Friday, July 31, 2009

Beach Dreaming

I am dreaming of sunshine and the beach so here is today's post. The rain seems to have been non-stop for days on end and it has me wanting to act like a lemur and sun myself.
I worked with my watercolor students on this as a demonstration of masking and wood grain texture lesson. Our class together is almost over and as usual, I am sorry to see them go. I always wonder if they continue on with their painting, or was it just a flash in the pan. Did I teach them all they wanted to know? Did I peek their curiosity enough to get them to continue learning? Did I encourage them to make mistakes on their own, then figure out how to get out of the problem?. I try my best to encourage them to think and do on their own and grow as an artist. I've always found the best way for me to learn was to work by myself and make mistakes then dig myself out of the hole I had made. I will constantly continue to learn, from my students, my books, my friends, and experimentation in my own studio.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pelican Penthouse

I took this photo while we were out sailing one day in Mobile Bay. Our bay was once known as the Bay of the Holy Spirit. I never fail to feel peaceful when out on the water with the wind, seagulls, and the thrumming engines of an exiting or returning tanker and pilot boat the only sounds you hear.
The two larger buildings are the RSA Tower and The Riverview Hotel. I added drifting fog to push them back. I also enlarged the Channel marker and the birds to give them more presence.
The pelicans are just hanging out, ready for the day to end. These comical birds are always fun to watch and I have heard many a pelican story while in my booth at the outdoor shows. This piece is oil on canvas 18 x 32.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nautilus Shell Study

Shells have always held a fascination for me that I have never outgrown. It all began with going to the Philippines to live on Clark Air Force Base while my father was stationed there. My parents took up scuba diving and would always go to a bay near the base. We would ride the dark blue Air Force bus with no air conditioning for what seemed like an awfully long time to me at the age of 6. Once there, I would play with the village children and go on the boat with Tony and my parents to their favorite reef. I could swim all day on top of the water if I stayed in the confines of the outrigger arm of the boat. One of my favorite pastimes was to play in my parents bubbles. Tony's pastime was to keep a wary eye on me and get me in the boat if he spotted sharks. Occasionally, my mother would either show me a shell from 35 feet below or bring it up for me to see. My parents collected lots of shells and one of my jobs as a child was to help dust them. I still have shells that Tony brought up for me to this day. This painting is 8 x 8 Oil on Linen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Raccoon Retreat

While house hunting recently I was reminded how quickly that animals can adapt to an environment. The house we were looking at is located in Fairhope and we hope to call it home ourselves. My husband and I have always loved the city when we visit and really would like to make a move to that part of the coast. It is loaded with old fashioned home town charm and has a thriving art community. This home that we hope to call ours is now inhabited by raccoons. The first day we walked around this house with it's roof caving in and wasps angrily humming about our heads, we noticed a furry body in the windowsill. I thought it might be a dead kitten, but then it breathed and as we stepped closer, the sleepy raccoon baby lifted it's head. I am mildly concerned about the mother and however many more babies may be inside. They look old enough to shoo out of the way, but I am certain that the damage they have done to the house is complete. We have already decided to gut the entire structure, down to the concrete block walls that were laid in 1955. I am getting premature though, we have not received notice that it really is ours. Here's hoping........................
Raccoon Retreat 14 x 18 Oil on canvas

Monday, July 27, 2009

Looking for a meal

This guy was our subject in the USA Oil class. We learned water sand, reflections and of course the bird! The students all seem to understand the concept of painting all of the above and realize that most of them just need time behind a brush. I keep telling them that is the best gift you can give yourself, time.
That most of all is what I am getting out of this adventure. Time behind the brush. The paintings are coming even more rapidly now, almost like they are painting themselves. The downloading is a snap and cropping comes with great ease. I am really happy that I started this adventure!
When someone asks me how do you know what to paint? It is so easy! The paintings in my mind are now coming to pass, I only hope I have enough room to dry them all!. This show season will be so colorful, vibrant, playful and fun!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marsh Maze

Our marshes lead out into rivers and the bay along the Gulf Coast. They are an ever present view along the causeway sometimes full of wildlife, sometimes devoid of water, but always changing. They provide cleansing for our bay that feeds into the gulf of Mexico. They also remind me of home when I see them after a trip.This painting is very small, 4 x 6 and is oil on Ampersand Gessobord. SOLD

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ruler of the Pier

We've all seen them, the pelican that is so bold as to steal the fish off your hook. This guy is one I visited a few days ago with his friends. He was so interesting, I decided to make him a painting of his own.
I enjoy painting theses birds because I am really happy about the comeback they have made since DDT nearly wiped them out in the 70's. When we came home to Alabama in 1976 their numbers were not so plentiful. I thoroughly enjoy watching them fly in their long silent formations along the water. There is also nothing to compare them with when they steal alongside your sailboat in the Bay, seemingly challenging you to a race, and then silently laughing at you and the crew as they leave you in their dust!
It is hard to believe that I have completed 25 paintings so far! The time has passed so quickly and my studio is becoming overrun by the many canvases I have drying!
This painting of "Ruler of the Pier" is in oil 12 X 24.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Van Gogh's~Red & White Carnations

This interpretation of Van Gogh's, Red and White Carnations was completed this week in the 7~12 year old's Impressive Impressionism class at the Mobile Museum of Art. My niece, Emily Thomas loved this one and said it needed to be on the blog! The children did wonderfully well with this painting and all of the paintings are precious. Lots of parents wanting to frame them as well. We also did a painting from Monet of Lily pads of course! This week has been exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time with twenty children all being creative and inquisitive for 4 hours straight! I absolutely LOVE my JOB! SOLD

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bubbly Shrimp

No I don't mean Champagne Bubbles. Our class last week made bubble papers and this week we added shrimp to them. It is always a delight to see someone break out and do something different and one of my students did just that! She had a seahorse she wanted to add to her bubble paper and it turned out quite lovely. My students never fail to surprise me, I only hope I can continue to surprise them!
This shrimp is no shrimp, he is approx. 10 inches by himself. He'll probably mat out to an 11X14.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waterway to the Reef

I have a lot of mental pictures from our trip to the Florida Keys. On our third day out we had reservations at John Pennencamp State park. We got to the park after noon, and got in line to enter. Just about 6 cars ahead of us, the rangers were turning people away and out. We got to the front and were asked do you have reservations? We giggled and said yes! We were allowed in and set up our camp at one of the last sites that was empty. Turned out that the park was full of beachgoers! (keep in mind this was January 3rd!)
We hopped on our bikes and rode around until we found the Reef excursions. We booked our trip and rushed back for towels and gear. The Reef is the largest in the continuing 48 states and was not a disapointment. It brought back wonderful memories for me of the Philippines and made new memories for Chris. He had never been to a reef! We saw a green Moray eel, a lobster, at least a dozen species of fish and towards dusk, a Carribean Gray Reef Shark came up out of the gloom and eyed us for a moment before disappearing into the distance.
I was all for following the shark, but Chris said no way and we went back to the boat. He swears to this day I tried to feed him to a shark~I am going to remain silent on the matter!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pelican Morning

I love to paint these magnificent birds! They are grand, beautiful and comical all at once. I really enjoyed painting this one.
The painting is in oil and measures 18 x 32. The colors are a beautiful morning light. I may work on the pilings and the center one's feet though. Otherwise it is pretty much finished.
The painting a day is fun and I find it relaxing and enjoyable. I am also becoming more rapid and efficient with the downloading, cropping, and adjusting of the works. I also find I am less frustrated when there is a problem on the computer!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Leatherback Baby

I photographed this baby leatherback turtle while visiting the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida during our trip to Key West. I really enjoyed the time spent with my beloved and the camping was wonderful too!
Our tour guide was the director as well (I must confess, I can't remember his name). This baby was sucked up into the intake for a power plant and was rescued uninjured. He will spend enough time to grow up at the hospital and then will be released into the wild. It was wonderful to see the interaction between man and animal, he obviously loves these creatures and judging by the way they follow their handlers around the tanks, the feeling is mutual.
This painting is an 8 x 10 oil on Linen. SOLD

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Skittering in the Surf

Skitter~of small animals or children, to scurry,
(fr. older Skit, to jump or dart around, of Scand. origin)

These amazing birds are Sandpipers that are quite common on the beaches locally. We also saw them down in the Florida Keys in January of this year. They run along the edges of the surf, hoping for tender little morsels that their long beaks pluck from the sand and surf.
Anyone who has followed these little birds on the beach knows the meaning of the word Skitter. They always seem to run ahead or above and around any person walking on the beach. They run with rapid little legs, casting quick glances behind them as though you were a lion about ready to pounce.
I love to paint these birds and have several in the plans file for the future. We will put one in a painting for the USA class tomorrow.
This painting is 11 x 14 Oil on canvas.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My version of Deer's Skull with Pedernal by Georgia O'keeffe

I spent last week working with the teens at the museum. One of the classes I taught was in Charcoal. I had the students work on bone studies of a goat skull I have in my studio. While I was working with them, I was reminded of Georgia O'keeffe and her paintings of skulls that were larger than life. I could hardly wait to run to my own studio and paint!
While this is not a skull, (my husband tells me it is a breastbone from a catfish) it is still beautiful in it's own way. It is also larger than the actual bone which is 4 inches. In the painting, the bone is 12 inches. The painting is 10 x 20 and oil on canvas. I also have this piece of driftwood that Chris found at the Alba Club. I wanted it to have the same feeling as the O'keeffe piece so I put the water behind it. It took about 5 hours to complete and really beat me up in the process. My back is burning! I really enjoyed doing this one though, and I love the combination of Blues and Browns!
This painting is also giving me ideas for shells on the driftwood as well. I love painting the wood, it is almost like you are carving the piece as you paint!

Friday, July 17, 2009

By the Sea~By the Sea~By the Beautiful Sea!

What a wonderful week it has been! I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching the teens at the Mobile Museum of Art! Art Blast is a wonderful experience for children to have even if they only take one class a day. (I have a lot of fun too!) Next week I have two more classes, Impressive Impressionism and 3-D art for 7-12 yr olds. It should prove to be interesting!
I have also been asked to give a talk to Don't Throw That Away! an Art Discover Workshop at the Museum on Saturday September 5th, 2009 from 9:30 until noon. The "talk" will only be about 20 mins., the rest of the time we create!
This painting was created during my class at the Museum today. We all had paint all over us as well as the canvas. It was all great fun! I LOVE my job.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Confetti Shrimp

Wow what a day! I started at the Mobile Museum of Art teaching Charcoal and Oil Painting to a wonderful group of teens. I then got my hair cut at my daughters Salon, Bellasia on Old Shell Road. She also insisted on color so that took a while! Oh well, I do look a lot better! I then came home to cook and prepare for my USA Watercolor class. This group of adults is so enthusiastic about everything they learn and several want the intermediate class. Todays painting is part of that lesson for USA. We did bubble backgrounds to put with our watercolors. If you have never tried a bubble background they are simply watercolor, dish liquid, glycerine and blow away! The students had a great time and created several sheets to use a backgrounds for paintings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tequlia Sunrise I &II

These trees are always such fun to paint! I had leftover paint from the classes I have been teaching and did not want to waste, so here we are with bright happy color!
My children have no appreciation for these "play" paintings. (I love to show my wild side every now and then. They call it t-shirt art) I usually call it sold!
I had a pair of 15 x 30's of this type that sold last year at two different shows! These are much smaller 6x12 deep edge canvas. I am sure they will find a home. Otherwise, they may have to stay with me!
They can be purchased for $50.00 each or $90.00 for the pair. SOLD

Monday, July 13, 2009

Incoming Tidal Pools

I love the water~especially the ocean. I would simply love to listen to waves lapping forever, gently lulling me to sleep. When I sit and stare at the patterns created by water, I am reminded of the endless beauty our planet holds. Everything around me inspires me to paint more and more!
This day found me at the museum surrounded by teens learning about the art that surrounds us on a daily basis. I taught both charcoal and oil painting, one absent of color, the other nothing but color! Both classes were delightful and a joy to teach. It is hard for me to leave my students after classes are completed. I want to know if they are successful, if they are still creating, or was it just some class their parents put them into to keep them busy during the long hot summer. This group does not seem to be the latter, they are eager to play in the mediums we provide, even if they stain their hands.
This evening brought more learning by adults in my USA class. I am always amazed at how much the paintings differ from each other even though we start out the same! I also hope they continue on with their painting, practice is really whats makes the class effective. I really love it when they come back the next week and tell me they worked on their piece more!

July 12th got away from me! ~Just Crabby Blue~

Just Crabby Blue is a painting that was completed on top of bubbles created during a watercolor workshop on Dauphin Island. The pose is the same as one of my other crabs posted, but she looks so different with the background.
I am teaching the "bubbles" class at my Thursday Night Continuing Education class for watercolor. I love to work with this background style, it looks so difficult and yet is so easy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Classwork with USA continuing Ed.Students

I sent out invitations this past week for several events that were happening. Friday Night was the artwalk, Saturday was the Mission Show, Saturday Night belonged to the grand opening of the New Paint & Pals Location in Piccadilly Square.
Friday daytime was occupied by setting up for the one day Saturday show. By Friday Evening, I was getting ready for Artwalk downtown in Mobile. We met my brother at the Cathedral Square Gallery, as well as several of my students from the Monday night class.
The class and I completed this painting together. We all enjoyed doing this knifework painting on top of a painting we had already completed. I am grateful for my students, they keep me grounded and on my toes!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Waiting for Dinner

Our Blue crabs are popular along this stretch of the Gulf Coast. Waiting for Dinner is a watercolor of a photograph taken several months ago. I have learned a great deal about blue crabs on our coast. I love to paint them, and people love to buy them! I will probably put this one into print because she is so beautiful! By the way, do you know how to tell a boy crab from a girl crab? (No you don't have to flip them over) Hint, The girls paint their nails! Funny, some of the things you learn while researching paintings.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Water ~ Water Everywhere

I taught a small class on Dauphin Island today that focused on watercolor. The class was at the Dauphin House, a lovely Bed & Breakfast on the Island. (Thanks Carol & George for opening up your dining room to us!) We had a great time, wishing the other students that wanted to join the class could have been there. The group promises to grow in number so we may have to move to a larger place for everyone to be able to spread out their paints on multiple tables. We all worked on this crab on the dock. My students never cease to amaze me, we can all start out with the same drawing, but end up with several very different paintings. Each person has their own style. Some are looser and others are more controlled and tight in their handling of the watercolor. That continued into the night class I taught for USA this evening, each student has their own style and sense of color! That is what makes art such a wonderful outlet~there really is no wrong way to create!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Living the Key West Life

We had heard about the chickens at Key West Florida. Nothing prepares you for seeing them everywhere~on the road, in the graveyard, on the sidewalk. We even witnessed a group of chickens~Hens and Roosters having a grand old time scratching at a snake that had very stupidly crossed their path. Needless to say, the snake did not survive the encounter. I don't think I have ever witnessed so much dust, clucking, and crowing! This rooster posed for a me while I snapped picture after picture. He eyeballed me sideways and once he realized I had nothing to give to him, he turned his back! We are planning another trip to Key West in 2010 with friends who have never been. We took our bikes the first time and had a great time because there were no problems parking~you just have to be very wary of the cars that don't like to yield!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sitting on the Dock in the Way II

The class I taught last night had me with a multi -colored palette of paint that I was loath to throw away. As I stared at the many colors of paint, I was wondering how I could use them for my painting a day challenge. Looks like a crab to me! I said this out loud and my students just laughed. I worked on this one for the better part of the day and into my class session at night here at the house. Between helping my students and painting, it was a very relaxing evening. Crabs never cease to amaze me, with their wonderful color and argumentive attitude!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Misty Waves

I simply adore the sound of the ocean waves. I once stayed on Horn Island with the Ohr expedition and set up my tent next to the shoreline. I had a blissful five days falling asleep to the lapping waves. Today's painting was a relaxing journey into the ocean. I thought about adding birds, but when I did, they seemed out of place. This Oil painting is on a 30 x 30 deep edge canvas. The act of adding pictures is becoming easier too! I am starting to enjoy the computer more as I become accustomed to it's whims. Maybe I can teach this old dog a trick or two. I am hoping that these first few paintings will be dry by the weekend so I can show them at Artwalk in Mobile.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ghost Crabs

I have discovered something new about this blog. I write too much! The journal entry I just posted was to have 2 pictures, but when I finished, there was only one picture! Oh well, here it is for all to see!

Ghost Crabs July 4th & 5th

These Guys are just plain fun to paint! This pair completes days 4 & 5 of the 100 days of painting. I talked with Shelby Jones who is another artist with me in Cathedral Square Gallery in Mobile, Alabama. I told him of my "project" a painting a day for 100 days. He looked at me like I had three heads. Why! he exclaimed. I told him I took this challenge to myself to become a better Painter. The painting a day is challenging not only in finding something you are excited about painting, but the act of creating itself. I asked him how much he had painted lately He said that he had not painted for almost a year. I would absolutely feel suffocated if I went that long without creating! His work is amazingly detailed and beautiful to look at. I invited him to come over to my home on Tuesday evenings because that is when I have an open Studio. The open Studio gives me a chance to interact with other artists as well as receive their input on my most recent works. I also teach at that time. My students love the studio, and I love the interaction! By the way, I have had several conversations with other artists and have come to the conclusion that I am very lucky indeed. I actually have a studio in which to work! So many artists work off of their dining room table, desks, or someplace else that they have to pack up every day they create. I just want to say, Thank you to my husband of 30 plus years for giving me such a marvelous gift!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Misty Morning Seagull

This 12 x 16 oil is a combination of pictures I took while on a photo "Safari" trip in Florida. Chris and I left on our adventure January 1st and arrived in St. Augustine Florida that evening. We took the bikes the next day and rode over the bridge to the fort where I caught this guy sunning himself. (Or was he begging?) Probably a little of both as it was a delightfully warm day on the East coast. This is day three of the painting a day and I think I like it! I realized with a jolt that I embarked on this painting a day adventure 100 days before the National Shrimp Festival in October. Last year, I sold several small paintings in 6 short weeks. I am hoping that I can achieve my goal of 100 paintings by October. By then, regular painting will have become a habit.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Misty Morning

Misty Morning came about as I was walking down at Gulf Shores this Spring. The hour was actually near noon and the fog was so thick you could not see more than a 1/4 mile down the beach. The painting is 14 x 28 in oil and appeared quite rapidly as everything just "clicked". I enjoy these one day paintings~they give me an opportunity to expand and explore as an artist with techniques. My husband's remark was "Wow! you're growing" I just love the way it reminds me of quieter times in our lives.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lighthouses on the Gulf project

This project began as a response to a request for a painting of Middle Bay Lighthouse. I am now deep into the Eighth District according to the United States Coast Guard Map. History has never been so fun for me, learning about the lighthouses, their keepers and the storms from which they provided a beacon of light for refuge. Middle Bay especially now is prominent in my studio, I have worked on several versions in Oil, Acrylic and watercolor. This adventure in history proves to be a long one, with lots of research and paintings. I recently finished a painting of Pensacola Lighthouse that was sold before I could get it off of my easel. The Lighthouses are available in prints