Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Middle Bay Lighthouse


Middle Bay lighthouse sits in Mobile Bay. It began it's work as a lighthouse on December 1st, 1885.
It was decommissioned in 1967 and was slated for demolition in 1971. 
Public outcry was so great, they decided to leave it where it stands now.
23 children have called it home.

One cow lived there for a few months, the lighthouse keeper's wife had a baby that would not nurse.
They moved the cow out there to provide milk for the baby.
I've talked with someone that said it was a black and white cow. I have also conversed with one of my friends that said her father brought hay out to the cow. I've always wanted to depict the cow, but I can not find out for certain where it was kept. Some historians say it was on the gallery, others a barge. 
I can only only imagine a herd animal being forced to live on the ocean by itself. 
I have read somewhere that it lowed constantly.
Anyway, the cow, wife, baby and light keeper were evacuated 5 months later when a hurricane threatened our stretch of the coast in 1916.

Middle Bay Lighthouse, Acrylic on canvas, 8x8 inches
Day 51 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Siren, or Mermaid?


Siren or Mermaid?
The question lingers, but I am certain she is a mermaid. 
You see, Sirens were so beautiful, and sang so well
 that they lured sailors to their deaths upon the rocks.
Sirens also are not really female in form though, 
in Greek mythology they were depicted as beautiful birds.

Can you imagine a beautiful bird encouraging you to dash your ship onto the rocks?
I imagine sailors saw lots of things on the ocean that really were not there. The mermaid depicted here is actually painted on a canvas that we placed into the paint left over on the table. 
I really like the effect!

I also experimented today some more with the "pours". 
I fashioned a tray out of cardboard and plastic bags. 
I managed to research the proper way to do the pours as well. 
Turns out the  glue is unnecessary and is also acidic over time.
Since I am concerned about longevity and archival, glue is out!
So is the Silicon oil.
Or any oil for that matter. They leave a residue and the paints may not properly stick over time.
So After reading several blog posts, listening to very good and very bad you tube videos, I finally settled on my process to use. I am still using the Floetrol, but in a 1 Floetrol to 1 Paint ratio. 
Then, I am adding 91% alcohol as my thinner. 
I also discovered a kind of formula for figuring the amount of paint needed for a project. One of the artists I listened to said to prepare 1 ounce of mixture for each 16 square inches. So a 16 x 20 canvas is a total of 320 square inches. Divided by 16, I needed 20 ounces of mixture for the project. (I mixed 4 ounces of 6 different colors, giving me 24 ounces total.)
After mixing up several colors of paint, 6 to be exact, I was ready for my first solo pour.
I laid out a 16 x 20 canvas with two 12 x 12 canvases underneath in an effort to catch the paint dripping off the edges. I also placed four 4x4 canvases along the edge. 
Tilting and gloves helped the paint along the edges.
All the canvases have some beautiful effects, some more then others.
I am looking forward to adding my paintings on top of them.

Things are going great here in the studio, I just need to be in here more!

Siren or Mermaid? Acrylic pour with painting, 16 x 20
Day 50 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019


Monday, August 19, 2019

Pride and Pours!


Well, I've done it!
I've allowed myself to "play" and pour!

Celebration Church located in Fairhope, Alabama had a Pinterest group meet last Saturday. 
I don't know the exact count, but I think there was at least 25 to 30 women there interested in learning how to paint pour.
I was one of them.
I went really and truly to learn what all the hubbub was about this method of applying paint.
I am not an abstract sort of artist, and at best I hoped to have something that might be pretty to look at, 
but not really something to add to my painting process.
I was proud of my process in laying paint with brushes on canvas.
I helped others with their pieces, thinking carefully about the paint colors I wanted to use on mine.
A couple of the ladies had also made too many cups of the pour mixture, 
so I grabbed them and  used their excess to mix mine.
It is a very interesting process to see unfold, the paints flowing and spilling over the edges in beautiful ways. Once I finished with helping, it was my turn to turn my cups into something, maybe something beautiful!
Carefully mixing my colors and layering them into cups, I took a deep breath and flipped them onto the canvas. I then tilted the canvas to cover the edges, making a mess with the excess paint. 
(I am very concerned about the amount of paint wasted with this process, 
and am thinking very hard about how to do it differently.)
Once I was satisfied with my piece, I carefully transported it to the garage with the others.
We filled the garage with our pieces, laid all over the place on pieces of cardboard. I could not stand to see the leftover paint all over the table and asked for another canvas to try and create another background.
The garage was an amazing display of beautiful abstracts, in a gorgeous array of colors and neutrals.
I had to wait like the others for it to dry overnight. After church, we went by the house and picked up the canvases. Taking them home, they were still very tacky and 
I put them in my studio and turned the ceiling fan on. 
I could not wait until it felt dry.
I knew what I wanted to paint on the top of this abstract watery looking background.
The turtle you see is the completed work!
I could not be much happier than I am right now.

Look out, I am hooked, and there will be several pieces in the future, 
once I figure out the process without the silicon oil.
I also have a friend that is going to coat several canvas using this process.

"Incredible beauty" , Acrylic pour and painted canvas, 16 x 20
Day 49 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Magnolias & Maintenance


The studio was full of activity today. I am still putting away things from the 
Africa trip, Summer classes, and Shepherds place.
This photo shows the large table in my studio covered 
with 19 beautiful shadowbox canvases ready and waiting for sketching.
In the meantime, all I want to do is paint, paint, paint!

I have been juried into the fall shows I've entered, 
so there is a need to create some inventory to offer at various venues.
There is a total of 5 shows, running from Destin, Florida to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. 
We'll be on the beach in October for the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf shores. 
On top of this, I am already entering 4 shows for January of next year!
I've also received notification about the Gulf Breeze show for April 2020. I won an award last year, so I basically get to skip the jury process. I just had to accept and use a code to enter.
Now I have to pay a booth fee! 
Then there's the one woman shows, first at the Audubon Center next summer 
as well as the show at the Sway Gallery in December.
The Sway show will feature Steampunk pieces and my usual marine life offerings.
Already getting filled up for next summer as well with another planned trip to Africa!

I love my Artist life!
Can't you tell?


Today found me finishing up these magnolias in an effort to catch up from the Africa mission. They are painted from photographs taken all over Fairhope, with my husband grabbing tree branches and holding them steady for me to get a photo. They actually took the 4 days to create.
I painted while I was there, but nothing really sellable as I am listed as an Acrylic painter when I enter shows.
There are some nice watercolors though, and I may put them at the gallery here in Fairhope.
The Magnolias are each fairly small, easily completed pieces that usually sell fairly quickly.

It's the Artists life for me!

Magnolias & Maintenance, Acrylic on canvas, each 6x6 inches, $45 each
Days 41-44 of the 100 days~100 paintings Fall 2019


Monday, August 12, 2019

Playtime!


Just too fun to paint!
This seemed like a great way to begin to get back into the groove of painting 
after coming home from my Africa mission. 
While eating dinner with the grandchild last night, 
I asked him what he wanted painted for his birthday piece.
He giggled and said a dolphin and a turtle. Puzzled I said, you want them together?
Yes YaYa!
Thus this playful piece was born.
It seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital,and your first painting was done as you were being born. His collection now is at a total of 7.
When he moves into his own home, he will have a collection of pieces, 
each painted on the day of his birth.

I am finding my place in the studio again, creating. It seems there are so many things to do that get in the way of the studio lately. I have a LOT of painting to do to catch up from my mission to Africa.
I also spent time entering several shows taking place the first of the year in Florida.
We really enjoyed our time down there last year, and I hope to go again!

The fall shows are in place now, all accepted and paid for!
September 28th & 29th Jubilee~Daphne. Al
October 10th-13th National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, Al (my 13th year!)
October 26th&27th Mattie Kelly Festival of the Arts, Destin, Florida
November 2nd & 3rd Peter Anderson, Ocean Springs, Mississippi
There are a couple of  "fill in shows" as well.

Meanwhile, 
I PAINT!

Playtime, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24inches
Private collection, Day ? of the 100 days~100 paintings Fall 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019

What an amazing and hectic two weeks!



It really is hard to post when your 
internet is sketchy, 
your phone does not cooperate, 
and you're too tired to work everything all out!
Needless to say the past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster with a rocket attached.
When I began the 100 days for the fall, I was full of enthusiasm and optimism.
Those of you who know me, know that I can pack a lot of activity into a day and pack we did!
The first few days were filled with a recycled class at the Eastern Shore Art Center for kids.
My grandson was also staying with us and going to class with great enthusiasm. 
We had an Artwalk in Fairhope on the first Friday before he arrived.
Our Daughter in law had a birthday party in Mobile that week.
We also went to a movie with the grandchild, family, and church.
Then we spent long periods of time in the pool with our grandson playing long and hard.

The weekend was spent getting ready for the following week's classes at the 
Mobile Museum of Art all day. I left the house at 6:30am and got home at 6:00pm every day.
Thoroughly enjoyable, but exhausting between an average of 19 children for 8 hours, and 2 hours of driving each day! I have a profound respect for teachers that do this day in and day out, molding the active minds of active crazy children on the threshold of raging hormones!

Anyway, we created a lot of art.
I also managed to get a brad nail that shot partially into my finger while 
putting together wood sculptures on the first day!
We had long hard hours spent on our impressionism project of the Flamingo at the top.
(I LOVE THIS PROJECT!)
Crayons, wood, cardboard, paint!
Several other projects managed to find their way into my portfolio as well, 
all while demonstrating to the kids!

In the midst of this, I was cutting, packing, and repacking for my mission to Africa!
There are three bags now, all stuffed to almost capacity with art supplies and surprises for the people there.
I want to bring more, but there is always next year!
MY clothes have for the most part, fit into a rolling backpack weighing less than 15 pounds. 
( per Qatar Airways requirements)
The internet, and electricity have been iffy over in Chidobe, 
so posting anything from Africa may be wishful at best!
Rest assured, I will be creating, and trying to post to blog and Facebook.
Let the adventures in Africa begin at 4 am Tuesday morning!







More of the kids creations on Facebook!

Much love to all, 
100 days~100 paintings Fall 2019

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Feeling a little crabby II


When I get stressed, 
I paint, 
I want to eat (chocolate), 
I shop (but don't buy), 
I even pray (all of the time!)
You might ask, what stresses me? The primary is family.
More specifically, my dad. 
Without going into it more, I will leave it at that.
Just know, I am praying about it, praying for him, 
and praying for myself to be able to engage with him.

Today's painting about sums it all up!
Feeling a little crabby II.
While I am still creating, most of my focus is on the upcoming mission to Africa. I leave in about 2 weeks and in true military kid fashion, I am trying to get all of the cutting and packing done as soon as possible. I have a list of what is packed in both bags, so as not to double up on supplies. I am in need of some type of binding to use with the older kids, as I am getting them to make books for them to draw in after I leave. Someone offered yarn to me today, I may use some of that in pre-cut lengths. I am rapidly filling both of my checked luggage bags, as there is so much I want to bring. I am a giver, and the bags include gifts for others, hoping not to step on any toes along the way! The third bag is becoming a reality soon, I fear.
The third checked bag will be $150 for my domestic flight, who knows what it will cost on the foreign ones!
I am grateful for donations still coming into my hands and I want to pass on as much as humanly possible!

Now, as I write this, I am not feeling so crabby any more.
Prayer helps, and so does writing!

Feeling a little crabby II, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12
Day 5 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Friday, July 5, 2019

Feeling a little crabby I


Today found me working hard with our oldest daughter in her studio. She is getting new cabinetry and her entire studio was in the living room. Lots of items needing to find their homes and proper places. I get it, sometimes you just have to have a work day, clearing out and cleaning up. Her studio is different from mine, hers has a lot more fabric, hat bases, beads and other things associated with millinery. I love to see her create, and also hear about the customers gushing about their personal creations. I'm also a fan of a clear studio, not clean by any standards but clean enough to be able to create. Sometimes I have to stop creating and just clear the clutter, from the table, the easel, the floor, and my mind.

Prayer helps me there!
I find doing mindless tasks of putting things away while quietly thinking 
really clears my mind and my studio. Some days I take out piles of references I have accumulated and sort them all out. Others are extreme brush wash days. Any of them help the artist mind settle some and find a groove that allows me to then create.

Mindless cleaning.
We all do it sometimes!

Feeling a little crabby I, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12
Day 4 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence day sketch


Have Watercolor pencils, will travel!
This sketch is for a painting at a later date.
I worked on this sketch until it got too dark to see.
Watercolor pencils are fun to use, either drawing with them or pulling color from the tips with a wet brush.Sitting in a chair, listening to the conversations around us,  seeing friends and catching up, families winding down their day with tired children running freely around the crowd for the 4th of July.

Things are happening in the studio as well, I started a major canvas day by setting up my compressor and staple gun. Trouble was, I could not find my canvas pliers. They were not in their regular place, in the drawer with my supply of staples. I am not real certain where they are, possibly at our oldest daughters house. I may have taken them there when we were working on her dining room chairs. Any way, she cannot find them, I cannot find them, dead in the water as far as canvas stretching goes!
(we did stretch one by hand, but I cannot do that for the other 17 left to go.)
 I did get the canvas cut and ready for the next step. One large 6 yard roll of canvas just about makes 18 complete shadowbox canvases along with scraps from the studio.

At any rate, I still accomplished getting a new hose for my compressor and eyes to replace the ones lost on our grandson's "turts". Their dog has chewed the original eyes off, after our grandson scratched the paint off the pupil. Our daughter keeps replacing them with glass beads, but turts hits the floor quite frequently. We also shopped at a sale our local Goodwill had, 50% off everything. I managed to find 2 pairs of cargo pants to take to Africa, as well as an animal print coat and black swing top.

 Another day starts tomorrow, I borrowed a pair of canvas pliers and managed to get 2 more canvases  completed before stopping to cook dinner and go to fireworks at the bay.
Another day in our home and country, free to celebrate, free to worship, free to gather in large crowds without fear. I 'm glad we live in the United States!
I pray the rest of the world can have the freedoms we have as well!

Independence day sketch, 11x17, watercolor
Day 3 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Then, I must paint them all white, in preparation for paintings coming soon. 
Thanks for visiting

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Classroom content!


I've been praying for a while for the lessons to teach while in Africa.
I designed these to fit 2 to a sheet, so that I can get the maximum bang for my lessons.
The paper I had was some I bought months ago at a great sale price.
Each project sheet is 4 1/4 x 11 inches and I have a total of 800 cut so far.
These took all afternoon, so no painting for me today.
Lack of supplies, possible lack of water makes life interesting to say the least!
Now I have a plan in place, at least in my head~things may change once I arrive.
The children will either use dry media or wet media, depending on the availability of water. 
Some villages have to walk miles for water and I don't want to use water needed for drinking and cooking.
I know that flexibility is key as well, especially if Africa is like India!
I also have plans for the older children to make their own drawing books from long sheets of paper folded and cardstock for covers. We will "bind" them with cording I will provide. The children will then decorate with wet or dry media.
At least that's the plan for now.
One day closer to Africa and meeting these beautiful people! 
I apparently already have two fellow artist fans there too! 

Day 2 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019
Multiple sheets for projects


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Africa is calling.....


Oh what a way to begin!
This year's 100 days~100 paintings finds me being obedient and available.
Those that follow the blog know that I am a Christian by faith.
I love the church we go to now and have lots of like-minded friends. Our pastors are our friends as well! We enjoy going to church and look forward to Sundays,events, and 1st Wednesdays. We have been going there now for at least 7 years and cannot imagine another church that we would call home.
To that end, I have the calling of a mission in my ear for several years now. Lately, it has become stronger and through the grace of God and generous people I will get to go this year.
In fact, I leave in three weeks and will touch my feet into yet another foreign country. 
The plan is to go and teach children art, (the amount of them to teach grows daily!)
I will also be bringing a business to the women of Chidobe, Zimbabwe. This business will enable them to become confident, successful (I hope) women of God. There are also plans for a bible study, (still praying about that!) and a mural on the side of one of the schools. 
Needless to say, I look forward to the adventure!
I pray that I am up to the challenges ahead, along with the rewards.
I have already learned a great deal of patience, trying not to strip my gears when God's answer is wait.
I have also learned about receiving, as the majority of my trip is being financed by donations. 
So many people have given so much, time talent, and finances. 
I truly am humbled and in awe of our awesome God that truly provides!

Why an elephant?
Not a sea creature!
My friends that are already in Africa went with a group from Atmore to the Chobe park and photographed this beautiful creature. My dreams are coming true, and God is showing me more and more how to let him guide the horse of life on which I have the priviledge of riding!
Come along for the adventure of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019!

Africa is calling, Acrylic on canvas, 24x36
Day 1 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Wild ride! The end of the 100 days for Spring!






I know I've said it before, but what a wild ride these past few days have been! I am humbled indeed by the response to the new works for Spring 2019. It seems I cannot paint fast enough of certain pieces. I am so happy people are adding to their collections, or starting new ones with my work. Some of them are new collectors, some are are returning to see what speaks to them. Some are filling their walls with multiples, others are dreaming of the day they can own one 
                                                                                    of my works in their new homes currently being 
              built.

The income has been terrific and I am slightly closer to my dream of going to Zimbabwae, Africa to teach Art and a craft to the villagers for them to sell to tourists that come to their home in Chidobe.

That being said, this post finishes the 100 days for the Spring. It has been a crazy week, trying to paint every day. I am also teaching up to 3 days a week for my church, Shepherds place, and the Eastern Shore Institute of Lifelong learning. ESILL. I love to teach, and 8 hours a week seems just about right.

The Orange Beach show was amazing, with 14 large and small pieces finding homes with collectors new and old. Last year was a                    disappointment, only selling $195 worth. I did        not even make expenses last year.                          God showed up in a big way this year though! The weather was again an issue, but it cleared and brought large crowds on Saturday and Sunday.

Arts & Crafts was this past weekend as well, bring the usual cold front and it's accompanying rain. The crowds were large on Friday, but Saturday dawned with rain and cold that made people run through the show. This year was wonderful with collectors coming by to see the new works, and some purchased pieces to feather their nests. I am still amazed that I get to earn money doing something I love to do every day! Thank you for the collectors, and the future one's too!
I sold 3 out of my 4 manatees this weekend as well.

                                                                                  I love that you follow the blog and sometimes                                                                                                comment. Blessings on all who enter here.....                                       A wild ride indeed!


    


A Wild Ride! Acrylics on canvas~ various sizes
Days 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, and 100! Plus a couple more thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Shells, Shows, and Showers


Shells, Shows, and Showers
We had all three this weekend!
The first of many shows for the spring season was held in Orange Beach yesterday and today.
I was fortunate to be one of the artists that had a successful adventure at the park. The weather held off, and the many expected storms did not come. Several artists were not so fortunate. My neighbor in particular was from Dallas, TX. A sweet gentle man, his large paintings garnered him a second prize in the 2D category. His sales however, were not so great. He only sold prints from his works, and one small piece. He probably will not be back to the show as he did not even make a quarter of his goal. I've been there, last year at this same show, I made a grand total of $195.00.
This was not even enough to cover expenses for the show in 2018.

This year, I was indeed blessed, receiving 2 patron awards and
 a kids choice award that really made me smile!
The pieces from India are going really well to several homes in the area. 
I was very pleased to have a previous collector purchase my largest piece before the show even opened! The sepias sold as well, with several shadowboxes finding new homes.
I sold 14 pieces this weekend!
However,
this wonderful weekend presents a problem for me.
I have a major show next week!
No less than Arts & Crafts in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama.
Needless to say, I will be a painting fiend over the next few days.
I will probably be barely taking time to eat and 
perhaps not sleep because of all the possibilities in my head. I will also have to pull most, if not all of my works from a local gallery in order to have the inventory necessary for a show.
Shows are extremely hard work, but oh the rewards if we have what people are looking for in the art that decorates their homes.
Shows like this make us so happy as artists, with many people loving to see the works and the uniqueness of the pieces I am blessed to be able to create. 
Some of them even bless us further, by taking them home!

That being said, I am further blessed by the man that God blessed me with. He supports and sometimes tolerates the shows I do, willingly lending a helping hand just because he loves to see me happy. He is happiest when I am selling, and he grieves for me when I don't!
I am elated that God sent this man to be mine all mine!


With the time change, Chris got up too early!
 A nap was in order, and this bench was the perfect resting place. 
Oh how I love him!
Tell someone you love them today, we are not guaranteed tomorrow!

Shells, Shows and Showers, Acrylic on canvas, 6x6
Day 94 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The conchs have it!

 The conchs have it!
At least around here for the time being. The top one is a horsehead conch, the other is a regular conch, often used for conch fritters. (BTW, I don't care for them at all!)
My first Show at Orange Beach  started today. Chris helped me set up yesterday on his birthday and then we went to Art Walk in Fairhope in the evening. We brought BBQ Deer meat sandwiches and they were a hit! I also brought mini cupcakes that were eaten by several adults and children. Happy birthday Chris!

Today found me alone at the show, because our son came over to help with the wiring on the UHaul camper. We are coming close to the deadline for using it and I for one am grateful that one more thing can be checked off the list. Well, at least part one. The AC is all wired up, but the DC is still to be done. Next weekend Jere' will come back and finish the job. We have new LED brake lights and running lights. The new lights inside will all be LEDs as well because they pull so little   power and can be used with the Battery so we can boondock for shows.   Coming closer to reality. Now, if we could just sell the Gypsy Gal to help finance this adventure! I still have yet to begin the interior design of the UHaul, I know a lot of it will be baskets inside the bins, upholstery in the dining area, curtains for the windows, the list gets longer by the minute! So fun, designing the new interior with a sea theme. 
I also have some surprises in store for the interior as well! 

The show went very well today! Last year, I did not even make expenses. This year was totally different, with me making expenses (and then some!) before the show even opened at 10 am. I had some frustration with my square though, a new phone may become a must before too long. I am also pleased to report I got a patron award as well! So fun, and the gentleman choose a painting I dearly loved, but has not sold in several showings. He very happily went home with the Manta rays shadowbox tucked under his arm. The new elongated paintings are very well received, although I only sold one of them today. Several people said they had to go home and measure before they could decide on pieces. Tomorrow is another day, a day to spend with Chris, a day to paint, a day to sell, a day to be thankful to God for the blessings he bestows upon me. I am indeed humbled and honored that people want to buy my pieces for their homes and offices. I am so grateful too, that I get to play in the paint and then sell what I create!

Needless to say, the next few days before Arts & Crafts will be a flurry of activity in the Raccoon Retreat Studio here in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama!

The conchs have it! Acrylic on canvas, each 6x6 inches
Days 92 & 93 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019                                                            

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Shells times 2



It's a two for one day today!
The paintings are getting done, but the posting is not!
I am getting my show equipment and paintings ready for our first show this weekend.
Our first foray is down to Orange Beach. I am looking forward to dusting off the equipment, setting up the tent, and hanging for a show. 
Years ago, I used to go to this show when it was very small. 
 Almost nobody came to the venue, and at times there seemed to be more artists than patrons. 
You get it, a very small show.
Fast forward to current year. 
It has become a much larger show, well attended, and a beautiful venue. They have also expanded the prizes and there is also a very nice awards banquet on Saturday night. 
Looking forward to a local show that gets our feet wet before the big one here in 
Fairhope, Alabama next week.
NEXT WEEK!?!?
This realization hit me this afternoon, that one of my favorite shows is next week.
EEK!
I'm excited, nervous and going crazy at the same time.
We have a LOT to do in the next 2 weeks.

The week after A&Cs is Gulf Breeze and we will be boondocking there.
If we cannot get the U Haul camper completed enough, 
we will take the Gypsy Gal if she doesn't sell.
Boondocking is basically not plugging in, just sleeping, 
and maybe some light cooking and bathing. 
The bathing will have to be baby wipes of course 
as there will be no running water to use. 
The bathroom is a cassette toilet that we already have.
We will also have to have battery powered lights.  
Who knows, if I do well enough at the first two shows, I may spring for a hotel!

The work on the new/old Uhaul camper is progressing nicely enough, 
although not fast enough for either of us! Chris has put in many hours of fiber glass, 
rebuilding holes in the walls, rebuilding the floor, and practically restructuring the door. 
I am spending precious time removing the stickers that are cracked, layered and apparently painted!
We are purchasing a set of new stickers for the camper as we do want people to know it is a UHaul.
We are getting closer to  the gel coat and then,
there's
the dreaded
windows....
You see, this "egg" is 35 years old and the window seals have never been replaced. There have been several attempts to patch them, but it's time to do a complete reseal.
We found what we hope is the correct seals and will attempt this in the next week.
We've heard it is a test of your marriage, doing them together.
Together we must though as we don't want to lose windows that are irreplaceable.
I'm looking forward to conquering them!
This weekend, my "boys" will be rewiring the camper for both 110V and 12V. 
They will be working on this while I am at the show on Saturday in Orange Beach. 
Life is hopping here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio!
Blessings on you all this day as well!

Shells times 2, Acrylic on canvas, 6x6 inches
Days 90 & 91 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Mardi Gras Madness!




 I know I've said it before, but this past week has been interesting to say the least! It has been a week of stretching the imagination, the endurance, and my creativity to it's almost absolute limits!

To begin with, I needed to finish my poster entry for the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama in October. This one was a bit of a struggle, as I could not concentrate on it enough to gel the ideas I had in my head and put them to paper and paint! More on that later..... Anyway, I spent the better part of 20 hours on this one folks, between the drawing designing, tweaking, and finally painting. I turned in my entry on Friday, driving it down to the Coastal Alabama Office a short time before the deadline!
WHEW!
I then packed away references in my large file bag, that has previous entries in it. It is kinda depressing to see so much work that will never see the light of day at a festival, but I am able now to see the mistakes made and improvements that could be done. I also gave the committee my suggestions for the logos for the shirts, as well as the suggested t shirt colors.
Here's hoping for a trifecta!

That was just PART of the week!

Keep reading.....
There was a lot of sewing too!
I tore apart a Victor Costa Dress to be able to make a skirt for my daughter to wear to the Queens Luncheon.
There was also a grinch involved for our grandson after the sweatsuit ordered was several sizes too small. I made the "sweater" from 3 t shirts and glittered it up to make it fun. He was a cute Grinch at school for sure!


The week continued....























I also dabbled in 2nd line Mardi Gras umbrellas for the parents of the Queen this year for their daughters coronation. I love it when people say have fun! Hers was Monet inspired, with gorgeous flowers and sparkle fabrics. His had a large Oyster shell that was hand built and 3 30 inch shrimp! The umbrella was then hand painted with lots of metallics!

 WAIT!
There's more!
Remember this was over a week!

I was also able to make and replace my iguana in the gypsy wagon. I was loath to let my other one go with the wagon as I made it about 20 years ago. He is now happily residing in my studio again, while this one will go with the wagon if she sells soon. It is cut with a scroll saw and detailed with a dremel tool. I then painted the details on it and put it on the door in the Gypsy Gal.















I then moved onto painting shrimp for the Shrimp 
Festival on Amelia Island in May. 
They may not make it to the festival though! 
These are little clip boards for grocery lists or maybe a photo.



Yes, There's more.....








I painted this last night with my Scripts& Strokes
Group at church. Based on Proverbs 24:3-4
We all have treasures in our rooms and homes!
Whimsical house was fun to create and paint. 
I also used it today to make a watercolor 
for  the Seniors at Shepherds place. 
Lots of fun at both!












And then there's today.....
Measuring 55 inches wide and 30 inches tall, these beauties will be at a show soon!
Painted on multiple canvases, I LOVE them!

There you have it, a SOLID week of Mardi Gras madness and mayhem!
I would not take anything for the time spent with Jessica creating! (I spent two LONG nights there, working hard!) The ability to make my grandsons dreams come true with his grinch for school. Painting with classes and in the studio.
It's been a long wonderful week!

Mardi Gras Madness! Multiple pieces and too many mixed medias to mention!
Days 82, 83,84, 85, 86,87,88, & 89! of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

Lilies with Scripts & Strokes


Today was as usual a busy day. We are both up to our necks in things to do, and we would have it no other way!

My husband Chris is hard at work on our
new/old little Uhaul camper. He has started fiberglass repairs on various parts that need fixing in the worst way! Holes cut where there should not be holes, Spider cracks, and tail light spaces to be covered up and then replaced. He is doggedly working at the project, knowing we need the camper by the fourth weekend in March. Today he started on the interior floor. It was really bad in some spots, and not even touched in others. He is removing the bad wood, adding fiberglass to the bottom of the camper, then putting fresh wood on the floor and adding fiberglass again. Lots of hard work, I am so grateful he is a very capable and hard worker. It seems everything he puts in his hands is creatively and beautifully done. I am so grateful God has put our paths together!

Today's painting is based on Proverbs 8:17
I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.
When we spend time in the word, our souls are refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated. I make an effort every morning to read the bible and I have enjoyed the journey very much! I have read it cover to cover several times now. The story God puts in our hands is a pure Love story written just for us as his children. I learn from it more and more each time I open it, and write notes in mine when something speaks to me. It's okay to write in your bible, because years down the road, the stories become familiar family histories. Proverbs are the easiest way to start, there are 31 proverbs, one for each day of the month! They also contain a wealth of information on how to act as Christians, our marriages, and humans in general. Start today on your journey of diving into his word!

Lilies, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24
Day 81 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Heron IV



Today's post is short and sweet.
It has been a busy day. We started out by going to church and from there we went our separate ways. Chris went to work on the camper, starting on the fiberglass work that he has to complete. It will be interesting indeed to see the work from his hands all over the camper. He did a lot of fiberglass work on the sailboat we had with a fixed keel. It had been run aground and the owner never attended to the repair. When we got it, he put it up in a sling under our carport and spent seemingly endless hours repairing it. He has watched endless you tube videos about how to do the work. I have confidence that he will get the job done, and done well. I've already seen where he is rebuilding the tail lights area in the rear, and the first layers look great!.
Me, I headed to our oldest daughters home to try and knock out some hats for her Mardi Gras orders. The whole afternoon was seemingly lost, when I was trying to work on a skirt for her on her sewing machine. In the process of looking for the cord to the machine, we cleaned the room up quite a bit! We never found the cord, and that's when her husband remarked, you don't think that the cord your brother cut and wired, was it? Mystery seemingly solved, an afternoon partially lost, a skirt not made, dinner together, and a cord ordered online.
I got to work on exactly one hat!
Oh well, time spent with my daughter is timeless........

Then I came home and finished this guy!

Heron IV, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 80 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Heron III


A day of work completed makes me happy!
Today found me  in the studio as usual.
 I finished all the canvases I stretched the other day by putting hangers and wires on them.
I am starting to have the presence of a show in the studio here. I know shows are getting close when I start having problems finding places to put the finished pieces. 
A very good problem to have!

I had a fitting with a friend for her gown I gave her for her wedding here at the house.
I also took several pieces to the Artists gallery on South Section street this morning.  
I needed to add some works, take some away, and freshen up my area. I love that God sees fit to allow me to make money with something I love doing every day!
We are 2 weeks out from our first show at Orange Beach. 
3 weeks until Arts & Crafts here in Fairhope March 15th, 16th, and 17th.
Hard to believe that it's so close!
I am also designing and painting my Shrimp Festival poster 
for this year and am quite pleased so far. Fingers crossed on that one!

Chris is starting the fiberglass work for the little uhaul. 
I am so happy to see him happily creating and eager to get out into the studio each morning.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I am measuring the camper for cushions and curtains. We've already purchased the fabric for the cushions, matching it to the seascape fabric I have on hand. The seascape fabric was purchased for our bedroom makeover about a year ago. Once I cut and make the coverlet and curtain toppers, I can use what is leftover for the camper project. I am looking forward to the completion of both!

Somewhere in there today I also painted this guy!
Things are happening here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio!

Heron III, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16
Day 79 of the 100 days~100 paintings Spring 2019