Monday, January 14, 2019

Leatherback babies

These little guys were just fun to paint!
They are both from the book that Chris bought me about Sea Turtles from the library sale.
I could not be happier with how they turned out.

While mentioning turning out, I must say as parents we have given our all these past few days. We have both put forward our best help possible. Helping with moving and watching the grand while they were between homes. We are all tired. Some of us are injured too!
Our son in law bruised a tendon when a barbell landed on his arm. He had an x ray and nothing is broken. I managed to put a bruise on my back, coming up under the table saw while working in the shop on the grands furniture. Several fingernails lost in the midst of the melee as well, some false, some real. I think they are out of the apartment now,and starting the process of long days of straightening , unpacking, putting away, and wondering why did I pack that. I spent the day at the new house, scrubbing overspray off the new cabinets and lining the back with contact paper in a lovely marble pattern. I must say, the cabinets now are looking rather elegant!

The two baby leatherback turtles are for yesterday and today of course.
I was worn out from too much activity and forgot to post after painting.
I guess my age is catching up with me, The mind is willing but the body is weak!
They are in their tuxedo pattern, which helps to protect them from some of their predators. 
The leatherbacks are much more textured when they are babies, as opposed to when they are adults and have their much smoother skin and shell.
 Good luck little guys!

Leatherback babies I & II, Acrylic on canvas, 8x8 inches
Days 38 & 39 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Octopodes are friendly

The plural of Octopus is Octopodes. 
Who knew? I didn't!
The word Octopus comes from the Greek, and the Greek plural form is octopodes.
You can send a percentage of any money you win by betting on this to me!
Just kidding!

Today found us chasing around an active 5 year old while trying to accomplish something here at the house and in the studio. It is almost impossible to get anything done, by the way! I know our adult children are grateful to not have his delightful self underfoot while they are trying to move into their new house. They are traveling from the apartment to the new house and it would be a challenge to keep an eye on him as well as move furniture while not crushing him because he is trying to help. 
He helped us begin painting his furniture for his new room. I say helped, he played outside, dug in the dirt, and "built" things while we were painting the furniture. He did finally get to help handle a roller and was very careful with the red paint he picked out for the furniture. I am painting the handles black, the base cabinet red and the drawer fronts will be covered with contact paper dad bought with star wars blueprints on it. It should be really cool. We are also doing a raised bed with a dresser underneath and a desk on the end. The plan is to also use the headboard as a backboard for the desk, adding a magnetic chalkboard to the two panels. I am picking up the contact paper tomorrow to cover the drawer fronts. I may also try to cover the bed frame as well. 

At least that's the plan!

Speaking of plans, I have been accepted into the 
Gulf Breeze Celebrates the arts show March 23rd and 24th.
If I get into the Art in the Pass show, we will be going to shows 4 weekends in a row!
Both of us and the tents will be getting a workout!
I have also been invited to do a One Woman Show at the Audubon Center in Moss Point, MS Opening late May into the entire month of June and July 2020.
We JUST started 2019!
God's plan is perfect! 

I am also feeling the pressure of the trip to India next week.
 I am trying to get the items wanted and needed from the USA. 
I only hope I have room for some clothing!
 I am bringing two large suitcases and will begin the process of actually packing them on Monday. 
Baby clothes, a new exerciser for the baby, Christmas gifts for all!
Keep in mind I will be working while there, painting a piece a day and blogging as usual.
Paints, brushes, a palette, canvas and references!  
So I guess that means you dear reader, will be traveling too with me to India!
Pack your bags!
Hope you come along for the ride!

Octopodes are friendly, Acrylic on canvas, 16x16
Day 37 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

Morning is his time

This series is a bit of an experiment on my part. 
I have several ideas bouncing around my studio, but I don't always act upon them.
I cannot become bored with my Artist life, there are too many things to paint!
I have a swipe file that is thick with things I want to paint. I add and subtract from it as the years go by, changing the tape on the front to reflect the current year.

This series is inspired by something I saw at the Naples show.
People have always been in love with the long skinny canvases, 
but I've only done them in a 4 x 12 size. They invariably get snapped up quickly. 
These guys are on custom canvases 4 x 24!
I will be finishing the series while in India. 
Meanwhile, a sneak peek ! 
Tell me what you think!

This weekend finds us helping our daughter, Jessica and her family move into their new home. We also delivered a massive entertainment center that is gorgeous in Sean's office. (And was a absolute steal at $60.00! I am going to be doing a lot of painting in the next few weeks over there, getting everything just so! We also have a set of furniture here to paint as well before delivering it to their new home. We are also building a loft bed frame for our grand to put in his room. 
Tomorrow we'll all be wearing messy clothes and wielding brushes and rollers in attempt to paint the bedroom set I purchased as well for another $50.00. Old 80's furniture, should be interesting to see how that project works out! I just pray the rain holds off so we can get some work done.

Things are hopping here at the Raccoon retreat studio.
I have a pile of items to take to India, but I have not even begun to pack!
Long days and nights ahead.....

Morning is his time, Acrylic on canvas, 4 x 24 inches
Day 36 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Octopus squared

My technical non-savvy continues.......
I cannot control my angst when I am having technical difficulties. I want to throw things, 
say bad things, and generally become mad at the world. When I turn on the computer, I simply want it to work.  I don't want to have to troubleshoot, unplug, count to ten, etc. etc. etc..... I am the same way about the internet and don't get me started about my phone! My phone reception is dicey at best as of late. The Water tower to the South of us was worked on a couple of years ago, and now, they are working on the one in the North. The cell phone towers have been removed to ground level and are now a nightmare as far as my reception is concerned. I used to be able to carry on conversations, text, and What's Ap all in my studio. My phone call got dropped so much the other night, I had to go outside and sit in my car to get a signal. Maybe I put off too much electricity for the devices around me. I miss the times when I would pick up a device, and it would work.

Rant over, I promise!

I helped our oldest begin moving into their new home today. I am looking forward to being able to take all the stuff from her studio that is in mine, over to hers. I know she will enjoy not having to live a disjointed life as well. Not knowing where they will live next, or how long. Hopefully this will be the last move for a long time, They have moved overseas, to home, to Birmingham, to Saraland in an apartment and now to a brand new home in Saraland. All in the past 4 years! 
It has been a walk down memory lane, going to her new home as it is just off Celeste Road. 
We have traveled Celeste many times, headed for Girl Scout Camp and many adventures.

I hope all had a great day, and a better night.
Until tomorrow I bid you Adieu!

Octopus squared, Acrylic on canvas, 24x24
Day 35 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lionfish on the attack II

Another day of projects and more projects.
Chris and I went to the bank today, me to get cash for a bill and him to deposit a check. Our lives are pretty mundane the majority of the time with the usual every day things to do. We went to The Artists Gallery in Fairhope to change out artworks in my space that I share with Chris. We added several new pieces and the space looks fresh for the next month. I've also been lining up the canvases for the India trip, finding references and making copies for a new series inspired by the 
show in Naples, Florida. ( I have to take canvases, paints, and references for 25 paintings!)
The show in Naples made me feel like I had finally 'made it' as an artist. The show was gorgeous, and while there was some 'weird art', it was all very high quality art. I felt honored to be a part of this wonderful show. Hopefully, I will get juried in again next year, as we are keen to go back. 

Meanwhile I wait for the acceptance or rejection from several shows I have applied to for the spring season. One show I usually try to do is the St Francis show on Dauphin Island. Unfortunately, they have moved the date to the weekend I hope to be in Melbourne, Florida for the Festival there at Wickham Park. So, Scratch one off the list. Actually two, there is another one I will not be participating in because it has not been a break even show for me the past couple of years. The kids will be delighted I hope. Their mother being free for mother's day this year for a change will make them happy, I know I will be!
I have no less than 4 shows awaiting acceptance or rejection still on the table. 
Some are easy to get into, others not so much!
So many of my friends telling me they have been rejected from shows they've done for years. 
I feel fortunate to have been accepted into several shows that others find hard to get in.
Proverbs 16:33 says, We throw the dice, but God determines where they land. 
So I wait for the path God sets for me.

Although, I don't take chances about camping because of  reservations being at a premium. I already have reservations for both shows in Florida during late April and early May. One we made as we were leaving the park, the other made on the first day of availability at Fort Clinch on Amelia Island. 
I got one of the last two spots. 
I put in for that all the way back in June of last year!
I was super happy about that one.
 It means we will be within a bike ride to the show!
Now to just get into the show!

Still looking for Lionfish to eat locally!

I hope your New Year is going very well, and I wish you much joy , peace, and prosperity for the coming year!

Lionfish on the Attack II, Acrylic on Canvas, 12x12
Day 33 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Lionfish on the attack

We got home last night, about 7 in the evening. The moment we stepped out of our car, we heard the cacophony of doggie voices from inside the house. Lots of sweet kisses, whimpering,  and yodeling greeted us when we came in the doorway. We greeted them all, me sitting on the floor letting them jump all over me in their joy. After a few minutes it was, oh you're home. Pet me, love me, sit by me and I did after a long hot shower. We both were able to stay up until a normal bedtime and slept hard all night.

Today was a loooong day.....
It began with me reading my bible and trying to concentrate on what the words were trying to convey to me today. Chris was back and forth, pacing because he was ready to start the day. We took the dogs for a walk, got a good breakfast and we started our day in earnest. First up, emptying the wagon of all our personal items, clothes and extra foodstuffs. Then we put back all the pots, pans, and stove into their proper places. I sorted laundry while Chris took the artwork upstairs to the studio. Laundry started, I went outside and helped unload the show equipment onto the shelving in the "barn". Started another load of laundry.
That accomplished, we took down Christmas decorations and put them away. Folded laundry. We then went to Habitat for humanity restore looking for cabinetry for our daughters craft room in the new house. Not satisfied with what we found, we went to lunch and then Home depot and Lowes. We bought lumber and staples for upcoming projects. While Chris ripped lumber,  I did more laundry and slogged through my 500+ emails. I also paid a booth fee for an upcoming show at Orange Beach in March. It was then time for our rottens to get their ride for the day.

Pizza for dinner?
Sure !

I then folded laundry and put last load on to dry. We then went upstairs and stretched two large canvases from India for the Gallery.

And here I  am blogging from my phone while Chris is on the computer.
I think I hear a buzzer.....
Last load of laundry done!

Lionfish , acrylic on canvas, 12x12
Day 32 if the 100 days 100 paintings Spring 2019

Monday, January 7, 2019

Manatee formal portrait

It really is beautiful here in Florida.  The temperature difference between Naples and Fairhope this morning was about 20 degrees. We will be colder when we get home for sure! This state is named correctly as well, they don't call it the sunshine state for nothing! I am coming home a little more tanned and I didn't even go to the beach. We are also making plans to go back!

This morning found us up early, putting away,  stowing, and packing for the trip home. Unfortunately we were the only blood available for the swarms of mosquitoes that invaded the camper. I'm sure some are still in there for the trip! We also had a rather large moth that found it's way in, buzzing the two of us like an angry hornet. Two adults, an 8 square foot space, and a scared moth are not a great combination. I'm sure it was comical to watch, although no one else was awake at that hour. Don't worry the moth was caught,and put outside . The mosquitos followed us outside to hitch up the wagon. Collier Seminole is probably not on our list of places to camp in Florida next year!

This is not the end of the manatees, as someone bought all 4 small ones for her home in Boston.

Manatee formal portrait,  acrylic on canvas, 12 x12
Day 32 of the 100 days 100 paintings Spring 2019

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Manatee country III & IV

Our lives have been crazy fun the past couple of days. We have thoroughly enjoyed Naples Florida and are hoping to come back again. The show was a great success and I hope I can get in again next year. Lots of people building houses again after the hurricane struck this area. Lots of wonderful comments, lots of people asking for cards, lots of people saying will we see you again. We also met a lovely couple that have just moved here and admired a painting. Because of moving expenses,  she said they really could not afford it at this time. I made her cry when I handed her a card, and told her,  pay it when you can.

We ate dinner at Pinchers tonight located in Tin City. Thinking of my mother as I dug into Alaskan King Crab. Her fondness for the program Deadliest Catch was epic! She could also put down some crab, although they were snow crab most of the time. Fond memories of her using her fingernails to dig out every morsel.

We have enjoyed the trip and are looking forward to the end with a kind of bittersweet goodbye. Going home and trying to make it tomorrow night to our bed, shower, and dachshunds! Laundry, shopping , and then I can then pack for India! It will be a quick turn around for me for  sure as I leave on the 16th!

Manatees III& IV, days 30 & 31 of the 100 days 100 paintings Spring 2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

Manatee country

Needless to say we're having internet issues again! While Chris can sometimes get on the internet on his phone mine is not cooperating in the least. We are settling into a routine finally, shopping every day in order to have fresh meat and vegetables to make our meals. This means a trip every day towards the larger Walmart that we finally found off of Highway 41. Oddly enough, the Michaels is closer than the Wal mart!

Yesterday found us in Naples, scouting out parking for the show. We left a note for an individual offering to pay for parking at his house, but no answer as of yet. It looks like we will have to park at the government complex 2 miles away. Fortunately we have reconfigured the booth to add a storage area. Once we unload Saturday morning,  Chris will park the truck while I start set up. Speaking of set up, we think it starts at 4 am! This puts us getting up at 3am to wake up, make the drive, and wait until the streets are cleared before beginning the task at hand. We also had a lovely lunch at a cafe that will be next to our booth. Our booth faces South so sun shouldn't be a huge problem during the day. We also toured the Naples Art center. What a beautiful facility!

We also gave multiple tours of the wagon in the afternoon.  One of the tours turned into a you tube video coming soon!

Two of the local schools have manatees for a mascot, so I decided to paint some for the show.  We are giggling about their saying though, we are manatees hear us roar.

Camping, artist life in sunny Florida!

Manatees  I & II , acrylic on canvas,6x6
Days 28 &29 of the 100 days 100 paintings Spring 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The posts that almost didn't happen!

Today I am blogging from a magical place. Matthew's house has taken over an old car dealership and has turned it into a fundraising phenomenon . They have a cafe with Starbucks coffee, High end furniture, clothing set up in little boutique shops in the old offices, and so many other things! The little boutiques have racks that are labeled so you can find specific designers!
Ralph Lauren, Lily, Looloo, and too much to list. There are volunteers everywhere, hustling around putting out new items for purchase. Everything is donated for sale. Their mission is to help the homeless and they seem to be doing a great job. They also help with job training to help them find a skill. The back of the dealership looks like it might be used to repair items if needed.
A wonderful place indeed!

Our campsite is several miles from the show site and there is a lot of water around it. Unfortunately, there is no wifi, no cell phone signal, and no television reception either! The other odd thing about this campground is there is no sewer hook up. There are lovely bathrooms to use, albeit scarce in their number of stalls. Cooking outside is an adventure too, as there are lots of mosquitos, and 
no see ums and they all seem to be starving to death. Chris also managed to stand in an ant bed while helping someone park their camper. Lots of bug spray and sun tan lotion for us here in the lower portion of Florida.

We also took a spin to the show site the other day. Naples is a gorgeous city and there seems to be a lot of  expensive construction going on. The show is in the heart of the downtown shopping district on 5th avenue. I am looking forward to the show this weekend with great anticipation. 
Painting, finding our way around, reading, and some light shopping have all managed to fill our day.

The posts's that almost didn't happen! Octopus, acrylic on 12 x 24 shadowbox, 
Lionfish acrylic on 12x12 canvas
Days 26 & 27 of the 100 days~ 100 paintings Spring 2019