mini cupcakes that were eaten by several adults and children. Happy birthday Chris!

Today found me alone at the show, because our son came over to help with the wiring on the UHaul camper. We are coming close to the deadline for using it and I for one am grateful that one more thing can be checked off the list. Well, at least part one. The AC is all wired up, but the DC is still to be done. Next weekend Jere' will come back and finish the job. We have new LED brake lights and running lights. The new lights inside will all be LEDs as well because they pull so little   power and can be used with the Battery so we can boondock for shows.   Coming closer to reality. Now, if we could just sell the Gypsy Gal to help finance this adventure! I still have yet to begin the interior design of the UHaul, I know a lot of it will be baskets inside the bins, upholstery in the dining area, curtains for the windows, the list gets longer by the minute! So fun, designing the new interior with a sea theme. 
I also have some surprises in store for the interior as well! 

The show went very well today! Last year, I did not even make expenses. This year was totally different, with me making expenses (and then some!) before the show even opened at 10 am. I had some frustration with my square though, a new phone may become a must before too long. I am also pleased to report I got a patron award as well! So fun, and the gentleman choose a painting I dearly loved, but has not sold in several showings. He very happily went home with the Manta rays shadowbox tucked under his arm. The new elongated paintings are very well received, although I only sold one of them today. Several people said they had to go home and measure before they could decide on pieces. Tomorrow is another day, a day to spend with Chris, a day to paint, a day to sell, a day to be thankful to God for the blessings he bestows upon me. I am indeed humbled and honored that people want to buy my pieces for their homes and offices. I am so grateful too, that I get to play in the paint and then sell what I create!

Needless to say, the next few days before Arts & Crafts will be a flurry of activity in the Raccoon Retreat Studio here in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama!

The conchs have it! Acrylic on canvas, each 6x6 inches
Days 92 & 93 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019                                                            

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Shells times 2

It's a two for one day today!
The paintings are getting done, but the posting is not!
I am getting my show equipment and paintings ready for our first show this weekend.
Our first foray is down to Orange Beach. I am looking forward to dusting off the equipment, setting up the tent, and hanging for a show. 
Years ago, I used to go to this show when it was very small. 
 Almost nobody came to the venue, and at times there seemed to be more artists than patrons. 
You get it, a very small show.
Fast forward to current year. 
It has become a much larger show, well attended, and a beautiful venue. They have also expanded the prizes and there is also a very nice awards banquet on Saturday night. 
Looking forward to a local show that gets our feet wet before the big one here in 
Fairhope, Alabama next week.
This realization hit me this afternoon, that one of my favorite shows is next week.
I'm excited, nervous and going crazy at the same time.
We have a LOT to do in the next 2 weeks.

The week after A&Cs is Gulf Breeze and we will be boondocking there.
If we cannot get the U Haul camper completed enough, 
we will take the Gypsy Gal if she doesn't sell.
Boondocking is basically not plugging in, just sleeping, 
and maybe some light cooking and bathing. 
The bathing will have to be baby wipes of course 
as there will be no running water to use. 
The bathroom is a cassette toilet that we already have.
We will also have to have battery powered lights.  
Who knows, if I do well enough at the first two shows, I may spring for a hotel!

The work on the new/old Uhaul camper is progressing nicely enough, 
although not fast enough for either of us! Chris has put in many hours of fiber glass, 
rebuilding holes in the walls, rebuilding the floor, and practically restructuring the door. 
I am spending precious time removing the stickers that are cracked, layered and apparently painted!
We are purchasing a set of new stickers for the camper as we do want people to know it is a UHaul.
We are getting closer to  the gel coat and then,
the dreaded
You see, this "egg" is 35 years old and the window seals have never been replaced. There have been several attempts to patch them, but it's time to do a complete reseal.
We found what we hope is the correct seals and will attempt this in the next week.
We've heard it is a test of your marriage, doing them together.
Together we must though as we don't want to lose windows that are irreplaceable.
I'm looking forward to conquering them!
This weekend, my "boys" will be rewiring the camper for both 110V and 12V. 
They will be working on this while I am at the show on Saturday in Orange Beach. 
Life is hopping here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio!
Blessings on you all this day as well!

Shells times 2, Acrylic on canvas, 6x6 inches
Days 90 & 91 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Mardi Gras Madness!

 I know I've said it before, but this past week has been interesting to say the least! It has been a week of stretching the imagination, the endurance, and my creativity to it's almost absolute limits!

To begin with, I needed to finish my poster entry for the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama in October. This one was a bit of a struggle, as I could not concentrate on it enough to gel the ideas I had in my head and put them to paper and paint! More on that later..... Anyway, I spent the better part of 20 hours on this one folks, between the drawing designing, tweaking, and finally painting. I turned in my entry on Friday, driving it down to the Coastal Alabama Office a short time before the deadline!
I then packed away references in my large file bag, that has previous entries in it. It is kinda depressing to see so much work that will never see the light of day at a festival, but I am able now to see the mistakes made and improvements that could be done. I also gave the committee my suggestions for the logos for the shirts, as well as the suggested t shirt colors.
Here's hoping for a trifecta!

That was just PART of the week!

Keep reading.....
There was a lot of sewing too!
I tore apart a Victor Costa Dress to be able to make a skirt for my daughter to wear to the Queens Luncheon.
There was also a grinch involved for our grandson after the sweatsuit ordered was several sizes too small. I made the "sweater" from 3 t shirts and glittered it up to make it fun. He was a cute Grinch at school for sure!

The week continued....

I also dabbled in 2nd line Mardi Gras umbrellas for the parents of the Queen this year for their daughters coronation. I love it when people say have fun! Hers was Monet inspired, with gorgeous flowers and sparkle fabrics. His had a large Oyster shell that was hand built and 3 30 inch shrimp! The umbrella was then hand painted with lots of metallics!

There's more!
Remember this was over a week!

I was also able to make and replace my iguana in the gypsy wagon. I was loath to let my other one go with the wagon as I made it about 20 years ago. He is now happily residing in my studio again, while this one will go with the wagon if she sells soon. It is cut with a scroll saw and detailed with a dremel tool. I then painted the details on it and put it on the door in the Gypsy Gal.

I then moved onto painting shrimp for the Shrimp 
Festival on Amelia Island in May. 
They may not make it to the festival though! 
These are little clip boards for grocery lists or maybe a photo.

Yes, There's more.....

I painted this last night with my Scripts& Strokes
Group at church. Based on Proverbs 24:3-4
We all have treasures in our rooms and homes!
Whimsical house was fun to create and paint. 
I also used it today to make a watercolor 
for  the Seniors at Shepherds place. 
Lots of fun at both!

And then there's today.....
Measuring 55 inches wide and 30 inches tall, these beauties will be at a show soon!
Painted on multiple canvases, I LOVE them!

There you have it, a SOLID week of Mardi Gras madness and mayhem!
I would not take anything for the time spent with Jessica creating! (I spent two LONG nights there, working hard!) The ability to make my grandsons dreams come true with his grinch for school. Painting with classes and in the studio.
It's been a long wonderful week!

Mardi Gras Madness! Multiple pieces and too many mixed medias to mention!
Days 82, 83,84, 85, 86,87,88, & 89! of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

Lilies with Scripts & Strokes

Today was as usual a busy day. We are both up to our necks in things to do, and we would have it no other way!

My husband Chris is hard at work on our
new/old little Uhaul camper. He has started fiberglass repairs on various parts that need fixing in the worst way! Holes cut where there should not be holes, Spider cracks, and tail light spaces to be covered up and then replaced. He is doggedly working at the project, knowing we need the camper by the fourth weekend in March. Today he started on the interior floor. It was really bad in some spots, and not even touched in others. He is removing the bad wood, adding fiberglass to the bottom of the camper, then putting fresh wood on the floor and adding fiberglass again. Lots of hard work, I am so grateful he is a very capable and hard worker. It seems everything he puts in his hands is creatively and beautifully done. I am so grateful God has put our paths together!

Today's painting is based on Proverbs 8:17
I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.
When we spend time in the word, our souls are refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated. I make an effort every morning to read the bible and I have enjoyed the journey very much! I have read it cover to cover several times now. The story God puts in our hands is a pure Love story written just for us as his children. I learn from it more and more each time I open it, and write notes in mine when something speaks to me. It's okay to write in your bible, because years down the road, the stories become familiar family histories. Proverbs are the easiest way to start, there are 31 proverbs, one for each day of the month! They also contain a wealth of information on how to act as Christians, our marriages, and humans in general. Start today on your journey of diving into his word!

Lilies, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24
Day 81 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Heron IV

Today's post is short and sweet.
It has been a busy day. We started out by going to church and from there we went our separate ways. Chris went to work on the camper, starting on the fiberglass work that he has to complete. It will be interesting indeed to see the work from his hands all over the camper. He did a lot of fiberglass work on the sailboat we had with a fixed keel. It had been run aground and the owner never attended to the repair. When we got it, he put it up in a sling under our carport and spent seemingly endless hours repairing it. He has watched endless you tube videos about how to do the work. I have confidence that he will get the job done, and done well. I've already seen where he is rebuilding the tail lights area in the rear, and the first layers look great!.
Me, I headed to our oldest daughters home to try and knock out some hats for her Mardi Gras orders. The whole afternoon was seemingly lost, when I was trying to work on a skirt for her on her sewing machine. In the process of looking for the cord to the machine, we cleaned the room up quite a bit! We never found the cord, and that's when her husband remarked, you don't think that the cord your brother cut and wired, was it? Mystery seemingly solved, an afternoon partially lost, a skirt not made, dinner together, and a cord ordered online.
I got to work on exactly one hat!
Oh well, time spent with my daughter is timeless........

Then I came home and finished this guy!

Heron IV, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 80 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019