Saturday, August 24, 2013

Turtle Times and firsts, lasts, and surprises!

A closer look~Day 49
In Quiet Silence~Day 50

Sassy~Day 51

Taking you in~Day 52

Taco's Release~Day 53
This has been a summer of firsts, lasts, and lots of surprises!
This is the first Summer without my mother to call when things are good or bad. I still have  supernatural peace about her passing away so suddenly, but I still want to call her up and share the happenings here at the Raccon Retreat Studio in Fairhope. This is the first Summer (at least part of it) without My youngest daughter, Christina. She moved to India for a teaching position at an International School. This season of firsts brought me to a couple of bucket list checkmarks as well. I joined and participated in the"Share the Beach" program watching for turtle nests along our beaches. I observed and played a small part in the hatching and boil of 107 baby loggerhead turtles just this past week. Participation included a flying trip to the beach at 8:30 at night, donning gloves and turning baby turtles around as they headed for the Condos rising above us with their brilliant lights. The turtles also were herded with a beach towel and rode in a "turtle taxi".
 This is also the first Summer that we have anticipated the arrival of a grandchild. Our Grandson was born in the middle of August and has already had his first professional photo shoot at the tender age of 9 days. This is my first summer of major commissions and short timelines. This was also my first art camp conceived, executed and run my myself. (With much assistance by my partner in art, Chris Chavez) This was Chris's first experience of an all day, almost no holds barred, we can do it all art submersion. He survived with an ease I never expected. That being said there were several helpers that also contributed their talents for many hours and art camp would not have been the same without them. I also joined in a study of the chapter of James that was enlightening indeed! I have been led to start a married couples small group in the Fall as well as continue the  Scripts & Strokes on Mondays.
The firsts have been wonderful,but sometimes difficult and I have grown so much because of them.
This has also been a summer of lasts. The last time to say goodbye to Christina as she left for the flights that took her so far away. Not to say we will not see her again, but this move did seem so final with her getting rid of childhood toys and collections. (It brought back memories of my own childhood, getting rid of precious "things" before we made another military move)Watching my adult child have near meltdowns from the stress of moving to a foreign country, watching her sell her memories, and helping her pack the 8 bags it took to move. The bags contained only part of her wardrobe, shoes, purses, makeup, art supplies, lesson plans, artworks to decorate her new place, and just stuff in general. It was a last, but also a first for her with a sense of finality in chasing her dreams. I am so proud of her for all she has accomplished so far and I know she will go much further before she is done with this first contract. We also had a last at the house in Mobile where Christina called home. This house was our family place before everyone grew up and grew away. We are currently packing the leftovers from the house and handing the keys over to my brother who will be renting it soon with intentions to buy it! (A first for him, he is so excited to finally be able to own something rather than rent!)
The surprises have also been a part of the heat here on the coast. The first surprise was the reception of the work Visa Christina needed to make her final plans for India. It gave us only 6 weeks to do everything needed to complete her passage!The second surprise being that my brother wanted to attempt to purchase the house in Mobile. He said it shyly at first, but is rapidly taking ownership by adding crown molding, an electric stove, and plans to move the front door to the end of the porch! The surprises continued with commissions out of the blue, major art purchases by clients new and old, murals at our church, and the arrival of our grandchild a week early!
I am happy with the fact that God carries me through all these happenings. (There was much more than I can put here, it would put you to sleep and you would stop reading the blog I am afraid!) My relationship with God, my husband, my family, and my church has continued to grow and blossom, giving me strength to do things I never thought I could. I have spent many times this summer working harder than I ever thought possible and have found the willpower to move on and still make art!
The art continues despite 'life' getting in the way.
I am so pleased that you have come to visit and hope you have plans to return soon!
These 5 pieces catch me up on days 49~53 of the 100 days ~100 paintings with many more to come! I cannot believe that the Festival season is almost upon me with acceptance into no less than 4 shows along the coast that we call home.More on these later!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


          I love to go sailing or kayaking as it affords me the opportunity to photograph wildlife. Fortunately, I have a husband that lets me take photos rather than paddle! Ir has afforded me the luxury of getting great shots while on the water. We have also been known to drive to areas to photograph and even planning vacations around taking pictures for references. I look forward to our next adventure while on the water!

"Silence" 16 x 40 Oil on Canvas Day 48 of the 100 days.

High Stepper

          "High Stepper" is one of several shorebirds paintings I have created over the months and years. This one is in Oil on Canvas and is 12 x 24. I love to paint both water and birds that live on the coast!
Painting in Oil and a painting a day presents many challenges, not the least of which is where to place your hand while painting details wet into wet!
"High Stepper" Oil on Canvas 12 x 24 Day 47 of the 100 Days ~100 Paintings.

Walks on the Bluff


 I have plans to paint  "En Plein Aire" when the weather settles down (this has been one of the rainiest summers!). The walking paths here in Fairhope are wonderful, with people on them at virtually all hours. If you have never seen a Fairhope sunset, I would highly recommend putting that on your bucket list of things to do. We also have a pretty nice beach area in the park (there is a charge for park use, but it is free to residents). The parks are all great places for a picnic and sunset photos,  don't forget your camera! See you at the beach.

Simply Sepias! Days 39-45

Descending 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas~day 39

What about my Attitude? 12 x 12 Acrylic on Canvas~day 40

Crab study 4 x 4~day 41

Crab study too 4 x 4~day 42

Swift 4 x 12 Acrylic on canvas~Day 43

Heres looking at you! Acrylic on Canvas 4 x 12~Day 44

Crab Study 4 x 12 Acrylic Day 45

Archers crab 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas~Day 46

Painted in various sizes, people are familiar with me painting these while waiting at doctors offices, during shows, and waiting for surgeries to be completed. I also paint them while watching tv with my husband. Studio times can be hard to come by, especially with all of the happenings occuring in Mobile and across the bay here in Fairhope. More on the happenings later dear readers, meanwhile thanks for sticking with me and being patient about my posting habits!

Commissions Galore!

Channel marker 15~2 versions 15 x 30 & 20 x 36

Channel Marker 8~2 versions 15 x 30 & 20 x 36

I was delighted to deliver these beauties this past week! I was contacted in January about these pieces and gave the decorators prices to go in the space. I had given up on them ever coming to fruition when I received a call out of the blue this past July while teaching at the museum. After some back and forth, the designers and clients wanted a total of 5 pieces, 4 prints and 1 original. I quoted pricing based on my previous experience of aquiring prints. Much to my surprise, after calculating the cost of prints versus originals, it became clear to me that a painting a day was the way to go! I am so glad I started on this journey of a painting a day which allows me the freedom to create and keep pricing affordable. The channel markers are for the residents wing and near the elevators. I am looking forward to the opening with the other artists in this exciting project! That being said, these all have a new home in the new wing of the USAWomens and Childrens hospital in Mobile, Alabama.
Channel marker 8 15 x 30 & 20 x 36, Channel Marker 15~15 x 30 & 20 x36,  Oil on canvas~all sold! These paintings count as days 36, 37, & 38!


Chalkboard Crab and Shrimp!

Chalkboard Crab 5 x12


Chalkboard Shrimp 5 x 12

Sometimes I find things that inspire me to create the whimsical and unique. These little metal chalkboards for the kitchen are no exception. I am including chalk with them in a gift bag for kitchen grocery lists. They have a hanging wire at the top and were just plain fun to paint! I only wish I had been able to buy more, but they were on sale and I bought them all!
Limited edition~Original pieces Chalkboards~Only 8 to sell at Shrimp Festival!
Days 34 & 35 of the 100 days

Small and Fun!

These 8 paintings range in size from 4 x4, 5 x 5, 6x6, & 4 x12. These have become a crowd favorite, usually help to pay for my booth fees when combined  with the cards. I was given this advice when I first started shows, have something small, and easy to afford, but still unique enough that people wan them. While these paintings do not represent my "style" they are my "bread and butter" that allow me me to create larger and more expensive pieces. Plus they are just plain fun!
"Sayings" variable sizes and prices days 26~33 of the 100 Days~100 Paintings

What happened to Summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Confetti Shrimp 12 x 16  watercolor  day 17

Bubble weave~watercolor 12 x 16 Day 18

Confetti Crab watercolor 12 x 16 Day 19
Watercolors for the children
8-12 years at Museum

Backlit Tree watercolor 12 x16 Day 20
Variegated Sail watercolor day 21
Wet into Wet watercolor 12 x 16 day 22

Mobile Museum of Art "En Plein Aire" pieces

The walkway across the lake at the Museum. Day 23
Bruce Larsen sculpture in front 12 x 16 Day 24


Magnolias "En Plein Aire" , my favorite for the week at the Museum!

Colorful Frida 12 x 16 Acrylic on paper Day 26

Is it possible for time to stand still? Apparently not at the Raccon Retreat! Summer has flown by with classes, changes, and commissions!