Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Somewhat crabby II

I visited another sepia today in an effort to clean the homeless paintings out of the studio.
We tell folks it is easy enough to add color to a sepia, but they don't always believe me. 
This one was another one that I am surprised did not sell 
The trio, (yes there is one more in the works) will be at the gallery this Friday night in downtown Fairhope. Our artwalk is wonderfully attended and always a lot of fun! Our gallery at 18 S Section street is usually packed with people. We have lots of nibbles to offer, made by our talented artists for your enjoyment. Oh and then there's the art! 

I changed out my space today with a lot of the new works from the 100 days series 2018.
Every painting is new, with the exception of one of a pair of turtles.
My husband has also added to the space his wood turning. 
We are both enjoying being artists with the gallery.
We truly believe it is the best of the best in Fairhope!

Somewhat Crabby II, 12 x 12 , Acrylic on canvas
Day 30 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

An addendum to today's post!

Here is the before and after photos of the dolphins mentioned in the previous post.

Somewhat crabby

Somewhat Crabby.
Not me that is.
On certain days when I am cleaning my studio in preparation for the bigger mess, 
I run across old pieces of art that are looking tired.
I have found the solution for tired, older pieces however.
This guy was a sepia painting that just baffled me as to why it did not sell. This particular series of sepias was a couple of years ago and was more brown than they are currently.
The advantage is, they can be painted in color! We tell anyone that comes to a show that any sepia can be painted in color if they wish. I have had a couple of folks take me up on this, with great results! Last summer comes to mind when I had a series of three dolphins. The wife loved them, but the husband wanted color added. He was very specific, he wanted the dolphins in and out of the water, and pale color in the water. Done I said! I'll see you in a week. 

The dolphins turned out beautifully and I have a pair of happy collectors.
The plus side,  they have purchased more since then.
They are delightful to be around and are proud of their other pieces from 
several artists in their lovely home. 
Art does just that, it makes you happy and pleased to surround yourself with lovely memories.
The memory of talking with the artist, the country you were visiting, 
the special day you want to remember. 
I am always honored when people want to let go of their 
hard earned money to buy some of my work.

I hope I continue to be honored by my collectors, Old and New!
Because I love what I do every day!

Somewhat Crabby, 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas
Day 29 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mahi Mahi or Dolphin?

Today's post is a Mahi Mahi.
When I came home to Alabama, I found a restaurant the served Dolphin.
I was shocked to say the least! Never mind I was sixteen, I was already very aware of the environment and the problems people were beginning to cause. 
I became sick to my stomach and did not want to eat there because they served Flipper on the menu!
Fortunately, my mother was bolder than I was, and asked what is dolphin? 
Oh that's Mahi Mahi the server replied.
WHY not call it that instead of dolphin? I did find out that Mahi Mahi was delicious that day!

This particular painting is a very small part of a project I have been involved with for two years now. It is actually a test painting I did for the project, but I did not like the color. So, I decided to paint it in color instead. I still cannot announce the project or do a press release until it is finally completed. Their website is now saying not until February of next year. 
Oh well, patience, patience......

Mahi Mahi or Dolphin? Acrylic on canvas 10 x 20
Day 28 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The juvenile

My mind is racing these days. 
There is so much to do, and very little time to do it all in!
I really just want to throw up my hands and forget it all, but then I realize that there are people depending on me to get things done. 
And so I do what needs to get done.
Cleaning up the studio, putting away art camp supplies and examples until 
the next round of kiddos crosses my path. Setting up, hanging and photographing a tent, 
then putting it all away. 
Going through box after box of  items for the coming baby in India.
Starting to pack for my trip to India. There is so much to bring for the baby, 
Christina, and for me clothes to wear. 
I will be there for a month, hoping to make it in time for the birth. 
I am supposed to be two weeks early, but Christina seems to think the baby will come earlier. 
Here's hoping I make it in time!
I'm beginning to wonder if there are advantages to being a turtle. 
Carrying your home with you everywhere you go.
Never a change of clothing needed because it is all with you. 
No need to change.....
Could be kind of boring too, wearing the same thing all the time.
No chance for individuality. 
The things you think about when you are folding a mountain of baby clothes.

The Juvenile, acrylic on shadowbox canvas 16 x 16.
Day 27 of the 100 days~100 paintings  

Friday, July 27, 2018

The escapee

My goodness what a day!
I am trying to clear out some of the clutter in our little home. 
I feel like an escapee myself, trying to remove myself from the mountains of cloth that I call a closet. 
By clutter, I mean clothes primarily. I have entirely too many and I find myself wearing the same things over and again. I read an article the other day that jolted me into reality. It said it had the one question you should ask yourself when clearing the many things we all have in our lives. 
I know all about holding an item and asking, does it bring you joy?
But what is the question? 
More on that in a bit.
Stick with me, it really is worth the read!

The joy of the memory of the purchase, many times is why I cling to items. 
Most of the time, the clothing I purchase is with the approval of our daughters, something they talked me into buying, or something I bought when shopping with my mother. Mind you, this means the items I bought with mom present were purchased at least 6 years ago. The last purge I did of my closet, my oldest made me try on every item I owned. Consequently, that winter I did not own one single pair of long pants! (I have a mindset that I am bigger than I am in reality, so the pants I owned were too big, at least in her eyes!)
I am trying to do this on my own now without another pair of eyes.
I would ask the husband, Chris, but I know it would bore him to death!
The daughter that helped the last time, is really busy right now trying to get her business on track.

What is the question?
The one that stopped me in my tracks.

Do I want my children to deal with this when I'm dead?

Let that sink in, then go and let go of the stuff.
 We all have things in our lives holding us back from the best we can become in our fathers eyes.
I've never seen a uhaul behind a hearse, have you?
I don't want my family to have to do the purging I had to do after my mother went to our Lord.

Musings after getting new wills done for both of us.
The reality of life is an ending here on this planet, and I'm just visiting!
Loving life, family, and home!

The escapee, 16x16 shadowbox canvas
Day 26 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Pier Queen

I am already seeing adjustments to this one. 
Oh well, on to the post for now.

The heat is on here is South Alabama. 
Our vet even has a sign that says, "Satan called, he wants his heat back!"
In the midst of this 100 degree plus heat index, I needed to set up a tent and get a new booth shot!
I did not look forward to this adventure, but if I want to get into this one set of shows they have requested a new booth photo. I've been accepted into one of their shows with another shot, but they requested a new one for the other show. 
The morning started warm and clear in the storage area. We have a lovely large "barn" that holds my husbands shop, and various assorted other items. It also holds my show equipment which includes chairs, three tents, sides, sales area, weights, carts, rain curtains and such! 

There was only one rather large thing between me and my equipment.
That, and my husband Chris questioning my sanity!
Our daughter moved recently from a rather large house to an apartment.
Consequently, we have several storage boxes from her studio in 
front of the shelves containing my tents.
We also have many boxes of baby clothes for me to go through for our youngest daughter that is having a baby soon and her sister wanted to give to her.
It took about an hour, but we managed to move the studio supplies to another shelf. I then got out my tent and sides in preparation for the set up. The husband then asked why and I told him I have to have another booth shot for a show I am applying for in Florida.
I also told him I needed to get the wires on the new pieces to hang for the shot. 
He said, you get the wires, I'll get the tent.
I reluctantly left, knowing he would be out in the heat and humidity.
He came inside and cooled off while I finished the wires on the pieces.
Once outside, I discovered that not only had he set up the tent, he put on the sides, and added the decorative pieces to hide the poles. 

30 minutes later, I have a new booth shot ready to edit.
Although the sides are wrinkled quite a bit from being in storage!
We then had to pack up everything and put it all away. 
Trudging the paintings back up the stairs into the studio because some of them still need to be varnished and cleaned up as well. 
This man of mine then insisted we go get lunch.

I edited the shot, sent it to the show, and painted this afternoon.
Pier Queen is a pelican we have locally that was injured a few years back and calls the Fairhope pier home and food. The local fishermen and women throw her fish quite frequently. She is usually so sated that she cannot fly very far. She is also known to jump down from the rail and seriously beg for  her meals. She can also be very intimidating, raising her wings and hopping toward the unlucky chap that has caught a fish. She has been known to snatch them out of their hands as well.
Such is the life of a pelican here in Fairhope.
Don't even get me started on the Great Blue Heron!

Pier  Queen, Acrylic on shadowbox canvas, 12 x 24
Day 25 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Fences, Fervor, and Friendship

Fence~ To mark a boundary.
In our case, it was a canvas waiting to be painted!
Several weeks ago, my friend Linda Scott called and asked if I would be interested in helping with a fence mural she had been asked to create. While it is based on one from the internet, we decided to put our own touch onto the piece. 

But first, 
I had to finish teaching this summer!

Fervor~passion, intensity of emotion.
Linda has wanted to paint a mural with me and here was our chance.
Linda was patient, and fortunately so was the client. 
Linda has followed a couple of my mural exploits and was keen to learn the process.
Murals involve design, execution, and completion and sometimes a little extra.
(Our extra is seven ladybugs scattered about the piece.) 
We are more than pleased with the end result and so is our client!
We have already received a message from her apparently gushing about the completed fence.
It is visible from her gorgeous dining area and is placed to be viewed from the windows.
It took a total of 20 woman hours to complete over the course of two days. 
First sketching it out, then under painting with Kilz paint.
We then purchased high quality outdoor paint to use along with some 
soft body acrylics for accent colors and shading.
One of the owners apparently enjoyed watching it come together as the day progressed.
He sent photos to his wife, and received thumbs up!
I enjoyed hearing that she liked what we were doing. We got all the base coating done between 9 and 1pm, when we broke for a much needed salad and air conditioning for an hour.
After lunch, we added finishing touches and the ladybugs.
I love how it turned out!

Friendship~a relationship of mutual affection and good will.
God knows how much I love and appreciate Linda "Foxy Lu" in my life.
We met each other while working for a company together and hit it off so easily it was like we've know each other all our lives. 
You know those sort of people with like minds, similar interests, and just a joy to be around. 
She challenges me, and I challenge her to grow and stretch beyond her own expectations. 
I believe I've called her friend for at least 10 years, but it seems as though we're sisters of sorts. 
I am always so glad to be in her company and wish it could be more often, but we are
 professional artists that are both in demand.
I was so very happy to be in her company these past few days! 
Love ya!

Fences, Fervor, and Friendship, 6 ft x 16 ft collaboration
Day 24 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Feeling a little crabby III

Today I am feeling a little crabby myself.
The day was humming along swimmingly until I tried to print the blog posts for a book. 
One printed just fine, Then I get a message that the printhead is missing or failed.
Several attempts to replace said printhead, jiggle printhead, watch you tube video to clean printhead all were an epic fail. I cannot even locate a printhead for this printer online. 
The online helps were no help, the virtual tech sent me in the same direction.
After an hour..........
I am beyond frustrated, I am not tech or computer savvy. 
Anyway, there may be a new printer in the works for me.

I'd rather spend my money elsewhere. 
I'm much better with a brush than a computer!

Feeling a little crabby III, Acrylic on canvas, Shadowbox frame
Day 23 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

Feeling a little crabby II

The Blue crab.
Otherwise know as Callinectes sapidus which translates to
"savory beautiful swimmer"

Beautiful indeed and fortunately I love to paint them. 
I have for years asked people to tell me how to separate male and female. 
"Easy ,just turn them over." I reply, nope, don't have to touch them!
You see, many years ago while crabbing with my husband of almost 4 decades, 
he told me if you pick them up by the back flippers they can't pinch you. 
Needless to say, you know very well what happened. 
I grabbed a crab and it promptly and firmly planted itself on my thumb that was hanging down below the back of the crab. I hollered and flung that beautiful blue right back into the salty deep which is exactly where it wanted to go. 
Back to the question and the answer. 
How do you tell?
The girls "paint" their nails!
Females are red tipped, males are blue.
So now you know!

They call the waters from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico, then further south near Uruguay and Argentina. Most people call them Maryland blue crab. Much like the liofish they have found their way as stowaways in ships ballasts. It was first seen off the coast of Egypt in the 1940's but they are now reported in Italy, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. Everyone is eating them!

The female blue will only mate once in her lifetime. The males mate multiple times.
Once they've mated, the female develops and egg mas which can contain as many as 2 million eggs. After two weeks they are released into the water and carried on the currents of the ocean. The zoea molt over 25 times in the process of growing to maturity.

They will eat, clams, mussels, snails, dead fish, plants and more. They will also eat other less mature crabs if they happen to get caught!

Wonder if they would eat lionfish babies?

Feeling a little crabby II, Acrylic on 12 x 12 canvas,
Day 22 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Feeling a little crabby

When I started the journey into outdoor art shows, I had no idea how far I would have come in a few short years. This will be a series of 3 paintings of crabs. 

I started the sepia series in 2009 to the remark of my oldest saying, 
"Mom I don't know if I like that so much." she continued,
 "I mean it's not bad, but I'm so used to your color." 
They were also framed in simple wooden frames that I got from Michaels in raw wood. 
I had to paint each one twice, once in black, then a dark brown, quickly wiping them back to slightly distress them. They took the 12 x 12 canvases that are shallow depth and sometimes they actually fit into the frames easily! Other times, it was a battle to find a canvas that would fit a frame. I resorted to a numbering system for the canvas and matching frame. I also had to mark the tops, because the canvases only fit a certain way. You get the gist, a LOT of effort.

I told her lets see how they go over at the Arts and Crafts in Fairhope. 
That spring I presented a total of 6 pieces 3 turtles, 3 shells, and sold them all within 3 months.
Maybe something here.

That summer I frantically tried to find as many of the frames as I could to no avail. 
I painted what I had and took them to the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores. We had great success with them at that show. 
I knew though that I had Peter Anderson coming up in a few weeks and wanted more. 
I was in a pickle because I knew they would do well in Mississippi.

I finally contacted a great manager at Michaels and explained my dilemma. 
She attempted to locate them, and found a scant few. 
She was diligent however and located 34 more of them in California. 
I said please ship them all!

I was a little taken aback when confronted by the rather large boxes that contained my frames.
Now, not only did I need to paint them all, but I needed to fill them with artworks.
After several weeks of hard work and effort, I had them all finished. 
What I did not realize was the amount of room these frames took up in the vehicle we were using. They measure about 16 x 16 finished and 2 inches deep. We put them in stacks of 8. At the time, I was driving a 2001 PT Cruiser. After you load the tent, framework, sides, chairs, luggage, card rack, print rack, and other various items there is scant room to sit! The frames are not indestructable and easy to dent as well. We once ran over one with a car as they were drying in the driveway!

The long and the short of it was they were a smashing success at the show. 
I covered an entire wall with nothing but the shadowbox frames and their corresponding canvases. This was one of the shows my mother was at as a helper. 
We had no less than 3 people come back for the same painting in a space of 15 minutes! 
My mom and I were almost in disbelief. 
The shadowboxes made it to a couple more years of shows before I just could not keep up with the demand and the amount of time and space they took. It was also at that time I decided to stop framing anything altogether and went to deep edge canvases instead, giving me a cleaner look.

I happened to have 3 of these frames left from that period in my art career. 
They hung in my dining area with a delta scene split into them. 
They were usurped last year by my dachshund collection that now hangs in the space.
I will finish these and probably put them at the gallery downtown here in Fairhope.

Feeling a little Crabby, 12x12 canvas in shadowbox frame. Acrylic
Day 21 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

King of the food chain

The American Alligator is a beast that can grow up to 11 feet!
 I cannot imagine coming upon a gator that large. 
The one they call Chuckie at the Gulf Coast zoo actually escaped 
for a time after hurricane Ivan. 
I've photographed him and he is huge!
Alligators can reach 1,00 pounds as well. 
They love to congregate but cannot regulate their own temperature. They must bask in
the sun to warm up, or go in the water to cool down.  Speaking of water, they can travel 
up to 20 mph while swimming, but only 11mph on land. I once worked with a guy that said they got taught how to outrun a gator by zigzagging. 

The females lay 10 to 50 eggs and stay nearby to protect them. When it comes near the time for hatching, the female will uncove the nest to make it easier for the babies. 
They come out at about 6 to 8 inches and are full on eating machines.

I have eaten alligator as well and if cooked correctly they can be a harvested meat. I've had it done well, and also eaten it tough to chew. The first time I had it was in Louisiana and I have not had any to compare since then.

King of the food chain, 24 x 24 shadowbox canvas, Acrylic
Day 20 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018   

Friday, July 20, 2018


I can only imagine what a turtle thinks when he sees a diver underwater.
Although there a viral video of a diver actually being harassed by a sea turtle wanting ahem,
apparently a  little amore. It is rather fun to watch, because the diver is clearly surprised, then carefully pushing it away, then getting annoyed just a bit. 

I have been surprised by a turtle myself twice while paddle boarding in the bay. 
The first time, I was quietly enjoying my morning paddle the morning of the National Shrimp festival set up a couple years back. The sun was just coming over the trees and everything had that beautiful sunlight washing everything in it's path. I was  headed toward the pier and admiring the light, when a head popped up out of the water. The light coloring on the neck was all aglow and I got eye contact. Then, just as soon as it appeared, it disappeared under the surface. I thanked God for the encounter with one of his beautiful creations and continued my morning. 
The second time was really startling to me. I was about 20 minutes into my  paddle adventure. I had come out early in the morning to get a head start on my day. I had paddled under the pier, around the end, and was headed to the end of the beach where the duck pond is located. I changed sides and was about to dip when the juvenile turtle came up right next to my board, took a breath and slipped beneath the surface. I was absolutely elated that I had the opportunity 
to see this beautiful creature up close. 

We all have had these close encounters, 
the bird flying toward your car so suddenly you duck because you think he's about to enter the car and do a fly by! A turtle crossing the road, that you help along on his journey. The red tailed hawk crashing into a tree after a squirrel. Human encounters that take your breath away, like the woman that admires your dachshund shirt and you end up having a delightful conversation about her fur babies long since passed. She was in a wheelchair, and was shocked I took the time to squat down, talk and listen to hear in the middle of Target. I get the human encounters frequently as I talk with people while they are painting and I learn a lot!

Our opportunities are everywhere, we only have to open our eyes and ears to the messages God is trying to send us, to talk with that person, listen to the child, to help someone load their groceries into their car, to pay for someones groceries when the father is 
frantically looking for his wallet left at home. 

I love it when God uses me!

Startled, 24 x 24 Acrylic on canvas
Day 19 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018
Retail $325

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Turtles are my wingman. Any time I want to paint, but am not quite sure what to paint, 
sea turtles come to my rescue. 
My girlfriend who is also an artist, says I could paint sea turtles in my sleep!
I really enjoy them and the beauty and serenity they represent. 
I want to swim with turtles some day, photographing them underwater 
so I would have lots more references. I have a great deal of references from diving friends and from the Sea turtle hospital in Marathon Florida. I have been invited to go to the lab in Mississippi and photograph them there. In the business of life I managed to lose the card a gentleman gave to me several years ago at Art in the Pass.

This turtle happens to be a green sea turtle. 
They are called green because their skin has a greenish hue. Their shell or carpace is almost heart shaped and dark in color. They start out life at about 2 inches, but can grow to 5 feet making them one of the largest sea turtles. They weigh almost as much as a vending machine! (700 pounds) 
As babies they eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish and sponges. When they become adults, they prefer to be herbivorous and will eat sea grasses and algae. They are known to sun themselves on the beach as well. They reach breeding age between 20 and 50 years old. 
They can live for about 100 years. 

Green turtles were almost hunted to extinction in the 1800's for their meat and 
fat that was used for turtle soup. There is a large turtle museum in the keys dedicated 
to the turtle industry. They are still considered endangered.

Wingman, 12 x 24 Acrylic on canvas,
Day 18 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018
Retails for $195

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Beautiful Intruder

Everyone knows of my love for these beautiful fish. Not because they're good for our environment but because they are so pretty. The stripes on them seem to be various patterns, at least they are under my brush!

However they are an invader to our beautiful Gulf now. It has taken them about 20 years, but they went around the tip of Florida. They are also headed north, up the Eastern seaboard as well. Divers are having a field day catching them, but it is a never ending game of cat and mouse. These fish can go deeper than any diver ever could. I believe some of them have been found at depths of 1000 feet!  Eradicate them one day, back the next!

We can fight back though, by eating them!

The intruder, acrylic on canvas,  12 x12
Day 17 of the 100 days-100 paintings 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

National Emoji day

This basically how I look after a long week of working with kids at the art camps.
My husband laughs because I look so confused at the end of the day!
Anyway, I am stretching canvases today and have not even lifted a brush, 
except to help 12 children clean up their paintings during class!

Kids always have a tendency to use entirely too much paint and have to be reminded over and over. 
I love to watch how much kids enjoy painting, even if I fuss just a little!

I'm done, No you're not you missed several spots. X 12
I'm done, Why do I still see newsprint? X 12
I'm done, Did you paint the bottom? X 12
I'm done, No now you need to get the excess paint smoothed out. X 12
I'm done. No now you need to clean your brush. X 12
I'm done, Did you clean up your area? X 12
I'm done, did you wash out your water dish? X 12
I'm done, did you wash your hands? X 12

I have to laugh because their greatest joy it seems is to get to have snack.
Can I have snack?, Not right now, we have to wait for the other kids to finish.  X 12
Can I have snack?, We have to finish our project first and clean up. X 12
Can I have snack? , We need to paint the background for our project tomorrow. X 12
Can I have snack?, When the other kids are finished. X 12
Can I have snack? After  you clean up. X 12
Can I have snack? After throwing brush in sink and spilling paint water on floor. X 12
Such are the joys of teaching!


MY Emoji, 8x8 Acrylic on canvas
Day 16 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Seahorse duo

So the show season acceptances have started, much to my delight! 
I have been accepted into 2 new shows, been wait listed for one that I will probably get into as well.
 I have to set up my tent for a new booth shot that is leaner and cleaner, with no decoration or furniture visible. Funny thing though, one of the shows I've been accepted into used the booth shot I gave them and gave approval, while the same festival company for a later show wants a new booth shot. Such is the life of an artist trying to expand their horizons. The shows I've applied for involve another swing into Florida, this time on the West coast. All in all, if accepted, we'll be down into Florida for about a month in January. We will spend our 40th anniversary 
down near Tampa and at a show.

 I am so grateful for a husband that supports the shows and the trips. 
He views it as a vacation with a little work in between. He also gets to eat well at shows, that is if I do turn a profit. If I don't do well, we eat sandwiches at a local sub shop. 
If I do well, it's steak on the menu!

Most people don't realize the shows that a lot of artists apply for are juried. This means we pay a separate fee for a judge to look at our images and either invite, decline, or wait list. The wait list can be nerve racking as it means you may not get a call until the night before a show. Fortunately, I have been accepted into the majority of the shows I've applied for this year, being wait listed only once for our local show only to get in at the last minute. I am currently wait listed for a show in North Alabama as well in October. Then there are the booth fees. Artists will have thousands of dollars tied up in booth fees for months in advance if they apply to several shows. 
We throw the dice, but God decides where they land! Proverbs 16:33

Artists may have some issues with getting reservations for a show at a hotel as well.
 They either require a deposit or payment in full, if you can get one at all! 
Our problem is even greater in that we camp to save on expenses. 
The snowbirds usually have the campgrounds filled up to a year in advance. I once had a note recently to reserve a campsite on a specific date for next year. When I got to the site for reservations, there were only 2 sites left in the entire park! Fortunately, I got one of them. I also tried to get a campsite for a show in October in Destin Florida the day I was accepted. The campsites were ridiculously priced, but also full! I finally got a lead on a new campground on a horse farm that was surprised when we made a reservation for October. I have also booked a site for a show I cannot even apply for until November as the show is not until May! I've also prepaid for a campsite in April of next year as the show is in the same park. (fingers crossed I get in!) 
We stayed at a delightful family owned campground this year and made reservations for next year in advance. I was then able to book a site on the island at the state park! This site will  cut our driving time down to about 5 minutes instead of 30 one way. Unfortunately I need to call and cancel our other reservations, fortunately they did not require a deposit in advance.
We may even be able to ride our bikes to the show!
Many hours searching for shows, applying, paying , then praying!
Anyway you look at it, an Artists life is an adventure. 
I cannot imagine the one's that travel all year, going from show to show and state to state.
I get a headache just thinking about it!

Today's painting is "Seahorse duo".
 I took an extra photo to show the way the big seahorse works into the box portion of the canvas. I paint these works in place, which has a tendency to shock people as they think I paint then stretch the canvases. It's what I do, painting in, out and around!

Seahorse duo, Acrylic on custom shadowbox canvas, 12 x 24
Day 25 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Majestic and deadly

Majestic and deadly, and also apparently, very tasty!
We tried to eat lionfish while down in Florida but were unable to find a restaurant that had them. 
I have been told several times they are a delicate whitefish.
They are on our menu if we can ever find them!

Lionfish are an invasive species that are now almost all over the Gulf of Mexico. Several years ago, they were down in the keys while we were there and the divers were just starting to hunt them. There was a simple bounty on them at one time, but now the chefs are calling  them for their menus. I have had several divers tell me that they can make a good bit of money on a weekend diving trip. 

Some fast facts about our denizen of the deep.
They can eat 1/2 their body size.
The largest one ever caught was about 19 inches.
They have 18 spines  that carry poison on their sides.
They reach adulthood at 2 years.
The female can release eggs every 3 or 4 days, approximately 2,000,000 per year!
The eggs are in a casing that has it's own poison, preventing other fish from eating them.
A single one can reduce the native juvenile population on a reef by 79% in 5 weeks.
One lionfish was found to have 60 juveniles in it's belly.

Are they harmful?
Surely. we must all support the eradication of this species from our waters and send it back to where it belongs in it's own habitat in the Indo Pacific.

Majestic and Deadly, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12
Day 14 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Dolphins playtime

I slept in a little later than I have been (7 am) I have been getting up at 530 to be able to drive to Mobile and teach all day at the Mobile Museum of Art. I would then arrive home around 615 making for an almost 12 hour day!
That week was incredibly fun and exhausting at the same time!

Today started out innocently enough.
I purchased a small jewelry box about two weeks ago with intentions of making it my makeup holder. The whole point of that was to eliminate the mess created by various pieces of  base, eye shadow, mascara and such from cluttering the top of my slumped glass sink. It is a beautiful piece of glass about 3/4 inch thick and all in one piece. It is also about 3 1/2 feet wide. 
Anyway, the point was to clean this area up.

The box was already painted white, so all I had done was to make two little boxes to fit in inside to hold my makeup. The problem was, the box was too high to fit on my shelf in the bathroom next to the sink. I went upstairs to my studio, and grabbed a hammer to move the shelves on the unit. I had to remove two large jars of shells and a sailboat with a broken bottom so they would not hit me in the head. I was ready for the shelf now. After a bit of banging, my better half showed up and asked if he could help. I was getting frustrated trying to hold the shelf, move the plastic pieces, tamp the shelf back down, then praying it was level. We both were trying to be in control of the process and were getting snappy with each other. I wanted to move the towel holder as well, and we needed a screwdriver. To the 'Junk' drawer we went. After considerable looking and rummaging we found the necessary tool to complete the moving of the towel holders. I left Chris doing that and I emptied the junk drawer in frustration. After throwing some things away,
 asking him to take various tools back to the shop.
Do we really need three pairs of pliers in this drawer? 
(He has a habit of dumping whatever is in his hand from the shop into the drawer.)

I wiped down and neatly arranged the drawer to my satisfaction.
In the process of finishing up the junk drawer, I had a plastic take out fork, napkin set. 
I wanted to place this in the regular table tools drawer. 

The table tools drawer was a mess, so I emptied it out too! I cleaned the tray, wiped down the inside of the drawer and put the various tools back into their proper places. I put all the plastic take out tools into a cup in the pantry along with our disposable plates and cups. I then had a large knife left over that belonged in the kitchen tool drawer.

I went to the kitchen tool drawer and tried to place the knife into the slots, not gonna make it!
While trying close the drawer, I realized that it needed cleaning and straightening as well. 
4 knives left over, a medicine spoon located that I needed two weeks ago, the drawer was neatly cleaned, sorted and put back into place.

Meanwhile Chris had taken the two pairs of pliers, screwdriver, and ear plugs to the shop. 
Laundry calling my name, finishing one load and starting another.
The bathroom and the jewelry box then beckoned. 

Before I could place everything on the shelf, I had to figure out the arrangement. I placed the box and then turned to the makeup on the counter. I also removed the makeup I had in the big cabinet and sorted, tossed, and made a pile to give away.

Finally finishing that, I needed to clean the shell jars for the shelf. I washed both the jars, rinsed the shells and rearranged them in their jars. They both looked really nice. I then saw the jars on the window ledge, Sea glass, Sponges, mermaids purses, a fish sculpture our daughter painted when she was about 10 years old, as well as a Neptune Santa and a beautiful blue glass jar. This was all cleaned, dried and placed on the ledge after I wiped it down. Meanwhile one of the jars I was cleaning had a tiny piece of something hit the sink and it went down the drain before I could catch it. I unscrewed the plug for the sink, trying to see the object that I heard. 
Nothing, nada, zip!

At least as far as the object. Now the drain was a gunky mess. So, I poured baking soda and vinegar down it as well as some plunging. While I was doing this, I was distracted by the hair my eyebrows and upper lip. I found the hair remover, put some on,  and had the timer on the stove. Chris walked in and just laughed at my face covered in the remover. 
I didn't flinch, I was too focused on trying to finish the job at hand. 
Finally sink cleaned, too many items washed dried and put away to mention!

Well over half the day was gone and I had not lifted a brush!
The box looks great in the bathroom though!
I just felt like a fireman all day, putting out little fires here and there.
What started all this, I Konmari article this morning.
It basically said, If it does not give you joy, toss it, sell it, or give it!

I finally settled down and painted this afternoon!
(That is, after grocery shopping, emptying out the car, and sorting the art supplies 
to their various places of abode!)

"The Dolphins Playtime" Acrylic on shadowbox canvas, 12 wide x 36 tall
Retail $295
Day 13 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018  

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Look

I know each and every one of us has gotten "The Look". It may have been a teacher, a spouse, a parent, a child, or an animal, but they all can give the look.
We have a couple of dachshunds that have perfected it! 
Sometimes it means just stop it! 
Other times it is given in disbelief, such as when a teen gives it to you or another teen. 
I've spent the last 5 days with a delightful group of teenagers 
that occasionally gave each other the look. 
Any way you see it, it is always something that 
will stop you in your tracks and make you pay attention!

Short and sweet tonight folks!
55 hours in the past week, thinking about, driving to and from, and preparing for ART!
One more week of art camps to go, then I'm done for the summer.
I have a huge respect for the teachers in our lives that teach day in and day out!
God bless them all!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

King of the roost

We have several Blue herons that hang around Fairhope and the surrounding areas. 
They are protective of their stretch of the beach or pier. 
Almost comical, and always intimidating, swooping in out of nowhere. Drop a hook, a cast net, or carry a pole down the dock, if they're hungry, you can't miss them. We were once down in the Florida keys kayaking and as we came out of the mangroves, the three fishermen arrived as well. No sooner than they laid their boxes down, the Blue appeared. We jokingly said watch your bait! The fishermen replied, No, watch your catch, he took one just as we were reeling it into the shore! The fishermen were worried about the hook, but needless to say they didn't want to fight the blue!

I enjoy painting them too, they are a never fail me beautiful painting. I am also wrapping up my 5th week of teaching over the course of 6 weeks so far. I have one more week to go, at the art center here in downtown Fairhope. The classes here are not necessarily easier, but really a lot shorter. I leave the house at 6:45 am and arrive home about 6pm. The traffic going and coming across the bay can be fierce. With people rushing to get somewhere fast, there are accidents, fender benders, and with our hot and hazy weather, heavy downpours. I missed today's thunder boomer apparently, the streets were wet when I got home to a husband ready to get dinner out. 
Ah, such is life here, quiet, peaceful, and sometimes wacky!

King of the Roost, 24x 24, Acrylic on shadowbox canvas
Day 11 of the  100 days~100 paintings 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Commander of the sea

Well today was a  first! Lisa (Our share the beach coordinator was confused) When she called to bring the team to the water, she didn't know if they had one nest or possibly two! 
Apparently there were a LOT of turtle tracks. 

I could not go and help as I am teaching full time at the Mobile Museum of art this week. My week has been interesting to say the least, with preteen boys and girls in tow. We've gotten a great deal of work done, but we still have an incredible amount more to complete.
 Me and my grandiose plans!
 I always have dreams of everything going perfectly and that is never the case! 
We have two days to finish two rather large steampunk projects.
 At least the Acrylic and watercolor class are going swimmingly.

Commander of the sea, acrylic on canvas 12 x 12
Day 10 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Watercolor turtle winner
Bonus painting for day 10

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kid's play

Today's offering is a simple painting, created at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama. 
I really enjoy teaching children and this summer has been a challenge. I've already taught pop art, watercolor, impressionism, and several recycling classes. This week finds me teaching Steampunk, Acrylic, watercolor and an Atelier (Artists studio) class too. The Atelier has the same three as the first hour, and the steampunk is spilling over. The kids voted to work over yesterday, and today we did steampunk hat construction in the first and Dirigible making in Atelier. The kids seem excited about their Airships and the imagination is flying hard and fast at the Museum. I finish up next week teaching my last recycled class at the Eastern Shore Art Center here in Fairhope. 

This painting was done during the acrylic class. We started out with a freehand drawing and the children following along. They then were allowed to pick out their octopus color and I guided them through the process. It has been a long day, of driving, teaching, and praying for others that have crossed my path. I think I will sleep soundly tonight for a change after preparing for the next day with the kiddos!

Kid's Play, Acrylic on Tar paper, 18 x 24
Day 9 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018


Octopod~any animal with eight limbs. esp. an octopus

Does that mean that a spider is an octopod? 
Arachnids not so much, as they are an arthropods, not sea creatures. 
Musings of an artist sitting at the easel. 
Lots of strange things go through your mind while you are doing something else altogether. 
I've solved many problems with my hands in dishwater while washing dishes. I've also managed to  solve problems or have ideas while driving. I sometimes even solve things in my dreams. 
The human mind is a beautiful thing, made to grow even into our later years if we let it. 
I've witnessed a lot of people that are elderly, keeping their minds active by taking classes to improve themselves or at least get out of the house.  Growing older, I'm convinced if you stay at home, in a vegetative state, watching television and not remaining active, you'll cut your life short by not exercising your mind and body. One of my favorite art kids grandmothers was beginning rock climbing in her early 80's.

Grandma Moses was a late bloomer as well. She began her art career at the ripe old age of 78! 
One of her paintings sold for over a million dollars recently.
I guess it goes to say, you can never start too late!

Do you have a passion you haven't fulfilled yet?
It's never too late! 
I did not start my "art career" until 1993, making this my 25th year of creating!
I hope I never, ever stop!

"Octopod", 4x12 inches, 
Day 8 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018
Retail $45 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Swiftly, silently

One of my bucket list things to do is to swim with turtles and photograph them underwater. 
It would be absolute heaven for me! 

I have learned a lot about turtles over the years, primarily while working with share the beach. www.sharethebeach.com  My husband and I are part of a large group of people that volunteer their time to walk 22 miles of Alabama Beaches every day from May until the end of August. Each person is responsible for either a mile or half mile walk while looking for nest activity. Share the beach has also been instrumental in getting the ordinance passed in Gulf Shores to help our momma turtles get to the sand easier to lay their eggs. Just a short time ago, I would have to drag chairs, umbrellas, shower curtains and just plain garbage out of the surf in Orange Beach, AL. The walks are pleasant now, because the people are required to remove everything from the beach in the evening. Anything not removed by the owners are confiscated by the night time beach patrol. 
I have seen the area where the tents, toys, chairs and other assorted items are 
piled to the heavens it seems! 
Why have we become such a careless, throw away society? 
There are people that think if I throw it down, it just disappears. 
We are on track as humans to have more plastic than fish in our oceans by the year 2050. 
We are already eating the by products of plastic that have found their way into our food chain.
We need to train ourselves and our children to take care of our earthly home.
It is after all, the only one we've got! 

Thankfully though, we no longer trip over as many items left on the beach 
while making our predawn walks.
There are less nests on Orange beach this year in our section. I don't know if it is global warming, the amount of people on the beaches at night, or some other unforeseen problem waiting to raise it's ugly head.

In the meantime, we do our small part, waking at 415 in the morning twice a month to 
walk the beach , looking for nests..... On average each nest has about 100 eggs. Out of that, 
yes just one
 may survive to adulthood and a nest of their own. 

Swiftly, silently Acrylic on canvas 12 x 12
Day 7 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2018