Monday, August 31, 2020

Flamingo Tango I & II

More from the hardi bord series.
These actually already have the resin on them too!
We still have to sand the backs to get rid of drips.
We will also have to drill holes in them and apply recycled wires.
I think I may have enough copper wire to do all of them.
Finally, I will have outdoor art to offer at a show.
These are stinkin' heavy though!
Showtime in less than a month now, I am working steadily to 
create enough for galleries and my booth.
Jubilee Festival is fast approaching in beautiful Daphne, Alabama
Sept. 26 & 27, 2020
The committee is working doubly hard to make sure we have a safe and fun festival.
I have had friends that have had shows already with multiple safety features in place.
Not one has gotten ill so far.

Today I found myself in Mobile, taking the illustrations to Southern Art & Framing to get them to mount the watercolors on acid free matboard using a vacuum press.
Just as we were getting to this side of the bay, they called to tell me that they were ready.
So, back to Mobile I go in the morning.
I am anxious to see them leave my hands and arrive at the publishers safe and sound.
Book proofs coming soon.
My first job of illustrating is soon to be a reality!

Flamingo tango I & II, Acrylic on Hardi Bord, 10 x 10
Days 63 & 64 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Magnificent pair

Magnificent pair is actually on three canvases.
Each canvas measures 16 x 40 making this piece 40 tall by 48-50 wide.
A very nice size indeed, and easy for us to carry to shows.
Still praying for the show to actually happen here in Alabama.
It is called the Jubilee Festival and is in late September.
The National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores has already been cancelled for this year.
We also have one called Mattie Kelly in Destin, Florida in October, 
and another called Peter Anderson in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in November.
Mattie Kelly has confirmed, I am still awaiting jurying for Peter Anderson.
Hopefully they will make, so I can have some additional income for Winter.

In process of sanding! Looks like a hot mess.

Any way, life goes on here at the Raccoon Retreat Studio!

After much sanding, and lots of prayer.
I did a second pour of resin today.
So far so good, the pieces that were severely damaged don't look bad at all now.
Once everything is hard, I will know further about the "look" of the damaged pieces.
Thanks for everyone voicing concerns and lots of "sorrys" for the lesson that was so hard to learn.

The same piece being sanded above after new resin applied!
So far, so good!

Magnificent pair, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 48 inches
Day 62 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020


Friday, August 28, 2020

The cephalopod

The Cephalopod
One of my favorite creatures to paint!
Excuse the mess behind the painting.
These five piece paintings still amaze me with their beauty and symmetry.
The first one I ever created was displayed at a spring show.
I had also painted a five piece turtles and was nervous about them not selling.
I should not have worried, they both sold at the beginning of the show!
The octopus is at a beautiful custom home in Pensacola flanked by gorgeous lanterns that the builder removed from the bathroom and placed in the foyer. 
He is the first thing you see when you enter this spectacular vacation retreat.
The turtles were bought by a real estate agent that left them in my booth for judging and picked them up the following week at Arts & Crafts here in Fairhope.
They originally were in response to people asking why don't you paint bigger.
These 3 ft tall by 5 1/2 feet wide pieces fit into a single bag, making them easy to transport.
Much easier than a 3ft by 5ft single canvas to carry.
I started making them before the multiple photo canvases became the new thing to have in your home. It was an idea that came to me after much thought, research, and prayer.
I always pray when searching for my next series, 
and this multiple canvas series is still going very strong.
This one pictured here is at Stewart Heath Gallery in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
The gallery is located at The Eastern Shore Center Hwy 181 Suite 713.
I painted this one with a colored eye by request from the Gallery owner, Stewart Heath as a replacement for one she sold last Saturday.
I am very pleased to be a part of such an awesome gallery collection of Fine Art!

Eye detail

Center panel 12 inches x 36 inches

I really enjoy painting these multiple canvas pieces and can also do custom sizes for larger spaces.
The largest one designed to date is 40 inches by 80 inches!

Of course today I also began the work to reclaim the resin pieces that were ruined yesterday.
I have a plan, I have new resin, and a new determination.
I spent a while today sanding down the larger dips in the finishes.
It was hard to do on the first one, but when I wet it to clean off the sanding, 
I saw the image reappear clearly.
There are a total of nine pieces that were damaged by the drop cloth wind incident.
I am creating a couple of other works to have enough pieces to use up the resin once I start.
I am praying that the next pour is not as dramatic!

The Cephalopod, Acrylic on canvas, 3 x 5 ft
Day 61 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Archer's sea turtle

Every year now, ever since my grandson was born I have painted him a piece of art.
Eventually when he becomes a man and moves into his own home, he will have a wall of art that he can be proud to display. The past couple of years, he has requested paintings for his birthday. Two years ago was the first one, a marlin chasing a school of fish. Last year he wanted a dolphin and sea turtle playing together. This year was a small request, a baby sea turtle. This painting is his for his very own. This year, I also presented his painting to him on his birthday at a private home party.

This year is so different, so many things not happening because of Covid 19.
I have friends that have lost family members, friends, co-workers.
My friend Alfred in Zimbabwe has also had a scare with something that seemed to be covid, but because medicine was more important than testing we are not certain. Thankfully, he is on the mend. Alfred is also having problems with his mental health as are a lot of artists.
I have had my own demons come in and wreck havoc with the playground of my mind. 
That is, until I have instilled the presence of God in my studio as a stronger power for good.

I have spent the past three weeks completing the illustrations for Sophia's gift.
There are only 12 pages of paintings, but they cover an astounding 22 pages of the book and cover.
10 of the paintings are double spreads.
This project has been a lot more than I expected, more research, more changes, 
more required of my hands and heart.
It was started just as the pandemic hit, and that presented it's own set of challenges.
First came the story line, then the ideas were presented. 
Next, I completed and presented a storyboard of pages for the publisher and author.
I then completed a set of drawings in the actual size for the book at the end of July.
My goal was to have finished the book by the time we would have left for Africa.
August found me with a deadline approaching and I stopped the 100 days~100 paintings 
to be able to complete the project in a timely manner.
Our August leave date for Africa came and went, leaving us both with a sense of loss. 
We were to have gone on to India as well, 
but with both countries borders closed it just was not to be our reality.
We have put in for a claim to our travel insurance, 
praying for a good outcome as it is a lot of money and we would like to have it for next year.
I took the reins of the book, working with a precious author that has entrusted me 
with bringing the people and backgrounds for her words to life.
I can only hope I have shown the story in a way that is both beautiful and historical. 
I meet with the author on Saturday and will discover if I have indeed brought her words to life!
Prayers appreciated for good outcome.

Today also found me trying resin for the first time.
I decided to do it outside because it is epoxy and I was concerned about the odor.
We set up the hardi bord pieces on the back porch, carefully raising them up off the surface so they would not stick. I placed large drop cloths under them, bought special mixing jars and off I went!
I was very nervous, mixing carefully, and pouring them quickly. 
The results were fantastic, with the paintings fairly glowing with the sheen. 
I left them while I went into the studio to complete other work needing to be done.
Chris took a nap, and I worked upstairs.
When I came down, he told me he was going to Ace hardware to get something.
He also mentioned the pieces outside and said the drop cloths had blown onto the pieces.
Keep in mind, these pieces represent two full weeks of work.
It was probably the best that he left the house.
It gave me a chance to calm down some and get determined to try and salvage what I could.
Half the works are untouched, the other eight however......
I separated the remaining pieces from the majority of the drop cloth material.
Laying them all out on top of bowls and keeping them lifted.
Mind you, the paint is not damaged, only the resin putting texture in places I don't want.
We shall see what happens with these pieces as some of them have significant damage.
In the meantime, I have calmed down, and even laughed a little about the lesson learned.
You see, I taped down one side that kept flipping up, but not the other.
Ironic, lesson learned.

Another day, another painting.....

Archer's sea turtle, Acrylic on canvas, 4x4 inches
Day 60 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020

I am back to creating now, working for myself and for the 100 days~100 paintings.
I have already managed to create a large octopus to replace the one sold last Saturday at 
Stewart Heath Gallery.
I will present him tomorrow on the next post. 


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Trio of Turtles

Well, today was another fun filled, packed out day!
Chris awakened me at 6 so I could get my bible readings done early.
We left the house at 7, headed for Chalmette, Louisiana.
In case you're wondering why, my mister had his eye and wallet on a lathe.
You see, he wants to be able to turn bigger bowls, but all the attachments for the Nova were going to cost a pretty penny.
So, Chris being Chris he started hunting online and found a good deal.
The great part is, he sold his Gheenoe,(sp?) kayak.
With that, he bought back the paddle kayaks from a family member and still had money left over.
That money bought the lathe.
He got it for about half of the original cost, and he's already 
oiled and waxed it getting ready for the shop.
He's got a lot of moving round to do, this new baby is big!
He's now got a variable speed, 3 HP motor too!
He's also got to get some wiring done in the shop as well.
This new lathe takes 220.
We arrived back home by 1:30 and unloaded the base from the trailer
 using a come along and a beam in the shop.
We ate lunch and got back at unloading the head stock and tail stock.
Using the come along again, we lifted parts from the bed of the truck
 and slipped them into place on the base.
All put together now!

We work well together as a team, I went along for company because
 I'm sure not going to lift a 500 pound lathe!
Meanwhile, I worked in the studio yesterday and finished the trio of turtles.
It is a large piece, measuring 36 by 60 when screwed together.
I still need to take them apart, and paint the sides.
People love the painted sides, it allows the painting to be spread out some
 while still allowing for a continuous piece.
I am looking forward to it finding a home someday.

I am also pushing to get the book drawings done,
 I only have one more two page spread until finished.
Then the paintings begin!
I can see the finish line!

Tomorrow is another day and another step closer to the finish of the 100 days.
Still praying for Alfred and his family in Africa.
Praying for a family in our area that their son was killed a couple of days ago.
Praying as well, for our East coast in the path of a possible hurricane.
Especially Melbourne, Florida where one of our favorite shows happens in the spring.

Until tomorrow, I bid you goodnight!

Trio of Turtles, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 60
Day 34 of the 100 days~100 paintings 2020