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