Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Turtle with Tude"

     "Turtle with Tude" was a lot of fun to paint. I still to this day love painting turtles and they never cease to amaze me with the speed that I am able to complete them. I really do think that I could paint turtles in my sleep! Sometimes I do wake up from my nightly rest and find I have been dreaming of painting them! This guy however is from a  photo I took in Tampa, Florida last year and painted during my waking hours. This turtle swam beautifully despite having been attacked by what seemed to be a shark. (There was quite a large chunk missing from the left side) this animal was still amazingly beautiful when it cme bck to see me standing at the glass. I will never tire of painting them! 

"Turtle with Tude" 15 x 20 Acrylic on heavy duty canvas and custom stretchers
Day 24 of the 100 Days~100 Paintings

Adventures at the Mobile Museum of Art~Days 19-23

     The classes at the Mobile Museum of Art continued last week with me teaching again from 8-5. When you add in the commute to the city, I spent a total of 55 hours doing just the Museum! Wow! I love to teach and this weeks classes were no exception to the rule! Children amaze me with their talents and fun they manage to have in spite of hiccups along the way.

     This painting was based on "Picassos Harlequin" I had the children draw theirs while I drew mine and the results were fantastic. We really enjoyed painting this one together. My colors were close to those chosen by Picasso for his piece. The children were allowed to make their own color choices and some were interesting indeed! I am never surprised to see what children come up with in their minds and the work from their hands.
      This class reminded me of the laser focus both my girls had while growing up. Their concentration while working on their artwork was simply amazing to watch. Both of my daughters are working artists.

          Christina Chavez is a teacher and doing quite well at presenting herself. She works no less than two art programs at two different schools during the school year.  Her organization skills are fantastic! She uses her skills at the Mobile Museum of Art as the Assistant for the Art Blast Program during the summer. She also taught some classes at the Art Blast this summer as well. I have also been blown away with her painting skills increasing as she teaches classes for Paint and Pals. She is receiving commissions and is a real dynamo of talent. I am so proud of the young woman she has become and will be in the future!
      My oldest, Jessica Chavez Price has always been an artist. While this presented some challenges in school she has proven to the world that she can do anything her multiple talents put in her mind. She is a very gifted Master Cosmetologist with a flair that keeps her customers coming back for more! She also has established herself as a designer & creator of fabulous hats and fascinators that are in high demand. She also does some pretty fantastic pet portraits. No wonder she just recently received a Nappie award for Makeup and runner up for artist. She is just going no where but up!

     "Picassos Harlequin"~Loran's version 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas.

     "Confusion" came about as a study in complements for the class. They had their choice of a fish, a turtle or the lizard. I went for the lizard! The kids were encouraged to arrange them in a fun way and they really thought carefully about the composition. We then turned to paint. They were required to paint the backgrounds in Red, Blue and Yellow, but could choose the fourth. I then wanted them to paint the complements in each of the squares. This is where I found out just how much of a football nation we are here! There were kids that absolutely refused to put orange with blue (Auburn) and Purple with yellow (LSU). I kept telling them it was just complementary colors to no avail! I gave in and let them paint it as they wanted because it just was not worth the battle. As Ricky Trione says, "choose your battles". I then painted the central lizard as a normal lizard~hence the name "Confusion" I planned to give it to the museum for the preschool room, but Christina reminded me she had a classroom too and she wanted it for her room! I am pleased that she wanted this small piece of me to go with her into her world of art for kids!

"Confusion" Acrylic on Canvas 16 x 20 This painting represents the 24th of July.

     This week also included watercolor adventures and this is no exception to the rule. Earlier in the week, we did bubble papers to use on projects. The kids always love the bubble paper project and that day was no exception. We had so much fun creating the paper! The next day, we added the crab on top of one of the pieces. On Friday, we cut and wove back together the artwork and that is what you see here. The children actually created two paintings and put them back together, while I just used the crab and bubble paper.

     "Can you see Me?" Watercolor on paper approx `15 x 20 July 25th

     The children also worked wet into wet after drawing out their turtles on paper using a stencil.
We worked our backgrounds with clear backgrounds, dropping color into the water and watching it run. This re-enforced the one rule of watercolor, "More Water Always goes to where there is Less Water" They loved watching the colors do their own thing, and I heard more than one "Cool"! We then painted the turtles the following day o the background would not move into the art they were trying to create. I was amazed at well the children did with this project and I think they had fun!

"A Trio of Turtles" 15 x 20 Watercolor on paper

This project is always a hit with the kids! The goal is learning to transfer a drwawing, ink it in, and then add color! We start with clear water adding color as we go! The water is placed on the paper first and blown with a straw to make it move. You then add color and watch it run! We then spatter color over the top, this is their favorite part! I have actually sold several of these shrimp in the galleries that represent me.

"Confetti Shrimp" 15 x 20 watercolor on paper July 26th~Day 23 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Plein Air Class at the Mobile Museum of Art 2012

      The past two weeks have been hectic indeed! I taught at the Mobile Museum of Art from 8-5 each day. I have to add the two hours to get there and back as well. Also some nights, I worked at Celebration Church getting ready for a fantastic Vacation Bible School!I fairly fell into bed each night from exhastion. Hence why the blog has been so neglected! The paintings are there, I just had no energy to post them!
          I have a new found respect for the teachers in our midst. No wonder they are giddy as teenagers the last week of school! I discovered that the first couple of days are relatively quiet as the children do not know each other. Wednesday they are starting to form groups, Thursday they are really talkative, and Friday they are starting to get on each others nerves! Even the siblings get into the act! I had three sets of siblings the last week and they did the same as the rest of the group! Funny to watch. I cannot imagine teaching all school year! Hats off to you my teacher friends!

       "The Bridge at the museum" is from the Plein Aire class. The students really enjoy the outside painting and this is the second year we have done this class. I am certain it will be repeated again.
The Bridge at the Museum watercolor on paper, 15 x 20.

     The other side of the lake, another of the paintings done during the Plein Air Class at the Museum was completed after we took a hike across the bridge to the opposite side. We were drivien crazy by the flies landing on us, flying around us, and finally landing in our paints! Very frustrating! Then there was the ducks and geese, giving us the evil eye for not bringing something to feed them. We were literally surrounded by the animals constantly. I have to commend the children for staying focused on the paintings!

    "The Other Side of the Lake" Plein Aire class, watercolor on paper
"The Geese at the Lake" was my first painting of the week for the plein air class. We all were adjusting to the heat, humidity, and bugs presented to us during our adventures in painting. I have to commend the kids for being real troopers when it came to the elements. The children were encouraged to paint their choice of scenery. I had representations of the lake, trees, the statue, and a small creek that runs alongside the gazebo. One of the kids even painted a walker on the path! I spent the class explaining techniques and tips while also painting my own piece.
"The Geese at the Lake" watercolor on paper 15 x 20
"Student Study" This day we  split our paper into quarters and used Oil Pastels that were water soluable. It was an interesting day as we had to walk outside the Museum to the balcony to paint! I really enjoyed this class and the kids seemed to enjoy it too!
"Student Study" watercolor on paper 7 1/2 x 10

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Beach at Goa

                        "The Beach at Goa" will finish the series from India. I have enjoyed my "visit" and may even return to it during the 100 days. This painting is based on a photograph taken by my daughter Christina while on one of her trips. She tells me the water was not wuite this blue, more root beer in color. The photo was taken on a gray day as well, so maybe the water was prettier than she remembers.

                       "The Beach at Goa" 24 x 36 acrylic on canvas $295.00

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hanging out at Goa

                         Once again we visit India with a nod to my beach girl roots! Hanging out at Goa is painting that could put you anywhere on the Gulf Coast or the coast of India. The water is not all beautiful at Goa, but the beachs are a popular retreat for honeymooners. From the photos I've seen, the beach is also popular with the sacred cows and stray dogs as well. It probably would be very interesting to see the combination of people and animals.

                        I feel fortunate to have been able to visit several sandy retreats in this country and the Phillipines. I would highly recommend the beach at Sandia Island and particularly, Coya Costa. Coya Costa is only accessible by boats operated by the state park service. It is where my husband Chris and I saw fantastic amounts of bird life, turtle nests, shells, and miles of beautiful beach. They also have primative camping in cabins. We may go there yet for an extended stay!

                       Now I must add the beaches of Goa to my bucket list now. I really would like to see them in person and maybe someday I will!

                  "Hanging out at Goa" 24 x 36 Acrylic on canvas $295.00

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beached at Goa


                                  This painting is more of my typical type, featuring beaches. Beached at Goa reminds me somewhat of the Phillipines, because I remember the boats pulled up on the beach. My parents would dive both during day and night. The night dives were my father exclusively because my mother wanted to see the sharks coming at them while in the water. The sharks were not overly aggressive, just curious. The only problem with curiosity and a shark is that there are large teeth involved! Hence, Mom let dad dive with the rest of the crew at night. Night dives were the best for lobster hunting as I recall and sometimes really big fish would come in as a result of my fathers expert shooting with a spear gun.
                              I spent many happy days on the beaches in the Phillipines. When we first started going to Subic Bay, I was very concerned that the local children did not wear clothing. Their freedom was contageous and eventually after several trips, I too shed the layers of exterior covering. (However, out of some sense of modesty I kept my underwear on! I was only 7 years old at the time!)

                              More about my adventures on the beaches at a later date.

"Beached at Goa" 24 x 36 Acrylic on canvas $295.00

Sunday, July 15, 2012

                            Rangoli Blue is the last of the Rangoli series. The show was fun to create but I miss the sea. The next few days you will see are still a part of the show at Blue Velvet Studio, but do involve the sea.  They are paintings of Goa, a beach resort on the ocean popular with vacationers and honeymoon couples as well.

                          I enjoyed the painting of this one as it involved a lot of Dot technique. The dots are easy if you are patient, carefully dipping the end of your brush into the paint each time to make the dots even and somewhat raised from the canvas. The  Rangolis were accepted well at the show, with the peacock Gemini the favorite. Several people also loved the Brilliant Peacock as well.
                          This show makes me look forward to going to India and following the footsteps of my daughter as she has been there three times before. I will enjoy seeing the country through her eyes and her boyfriend, Bappa.
                         Rangoli Blue, 8x8 Acrylic on canvas

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rangoli Star & Rangoli Butterflies

                      The post for today is a catch up day because my life just can't get more complicated. I am finding the time to paint, but not finding time to post. For those of you that read the blog, I offer sincere regrets. On to today's and Friday's posts!

                      Rangoli Star is another in the series of paintings that is for the show at Blue Velvet Gallery in Mobile, Alabama. It is the one at the top with the lavender background. The show at BVS went well on Friday night with bolly wood music playing and lots of friends old and new coming out to see what was happening. Artwalk was wet, but that did not slow down the crowds that came. I am always amazed at what people like to see as art and we showed them  a new form with pigment throwing at models wearing white outfits. The people attending had great fun getting the models covered in pigments, althought the dry paint did not stick well on the models dry clothing. Oh well, live and learn, maybe it will go over better the next time (if there is one!)

                      Rangoli Butterflies is one of my favorites with lavender and reds contrasting nicely with the golden yellow background. The rangoli have been fun to paint, but I miss my sea life and I can't wait to visit the sea again! Soon dear readers soon, my thoughts will come home from India and the wonderful colors offered by the paintings based on Rangolis.

                     Rangoli Star & Rangoli Butterflies both 8x8 acrylic on canvas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rangoli Yellow~Rangoli Green

Two simple names for two not so simple paintings! The Rangoli paintings are very precise little works of art with a lot of detail. While fun to paint, they are tight and time consuming. It does not make me want to paint them any less though, and these were fun!
Don't forget, Blue Velvets Show Rangoli~Colors of India is tommorow night at Artwalk in Mobile, Al. This show has been fun to create and I am sure even more fun to show! Come out and see the colors and paintings inspired by India!
Rangoli Yellow~Rangoli Green each 8x8 Acrylic on canvas 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peacock Gemini

             Called Peacock Gemini in honor of my daughter, Jessica Chavez Price. She is a gemini and definetly has two sides to her. Each side is equally wonderful, but different.
             I love the colors in this painting and how they work with each other. color is what the Rangolis are known for. Rangoli are wonderful rice paintings put by the doors of their homes during the festival of Diwali in the fall. They are careful "paintings" done with colored rice. It is a festival I have explored and hopefully someday hope to see in person.
"Peacock Gemini" 8 x 8 Acrylic on canvas

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rangoli Fish Jubilee

                How appropriate that I would paint fish in a rangoli! I was quite taken with this design and it went rapidly after I started it. I love the bright beautiful colors that reflect my thoughts of living on the eastern shore.
                      Our coastline here alsong the Mobile Bay is one of two places in the world that has a phenomenon known as Jubilee. The other place is off the coast of Africa, I think. Back to our jubilee here. Jubilees are caused by  a number of factors coming into play. Temperature of the air, water temperature, and  an eastern breeze are what is required to cause a jubilee. The locals know what to look for, and start gathering up their buckets, gigs, nets and lights.
                        When the jubilee occurs, the cry goes out along the coast, and if you are very lucky, someone calls you and informs you of the happening which usually occurs in the middle of the night. Creatures of all types come rushing to the shoreline, starved for oxygen. Everyone scoops up buckets of crabs, flounder, and fish of several types while avoiding the eels that join into the fray.
                       I have yet to experience one of these events, but hope to join in on one this summer, primarily to photograph the people and their catches.
 Rangoli Fish Jubilee 8x8 Acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Brilliant Beauty

         The central panel from the Rangoli show for Blue Velvet Studio. Things are progressing nicely now, with more pieces coming out of the studio for the 100 days~100 paintings. This one really struck a chord with me as there apparently is a great deal of Rangoli dedicated to Peacocks. This is a detail of one with some additional white work added. I really enjoyed this one even thought the layering of the paint about drove me over the edge. For those of you that paint, you would understand that the transparent colors will really test your mettle. For this one, that is the lime green and the brilliant blues! The paint had to be layered on with at least 4 coats!

Day 4 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2012

"Brilliant Beauty" 24 x 24 Acrylic on canvas. Available this Friday July 13th at Blue Velvet Studio during Artwalk in Mobile Alabama.

Rangoli Dots

                                           A couple of months ago, my youngest daughter Christina called me about a request she had gotten from Blue Velvet Studio. Blue Velvet is a delightful gallery in the heart of Downtown Mobile that started a few short years ago. Karen Cassidy is the owner and wanted to have a space open for artwalks that featured contemporary art in a nice venue. The space is really her home, opened up during artwalks held on the second Friday of every month. I have participated in several of her shows held with wild imagination and loads of fun. These shows included designer clothing, corsets, costumes, hand painted gowns with famous artists works, and blacklight works to mention a few. Her openings are very well attended and always interesting to the public.
                     Back to my daughter, Christina Chavez and our conversation. Karen had asked her about a show for her at the Blue Velvet. Christina did not think she could carry one off by herself so she called and asked if I would participate along with her sister, Jessica Chavez Price. We last did a show together in 2005 at Arts Blanche, another gallery that was a co-op at the time. That show was very small, but featured a Geisha we all three did in our respective styles. We bounced around ideas for this show at BVS and she came up with "Rangoli~Mixtures of Color". This is a not so subtle nod to the love of her life, India. She has a boyfriend there in New Delhi that is a holistic Doctor operating a practice with his father. Christina has been there three times in the past visiting and has fallen in love with the country and his family.
                     I have been having trouble wrapping my head around this theme, but this piece is a literal translation of a Rangoli artwork. I do not promise to do the wonderful pieces that they do in India, as these fantastic designs are done in colored rice on the ground. They are good luck symbols for the festival of Diwali~a festival of lights held in the fall. The Rangoli are placed near doorways as tokens of good luck and some are quite elaborate and beautiful. They all are colorful, and I imagine take hours to create. I will probably add this festival to my "bucket list" of things to go and see before I pass this life. I imagine it is quite spectacular.
                     My piece, Rangoli Dots measures 8 x 8 and is one of 9 canvas, one large and the 8 smaller surrounding it. We hang the show this week so I am visiting India at my easel daily. I have paintings of the Taj Mahal, beach scenes from Goa, and the Rangoli pieces. It makes me want to visit this lovely country my daughter may call home some day.
                     "Rangoli Dots" 8 x 8, acrylic on canvas.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Exploring the seashore

         Exploring the seashore came about because of the trip we took to the Keys last year. On the way, we stopped again in St Augustine, Florida. We spent a few days ar the state park and rode our bicycles all over the city. Bicycles allow you to park easier, and when the traffic is really bad, get ahead of the crowd of cars waiting for the traffic lights..
         The day we arrived was our first day out from Fairhope and we were tired, but wanted to see the Atlantic ocean that evening. We were not the only people there and I observed the children playing in the water. Several camera shots later, I felt I had the pictures neccessary for some delightful paintings. I changed the bathing suit, punched up the color and just had a lot of fun painting this little girl on the beach.
          This year I am pleased to announce as well that the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama has asked me to teach a class about  "A Painting a Day" Look for them to announce the class soon starting in the fall. I highly recommend the practice and diligence it takes to make a painting a day. It makes you a better painter, allows you to make quicker decisions, and makes painting more profitable (if you have chosen this for your profession). It also is just plain FUN!
"Exploring the Seashore" 12 x 24 Acrylic on canvas

Thursday, July 5, 2012


           It seems appropriate to start the 100 days~100 paintings 2012 with a post about the sea. I have really been a water bug my entire life. Now in my adult years, I find myself drawn to the water frequently. I may be swimming, out on a sailboat for an evening sail, or painting water. Our bodies are made up of mostly water so I guess that is the connection.

            I helped my father in Ohio when we had a boat refinish project. He made the gunnels, keel, dash, windshield, and other parts at the wood shop at the Air Force base we were living. This is the same base that brought me my first and only horse, gave me a new love for fresh corn, started me on the road to extraordinary kite flying, and fostered in me a new respect for children that were different from myself.
            I also spent what seemed like hours with my father under the boat painting the inside while the snow fell gently from the sky. As we worked, I dreamed the dreams of children, in eager anticipation for the day when I would again hit the water. Until then, patience was the key word, carefully pushing the enamel paint deep into the cracks and crevices of the fiberglass that would soon be under deck boards during the summer. My father finished the  wood pieces carefully and slowly, and, after several coats of polyurethane the water reflected in the sheen of the wood grain while we were on the water.
             The boat named Quarter Penny (because of  money found under the decking) also made the trip to California when we moved to yet another Air Force Base. This time though she was not on the water, but a trailer and made a very efficient way to carry the camping equipment we used while trekking and camping across country to our new base.
            This was the life of a military family, moving every couple of  years. New friends, new home, new schools, new adventures.
              The one constant in my life was the presence of water.