Monday, August 31, 2009

"Ronds de Jambe 'a Terre" at the Barre from a drawing by Degas

Another pretty little painting and the downloading is getting easier again. I had to learn a new program on the computer when I replaced it last night! What a delight to paint again! I have missed it so much these past few days!
"Ronds de Jambe 'a Terre" at the Barre
from a drawing by Degas 8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord $75.00

"Battements" on the toes at the Barre from a drawing by Degas

This young girl was fun to paint. After being away from the easel and behind a hammer for a couple of days, my hands are adjusting to painting. Just call me a general "Factotum" ~someone used in a household, small business etc. for jobs of many kinds. Funny how words like that stick with you from childhood.
"Battements" on the Toes at the Barre~from a drawing by Degas
8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord $75.00

Seated Dancer. Melina Darde from a drawing by Degas

Today will be catch up day I guess. Between the computer dying, the house in Fairhope, and teaching for Paint and Pals, I have not blogged or painted for four straight days! I was getting grumpy too! We worked hard at the house in Fairhope and still don't know if we can save it. We need to find an engineer to draw plans for the roof so we can come up to code.
From a drawing by Degas~Seated Dancer. Melina Darde
8 x 10 Oil on Gessobord $75.00

Paint & Pals Ballerina

I taught yesterday at Paint and Pals Studio. I absolutely love the new place located near Buffalo Wild Wings on Airport Blvd. in the Picadilly Square. I was helping with two girls that wanted to paint this little ballerina for themselves. Ginger Woechan designed this precious painting especially for Paint and Pals and it is rapidly becoming a favorite. I f you want to paint one, call Alexis at 251-654-2313 to save your spot. I had such a ball that I got inspired to paint some Degas's Ballerinas from his drawings. This one is 11 x 14 Acrylic on Canvas. Isn't she just so sweet!
This past week has been rather hectic, hence I have not blogged since Thursday! I also had to purchase a new computer because the old one absolutely gave up the ghost. Oh well, hopefully the Racoon Retreat won't get in the way as well. By the way, if you have been keeping up, the house in Fairhope was ours as of 10:15 Friday morning!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sunset Cruise

I got a phone call late one afternoon from a friend who had recently lost his wife. It was a sad time in his life and he wanted to be surrounded by friends on his boat. I told him we would be honored to go with him. We set sail that evening with Jimmy Buffet blaring on the speakers and a stiff breeze. It was a glorious sail, and we watched as the sun quietly slipped below the horizon. We all tried to see the "green flash" that is reported to be seen as the sun sets to no avail. The twilight guided us home and we all quietly enjoyed a few moments of peace with a good friend.
"Sunset Cruise" 16 x 20 oil on canvas SOLD

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Ocean Breeze sets the Mind at Ease

I am dreaming of the Key West life again. This is from one of my pictures on our trip to the keys in January of this year. My friend Susan, wants me to paint several Key West houses in different colors. I will have to peruse my photos again to see what I can find. Key West is a different type of lifestyle and I can see why people want to live there. However, I don't know if I could take the hurricane threats that seem to occur with great regularity. The highway into Key West is mostly two lane, 110 miles long and I could see where it would be an absolute nightmare evacuating! Until then, I will simply dream of Key West.
An Ocean Breeze sets the Mind at Ease 12 x 24 Oil on Canvas.

Crabby is as Crabby does

Wow! had to look that one up as I was not certain of the spelling (does). I am a bit crabby myself as the computer is still acting up and the parts that have arrived are not the correct ones. To add to the frustration, the computer will now sometimes quit and then restart itself. Grrrrrr! It has lost files, eaten projects, etc, etc, etc. I think it is a memory problem combined with a power supply problem. Now the power supply sent is apparently the wrong one! I have my own hard drive now with my pictures on it by itself. That may solve some of the issues. Anyway, fighting with the computer yesterday caused me not to blog as well. The monitor quit! (It however, did not stop me from painting)
Crabby is as Crabby does 8 x 10 watercolor on claybord. Painting for Tuesday August 25th.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I am reminded of the fragility of life and our relationships with each other. While starfish can regenerate an arm if it loses one, humans cannot. I am dealing with adult children that have hurt feelings right now, I only hope that I can bring them back together on the same playing field.This is the last of the shells series. I will try to have a picture up with the set by tomorrow.
Starfish Watercolor on Claybord 5 x 5 .

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Scallop Too!

Watching a scallop swim is great fun. They also have a beautiful fuzzy edge to their shells when they are alive. This is the eighth of the shells in this series. I will try to include a picture of the collection when I finish in their frames. It is really nice to look at and will make a great piece of art on someones wall.
Scallop too! 5 x 5 watercolor on Claybord

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two Shells today!

Two Shells today because my computer was slowly crashing and eating files yesterday, moving them around and generally frustrating me to no end. One shell is the Horsehead Conch and the other is one that I picked up in Cozumel while on a cruise with Chris. Hopefully, the computer and I will make friends again. I can only pray that I will become comfortable with an extra hard drive to access loaded with my photos and references. My son lovingly loaded up all of my pictures to this new hard drive and then took off with his father on a motorcycle ride. My adult children are comfortable and familiar with computers moving around in them and handling files as thought they were nothing. No wonder, since they grew up with them and carry one around in their pockets in the form of a cell phone! Horsehead 8 x 10 Turbin? 5 x 5 watercolor on claybord.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Conch Queen

Did you know that Key West actually tried to become a separate republic from the United States? I was surprised as well to discover this fact. I think it was in 1982 and they still fly the Conch flag and celebrate their "independence" every year. Key West is a beautiful place to visit and Chris and I are planning to go back early next year. Conch fritters are everywhere and the locals swear by them. I find them a bit chewy! I much prefer another "treat" Calamary (Squid tentacles ). I was saddened to hear this evening that Rousso's a restaurant with what has to be the best calamary will be closing it's doors on Sunday. Another victim of the recession, they say. I for one will be sad to see them go.
Conch Queen 8 x 10 Watercolor on Claybord.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This is day four of the shells. I am really enjoying these paintings and the group is going to look spectacular together! The group is a total of 9 paintings, 3 are 8 x 10's and the other 6 are 5 x 5's
They are all in black frames which show off the colors of the shells beautifully. I am looking forward to displaying them as a group to photograph them. I may get them put into giclee's so we can have them all on a single print together. I don't know if I can afford the setup though, I would probably have to pay to shoot each one and then to put them into a single print.
Maybe since I've made friends with my computer I can scan them instead of photographing them!
We'll see, the computer is acting real funny these days! (Not enough memory~I think! Hey that sounds like a lot of us doesn't it?)
Scallop 5 x 5 Watercolor on Claybord

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The Nautilus is a funny creature if you happen to see one alive. I have, and quite frankly I think they are creepy looking at best. Their shells however, are some of the most beautiful.
This evening found me in my studio with a Susan, a student that has found her spark in painting. She excitedly told me about all that she had completed this week. I am very pleased to hear she is so happily getting ready for a show we are having in September. She is also my companion on some of my shows as she enjoys the travel, the show itself, the inspirations, and the learning experiences. I am very grateful to have such a true and loyal friend.
"Nautilus" 8 x 10 watercolor on claybord.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reminds me of a Quilt!

This is the second in the series of shells along our coast. Rare to find, they are more common in Florida than here in Alabama.
My husband and I spent the day going to get engineered plans for our little 'project' house. We are both feeling a bit on the daunted side, with all the permits and permissions. My brother also told us that 30,000 may barely be enough to rehab the house. We will press on, but the gloomy day matched our mood perfectly. We had a tropical storm hit nearby in Florida and Claudette's remnants came over us this afternoon.
I am reminded of a saying that a friend sent to me that is in my studio.~ When you come to the edge of the darkness, and must take another step, know that one of two things will happen, either you are going to fall, or you 're gonna fly!
Hopefully we will fly soon on this house we hope to call home!
Reminds me of a Quilt 5 x 5 watercolor on board.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sand Dollar,Sand Dollar~who's got the Sand Dollar?

My parents tell me there used to be Sand Dollars on the beaches by the Thousands. It is indeed rare to find one whole these days while walking on the beaches of our coast. My daughter and her then Fiance' went to the Gulf during our son's wedding last year and found several baby ones. When they are very small, they are a beautiful pale green. It is only when they get older that you see them in their white form, and then only after they die and are washed toward the beach. They normally are so close to the color of the sand it is very hard to spot them! Curiously most of the ones that you may find are indeed dead. If you happen to find one with the fuzzy edges, put it back because it is still alive and well.
Sand Dollar,Sand Dollar~who's got the Sand Dollar? Watercolor on board 5 x 5 part of a series of 9 paintings of shells along our coast.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Clownfish Capers

Clownfish have always held a fascination for me. When we lived in the Philippines, my parents dove frequently and we had a saltwater tank at the house. We had several fish my parents had caught and I always loved watching them and longing for the next time I could go in the water.One time, they caught a tiny octopus we named Oscar. I really enjoyed watching him while we were bringing him home. He unfortunately did not last for long though, my dad had him in this large opaque bottle with an air hose running to it for the night. This was so the temperature of the water would be closer to the temperature of the tank by morning. Sometime, deep in the dark of night, Oscar decided it would be nice to crawl to the top and out to explore. We found him dried up on the floor the next morning. My parents never again tried to bring an octopus home.
Clownfish Capers Acrylic on Claybord smooth 8 x 10 $95.00

Friday, August 14, 2009


This watercolor started out as an analogous pour painting. Analogous colors are colors next to each other on the color wheel. I started with the pour and saw the jelly fish shape. I then brought out the shape using additional color and brushwork. This can be a fun way to loosen up your work and have some fun!
Jellyfish~Jellyfish watercolor on paper 15 x 20.
On a different note, I debuted some of the painting a day paintings at the Cathedral Square Gallery tonight. They were extremely well received and lots of excitement was generated. I am looking forward to hearing the comments from people as they visit and see the site.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Under the Sea

This turtle was a lot of fun to paint! I am really getting better at this downloading, photographing, and blogging. I am enjoying this painting a day and it is getting more fun everyday.
I have received my congratulations letters from almost all the shows I have entered for the fall. I will have 5 shows in a row starting the weekend of September 18th in Mobile. The following weeks find us in Pensacola, Biloxi, Gulf Shores, Fairhope and three weeks later Peter Anderson show in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
The fall promises to be busy, with the house in Fairhope, Shows to get ready for, and a painting a day!
Under the Sea 8 x 10 Gallery wrap Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunlit Alligator

We all have "Gators" in our lives. Things and people that eat up our time but don't feed our souls. They gulp us down, without a thought or a thank you.
I am grateful for friends that love me, family that loves me, and doing what I love to do for a living. Most of all, I am very grateful for a supporting spouse that wants to do everything to please me.
Our house is in transition now, Chris and I are still waiting to hear about the house in Fairhope~there is a problem with the Title that the broker seems to think is very small and fixable. I only pray that they "fix" it so we can sign the paperwork, get the key, and start cleaning/sorting out the garbage this weekend. Jere', (our son) had his last day in the Coast Guard. Jessica, our oldest lost her job at the salon (although it is probably for the best). Christina our youngest, starts her last year of college next week.
In the middle of the trips to Fairhope (to bug bomb the house), calls to the city of Fairhope (for permission to remove trees and for trash removal), and handling some phone calls for my womens organization. I am still commited to a painting a day. Today makes my 42nd entry and I am pleased with my progress so far.
"Sunlit Alligator"~ Oil on Canvas 10 x 20

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sailing Along Mobile Bay

Anyone who lives on or near the Mobile Bay has seen one of our beautiful sunsets. If you have caught the sunset I am also fairly certain that you have probably seen one of our local sailors taking his boat out to catch the last bit of sunshine. I have done it with a friend who was grieving for his recently lost wife, and I have gone out just for fun.
Both were equally joyful experiences. Nothing compares to a sunset caught from a boat in the evening, then as the wind starts to die down, coming into Dog River and stopping at the Mariner Restaurant to have an evening meal. You can also catch beautiful sunsets at the Mariner and watch the boats come in from their afternoon jaunts from the deck outside. (Just be sure to wear bug spray, the no~see~ums are fierce!)
Sailing Along Mobile Bay 5 x 7 Oil on Board with silver frame

Monday, August 10, 2009

Patiently Waiting

Seagulls almost never sit still for pictures, but this one was an exception. I photographed him for quite a while from several angles. He seemed to be waiting for the Shrimp boats to come in and possibly provide him with a free meal.
This set of boats is beautiful, and easy to access! They are behind the Hard Rock in Biloxi, Mississippi. The shrimp boats come in and people buy from them direct. What a great day it was, watching a family operation pull in with about a 10 year old boy scampering all over the bow of the Shrimp boat. He was deftly handling the boat hook and ropes while his Grandfather backed into his space. Delightful to watch, so delightful I forgot to take pictures!
"Patiently Waiting" Watercolor 11 x 15

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Setting a Course

Those of you familiar with my husband and I know that we are sailors. I photographed this boat, (Fat Cat) just as he came out from under the Dog River Bridge. It was about 6:30 the morning of the Dauphin Island Race. The wind caught him right after he sailed under the bridge and caused him to heel slightly to port. It was a glorious morning and I got lots of shots before I had to go to another appointment that day. Our son took us out in his boat so I could catch the boats as they were getting ready for the race. The morning was rather foggy and the larger original painting called "Course to Victory" is on a full sheet of watercolor paper. This one has a lot more clouds and color added. I may paint him in Oil one day as well.
"Setting a Course" watercolor 15 x 20

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Last Gasp of Summer

I photographed these guys at the National Shrimp Festival 2007. It was my first year at the Festival and Chris and I were people watching. I spotted the threesome chatting and laughing with each other and scrambled to get my camera. My husband was confused and asked what was wrong, I said no time to explain and rushed out the back of the tent with my 35 mm. I caught them as they passed, while jockeying for position to get the shot. There was a police officer that kept getting in the way, but I ended up with a couple of pictures. I did not know if they were good at the time, because I still had just a 35mm (I have since gone digital thanks to a very thoughtful spouse)
These guys reminded me of myself toting a 10 ft surfboard as a teenager to go catch the waves. I was really amazed to see them in shorts, flip flops, and shirtless as this show is in October! Our coastal weather is glorious, allowing us nearly year round swimming and surfing while having to wear a wetsuit only in the colder months. I myself have swum laps in an outdoor unheated pool in April. The colder months are usually Christmas and Mardi Gras anyway so who wants to surf then!
The Last Gasp of Summer is 30 x 30 oil on canvas. SOLD

Friday, August 7, 2009

Backlit Pier

Backlit pier is another watercolor completed in class with my USA students. Our last class was Thursday night and I am already planning for the next go round of teaching.
While I am not going to be teaching for USA, I will be at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope. The class," Why Haven't I Been Taught That Before?" is a class using a limited palette and exploring color and value. The class is suitable for beginners and not so beginners and can use oil or acrylic. It starts in September and promises to be fun!.
Backlit Pier watercolor 15 x 20.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Just a Glass of Wine Please!

This painting is another of my demonstrations done in class. It was done in 15 minutes in response to how do you paint glass? My students often throw me curves like this when I am teaching. I try to give a response that is more than a quick answer, but also does not take up the whole lesson time if we are working on a painting together.
I cannot emphasize enough the gift of time to give yourself in painting and making mistakes on your own. It is hands down the best way to learn! I made numerous mistakes while I was learning and taught myself a great deal in the process. I also advise anyone to take lessons under numerous instructors, each one has something for you take away and tuck into your learning box.....Best of all, just PAINT! Repeat the same painting with different colors, paint another bunch of grapes, paint another sky, go get books from the library, get frustrated and throw a few away. The more you paint, the faster you learn!
Just a Glass of Wine Please! is 8 x 10 Oil on canvas board. SOLD

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Headed for Home Too!

While this is not really a painting in a day, I finished it today. This painting has been in the works for several months and I was determined to finish.
It all began when we were out sailing with a friend and I had the camera along just in case I wanted to take pictures. It was a nice long sail and we were evening coming in to harbor. When we got into the channel for Dog River, my husband Chris spotted this boat off in the distance. His remark was, look at all the pelicans around that boat! I tried to get a shot but the boat was too far away. I waited for several minutes while looking through the lens at the boat. Once it got closer, I started laughing, Chris wanted to know why and I told him it is the same boat I painted before, Capt Sid. ("Headed for Home") Many beautiful shots later I was excited about all the birds on, behind, and around this vessel. Why I thought it would be fun to paint so many birds, I don't know!
Here we are, "Headed for Home Too!" Oil on canvas, approx 20 x 48. I will be putting it into print as well so look for it at the Fall shows.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thinking of Monet

I finished this watercolor during my class tonight while in my studio. It was a delightful time, playing with the colors and pushing the water while instructing at the same time. I would get a few brush strokes in, help one of my students, examine it from a distance, and add a little here and there.

We found out today that the Raccoon Retreat will be ours! The adventure begins with a complete gutting of the interior. There are a few things I may try to save out of the house, not the least of which is a beautiful four poster bed frame. Right now, it is covered in mildew and rather forlorn looking. I am hoping to clean it, and give it new life in our home as a guest bedroom piece. The road ahead of us is going to be a lot of sweat equity to empty out the house, drop the roof down and load the dumpsters with all the junk and mushy, moldy ceiling tiles. Chris also seems to think there is carpet underneath all the water. We have started the next page in our lives with an investment in our new favorite part of the world.
Fairhope here we come!

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Friends Pier

This painting was a lesson for my USA students and I believe they all turned out well. One of them had a beautiful foggy effect and others were just gorgeous. Some of the students really liked them, others count it as a learning experience. Tonight was our last Oil class and as usual, I am feeling already like I am missing a bunch of old friends. I really hope they all continue to paint.

I really can't emphasize enough the importance of giving yourself a gift when you are learning to paint. The gift of time.......... Time behind a brush is the only way to become a better painter. Time to make your own mistakes and dig yourself out of them. Time to experiment. Time to learn, but most of all Time to play in the paint. SOLD

Sunday, August 2, 2009

See the Seahorse Mommy!

I am in absolute awe of people that can find something in nothing and one of my favorite artists that does just that is
 I absolutely love his work and hope to collect one someday. His work is 'found' art. Objects d' Art that make the ordinary extraordinary. I enjoy looking at all the details that he puts into his work. He takes something that would ordinarily be thrown away and makes it into something wonderful. Bird heads from driftwood, old "Billy Bass" recordings that are hysterical in their use, angels from rusted bits of metal, and farm implements you never could imagine could be what they become. His work is on
My husband and I seem to be moving soon in another direction as well, across the bay to the beautiful city of Fairhope. We have "found" an object (a house) and hope to make it our own Object d' Art and home in a short period of time.
"See the Seahorse Mommy" Oil 11 x 14 is a painting of one of Bruce Larsen's pieces that overlooks the bay in a public park. Children are fascinated by it and in reality, I am as well.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


In case you have not realized, I adore the sea.
It all began with living in the Philippines and was strengthened by watching the Undersea World of Jacques' Cousteau. The undersea program was the only one I was allowed to stay up late and watch on a school night. My mother and father were both divers and I longed to be with them. The program gave me a chance to be underwater with divers and made me ever mindful of our impact on this planet. I wonder what Cousteau would say about the Great Pacific Basin and the tragedy unfolding before us with our wasteful ways. (It is a sea of plastic some 150 miles off the coast of California) Every piece of plastic ever manufactured on this earth is still here in some form or another.

This painting is about bonding, the bonding that occurs between mother and baby and the beautiful way these gentle giants guide their young to the surface for air. I hope to see them in person some day even if I am only snorkeling.
Humpback Mother and Baby "Bonding" 30 x 30 Oil on canvas.