Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Mighty Octopus

Today marks the end of the 100 days~100 paintings for 2017.
It has been an adventure, completing this odyssey of art, with life frequently getting in the way. 
I have traveled to NYC for the first time. 
I have sat with a turtle nest for a couple of days. 
I taught multiple Art camps on both sides of the bay. 
I taught two courses for ESILL, making many new friends along the way.
I purchased a new tent with proceeds from my first fall show.
With the rest of the Gulf coast, we have weathered  several hurricanes.
All the while, creating, creating, creating.

I have enjoyed reading your comments, and seeing your reactions on Facebook. Your reactions have given me great joy, knowing that what I manage somehow to create is also loved by others familiar with the sea. Thanks to all for following and sometimes purchasing the pelicans, crabs, turtles, dolphins, sharks and alligators. 

Tomorrow we pack and set up for the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. 

This however is not the end of the story for 2017.
 This year I have galleries that are selling, and I am being approached by others wanting to carry my works. My goals have not all been met though, I still want and need representation in Mississippi and Florida.

The adventures will continue, although maybe not posting every day!

The Mighty Octopus, Acrylic on multiple canvases
2~12 x 12s, 2~12 x 24s, 1~12 x 36 total painting approximately 3 ft x 5 ft
Day 100 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017


I photographed this little guy a few years ago on the Fairhope public beach. His mother thought that she could control him around the water. She rolled up his pant legs and walked on the sand. After several times of walking on the edge and mom quietly telling him no it's too cold! He finally broke away from her grasp and started running in the water. I was so happy I had my camera that day!

We are winding down the 100 days now. Soon I'll be back sat my brushes and you may stop visiting my blog to see what's happening at the Raccoon Retreat Studio. However, this year I may continue for a bit, while getting ready for Peter Anderson in Ocean Springs , MS the first full weekend in November.

More later on that discussion!

Meanwhile at Scripts & Strokes tonight!

Proverbs study is going well!

Breakaway, 12 x 36, Acrylic on canvas
Day 99 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Johnstones's Junonia

Designated as Alabama's State shell in 1990, this is a Johnstone's Junonia. Once very plentiful along our shorelines, you are now lucky to find a piece of one. I found an Olive and thought it was the state shell until I did some research. Any way, this pair is a replacement for the same shell sold during Jubilee festival. 

The days are winding down until the National Shrimp Festival at Gulf Shores. After our scary night of several tornado's possible as Nate came ashore, I did not sleep well at all! Things banging around, sudden wind gusts rattling the windows, and general nerves causing my neck to spasm, made for a restless sleep. Anyway, The Raccoon Retreat Studio is high and dry, with pecans falling from the tree in back, leaf debris in my pool, and small branches everywhere. Mobile may have had a small tornado touch down, or quick wind gust maybe taking down a large billboard and knocking a few cars around at a car lot.  

All in all, Nate was a blowhard that hit the United States not once, but twice. Not very strong, but still enough to shake the dead branches out of the trees until another storm comes through. There are some people without power still and we went without internet for a time. I am just glad that Nate did not ruin the upcoming party in Gulf Shores this week (!) 
The party that is the Annual National Shrimp Festival!

Johnstone's Junonia, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6
Day 98 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Babies are safe!

"Babies are safe"
 is actually a new baby to replace one sold at the Jubilee Festival a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to have a total of 8 babies to show at the National Shrimp Festival and had to replace one! 

Why the name?
 I am so happy to report that since the nest Share the Beach was watching was so active, they were allowed by fish and wildlife to dig them up and take them to safety! I am so glad this decision was made, as otherwise, they may have been trapped and drowned. Oh happy day!

Meanwhile, a little storm named Nate is keeping me awake and nervous. Not the storm mind you, but all the tornado alerts going off on our phones. It's going to be a LONG night! Prayers for the coast, for friends that live down at the beaches, and for all under the umbrella of this nasty hurricane called Nate!

"Babies are Safe!" , Acrylic on canvas, 4 x 4
Day 97 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sea turtle pair

The post photo for this one is a little larger than I usually show because I wanted the details to be seen. These turtles are on 5 canvases. I have painted several multiple canvas pieces this year, with a pretty good success rate. All of them painted so far have found homes. Some of them smaller, the largest covering a staggering 9 ft x 3 ft! One has been in color at the clients request, One has a tan background matching the collectors wall color. I was skeptical about the colored background and sepia, but it really worked well together. 

This grouping measures 3 x 5 ft approximately. The advantage of these multiples is you can spread them apart because they are painted on the sides as well. So much fun to paint and yes a day to complete the front at least. They have another day in painting the backgrounds and sketching them. I still need to paint the sides which will take a bit of time, then varnish them. 

Sea turtle pair, 5 canvases, 12 x 36, 2~12 x 24, 2 12 x 12, Acrylic
Day 96 of the 100 days ~100 paintings 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Biloxi Blue

Today, a watercolor............
Biloxi Blue is from a photograph I took years ago when we made a day trip to Biloxi, Mississippi.
There was this wonderful little harbor behind a casino and it had the most beautiful shrimp boats. Along with shrimp boats, there was this little guy, posing for all the world to see. He just simply adjusted his position on the piling as I moved around him shooting photos. I got several nice shots of him, in front of both a red and a blue shrimp boat. I used this particular pose as a demonstration and painting project for my beginning watercolor students. The students learned a lot in the past 6 weeks, but most of all, they had fun! I love to think of this group of ladies joining me in the winter quarter for ESILL as well. Some of them already said yes to moving on to intermediate watercolor.
If you look carefully, you can see the out of focus shrimp boat behind the seagull. This class used both very loose and very tight techniques combined, along with a little masking.

Biloxi Blue, Watercolor on paper, 11 x 15
Day 95 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Warrior of the Gulf II

Today brings another Lionfish. These fish really are a nemesis to our Gulf of Mexico and they are going to hurt our fishing industry. I did not realize that they don't mate per se. The female just releases her eggs into the water to be fertilized by a passing male. On top of this strange behavior, a single lionfish can lay as many as 1,500,000 per year!

What is their favorite food? Tiny beginnings of grouper, lobster, redfish, marlin, (fill in your favorite gamefish here). Apparently whatever they can vacuum up with their large mouths! When they are hunting is the only time they school in larger numbers. (They don't even like each other!)

Beautiful and I love to paint them!
I also cannot wait to eat one, I hear they are quite tasty!

Warrior of the Gulf II, Acrylic on 24 x 24 shadowbox canvas, 
Day 94 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Playing at the gulf

A few months ago, I cleaned my palette off on to a canvas. I am not one to waste paint, and there was just too much to throw away! So, I coated the canvas with the leftovers and waited to see what would inspire me to complete it. This little girl was totally perfect. I added the shoreline with wave action to the all blue canvas. Some, sand, some waves, a little girl playing in the water. 
Just makes me want to go to the beach!

I also worked on this Lichtenstein inspired piece. I completed it today with my Atelier class at the Eastern Shore Art Center. The parents are having almost as much fun as the kids when they see their wonderful works of art completed during the class.

Playing at the Gulf, 16 x 40 , Acrylic on canvas
Day 93 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Monday, October 2, 2017

Some watercolor please!

These three paintings are some of my demonstrations I do during my watercolor classes. We are winding down the ESILL class for watercolor and I will miss these energetic and lovely women! They are all delightful to be around and really encourage me to embrace my later years. I am convinced that we stay young by constantly staying active and learning. We can all learn from each other, even if we don't take a class! Join a small group, take a class, find a neighbor! Don't just sit your life away watching television or the computer. (there is also more to life than our phones!)

I enjoy creating these little gems while teaching!
Sometimes for sale, always fun!

Shrimp, Crab, 8 1/2 x 11, Pier 11x14, Watercolor on paper, 
Day 92 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Warrior of the Gulf

Our Gulf of Mexico is being invaded by a small conquering warrior. The lion fish is now found in virtually all parts of our beautiful part of the ocean. They started breeding in the warm waters off the east coast of Florida. Their life entered our ocean after hurricane Andrew shattered the aquariums they were living in. They have now found their way down to the Florida keys and up to our part of the gulf. They are an invasive species that prey on the baby redfish, grouper and other big game fish babies. We are now starting to consume them, and I have heard they are quite tasty once you get past the poisonous fins. Divers have rodeos where the object is to kill as many as possible.

Invasive and delicious.

Lionfish anyone?

Warrior of the Gulf, Acrylic on shadowbox canvas,
Day 91 of the 100 days 100 paintings

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Later Gator!

I am finishing up a long day spent with my husband Chris. Of course we spend every day together now that he is retired. We don't regret a day of him taking retirement  now rather than later. We enjoy spending time together, talking about plans for the wagon he's now building. The wagon is a smaller version of the tiny house so it will be easier to pull to shows. It will still have a full bathroom, even  though it is much more micro sized. More on that later.

I finished a pair of palazzo pants today to wear to shrimp festival that I have had cut out for 2 years now. It seemed like the thing to do since I was still in a sewing mood. But, I still need to paint as well!

Alligators have a lot of texture that is fun to paint.  Their  belly reminds me a lot about sea turtles.  All procrastination aside,  this guy was fun to paint! However, I  have a busy day tomorrow so I had better get a shower, read, and most of all rest!

Later Gator! Acrylic on shadowbox canvas, Day 90 of the 100 days 100 paintings 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

A different type of painting!

Many years ago, I had a business as a professional seamstress working from home. Having my own business allowed me the freedom to pick and chose projects, as well as freelance at a local costume shop making Mardi Gras costumes. I enjoyed using my ability to sew and it gave me the opportunity
to take care of the children when needed. I was as creative as I wanted to be when I costumed for both South of the Saltline Theater and later, Jo Jefferson Playhouse. I did costumes for as high as 42 people with 6 costume changes!

I say had because I no longer sew professionally.
You see, a drunk driver took care of that part of my life with 2 herniated discs and nerve damage in my right arm in February of 1993. 
I tell you this dear reader, because I have managed to become even more than I ever imagined. 
When the seamstress went away, the artist and painter came back. 
About 8 months after the accident, near my birthday I asked for and was given oil paints to begin creating paintings. I also found a lovely instructor and started taking classes in Mobile. I started out painting with the class, then breaking out on my own to design my own works of art. I also had the chance to teach when our instructor broke her back getting out of a house fire. I also began working at an Art store next door to the art studio in Mobile for several years.  Eventually, I started selling and entered my first big show in 2007.

The National Shrimp Festival was a game changer for me on so many levels. I began working harder to find a style of my own and my focus turned toward marine life on a grand scale. This will be my 11th year at the festival, and I am no less excited than when I did my first one! Each year, we tweak things a little more than the year before and this year will be no different.
12 days left until one of the best shows on the Gulf Coast!

Todays "painting" Fish extenders, purses, mickey eared hats, and t shirts
for our daughter going on a Disney cruise.
Day 89 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Rock solid week!

I am sending apologies everyone's way!
I have been painting, selling, setting up and teaching classes the past week.

To start off, I left you last Friday with Pelicans fly free! Friday was set up day for the Jubilee festival in Daphne Alabama. It is a small little show with an easy set up, break down, and nice artist amenities. After setting up just the tent on Friday, we went home to get some rest. I am still recovering from a summer cold, and was extremely worried about my voice not working during an entire weekend. All was well, my voice held up and I was very surprised at the sales during the show. I did not expect to sell as many as I did, and am now scrambling to create these last few days before the National Shrimp Festival in two short weeks..................

Not to be outdone, it is now crunch time at the Raccoon Retreat studio!
The painting above was partially painted as a demonstration, and the other half in my studio. It is on two angled canvases and measures 16 x 40 inches total. 
"A Pelican's domain"
Day 83 of the 100 days ~100 paintings

"Octopus my octopus" 
I started this one at the Daphne show on Sunday, and finished it in the studio Monday morning. It is always interesting to paint at shows, people love to watch and talk about the pieces as I am working on them. I work primarily with sepia at shows, because I only have to think about value and not color!
"Octopus my Octopus"
16 x 16, Acrylic on canvas, Day 84 of the 100 days ~100 paintings

A revisit to one I painted that has not sold previously. The sepia I used a couple of years back was a little more brown, and people don't seem to like it as much. (Each year, at the beginning of the 100 days, I mix that years sepia in a large quantity to use.) So, a bit of sanding, and a retouch to correct the color to this year. Hope the freshening up works, as it is a lovely little painting!

Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 85 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Several weeks back I asked my readers what I needed to paint during the 100 days. Several requests of Pelicans, crabs, and dolphins ensued. One of my collectors however, requested a Scalloped hammerhead shark. Well, here ya go!
Top to bottom
Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24, custom shadowbox
Day 86 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Tiger Sharks
Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 36, custom shadowbox
Day 87 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Mako Sharks
Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24, custom shadowbox
Day 88 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pelicans fly free!

So many years have passed since my family returned home after my father's time in the Air Force. After 20 years, they did not give him a promotion that was hoped for unless he would move us to another state. I guess he was tired of the travel and uprooting our family. The decision was made to move home to Alabama. Home to my parents at least, they basically grew up in Alabama. They attended Bishop Toolen and McGill in their own schools. We had a home here that we owned and had been rented for several years. This move also meant that I would spend the last two years of high school in another state. My brothers were young, but I had friends and most of all I felt at the time the young man I might eventually marry. 

It was upsetting to say the least to all of us as well that the house in which we planned to live was in a state of ruin. The renters had basically trashed the house, the kitchen sink was falling over in a cabinet that was rotten. Our home nevertheless..............
 My father would not arrive until December and we were here in August so we could go to school. That thought did not appeal to me either, I had just gotten out of school in mid June. 
My new high school, Murphy 1976 started in August, less than one week after we arrived in Alabama. Add to that we were living with my grandmother in Chickasaw until we could remove the renters from the house. (It was finally accomplished with the help of the Sheriffs department.) 
My mother and I spent many hours cleaning, clearing, and repairing what we could. 

Eventually I settled in, made new friends in both theater and the "nerds". I also joined ROTC and was made the supply officer for the group. I also started to look at the beauty around me on the coast. One of my main concerns was the pelicans that were almost gone from the effects of DDT. I was a  child of the 70's and was very aware of the damage we were doing to our planet. Eventually the  powers that be realized it was the chemicals affecting the birds, making their shells too weak to even be set upon to hatch them. DDT was removed and the shells again became able to withstand the parents setting on them. These beautiful birds have made a comeback to say the least! They are so interesting to watch when they are fishing so much that they can't fly because of the weight!

Today's problem is garbage, plastic to be precise. Every piece of plastic ever manufactured on our planet is still here, in one form or another. Plastic breaks down eventually to microscopic levels and is in our oceans. All of the food chain is being affected, including humans. The North Pacific Gyre is the one with the most increase in plastic particles. It throws plastic to the Midway Atoll where nearly all Laysan Albatrosses have plastic in their digestive system. About 1/3 of the chicks die because out of the 20 tons of plastic that washes up, 5 tons are being fed to the chicks.
This is only the beginning of the consequences of our actions. 
The United Nations Oceans Conference estimates that the oceans might contain more weight in plastics than fish by the year 2050!  
We all need to recycle, recycle, recycle and refuse all styrofoam as it lasts forever.

Stepping off my soapbox now, I leave you dear readers with Pelicans Fly Free!

Pelicans Fly Free! Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 shadowbox canvas
Day 82 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Looking at you kid!

Back to shadowboxes. 
This weekends show is rapidly approaching and I am slightly worried. 
Not about the show mind you, but my voice. 
I have been to the doctor, and I am not contagious and it's not the flu! I am concerned people will think otherwise about me not being contagious after they hear me talk!

I sound like Froggy from the Our Gang series.
My voice comes and goes at a whim, singing is out of the question of course!
(I sing somewhat in my studio when I'm painting, or at least hum!)
It does not help that I have taught 5 classes this week, with a total of about 13 hours of almost 
non-stop lecture and story telling while teaching.
I have myself on voice rest, avoiding the phone, and TRYING not to talk with my husband!
This tickle in my throat has GOT to go!

Looking at you kid, is today's painting for the 100 days. Taking an afternoon to paint after teaching this morning, I still have a couple of hours of varnishing to do!
The life of an artist is hard work and you have to be extremely disciplined.
No boss, yes except yourself!
You also have to motivate yourself as well.
Behind the paintings are buying lumber, ripping it to size, and building the stretcher bars.
This is done by my loving husband that sometimes gets a brad nail into a finger for his efforts!
Afterward he hands them to me, and if they are shadowboxes, they require three separate pieces of canvas stapled into place. I then put a wood backing to protect the canvas. Next I paint them white with soft body acrylic paint, sometimes two coats. They are then stacked in the studio with plastic between to keep them from sticking to one another. They are then sketched, painted, and signed. After all this is done, I put rings and wires on the back for hanging. Lastly, they are varnished, sometimes two coats.
Which reminds me, I have a studio full of paintings to varnish before the first show this weekend.
Again, Discipline............

Looking at you kid! , Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24
Day 81 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Here's looking at you!

Dolphins are always fun for me to paint. Theses guys are actually  a revisit to a painting that for some reason went very brown. Although now on the darkened side. I really love it again. I don't understand the fading to brown (or maybe they were more brown in the first place and I don't remember), I use non-fugitive color that is not supposed to change over time. Something else for exploration I guess. 

This week has brought it's challenges so far, with a class every day to teach. I am also getting prepared for my first show of the season in Daphne this weekend. Challenges have included a cold trying to take hold, (I hopefully cut that one off at the pass by going to doctor because my chest and ears hurt) Classes to teach while sounding like froggy from the Little Rascals. Paintings to complete, they need hangers, , varnishing, and packing for the show. We've already looked at the show equipment and added some new bungee cords. Taking the rain gear, just in case. Jubilee would not be Jubilee unless it rained! 

Oh well, the life of an artist.
I am singing God's praises because of a loving husband that hauled me off to the doctor this morning and will eat spicy chicken and rice, because chicken and rice is my "go to' when sick. A leader for a meeting I was supposed to go to tonight, but she said stay home. I also missed my bible study last night because of the cold or whatever it is going around. Painting this afternoon with a class. Now I am in the stdio contemplating lifting a brush in paint. 

More tomorrow my friends!

Day 80 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dachshund a la Russo

Is it possible to be more in love with a breed of dog? I think not! While painting with the kids today at Atelier class, I painted another Russo inspired dachshund. They painted a Russo inspired Rat, Cat, Golden, and rabbit. This one looks a lot like our Tut!
Tut is named after an artist here in Alabama. Any way you look at it, they are an awesome, stubborn, smart, retaliatory, mischievous breed!
Gotta love em!

Dachshund a la Russo, Acrylic on paper, 11x15, 
Day 79 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Monday, September 18, 2017

Scripts & Strokes woman on the beach.

Based on Proverbs 31: 25, we enjoyed our small group while painting this together. Each of our paintings this semester are based on proverbs.
Woman on beach, 11 x 14, Acrylic on canvas, Day 78 of the 100 days I think! I have managed to catch a late summer cold.

Hectic weekend

This weekend we went to our daughter's home for a visit and for me to work on pirate costumes for their up coming Disney cruise. No one can ever accuse us of being wall flowers when it comes to putting on a show for fun. We converted, we created, and we conversed for hours while working.  Still not complete, she is much further along than when we got there Friday night. I also have a bag of fish extenders to complete. More on that project later.
In the meantime I have revisited the bathing suits for a commission piece that is a birthday present. The tricolor ed one was actually advertised in 1957. The client wanted the polka dot one to have his wife's  birth year. So it has 1957 too!
All in all, a productive weekend, and 4 days closer to the first show of the season!
I'll post later with the painting for today.
Vintage bathing suits, Acrylic on wood panels, 8 x 10
Days 74,75,76,and 77 of the 100 days 100 paintings 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Two days~two Paintings

The Eastern Shore Art Center called on Monday and said your email bounced back!? 
You have a class tomorrow from 3:30 until 5 pm. The class is Atelier and the 4 students are in 3rd and 4th grades. I really enjoy this age, they are so fun! This fall semester we will be studying different artist styles and Tuesdays class was Walter Anderson! We all had such fun creating this fun and whimsical painting. Several other fun pieces are in the works as well. Our fall session is 8 weeks, so 8 paintings in total as well as 8 different styles.
I look forward to creating with them.

I have also started teaching for the Fall semester of Eastern Shore Institute of Lifelong Learning, two classes for them. Beginning watercolor and beginning acrylics. Both classes are full of fun energetic seniors that are so eager to learn. 
All in all, about 30 new students to plan and prepare for every week!

Nobody ever said an artists life was boring, did they?

Manatees are on my mind this week with the massive hurricane Irma bearing down on the Florida coastline. My thoughts were also with the Turtle Hospital in Marathon , the Hemingway cats on Key west, and people that stayed on their boats during the storm tied to the mangroves in the Florida keys. The hurricane actually hit Cudjoe key, going between Key West and Marathon. The hospital had a skeleton crew there during the storm and fortunately all the humans and turtles are safe! Ritchie has even been brought a baby sea turtle already. (he is tireless for the turtles!) Sanibel island, Coya Costa, places we've visited and loved for their wild natural beauty...............
Recovery prayers for the coast of Florida as well as the islands off our beautiful coast and Cuba. So much destruction and desperate people. Chris and I were fortunate enough to be able to help a family of 7 while at the grocery store on Sunday.

There but for the grace of God go I...............

Anderson Pelican, 11 x 14, acrylic on canvas,
Manatees on my mind, 15 x 15, acrylic on canvas
Days 72 & 73 of the 100 days~100 paintings  

Monday, September 11, 2017


Tonight's painting is "Joy" the joy we should bring to ourselves when we follow our Christian path.  Based on Proverbs 23: 25 
May your Father and Mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!

Sometimes difficult, the paths we chose can really make or break us. 
I seem to have found Joy in living because I no longer follow my path, but the one chosen for me. This fun painting was created with my small group, Scripts & Strokes. I have led this small group for several years now after receiving a nudge from God to teach. My Christian walk has been a long one, with trials like many, and some trials no one should ever have to live through. By the grace of God, I walk with him and am delighted in him every hour of every day. I work hard to open all the gifts the master has given me, letting him lead the way.
 God is NOT my Co-Pilot, He IS my Pilot!

Joy, Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14
Day 71 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Breaking out Octopus"

This one was a little more difficult because of the size! This Octopus is on (and in!) a 16 x 16 shadowbox canvas.

 Our day started simply enough, breakfast together and Church at Celebration. Our church had a lovely couple visiting from Punta Gorda, Florida. They are staying at his sisters house until hurricane Irma passes. Lifting them up in prayers for sure. We then drove to the grocery store, where we met a family of 7 bugging out from Florida. Two separate vehicles, one pulling a trailer. The trailer is a 4 month project and is stripped out with no beds, but they are grateful for a place to be together and sleep. We offered our shower in case they were boondocking at Wal Mart. They told us they are staying at Blakely state park. Thanking us profusely for our offer, we both went our own ways. We did our quick shopping and headed for home. On the way, I mentioned they probably could not afford to go on such a trip. Chris turned around the truck and back we went. They had done some quick shopping themselves and were loading up the kids, dogs, and cat. I asked the young man, what do you do for a living? He said HVAC. I knew then why God had sent us back. We gave them what money we could, but the man told me I didn't need to do this. I said but yes, this is what my husband and I both are hearing. A large hug, and a quick good bye. I can only pray they are safe, both in their adventures and going home. I also pray their homes are intact.

Prayers for all affected by this storm. I worry about the keys, the Hemingway cats, the conch people in general.  Ah life on the gulf coast , never a dull moment, and opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ.
If we would only open our hearts and minds to listen and act upon those gentle nudges from our father!

Breaking out Octopus, 16 x 16 Acrylic on canvas
Day 70 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Houdini Crab

I hope you enjoy today's painting for the 100 days. I was inspired several weeks ago by this packing material that form this curious net like shapes when pulled apart. I was patiently waiting for the painting to come to me, and so here he is!
Houdini is a blue crab escaping from the confines of a net to safety.
I have had many of them run when pulled out of the water if they are not in a cage type trap. My husband many years ago told me, pick them up behind their legs, they can't reach you. 
So he said............. 
When I picked it up behind the legs, the darn thing reached under and grabbed me,
hard! I squealed of course and flung the crab several dozen feet, getting ti off my hand. I was not happy with Chris for a while after that!

"Houdini" Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 shadowbox canvas
Day 69 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Friday, September 8, 2017

Swimming along

Today's painting almost did not happen! I spent a long day cleaning and clearing space in the "Barn" for Chris to be able to work without tripping over my "Stuff".  After our daughters renewal vows, we had several boxes to go through of decorations that I keep on hand. I have lots of lights, vases, tablecloths, table toppers, lanterns and fabrics for draping. It all takes up a lot of space and many tubs to keep it all together and free of sawdust! You see, my husband is a bit of a termite and wood is his favorite medium to use. Wood makes a LOT of dust! But I digress, back to the painting. 

IT almost did not happen! A long morning, a trip to a trailer store, lunch, and a nap! 
(The dachshunds forced me to nap I promise!)
Then another round of tackling salvaged wood, getting it off the floor and easy to move so I can get to my equipment for shows. We rearranged the show equipment, dusted things off a bit and replaced them on the shelves. We have 36 feet of shelving in the "barn" and we both have a lot of "stuff"! I then tackled a project I've been after Chris to start, cleaning our fans we use for shows. They were disgustingly dirty, dusty, and rusting due to our coastal weather. He wanted to work on our new trailer instead and handed me the screwdriver. Undaunted, I tackled the deconstructing, cleaning, brushing, painting, and rebuilding. That process took about two hours. We also rode the dachshunds for about 30 minutes. Then, dinner!

Completed fans, ready for shows.

No time to paint? 
I think not!
There's always time to paint, my body does not always cooperate though!

Settling in, I got today's post done in record time!

Swimming along, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 68 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Tonight's painting was fun to do! I love painting turtles and this guy was no exception. Part two of a series of three.
Swimmer, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 67 of the 100 days-100 paintings.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Swimmingly simple

These two little ones are indeed swimmingly simple. They are both looking at you as well. I love painting turtles and these guys were no exception! 

It's turtle nesting season on the Gulf Coast. While our orange Beach team was not terribly busy this year, the Ft Morgan team is hopping! They have had record amounts of nests this year, and this week they have a whopping 8 nests being monitored for activity. This stretches the team pretty thin, so they've called for other teams to lend a hand in watching the nests. Keep in mind the importance of monitoring these babies coming into the world, only one baby out of 100 survives to become an adult and have babies of their own!

Swimmingly Simple, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 66 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Heron to heron

This painting is a great example of the many birds we have here along the gulf coast.
We have birders from all over the country come to capture sight of our wide and varied species. I've even had the good fortune to see a cedar wax wing in Mobile one time in my own backyard! He was exhausted from his flight and needed water from our pond. 
I will also never forget my first sighting of a blue bird here in Fairhope. We now have at least two mating couples that come back to their nest boxes, defending them with all the muster a tiny blue can bring! 
I love catching sight of the birds enjoying our backyard, that is, until the dachshund explosion comes out the back door!

Heron to heron, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 shadowbox with a 12x12 opening
Day 65 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Henri" the pelican

"Henri" is a pelican that lives on the Fairhope pier. The story is told that the pelican was rescued after a hurricane and was injured. The couple named the pelican Henry. After nursing him to health, the couple took him to a vet to see if he could be released. After a thorough examination, the vet told them that SHE could be released just fine. Almost any evening you can find Henrietta hanging about, begging for fish and posing for photos. This magnificent bird has been photographed thousands of times, I'm certain!

"Henri" Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 shadowbox canvas
Day 64 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Heron study IV

Another Heron to add to my studies of herons. We have one here in Fairhope that does a most peculiar thing with his wings and I may have to stalk him to get a photograph. My husband and I have seen this strange way this bird holds his wings, almost as if in supplication while facing the sunset. It is a sight to behold, but one of those things people may never believe unless they see it themselves.
Beautiful nevertheless......

Heron study IV, Acrylic on canvas, 4 x 12 inches
Day 63 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Heron Study III

This painting is another study for a larger work later this year. I love to paint birds as well as photograph them. This guy hung out near a pier in Perdido Key, Fl. Somehow, he always knew when the hooks would hit the water. Mysteriously he would appear out of nowhere, ready to be thrown his next meal. Not being patient however, he would sometimes intimidate the children that were dropping their hooks in the water. Hopping or walking toward them with his menacing stare and rather large beak, both children and adults would invariably drop or throw their catch of the day. I enjoyed photographing him and have several shots of a snake that met his match. 

This was also a trip that we took 3 dachshunds with us. Daily walks in the 90 degree heat were not fun, so we did a lot of morning walking and playing on the tennis court with a ball. We also managed one afternoon to turn our little sailboat turtle when a wind caught us amidships. Not fun, let me tell you! When you feel that slow sinking turn over...... I have to admit I panicked just a little! I kept asking Chris while hold to the side and kicking to stay afloat, "What do we do?, What do we do?" He simply said stand up. Once I put my feet down there was a soft bottom to stand on.
Fortunately we were able to turn her back over, get a tow back to the condo, and dry out the outboard motor with little more than our ego's a bit bruised. We promptly got ourselves free from that little hole in the water, selling it as soon as we got home. It did not however, end our adventures with other sailboats in later years.

Heron Study III, Acrylic on canvas, 4x12 inches
Day 61 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Friday, September 1, 2017

Life gets in the way...........................

This past couple of weeks since my NYC trip have been hectic to say the least! 
Our youngest daughter came to Fairhope after her trip to Washington DC with her husband and inlaws. Let the games begin is the saying, and our lives were joyously turned upside down when they arrived. We showed them Fairhope and surrounding areas, shopping at outlet stores and antique shops. We also celebrated a birthday along the way! In the midst of all this celebrating, I had tables to decorate for their renewing of vows, American Style! I decorated the hall with a minimal amount of fuss with the exception of creating "suitcases" for their travel themed reception. The suitcases took several hours of my days but were well worth the effort. They were made from "travel labels", Photo boxes, and vinyl cut to look like straps. Best of all, we had a friend that thankfully took all 14 of them to add to her wedding reception in November. All this, and a hurricane named Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, slamming into Texas with Catagory 4 fury and torrential rainfall inundating  the major city of Houston Texas. My continued prayers for all affected by this storm.

Not to mention, Hurricane Irma looming in the Atlantic already a catagory 3 hurricane. Such is life along the gulf coast, but so unlike the earthquakes I experienced in California that came without warning.
At least with hurricanes, we know days in advance of their approach!

Before my NYC trip, we celebrated a grandchilds birthday. He is now 4 years old and a delightful personality. Every year on his birthday, I paint him a painting. By the time he is 18, there will be 19 paintings, all done in Sepia to go into his home when he moves out on his own.
Long time away, I know right?

Archers Pelican, Acrylic on canvas, 8x8 inches
Officially Day 53 of the 100 days~100 paintings

If these look familiar, they should! I painted these a second time to replace the one's given as a birthday present to my daughter's mother in law. She collects shells from around the world and was delighted to receive them. They are now proudly displayed in India.

Shells, Acrylic on canvas , 6x6
Days 54, 55, and 56 of the 100 days~100 paintings

The Magnolias were painted in anticipation of giving to our daughter's mother in law. I changed my mind after seeing her excitedly picking up shells in Gulf Shores.

Magnolia I, II, and III, Acrylic on canvas, 6x6
Days 57, 58, and 59 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Today finds me finally catching up and able to breathe!
Heron Study I and Heron Study II
Days 60 and 61 of the 100 days~100 paintings