Wednesday, October 9, 2019


Go big or go home!
I really must use this concept for Peter Anderson in my booth.
I absolutely LOVE it!
The collector is very happy with the results and I also heard my coveted phrase.
"It's better than I imagined!"
I always enjoy hearing that one!
When I sent him a photo, he was ecstatic in his response.
We will deliver it tonight after set up.

Today is set up day!
I adore watching the tents popping up like mushrooms, filling the space with excitement.
There is such an energy there, all the vendors setting up for a rather large party on the Gulf Coast.
If you plan to come down, wear comfortable shoes, and bring an  insulated water bottle.
While it will not be overly warm, but you do need sunscreen as well!
I am so excited!

This completes the 100 days, it has been an adventure as usual hasn't it!
The blog now has over 71,000 hits on it!
I've also been nominated for best artist in Baldwin, voting continues until November 3rd.
I will probably continue for a few days at least, I have multiple canvases awaiting my brush.
There are also 2 more shows after this one, and the shows in Florida after the first of the year.
Christmas and galleries are waiting as well. 
I will be drawing for the winning entry tomorrow morning hopefully.
That's if my brain remembers during the hub bub of the first day at the 
Annual National Shrimp Festival at beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama.

"Completion", Acrylic on multiple canvases, 12 x 12's and 12 x 24's
Day 100 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Teaser

Tonight a teaser for the finale!
This guy is a 12 x 12 sepia on canvas.
At the Jubilee show, I was approached by a gentleman that had one of my shadowbox turtles
He had a vision for a grouping of paintings to go with his shadowbox.
I could see what he was talking about and we agreed on a price.
After set up tomorrow we deliver the final pieces to go with his turtle.
Because of this sale, Jubilee will no longer be a zero show!
I love the final product!
You however will have to wait until tomorrow!

Day 99!
We set up for the biggest Shrimp party on the Gulf coast tomorrow!
Thursday the show begins.
October 10th~13th 9~6pm
Booth A18

A Teaser, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12
Day 99 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Monday, October 7, 2019

Sandpiper, sandpiper

Today's painting is a beautiful blend of techniques.
This Ruddy turnstone was amazingly fun.
The poured backgrounds have been terrific this summer into fall and this one is no exception.
I really enjoy working until I can find the right animal to go on each piece.
I photographed this guy while on Coya Costa. (remember the ibis?)
This bird was almost aggressive in his begging techniques.
We were eating lunch when he landed right next to us.
We tossed him bits of bread and it came closer to us.
If I had been able, I could have touched him.
He was so close, I had to lean way back to photograph him multiple times.
So fun to paint too!

Sandpiper, sandpiper, Acrylic on Poured background canvas, 12 x 12
Day 98 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Wonderful Whales

These two just make me happy!
It is a depiction of that moment when a calf is born and the mother pushes 
it to the surface for it's first breath of air.
Several years ago, I had a painting called "Bonding".
It was a beautiful piece, all in deep blues and grays.
Remember, when I first started painting, my colors were very strong.
So strong in fact that a lot of people would look at my work and say,
"I don't know if that color would go on my wall".
I became frustrated, literally pounding my head against the back of the tent while at a show.
I asked God what am I doing wrong?
God said you're doing nothing wrong, just go more neutral.
You see, this was before the days of Chip and Joanna Gaines.
The "Neutral" movement with furniture, walls, and accessories had not really started yet.
That's the year the sepias began.
That's the year my oldest daughter said "Mom I don't know if I like that. It's just not you."
I said let's give this a chance.
That series is still going strong 10 years later!
They have grown of course, to include shadowbox canvas and multiple canvas pieces.
It really helps to pay attention when God speaks!
I love listening for his voice on an hourly basis.
I'm asking, what would you have me do Lord?
Then I listen.
I pray a lot while I'm painting as well.
I love it when God speaks!

Anyway, this painting, was called "Bonding."
It depicted the protection of the mother and her calf.
I had it at a show in Mississippi, and a woman came into my booth.
She said "I was Wylands secretary for many years, and I just had to tell you, when I saw this painting I thought it was one of his."
Wyland, when I first started painting was one of the artists that inspired me.
So many years later, I now have peace with color, my color is more peaceful as well.
I still love painting in color, as you have seen these past weeks and months.
The sepias are still my favorite though!

We've had a wonderful day here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio.
Gypsy Gal pulled out of our driveway early this morning and is now safely at her new home.
We went to church and our souls were filled with a great sermon.
Chris worked in his studio and I helped make fidget pillows for seniors at the ESAC.
We also delivered a table to the someone from church.
A busy day indeed!

Wonderful Whales, Acrylic on poured background canvas, 4 x 12 inches
Day 97 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Orinoco Flow

My artist friend Alfred from Zimbabwe actually named this one.
When he saw the photo he said it reminded him of the song Orinoco Flow by Enya.
It does have a sail away, sail away quality to the painting.
So much of a pleasure to create, it had it's problems.
When I began, painting, Chris said the Dolphin was too small.
I agreed and enlarged it by a full third.
I also enlarged the tail quite a bit.
I love how it flows together with the poured background.

I've been working on a commission piece for a collector that wants additional 
pieces to go with his shadowbox turtle.
It will be a spectacular work of art when they are all in place.
He has an original 24 x 24 and wants to add 2 12 x 12's , and 3 12 x 24's.
The reef pieces are coming along great, and the turtles are beautiful.
I will post them as soon as they are done.
The total artworks will measure 50 inches wide by 38 inches tall when complete.

Other than that happening in the studio....
We sold Gypsy Gal today.
She is going home to a delightful couple in North Alabama.
They are spending the night here, after a delicious meal and a hot shower.
We invited them to spend the night after a six hour trip turned into almost 9 because of traffic.
She is going to a great home, and I know she'll have many happy hours with them!
I look forward to seeing their adventures.

Orinoco Flow, Acrylic on Poured background, 20 x 20 inches
Day 96 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

Ibis III

Happy World Teachers day to all my teacher friends!

Ibis III was indeed a visit to our past trip to the Florida coast.
These beautiful birds were so unafraid of humans, so plentiful, and just plain fun to watch!
I enjoyed photographing them, and now painting them!

Today brought us together working on a table for friends at church.
My husband called it finished, but I pushed him a little into varnishing it one more time.
We sanded together, then pushed the polyurethane back and forth, achieving a beautiful glow.
This table is rather large and is meant for outdoor meals at their home on the river.
I hope they enjoy the fruits of his labors for years to come!
I know I would love one!

Meanwhile, the Gypsy Gal may be going to a new home tomorrow in North Alabama.
The couple is well aware of the weight, and the need for a large vehicle to pull it.
We sent them the video that the wonderful 
Richard Sites put up on youtube about her back in January.
The woman fell in love instantly.
I hope they are committed, they are driving 6 hours to pick her up Saturday afternoon.
I will be sad to see her go, but go she must.
Chris traded the truck that could pull her during the summer for a smaller Toyota.
We spent many a happy hour in the Gypsy Gal!

We now have Calypso and I am totally in love with her now.
Calypso is easy to pull with our Dodge Grand Caravan.
For those of you that don't know, Calypso is our vintage 1984 UHaul 
camper Chris found while walking the dogs back in January of this year.
I was in India visiting our daughter at the time and Chris was uncertain of getting it or not.
Through multiple texts back and forth.
Is the weight right? Yes.
Is the price right? Yes.
Can my van pull it? Yes
Can you repair what is needed to be repaired? Yes
Do you like it? Yes
Then what is the question?
I want you to see it first.
I told him, I trust your judgement, and if you think it's good for us, then get it.
Turns out there was a LOT more work involved than we originally thought.
The trailer was trashed in a lot of places.
Questionable repairs, a too large air conditioner, and hole where there should not be holes.
He ended up removing the camper from the trailer, then welding, blasting and replacing parts.
He then put it back on the trailer, and the fiberglass began.
That was a whole new learning curve.
Anyway, after lots of hard work we have a vintage camper that is so cute and coastal.
We are using it next week for the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
I'm sure there will be lots of talk in the campground about her.

Speaking of Shrimp Festival, I got my booth assignment today!
I'm still on the main aisle coming into the show on the parking lot.
While the forecast is for rain chances, at least we don't have a hurricane charging the Gulf Coast.
My booth number is A18
I can hardly wait!

Ibis III, Acrylic on poured background, 4 x 12 inches
Day 95 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ibis II

Ibis II brings me one day closer to the Annual National Shrimp Festival 
down at Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The weekend is looking like the possibility of rain in some spots, 
but probably not an all day wash out.
We will be putting up the tent we lovingly call "The Beast".
It is the second tent ever made by the Showoff company back in the late 80's.
The company was a merger between an aerospace engineer and an awning company.
The first tent was made for the engineer's wife, the second for her friend.
I got the tent from the friend several years ago.
She had used it for shows for several years and was getting out and needed to sell.
The tent is built from aluminum and is lightweight and easy to set up.
I have also owned a Flourish, but it was heavy, heavy.
I sold my Flourish, after I got the Showoff.
We have put the poles into a golf bag, as it makes carrying them easier.
I can carry almost the entire tent pole system in the golf bag.
Anyway, we call it "The Beast" because it has so many parts and pieces.
There are no less than  7 legs if you put up a french wall.
There are also stabilizing bars for the bottom.
Bars for the top and sides and a 5th one for the french wall.
Then there's the roof pipes in several pieces, we added even more when Chris built a system of PVC pipe that holds the roof taut, preventing leaks and puddles.
A roof with a sky light.
Four vinyl walls.
Four large 45 pound weights.
Sometimes we bring the bag weights as well.
Four covered walls for us to choose from, if we want a french wall or not.
We also have chairs, a wooden business center surround, flags, decorations, business roll around case that carries hooks, cards, shopping bags, tools, price tags, straps for the weights, stakes, baby wipes, and too much other stuff to mention!
Needless to say, it's a LOT of stuff to carry.
When we go out of town we carry an extra pop up tent in case something happens to the big one.
We learned that lesson here in Fairhope when The Beast was damaged during a storm that hit the night of set up a few years back.
We've carried an extra tent ever since. 
Then there is the artwork in a system of bags that I've purchased over the years.
We also added a platform made from shelving, making it easier to load the tents, chairs, business table, and weights.
We then have a cooler, clothes, food, snacks, and drinks.
Although sometimes we buy the food after we get to the show city.

Why do I tell you this?
Because it's not all sitting in our studio, raking in cash from sales.
It's a lot of sleepless nights caused by ideas that will not be quiet, concerns about not remembering to pack something, last minute varnishing before we leave, and packing an 
art bag of projects to do at the show.
Sometimes the shows are so slow, I can paint quite a bit unfortunately.
Artists carry lots of heavy equipment, and sometimes heavy thoughts about their works.
We also have to plan months in advance, I currently have entries for shows for May of next year.
I have campgrounds booked for two shows in Florida in late April and the first weekend of May.
They are already paid in full because that is what is required.
So it's a lot we go through to present ourselves before you, the collector even go to the shows.
Know an artist?
Tell them you know how hard they work and you appreciate their efforts.

Today found me laying out a project involving multiple pieces to go 
with a painting purchased a few years back.
He has his turtle, he now wants 5 other canvases set up in a 
particular way to surround the original piece.
He is excited to see them, and so am I!
Meanwhile I paint......

Ibis II, Acrylic on poured background, 4 x 12 inches
Day 94 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Ibis I

Day one of the Ibis.
A few years back we took a wonderful trip to Florida.
On the West coast of Florida is the beautiful place called Sandia Island.
It is supposed to be one of the best shelling experiences in the country.
It did not disappoint me at all.
While I did not find a lot of different shells, I did find the Queen Scallops I needed for a project.
I needed a lot of Queen scallops as I was making necklace and earring sets for about 20 women.
I found what I needed and much more shells than I can ever describe in one post. 

On to the Ibis....
We took a ferry to the island of Coya Costa off the coast of Sandia.
It is a beautiful place, with primitive camping for the brave.
We may have to try it sometime.
What fascinated me was the Ibis.
Normally an elusive bird, they melt into the mangroves at the sight of humans.
However, on the Gulf of Mexico and a beautiful pristine beach there were dozens everywhere.
I've never seen so many Ibis in one area.
I took dozens of photos with my digital camera.
The advantage is that I did not have to print them all, but could look at them on the computer.
Digital is wonderful that way.
These birds were unafraid of humans, running in front of women walking along the beach.
They were also playing in the surf, dipping in the water with their beaks searching for mussels.
When a bird finally got one, the fights ensued with lots of squawking, nipping, and finally taking flight.
It was quite the spectacle and one I hope I don't forget!

Ibis I, Acrylic on poured canvas, 4 x 12 inches
Day 93 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Scarecrows and turtles

We had so much fun last night creating these!
Scripts & Strokes is really humming.
The wood pieces were from the roll around produce carts from Winn Dixie.
 AND I used my new roll around to put my sander on, which gave me an easier level for sanding.
54 pieces of wood for the snowman and scarecrows, they are reversible! 
Then 54 bases from scraps in the barn.
We found homes for all the pieces but 2 sets out of the 54.

This piece took some thinking, measuring, careful planning and the painting!
Composed of 2 8x8 canvases and one 10x10 in the middle.
The background they are screwed upon is recycled stretcher bars with a thin piece of wood for the front.
I painted the front first in a custom mixed ocean blue.
I then played around with the canvas placement and that required a lot of measuring.
I can tell you, it made me extremely nervous to screw the canvases from the back.
I then transferred the drawings and painted them!

Chris got a wonderful gift today!
An entire room full of Cypress and Pine lumber , milled from over 100 year old wood!
He is one happy camper.
His shop is full of wood, and we rescued a cabinet from the side of the road.
We gifted the cabinet to a friend that gladly took it into her home.
Working together, side by side, me and Chris!
I love living here in Fairhope, Alabama!

Turtle trio, Acrylic on wood panel, with canvas and frame, 14 x 30 inches
Days 90 & 91 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2019