Monday, August 31, 2015

Craziness Reigns Supreme Here!

Frozen in Time

I was fascinated as a child by the fossils in museums. 
I loved the way they basically turned into rocks! That is probably why this photograph appealed to me so much! Measuring 24 x 24, this painting took a while, but was still finished in a day!
Lots of stippling, layering and glazing.

"Frozen in Time" 24 x 24 Acrylic on canvas, painting 21 of the 100

Hawksbill cigar box

This past weekend was a weekend for turtles! Friday night I got an All Call from Share the Beach because one of the nests was very active! I jumped into clothes, and drove an hour to the beach. Upon arriving there were several of the team there already, but the nest had fallen silent. We waited for a while and members started drifting off to homes. I waited until 11pm , but had to go home. My walk for turtles was the next morning and I had to get up at 4:45. MY walk on the beach that morning was gorgeous and the last walk of 2015. We patrol the beaches in Alabama every day from May through August. I walked almost every Saturday. So this was the second trip to the Gulf of Mexico in 12 hours. Saturday night, at 10 pm I got another All Call saying there was a depression at the top of the nest. So back I ran to the beach again! Trip #3 in 24 hours. By the time I arrived, 48 of the little  creatures had quickly escaped their sandy abode and the nest was silent. there are 32 more in there and we will excavate them Tuesday. Oh well, the things we do to save the planet!

I am burning through the cigar boxes, I promise! I don't know how many are left, but I have GOT to be finished with them soon!
Painting 22 of the 100 days for Friday

 Two more boxes on Saturday! 
Paintings 23 & 24 of the 100 days

Two more boxes on Sunday!
Paintings 25 & 26 of the 100 days

This is what happens when you panic paint! 3 more boxes today for Monday. I really must get back to the real artworks and not the fun stuff! 
It's been an interesting weekend to say the least!
Paintings 27, 28, & 29 of the 100 Days

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tarpon and another box?


One of my bucket list goals is to go big game fishing one day. I remember my father spear fishing while diving in the Philippines. Once, he got a Lapu Lapu that was so big, we never could have eaten it all! I stood by and watched as everyone from the neighborhood got large "steaks" cut from the body and tail section. We got steaks too, and my mother happily ran them into the house to cook. Even afterward, we put lots into the freezer and gave away the rest to our houseboy and girl for their families.

This is obviously not that kind of fish! Just the beginning of a big game series over the next few days.
Tarpon was fun to paint, with lots of scales (did I say fun?). I have a headache from the tension caused by such intense painting. Looking forward to the series though, these are fish I have had requested many times before, but never got around to painting them! Wahoo, cobia, Mahi Mahi, Greater Amberjack and more are on the easel in the next few days!

Octopus box

While I was at the easel, I painted an octopus for fun. Yet another cigar box too!
The cigar boxes are fun to paint on, but I dread the initial cleaning, sanding and base coating of them!

"Tarpon!" 12 x 36 , Octopus 8x8 box, Both Acrylic , paintings 19 & 20 for the 100 days.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We can't control the wind........

"Pelican box"

There are things in our lives we simply cannot control. The people that God chooses to allow in our lives are sometimes there not for uplifting, but for tearing us down. Tearing us down, so we can uplift others in with our own painful experiences.

I have experienced painful times in my life, but have only recently realized that God's hand was on and with me always. He protected me from further harming myself while dealing with my past. 
Once I realized this protection, 
I then had the opening of my mind to the reality that God is my father. 
He allows us biological parents while on this earth, but they are not my true family. 
God is my father , Jesus is my brother, and the Holy Spirit is that part of God that he gives to us. He wants only the best for all of us, he sees all that we do, and cares so much for us that the human mind cannot wrap around the love he has for all of us. I have always been a Christian, but only in the past few years began actually reading, studying, and listening to the bible. It's a rich heritage of family for all of us as followers of Christ, God's precious son.

The things I pray about and listen to in the stillness that is my studio! 
Every brushstroke is lifted up in prayer, for the people God has put into my life, for the world around me, and too many things to mention here.

Know in your heart of hearts dear reader if you have gotten this far, that I pray for you too! 
Not that I become famous, or rich, but that you will find the peace that surpasses all understanding. 
The peace that only Jesus can bring to all.
He is standing at the door of your life, knocking to come in. 
Won't you open the door of your heart and allow him to take your burdens and give you peace!

Mahi I & Mahi II boxes

Blue Heron box

This completes today and yesterdays postings. 
Thanks to my internet provider, I could not post last night.
Mahi I & II, Pelican, Blue Heron, Acrylic on wood, Paintings 15, 16 ,17 &18 of the 100 Days
This is the 57th and 58th day of the 100 Days~100 Paintings

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clownfish Trio

Clownfish I

More cigar box beauties on the way!
This one measures about 5 x 6 and has a slide top. I really enjoy quick paintings on these boxes. They challenge me to make quick decisions and stop "dithering" around in the paint!

Clownfish II

Again so fun to paint! This one has a slide top and measures about 5 x 5.

Clownfish III

This one is on a slide top box as well. It measure about 5 x 5.

Crabs of three!

Trio of three crabs

No thanks to my internet provider for missing yesterday. I am posting today what should have been  on Sunday. I will post later the paintings done today!

These crabs are a series I started last year on recycled cigar boxes. I am working on finishing up the remainder of those we purchased last year. They have been patiently waiting for their tops to be painted and sealed before going on the sale block at shows. They offer a storage spot for keys, chargers, or whatever you have to hide. They also hang on the wall if you wish!
They are a nice piece to own and affordable gifts for Christmas.

Trio of three, Acrylic on wooden cigar boxes, various sizes. Paintings 9, 10 &11 of the 100 paintings 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

More crabs?

"I paint my nails"

  I participate in an Art show called Peter Anderson in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
 It happens the first weekend of November and is put on by the chamber. I love this show, this year marks my 8th year and it is always exciting. It is a hard show to set up for, because we have to be up at the crack of dawn, in the cold, in the dark, with people driving by so close you move equipment before it gets run over. I have seen tents have to be moved. Boxes pushed out of the way by impatient artists that got that extra amount of sleep. Those same artists are now so far from their tent they may never get in! I have heard about people getting bumped by the mad rush of cars, and more than one fender bender has occurred during this set up circus.

In the middle of this, I threw my mother, eager to help, but clueless as to what to do. She needed guidance with every step of the way. Those were the days after my easy up tent, opting for the tinker toy, behemoth, monster, HEAVY, vinyl tent. This is the tent that has so many parts and bags you have to rehearse setting it up the week before so you don't want to kill each other in the pre-dawn hours. We brought head lamps, tossing them after the first three minutes. We got finished with the set up and finally sat down for a few minutes. My mother asked me,

Will you ever get tired of painting crabs?

I replied I don't think so, there are so many things about them to like. They have the most interesting, creepy faces, They have so many different poses, defensive postures, attacking, swimming, and just plain resting.  Then you start looking at the variety of crabs, Blue crabs, ghost crabs, hermit crabs, and new to me this summer, speckled crabs.
The blue crabs are by far my favorites to paint. The claws range from brilliant reds to muted rusts on the females. Pthalo  blues and incredible ultramarines so rich and dense they are hard to depict on the males. They can be bright white or pale creamy yellows. Then you look at the shell on their backs, pea greens and muted greens, to drab and dull greens. The points on their shells go anywhere from dark brown to almost black, then to rusty reds. Add the shine on the shell and you have virtually any color you could want in the rainbow.

Will I ever get tired of painting crabs?

I don't think so, mom they remind me of you! The nails (claws) my mother had, thick nails so strong that she used them as screwdrivers. Nails you did not pass on to me with my paper thin, but better now nails. Nails that were invariably painted with your favorite color, OPI "I'm not really a waitress". Your nails that you would use to pick the crab meat out of the shell as you happily ate them.
Happy memories of my mother,

I think I'll keep painting crabs

"I'm Blue too!"

I'm blue too! , I painted my nails! both 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas, paintings 7 & 8 of the 100 paintings

Friday, August 21, 2015

Crabs and a Willet!

 "Blue Man, Blue"

This painting is a departure from my normal sepia toned 12 x 12 canvases. I get requests from collectors for specific spots in their homes. Sometimes large, sometimes small, the special requests are always a treat to complete! 

Did you know you can tell a male crab from a female by their claws? Boys are blue, Girls are red. More specifically, they are mentioned to have "painted" their claws much like a woman would paint her nails. I found this out while researching blue crabs, same information located on several websites of a scientific nature. I have not tested this theory out on my own, but have asked several folks to check and get back with me! 
Nobody ever has contacted me about it.
 I am still curious, is it true?

"Blue Man, Blue" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas, Painting 5 of the 100 Days

"It takes Two to Tango"

This painting came about as we were walking for turtles a few weeks back. Another day on the beautiful, crowded, Orange Beach. We also had one of our Pastors from church with us because he wanted to walk the beach at dawn. It was a gorgeous morning, we walk before the sun rises completely so we can beat the tourists trampling possible nesting sites. This particular morning, we did not find a nest, we did find thousands of shells and shell pieces. 

We also came across these two in their dance of possible death. Ghost crabs are a favorite of mine to watch with their frantic running about, trying to avoid being stepped on by the giants walking in their midst. They range in size from an inch to much larger, maybe 5 inches across with their legs. This little guy was wary of the bird watching him, and we stopped to watch this dance unfolding before us. They traded quick moves, each one sizing up the other. They moved quickly up toward the wrack line, then onto the sandy beach. There are dozens of holes that belong to these little creatures, and if you are quiet you may actually see one cleaning his home. They are also territorial, defending themselves from the other locals. These two however , were nowhere near this little guys hole! He kept trying to get back to his spot of beach to no avail. The Willet kept pushing him further and further from his home, with the crab frantically going from moving in a defensive posture, to just plan giving it his all. The bird made a few attempts to stab this little guy, but he always danced out of the way. Finally, the crab got far enough away that when the bird glanced in another direction he shot down a convenient escape hole.
I am certain that another battle ensued underneath the sand, after he popped into another crab's domain. I guess the crab choose the lesser of two evils, one above, the other below. We did not see him resurface, so we can only assume that he finally got away when the Willet vacated the beach head he had established.

"It takes Two to Tango" 15 x 30 Acrylic on canvas, Painting 6 of the 100 Days

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Postings with Apologies

"Pier Pelican"

What a summer it has been! 
I have had more wonderful things thrown at me in the past few weeks than I can hardly stand!
I have had commissions, classes, and chaos! Mediacom has been iffy at best, with internet floating in and out at will!  Apologies to you all, my readers and followers for my not being diligent in my duties as a blogger and painter. I have been painting constantly, but not posting a painting a day. 

Thus begins the second half of the 100 Days~100 Paintings. It is now about 50 days until the National Shrimp Festival, and this year we are moving to the street outside of Fine Arts and into the world of Arts & Crafts. My friends have pestered me for years to move out there and so I have! Hopefully, we will be near our friend, George Kearney, as this will make Christopher's booth sitting a more enjoyable experience. Those of you who do outdoor shows will understand you can request placement, but there are no guarantees! I have also received congratulations letters from our usual shows for the fall, so we will be busy from the end of September til December.

Enough said, on to the real meal, the paintings! 
For the next 50 days I am painting and posting 2 a day so I can catch up and have enough inventory for all the fall shows.
The Pelican above is our local bird that hangs out at the public pier. He is always caging for a meal, looking for hand outs from the fishermen and cast netters. Recently, there has been a small battle between him and a Blue Heron that has decided to move in on the Pelicans easy pickings.
"Pier Pelican" 8 x 10 , Acrylic on Gessoboard Day 51 painting 1 of the 100 Days

"Chris is a turtle!"

This guy is one of the turtles rescued by the turtle hospital in Marathon Florida. He has lots of tumors on him that are not depicted here. We walk every Saturday during turtle nesting season to look for nests. On the way back, we pick up the myriad of parts and pieces of plastic that are so deadly to these beautiful creatures. I love painting turtles and probably will always have a few in my shows. 
"Chris is a turtle!" 12 x 12 , Acrylic on canvas, Day 51, painting 2 of the 100 Days.

"Sea Shells, She Shells"

I have seen this so many times on the beaches on and near here. Buckets in tow, they pick up every shell they can find, until moms gently remind them to leave some for others to discover. Our children would do this as well, and this little girl reminds me of both myself and our own children.
"Sea Shells, She Shells" 24 x 24 , Acrylic on canvas, Day 52 painting 3 of the 100 days

"Battered, Beached, and Broken"

We've all been there a time or two haven't we? Battered, thrown up on the Beach, Broken beyond repair. I have learned much in this journey of painting. Each of my brushstrokes is frequently a prayer for others while I am creating. I contemplate on their plights, give thanks for all God has done for me, then gratitude for a piece when it is completed and allowing me to use my talents for others. 
I photographed this jumbled, beautiful, mess one Saturday while walking for turtles on Orange Beach. After some research, I discovered that this species is a Speckled Crab. Normally a deep & cool water crab, the storm that brought this beautiful creature from the depths must have been violent indeed! This piece took more than a day, more like 5 days, but I am displaying it here for those who may need it for solace. It is an easy painting to get lost in, looking for all the different pieces and parts that make up the sandy beaches we all love so much!

"Battered, Beached, and Broken" 24 x 24, Acrylic on canvas, Day 52 Painting 4 of the 100 Days