Friday, October 7, 2016




Whoa is right, Too many days to post here! I have been painting daily, with no end to the creativity in sight! I have been steadily working on a 9 ft x 52 ft mural. Mural completed, just needs varnish! 


 Teaching classes with multiple paintings produced in watercolor. (All three classes are in watercolor) I am at the point of trying to mount them on canvas to be able to sell them at shows.


To be sure, there are many days with no complete paintings to show, but large canvases called walls are not easy to complete in a day! I am now holed up in the studio with my beloved shadowbox canvases being completed. It took me two days to stretch, paint white, and start sketching these beauties to bring to the National Shrimp Festival next week. (NEXT WEEK!!!!!!! October 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th!) I have no less than 20 of these canvases that are custom made by my beloved husband of almost 38 years. I stretch them myself here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio, then start the process of painting them. As much as I love them, and with their success at Peter Anderson last year, I hope they do well at Shrimp Festival. I am also bringing turtle and hopefully shrimp ornaments for sale at the shows.


"Lionfish I"

"Lionfish II"

"Kraken, no Octopus!"

Kraken, Silence, Beauties, are all three 24 x 24 shadowbox canvases with a 12x12 opening. 
Lionfish I & II are 16 x 16 Shadowbox canvases with a 6x6 opening.
All are deep edge and custom made here in Fairhope, Alabama!
24x24 are $295, 16x16 are $155 each

Friday, September 2, 2016

Way too many days!

"Just Beachy"

Way too many days to post individually. Things have been hopping around here with paintings, commissions, and turtle hatchlings. (more on the turtles later!)
Just beachy is an oil painting made from leftover paint for a client. I don't paint in oil often, because I find I get nasal issues afterward. I love the feel of oils though, may be I'll paint them outside!

"Can we talk?"

Our crabs here on the gulf coast are beautiful and tasty! I am sure they would love to discuss themselves becoming dinner, but I'm too hungry!
 This piece is a four piece painting taking 4 days to paint of course!
It is on 4~12 x 12 canvases.


While not a painting, this design is for our new Gypsy wagon camper we are building for an extended road trip next year after Chris retires. We have long discussed building another camper and this one will be a beauty when finished. This is the color scheme Chris wants, although I think I would rather have all white trim rather than the wood. The bottom is corrugated metal, with plywood sides and battens added for interest. My hope is the front door will have dachshund cutouts. Our windows will be hand built, with plexiglass instead of glass. I have worked hard on the inside design as well, but it is still a work in progress. The designs took several days to create with several revisions. We have already purchased our tub for the shower, and I found a beautiful copper bowl for our sink in the bath! More on the camper later.

The Commissions cannot be shown because they are another artists work. They were in a state of disrepair and the owners called the original artist to work on them. The artist declined, telling them they don't do that anymore. I got the works and spent several days to scrape off the faltering paint and finish. Then began careful wire brushing and enamel paint finish. The owners were very happy with their finished pieces and now proudly hung them back in their boat house. 

All told, several days of work, with very little to sell at shows! Kinda Scary considering it is less than 50 days until the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
One of my collectors has now called as well. He wants another Buddha painted in a couple of weeks so he can donate it to a temple in Mobile.
On top of it all, I received a call from a mural design I did a month ago. We are a go on the mural now, starting either today or Tuesday next week! The moral of this story is, be careful what you pray for, you may be given a lot! Not complaining though, this is just what I wanted, a happy art filled life here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama!  

"Just beachy" 12 x 24, Oil on canvas
"Can we talk?" 24 x 24, Acrylic on 4 canvases
"Wagon" Colored pencil on Cardstock design for camper 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Don't lose my number Buddy"

Our sunsets here in Fairhope are amazing, needless to say!
Even our four legged friends take pause and watch. Painted from a photo a friend took of her own pooch while he was sitting on the rocks watching the bay. He truly is her "buddy" and she loves him very much! Painted with permission, but my painting does not even come close to doing the clouds justice!

"Don't lose my number Buddy" 10 x 20 Oil on canvas
Day 44 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Two for one!

Today's post has two paintings because I did not post yesterday. Time got away from me and I went to bed simply forgetting to post the Crab from Monday.

  The painting for today is a small sea turtle. We have record numbers of sea turtle nests this year. This is thanks in part I am sure to the leave only footprints program which started this spring. Our turtle walks are much more pleasant, with only small amounts of garbage and no equipment to haul out of the water because the tide has overtaken the stuff left on the beach overnight. I have had to dig out shower curtains, partially buried for personal swimming pools. Beach chairs, broken floats, beach toys and so much other stuff! Grateful for this new program on the beach. This morning found another nest in our section of the beach that we patrol. This nest had to be moved immediately as the tide was threatening to wash over the babies in their newly laid shells. Another one to watch, this one won't hatch until October!

Turtle 6 x 6, Acrylic on canvas,
Blue  Crab 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas
Days 42 and 43 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mural watercolor

These two are watercolors for a layout of a possible mural in Daphne. I am so excited to be able to use my talents to help people feel better! This is for a doctors office opening soon. Those who follow me might remember last years mural at the Hyperbaric center here in Fairhope. That mural was half the size! (8 x 24) This one will be 10 x 52 linear feet when completed. 
If I get the contract hopefully!

Reef Mural ,Watercolor, 10 x 52 inches,
Day 41 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Blue Crab~Male Crab

Today finds me craving crab in my studio and on my easel. I love painting these guys, can't you tell? There will be several during the 100 days because they sell consistently . This Blue is eating size and on a 12 x 12 canvas with a white background.

Blue Crab~Male Crab 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas
Day 40 of the 100 days~100 paintings 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Archer's Gecko

Archer is my grandson and today is his third birthday! It is so hard to believe he is three years old. I have a tradition of creating a painting on his birthday, so that when he is older and moves out on his own he will have a collection to take with him. The day he was born, I painted a crab while waiting for him to make his grand entrance. I created a turtle for his first birthday, and a lion for his second. All the paintings in the collection will be done in sepia on white backgrounds so they will have a montage of his life when they are put together. 

This little guy was in our bathroom trying to escape the vast quantities of water being dumped on our gulf coast. I photographed him, then removed him to the safety of the large tropical plant on our front porch. It is simply not safe in our house between the bug spray and a pack of dachshunds that take great delight in crunching geckos! Mind you, not eating them, just killing them. Much safer for all concerned.

Any way, Happy Birthday Archer Townes Chavez Price. may you enjoy the artworks when you get older and wiser.

"Archers Gecko" Acrylic on canvas, 3 x 9 inches
Day 38 of the 100 days~100 paintings

17 days!?!! Time flies when you're having fun!

I know I said I would not do this, but time really got away from me in the past two weeks!
It has been 17 days since my last post, I am ashamed to say. Time flies when you're having fun indeed! I have taught my last two classes at the art center and my church camp. I have been accepted into two shows for fall. Jubilee in Daphne late September and Peter Anderson in Ocean Springs the first full weekend in November. National Shrimp festival is looming as well on the horizon, taking up the middle of October.

I need to get even more disciplined over the next coming weeks! The gallery in Fairhope has no less than 11 of my new pieces along with some that were previously posted. Please forgive me if I don't post individual photos of each. The second photo is the delivery of pieces to Dauphin Island showing them in place on her wall. The collector called and wants another one as well that she will pick up in September.

The following pieces more than catch me up for the 100 days~100 paintings
They were created in classroom situations with children under the age of 12. The geckos are my favorite, the background was created with shaving cream! SO much fun!

Days 22 through 37 of the  100 days~100 paintings

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Red Snapper

Our fishing season for Red Snapper is limited at best. I have never caught one, but I hear it is fun to hook em! It's on my bucket list of things to do, go big game fishing one day.

On a different note, classes are going well at the Eastern Shore Art Center. This is my last week of teaching there. This week is  The wonders of watercolors!
This piece is actually two paintings, cut and woven back together.
Red Bird, 9 x 12

Red Snapper, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 36
Day 21 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Monday, July 25, 2016

Vintage Beach Again?Vintage Beach XII,XIII,XIV, XV

Vintage Beach  Again?
I'm afraid so! 

I have to create what I love as well as what seems to be in demand, so here we go!
I have changed the colors done previously, but the styles are there. The  plaques still need to be distressed, stained, and then varnished. The 70's one is completely new, the 1946 is a bikini designed by Reard. Reard once said a bikini is not a bikini unless it fits through a wedding band. The one with the palm trees was a Catalina, I painted it a different color as well. Kinda makes you want to think really hard at why the designers of the day were pushing the limits of just how small you could go. Part of it was the war effort, but I think they just wanted to see how much demand they could create. One suit even touted that it weighed 8 ozs and that it would fit in a matchbox!

I don't know about you, but I do know about me. I cannot wear something so small it barely covers my private areas. I want them to stay private, thank you very much!

Vintage Beach XII, XIII, XIV, XV
Acrylic on recycled wood panel, 8 x 10
Days 16, 17,18,  and 19

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vintage Beach XI

While frantically working with children and letting their imaginations run wild, I still paint!
No less than two of my galleries now want the vintage suits too!
After posting about the Moonlight Buoy yesterday I couldn't resist another vintage bathing suit. This one is from the 70's and really reminds me of my teen years.  I was a lifeguard in 1977 at the Jewish Community Center on Airport Blvd. I remember being upset though, that as guards we were asked to run the snack bar as well. This did not make me real happy as I was proud of being a trained lifeguard and concerned that something might happen on my watch. Safety prevailed even though some of the kids going there were a little spoiled and did not like a teenager telling them what to do.

Vintage Beach XI, Acrylic on wood, 8 x 10
Day 16 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vintage Beach X

I  know I wrote a couple of days ago that the vintage series was done. 
Well................. I did this study today for a larger one later. The original suit was probably much lighter in color.

While researching the other suits and their origins, I came across this little suit. Called the Moonlight Buoy, it was introduced about 1945 or 1946 by I believe the Duchess Royal company. This suit caused quite a stir in it's day! It was also featured in a LIFE magazine article, but I have yet to locate it for conformation. What was all the hullabaloo about? The advertisement touted that the lightweight suit could float by using the cork buckle to attach the top and bottom together. Why? 
So the swimmer could swim Au Natural !
In the Moonlight no less! 
You would have to swim in the moonlight to find it, and hope your suit did not float away with the tide. Interesting to say the least that our grandmothers might have worn something like this!

Ah history...................

Vintage Beach X, Acrylic on wood 8x10 
Day 15 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dizzy Dachshund!

If you really know our house, you know we have 5 dachshunds that call the Raccoon Retreat Studio home. We initially had 3 of our own, then when our daughter moved to India she tearfully left her two with us. We have Frida age 12 , Tut age 10, Trixie age 8, and Bandit and Divya age 4. Bandit and Divya are brother and sister and Trixie is their momma. Two are Black and Tan, Two are double dapple, and we have a red head. The dogs rule the house the majority of the time, and we most likely would not have it any other way! I am basically an automatic door opener for them when I am trying to work in the studio. One or more of them will come running into the studio and then run out, hoping I'll follow. Meal time is an adventure. Walking together is a mad dash until they settle, then I hope no one stops us for a photo. Car riding is also a must every day! (Chris started the car rides when I went to convention one year.)

Enough about us, on to the painting! This is a demonstration piece for the kiddos that I teach. I love this fun style and teach it frequently to kids because they love  the wild patterning. It is an adventure drawing out several dogs, cats, fish, horses, birds, and even a pig! I just smile when I see this expectant little creature waiting for the next grand event at our house, don't you?

Dizzy Dachshund! 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas

Vintage Beach IX

Yesterday got away from me, this is Monday's post.

The last of the vintage suits for now. The bare midriff was the beginnings of the bikini. The bikini did not make it's official appearance until 1946. The war effort required all clothing fabric usage to be reduced by 10%. The skirt was the first part to go, then the bikini became a new fashion to be embraced. However, as we have seen, women did not fully embrace the bikini until much later in the century!

Vintage Beach IX, 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas
Day 13 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Vintage Beach VIII

Back to the fifties tonight! 
I love this era and can imagine my mother sporting a cute little midriff suit like this one. Perhaps not though, she went to a Catholic girls school for her high school years. I have never seen a photo of her in one, but I really do remember the yellow one from yesterday!

Vintage Beach VIII, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20
Day 13 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Vintage Beach VII

 Day 12! 
Summer is going by at hyper speed this year. 
Our pool is almost too hot to swim. The grass alternates between dying from the mole crickets and growing like hay that needs to be mowed. The summer rains have arrived, with almost daily deluges of vast amounts of water. I am hesitant about going out on the water on my paddle board because of lightning. Summer classes are in full swing, with classes already lining up for fall as well. I have three more weeks of teaching children during their summer break and then I have a breather before fall classes and shows begin.

Shows should be interesting, with Grand Festival being cancelled for this year. I am disappointed about this show being given the heave ho, but I understand.........I do it because it is local and lets me show my works to a wider audience. I still plan to do Jubilee, Daphne, Al end of September, National Shrimp Festival (on an end booth, so excited!) Gulf shores Al, October 13-16th, 
and Peter Anderson, Ocean Springs MS, November 5th and 6th. There are a couple of Christmas shows as well, more on that later! 

On to today's painting.
I love the happy yellow of this suit. It reminds me strongly of a suit my Mom designed while we were in the Philippines. Ours were similar to this, bright yellow with brass rings. Ours came to the center in a single ring in the middle over our stomach and two rings on the sides of our hips. It also had two rings on the side of the top and the neckline came up around our necks. They were open back, with a strap across the chest to hold the top. They were a very small bikini style because they were connected to 1 1/2 inch rings. They were made from double knit. Mine was exactly like moms except a smaller version. I remember standing beside her, sewing machine humming, eagerly anticipating the new suit that matched hers!

Vintage Beach VII , Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20
Day 12 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vintage Beach VI

Today brings the 1940's into view. 
The 1940's followed an era of Maillot suits with the sides cut out. (Maillot? I had to look it up too! Basically a tank type suit!)  Esther Williams was making swimming at lot more popular. Coco Chanel's influence made suntans fashionable. Women were becoming more comfortable with the two piece and bare midriff, although it was not until later when the bikini would make it's first appearance on beaches. Nylon and Latex were being widely used in swimwear.

The 1940's and the war effort required lots of materials normally used in swimwear. The government required a 10 % reduction in the amount of fabric used to help the war effort. This was when the skirt panels all but disappeared. Again Esther Williams became one of the ladies of the silver screen to use this new type of suit. Bare midriffs allowed on beach, but not in public please!

Vintage Beach VI, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20
Day 11 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Vintage Beach V

Nothing says beach like a dress! At least it looks like a dress to me. 
I would absolutely wear this as a dress, although a little longer! 
I collect vintage patterns and have a bathing suit  one from the fifties. They almost always looked like a short dress, with little bloomers you wore underneath. 
Keep in mind, spandex was not even invented yet I think. I remember a suit of my own in the early 60's made from double knit. Bulky, to say the least. In the fifties, most of the fabrics used in bathing suits was cotton or silk. None of the super stretchy fabrics we have now. The suits had gathers around the legs to make them fit, and if your legs were not big enough to fill them, you had this bunchy fabric hanging around your bottom!
Ah, the good old days! At least we did not have to wear long bloomers and carry an umbrella like our great~great grandmothers did!

Vintage Beach V, Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20
Day 10 of the 100 days~100 paintings 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vintage Beach IV

Today begins the paintings of the bathing suits. I am excited about this series and can hardly wait to get them to the collector for her to chose the three she wants. The background is white although the photo does not show it here. 
The original collection was painted on
 8 x 10 pieces of lumber. They were heavily distressed and then stained.  
This time period for bathing suits was interesting, they looked more like short dresses. The advertisement even proudly announced that is was made from wool!? I cannot imagine!

Vintage Beach IV, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 
Day 9 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Vintage Beach III

Another day, another painting! Things are going great here in Fairhope, Alabama. 
Art camps are in full swing, Celebration Church' s Summer Surge sets are being painted, and I am blogging about my adventures at the Raccoon Retreat Studio. Life just could not get much better.
National Shrimp Festival is 92 days away, (really!).

The Vintage series is going well, with this one of two more vintage beach balls. I really must find more to paint from the play department. Enough with the toys already! Tomorrow  I begin the vintage Bathing suits from several different eras of bathing beauties!

Vintage Beach Balls, Number III in the series, Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20
Day 8 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Monday, July 11, 2016

Vintage Beach II

This pair of balls were fun to paint! The ball in the lower left was originally a leather ball with probably a rubber bladder to put air into it. The photo was of a crusty deflated ball, but I tried to give it new life. I absolutely love the way that it was constructed, with complementary colors playing off of each other. The other ball is probably from the 70's and I had no color references. I decided to keep it crisp with Red, White, and Blue! They are on a white background.

Vintage Beach II, Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20, 
Day 7 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Vintage Beach!

Today I begin a new series, Vintage Beach. This past spring I had painted bathing suits from several eras on 8 x 10 wood plaques. I sold several and had a limited amount left when a woman walked into my booth on Dauphin Island. After I introduced myself we struck up a conversation about what attracted her to my work. She loved the vintage suits but they were too small for her space. After we talked a bit more, we determined that 16 x 20 canvases would be perfect for her needs.  She also mentioned beach balls in paintings too! Thus this series begins, not with balls, but vintage blow up swim toys. I vaguely remember myself or my brothers having something similar in our swimming fun times. I will be posting several pieces over the next few days before I deliver them to the  condo on Dauphin Island next Sunday. This particular piece will make a great addition to someones collection.

Vintage Beach Toys I, Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20, Day 6 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Big Blue

Today's post is another Blue crab of course! This one is a male. You ask how can you tell?  Most folks tell you that you have to turn them over and look at the bottom of the shell. From prior personal experience, this is something I don't want to do! (picking up a crab just as my husband told me how, it reached under and grabbed me with a vise grip mentality.)

I have not had a chance to research the validity of this claim....... 
I keep challenging people to look and report back to me. In my research about blue crabs, I discovered no less than two scientific websites that noted the color of the claws. 
Boys are blue, Girls are red. The girls paint their nails!

I really wish someone would test this and report back to me sooner rather than later!

Big Blue, Acrylic on canvas, 4 x 12 inches, Day 5 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Friday, July 8, 2016

Little blue

If you've lived here for any time at all you will run into Blue Crabs somewhere on a menu. I have eaten several types of crabs, because of living in multiple parts of our beautiful country.

We moved back to the deep south~Mobile, Alabama specifically in 1976 after my father retired from the Air Force. It was a few years before I tried Blues, because our family focused on Shrimp and Oysters because of their plentiful supply. However, after meeting the love of my life, Chris Chavez he introduced me to this most delightful of crabs. I eat them frequently now, mostly in the form of crab claws at our favorite local restaurant, Market by the Bay. 

Having eaten so many crabs, I really enjoy painting them too! My mother used to travel with me to shows, helping where she could. At one show in particular, she asked if I would ever tire of painting crabs. I said hopefully never and definitely not tired of them now. They are some of my best sellers by far, colored and sepia toned, shadowboxes and angled canvases. I can just about paint them in my sleep now after so many years. The crabs that have left my easel have ranged in size from 4 inches to 48 inches. They are still one of my favorites to paint!

Little Blue, Acrylic on canvas, 4 x 4 inches, Day 4 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Starting off on the wrong foot!

Today finds me already behind in posting. I had the painting done, but totally forgot to post it last night after church. So, today I have two to post. I am determined this year to be better about posting and painting, so hopefully this slip won't happen again! 
(NO promises though with the crazy artist life I lead here in Fairhope, Alabama!)

Yesterday found me teaching paddle boarding to a friend early in the morning. The water was slightly rough, but she did great! That is, until her legs got tired, the board got caught by a wave, and she hit the water. The only casualty was my paddle fortunately! (It snapped in half.) I am just extremely grateful she did not get cut or impaled by the sharp metal end. Crisis averted and fortunately my beloved husband handed me money for a replacement this morning. I now have a bright green one that should be visible for quite a distance.

Now back to the paintings......
The starfish was fun as usual to paint. I will never tire of painting them hopefully because they always sell. The octopus is one of many for this painting season. I have always had a grand time painting these fascinating creatures. We had an octopus for a brief time, (one night) in the Phillipines. My father caught it while diving and we were going to put it into our tank. Not knowing they are the best escape artists God ever created, we left him in a 5 gallon water jug with an air source. I named him Oscar and went to bed. Unfortunately, we found him dried up on the floor the next morning. My 7 year old mind was upset for days that we had allowed him to die in our care. He now has a memorial portrait done with tile in my bathroom at the Raccoon Retreat.

Starfish Acrylic on Canvas 4x4, Oscar Acrylic on canvas 4x4
Paintings 2 & 3 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Let the paintings begin!

It seems as usual I begin this year of 100 days~100 paintings 2016 with a sea turtle!
This has been a blog several years in the making, with over 500 paintings completed thus far. I do the paintings and the blog in an effort to get ready for the fall show season. Some of the blog entries are long and involved, some are short and sweet. This year will hopefully be no different. 

We are already gearing up for the fall shows, with an acceptance into the National Shrimp Festival already on my schedule. I put in for the Fine Art Division again this year, AND an end space booth! Other shows planned but not confirmed include, Grand festival in Fairhope, Jubilee Festival in Daphne, St Lawrence festival at St Lawrence church, Merry market at Orange Beach, and lastly but certainly not least, Peter Anderson in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Others may be added as well.

The summer has proven to be a busy one too, with classes at Mobile Museum of Art, Eastern Shore Art Center, and an art camp at Celebration Church too! All told, I am teaching 6 weeks this summer. Fall classes are also being scheduled, with Eastern Shore Institute of Lifelong Learning ESILL already confirming Beginning and advanced Watercolor classes. I will also again be teaching in my studio on Tuesdays as well as possibly at Celebration Church.

Back to the turtle..........
This morning started with a phone not soon after I woke up from Share the Beach. I knew this meant a nest had been found and answered immediately. Not one, but two nests had been found! I jumped in the car and drove the almost hour towards the beach and possible nesting sites. I had never helped move a nest before and this was a goal for this year. I texted my team leader and was told we had a third nest in Orange beach and to head to that team to help. I was very excited as this was my first possible nest move! My team is great, they allowed me the honor of handling each and every one of our precious eggs into the bucket to be moved out of harms way. I counted 121 eggs myself, with other numbers ranging from 120 to 123. Such a wonderful way to start my day, and a wonderful way to start the 100 Days~100 Paintings 2016!

Green turtle Acrylic on canvas 6 x 6 
Day 1 of the 100 Days~100 Paintings 2016