Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In flight

          "In flight" is a painting that was also created at the museum during the art camp last week. I absolutely love painting turtles and was so happy with this one. This week, I am at my Art Camp for the church. It is a hard week, because this is also the week that our youngest daughter leaves for a teaching job in India. We have been frantically packing the house up in Mobile for the past six weeks. We have also been making tearful decisions about what to leave, what to toss, what to ship, and what to pack for her to actually take to her new home in Delhi.

           Our home in Mobile will have a new owner soon, with my brother Ben and his wife Amanda calling the "big house" their home. They will rent at first, to make sure the fit is right for his family and will probably purchase at a later date. I am excited for him and my sister-in-law knowing that the place we called home for many years will again be occupied by a family. He has many plans for the house, including moving the front door to the end of the porch.

          Both Christina and Ben are "In flight" for the moment. I myself will continue with this summer on the coast, teaching art camp this week, helping in Mobile with final packing the next, and finally the art camp at the museum the last week of July into August. I say finally, but that is not all that will transpire this summer! August brings the birth of our first grandchild around the middle of the month!
In flight indeed! We are all in flight this summer!

         "In flight" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trixie gone Wild and More!

          One of the things I absolutely Love about Art Camp with children is the freedom of expression it gives me. The other thing I love is my dachshunds. This painting combines the two! I try to do really fun and crazy projects with the kids and this was no exception. We all drew whimsical pieces based on photos I brought. We then added lots of color in a freestyle way. Blacks and little details were added next and Trixie gone Wild was the result.
            So much fun creating with the kids!

"Trixie gone Wild" Acrylic on paper 12x 16

          "Swift" was painted while at lunch at the museum. I took advantage of the break from teaching last week to paint another turtle. Another in the sepia series, this one only adds to the works that will be presented this fall. (If it makes it that far, sometimes they are purchased rather quickly!).

"Swift" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas, Day 10 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2013

          "Southern Magnolia" was painted with the Plein Air group at the museum last week. This truly is one of my favorites to come out of this class. The kids enjoy painting "en plein air" and this is our third (maybe fourth? ) year to offer it for the older children. They really get a new found respect from this class because of the somewhat harsh conditions offred up while painting outside. Bugs, dirt, transporting supplies, sunburns, discomfort, thirst, and sweat running down your back are just some of the problems presented while "Outside in the Air"

"Southern Magnolia" watercolor on paper 12 x 16 , Day 11 of the 100 days

          "Love" This one was designed for the group of kids painting at the Church Art camp this week at Celebration Church. I love painting fun and colorful pieces. Teaching children allows me to do just that! I am always amazed at how much fun can be had by just putting paint on a canvas!

   "Love" 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas, day 12 of the 100 days

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Queen of the Sea

          Queen of the Sea is a beautiful reminder of the upcoming Fall Show Season for me on the coast. I have been fortunate enough to be this years winner of the National Shrimp Festival poster contest. Queen reminds me of the poster because this year, the artwork features mermaids as well as shrimp. The festival is a large outdoor show put on by the Gulf Coast Chamber in Gulf Shores, Al  It  is held in mid-October and features artists from all over the country. I already have my acceptance letter in hand for the show, so my booth is scheduled to be there.  This will mark my 7th year having a space and I am more excited than ever to be part of this annual event.

          Things are really speeding up this summer. I cannot believe it is already July, much less after the 4th! Time is a precious commodity for me now as it does not seem to slow down or be enough on hand. Before I know it, the fall will be here with Jubilee Festival (Sept) Daphne, Grand Festival (1st weekend in Oct) Fairhope, Al, National Shrimp Festival (2nd weekend in Oct) Gulf Shores, Al, and Peter Anderson (1st weekend in Nov) Ocean Springs, Ms. More shows may be added as the weeks go by! I love living here on the coast.....The sea takes me back to being me!

Queen of the Sea, Watercolor on paper, 12 x 30

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Freedom and Peace

         This beautiful young turtle is from some of the Turtle hospital photos. For one reason or another, turtle from all over end up at this facility. Boat hits, intestinal issues with items they should not eat, viruses that cause tumors to grow large and sometimes reduce vision, bring them to the facility.Sometimes they are just young, tired, and in the wrong place, Some have even been rescued from the water intake at an electric plant! They have a website and facebook page as well, look them up under turtle hospital in Marathon, Florida. They celebrated their 25th year last year.

"Freedom" 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas day 7 of the 100 days

         "Peace" is another lovely turtle painted in what has become a collectors series. I have several clients that have collected these "sepias" over the past 4 years and they are excited to add more each year. This falls show season should be wonderful, with lots of collectors wanting a new piece to add to their own personal "show". The series started at the Outdoor show put on by the Eastern Shore Art Center in March of 2010. I began them with 7 pieces that all sold within a matter of weeks. My family was not sure of the works at first, but now they are firmly planted in my shows as demand remains high. They are painted in a watercolor style, with glazing medium, washes, glazing, scrubbing, and layering. The darkest places may have as many as 6 layers of paint. I mix a large batch of sepia color at the beginning of the paintings and use it all summer.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
"Peace" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas, day 8 of the 100 days~100 paintings.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Baby Green

         Baby Green started out life as a  sepia. Outdoor shows can be hard on a white canvas, so I decided to add color to this little fellow. The painting is in Oil and is full of vibrant color. I may add some bubbles to the surface of the water, but I must get through the next week first. Speaking of what this week has in store for me, I am teaching the 12 and up group at the Mobile Museum of Art. I am fairly certain there will be some pretty cool works of art from this wonderful group of young adults. On top of it all, Christina and I are trying to get her house packed, lesson plans done, furniture shipped and an epic yard sale this coming weekend. Can I breathe now?

         Much like this little turtle finding it's way to the sea, I am sending off my youngest, Christina on a new adventure. She has worked so hard to get where she is today and will be leaving for India and a teaching position at an International School. Our job as parents is to raise our children with the hope that someday they will follow their dreams. I am so proud of Christina. I have always told my children, "You gotta have a dream, cause if you don't have a dream, how you gonna make dream come true?" (The former quote is from FAME I believe). All this, will still not make it easier to say goodbye when she gets on the plane for her new home.

          I have two very strong artists in the family (Jessica is an artist, and master cosmetologist ) and I am so pleased that they both get to make a living doing what they love to do. My middle child, Jere' is so very gifted with just about all that he touches, cars, mechanical, boats. I cannot say enough about his accomplishments. My In law, Sean (Jessica) is wonderful with numbers, accounting,  and managing his job at a major company. My In law, Jessica (Jere') is now a registered nurse hoping to become more in the near future, I am so certain she will be able to do whatever she sets her mind around. Five lives, that are so talented, joyful, and smart.

         We all want to send off Christina with all the love and support we can muster! Swim baby! Swim! Jump into the sea that is your new country, India!

Baby Green, Oil on canvas, 16 x 22 deep edge.Day 6 of the 100 days~100 paintings. Whew!

Just Sitting by the Bay

         This little painting was also a joy to create in watercolor. I enjoy it very much when students ask me to demonstrate small pieces like these to show techniques they can use. Using the same "tricks" as Go Away! this painting uses washes, glazes, spattering, layering. Miniatures are always fun to paint, although the brushes can be a bit small to handle!
         Just Sitting by the Bay, watercolor, 3 x 5 inches

Go Away!


           I have been away for a few days................Last week, my father  had to have an ablation done on the right side of his heart for a heart that was racing. I spent the long day painting while he was in surgery and recovery. Hopefully we will not repeat that adventure!

         Go Away! is a small watercolor done as a demonstration during a class. this bird is obviously not happy that the crab has decided to join him (or her) at the nest. The piece only measures about 3 x 5 inches and was a lot of fun to paint! The demonstration included wet into wet, wet onto dry, spattering, layering, and glazing. Such a lot going on in such a small space!
This painting is day 4 of the 100 days~100 paintings.  The July 6th selection.

Friday, July 5, 2013


        "Quietly" Have you ever reveled in stillness? Those peaceful quiet times when no one else is awake and the house is still, no phone ringing, no laundry calling, no one else wants your time. One of the great things I celebrate about getting older is those peaceful times in the middle of the night. I have them nightly, thanks to my light sleeping.
        A small noise is enough to awaken me, a car door, a bass on a radio too loud, distant sirens, a whining air conditioner on the hospital a block away. Sometimes it is not a noise, but my own inner thoughts prodding me from sleep, laundry, housework, a child with problems, unfinished commissions, steal the cobwebs away and prevent restful slumber.
        When I cannot go back into the land of nod, I get up and read the bible or maybe do a lesson. If I am still far from sleep, I will go into the studio and paint. Painting takes me from where my thoughts are, to another place and time. After a while, I can go back to my bed and rest my head, knowing that there is another piece ready for collecting!
        Sometimes the peaceful stillness comes in the middle of the day. No barking dogs, no phone calls, just me, my music and the paint. Before I know it, several hours have passed and hunger finally will steal me away from a completed piece. It is only then I will step away and delight in the wonderful talent I have been gifted with. I am thankful for all that the master has decided to give to me and only hope I can pass this love on to others despite the noise that crowds my very being.
"Quietly" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas, Day 3 of the 100 days 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Frequent Flier

        I hope my friends you are not tired of the turtles. I love to paint them and they really seem to be some of my best sellers. People collect and love them as much as I do!
       I am frantically in the process of getting ready for Art camps as well. There are no less than 3 art camps~a total of 120 hours to prepare for this summer! I am trying to get new projects together for teens and 8-12 years old as well. New projects, new paintings, new country to visit, new beginnings.This year seems to be the year of newness!
"Frequent Flier" 4 x 12 Acrylic on canvas day 2 of the 100 days~100 paintings.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Beginnings......................

"New Friend"
        Are you really surprised readers that I would start this years 100 days~100 paintings with a turtle?Turtles really are my favorites to paint, now more than ever. This year I joined the "Share the Beach" Program for the Gulf Coast. This group of people walks the beaches early in the mornings to see if there has been any activity from our turtles. I have been several times on these early morning walks, seeing the sun rise over the condos and starting the day. It is a quiet time, with the sun starting to warm the air and the people rising out of their beds looking for shells on the wrack line. I have not found a nest as of yet, but am hoping to see at least one before the season is over. Several have been found already with almost all having to be moved above the tide line. My "bucket list" goal is to see a "boil" when the baby turtles come out of the nest after hatching!
        False crawls, false "nests" (complete with chicken eggs!), and lots of flotsam all find their way to the beaches of the Gulf Coast that we all call home. Part of "Share the Beach" crew duty is to pick up trash on the way back to the starting point. I have found lots of bits of plastic, plastic bags, cigarette butts, and yards of fishing line. All of these things are deadly to the turtles that live in the water. Plastic bags look like jellyfish, bits of plastic look like edible goodies,  and fishing lines form deadly cinches that have removed flippers, cut into necks, swallowed into stomachs, causing turtles to float on the surface where they can get hit by boats. If a turtle is hit by a boat and survives, it may get something called "bubble butt" syndrome. This malady causes the turtle to float on the surface of the water with no hope of diving to feed or protect itself. The bubble is actually trapped air under the surface of the carpace that cannot be removed. These turtles will die in the wild. The Turtle hospital in Marathon Florida has several of these permanent residents in their main pool. The only cure is to glue weights to the shell, giving them the ability to dive somewhat normally. The problem with the weights is that eventually they fall off, causing the same problem again. For this reason, the "bubble butt" turtles can never leave the hospital, becoming ambassadors for their fellow shell bearers.
     That being said, it is turtle nesting season again! Please fill in your holes after you build your sand castles, (a turtle can get lost in one of these as well as someone falling into one on a dark night!) I have found one hole big enough to seriously hurt someone that was about 5 foot deep and at least 7 feet wide with a tunnel as well!
"New Friend" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas Day 1 of the 100 days~100 paintings!