Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It rained last night and all day today. My rain gauge shows 4.75 inches so far just today and the rain is still pouring! Yesterday morning we met for plein air painting at Stephanie Morris' place in Belle Fontaine, but it was so cold, damp and windy that we ended up painting inside looking out. Last night I spent some time at the Cathedral Square Gallery for the December LODA artwalk before heading to a Christmas party with my former office friends. Then today was my work day at the gallery. I promised to post the other mini painting I completed which is hanging at the gallery. This is a goat I photographed at the Baldwin County fair a couple of years ago. This is 5 in. x 5 in. acrylic on panel board. I sketched some Llamas for another mini painting while in the gallery and hope to finish painting it in the next couple of days. These are fun because they are fast to paint. Hope you all are staying dry!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mini Art????

This month the theme for Cathedral Square Gallery is miniature art. Also, the Spanish Moss Miniature Art Show is scheduled for February. I decided to practice painting in miniature to get ready for the upcoming show. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not as difficult to paint small as I had feared it would be. It was actually fun to be able to complete a painting in a day's time. I also really liked painting on the Ampersand panel board - seemed smoother than canvas, but there is still a little texture and a gessoed surface - more conducive to finer detail. Here is a five by five inch panel in acrylic. I called this "Mini Cow". I have a second one I'll post tomorrow. These will both be at Cathedral Square Gallery tomorrow for the LODA artwalk.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

One Down and Another to Go...

Today Kathy Friedline, Phyllis Jeffery and I took down the Art of Reading exhibit at the West Regional Library. This was a great show, had alot of support from the community, and with help of the Friends of the Library added several beautiful pieces of artwork to the Library's collection for display in the various library branches. It was really sad to see that wonderful show come down and expose the empty walls of the library. But at the same time we were taking the artwork down, Bill Morris' group was taking in artwork for the next show - the Bird Show! This show should be hung by Monday. Kathy and I both had artwork to enter into the Bird show. Kathy had a wonderful ceramic tile painted and glazed with a pelican raku style; and a photo of the one-legged seagull that hangs out at the River Shack on Dog River. I did an acrylic on canvas painting of a group of seagulls: "Hitchhikers on the Dauphin Island Ferry". Looks like it will be a good show with lots of variety of birds. Should be up for December and January, I believe.

I'm working on a few "miniature" paintings to place in the Cathedral Square Gallery this month - shooting to complete them by the LODA Art Walk next Friday. They are mostly based on a menagerie of farm-type animals I saw at the Baldwin County Fair in Robertsdale. I'll post some of those when I finish. Meanwhile, here are the Seagull hitchhikers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Plein Air at Scott's Landing

We had five folks participate in our Plein Air South group this past Friday at Scott's Landing (Jami Buck, Conroy Hudlow, Loren Chavez, Stephanie Morris and myself). It was a beautiful day and we were visited near the end of our session by the "pet" egret. Here are a couple of photos of our group and my attempt to capture the bait shop. The trees in the background were a beautiful fall palette. It was a beautiful day and we were visited near the end of our session by the "pet" egret.

Loren, Stephanie, Conroy and Jami at work, with onlooker nearby.

Conroy and Loren at work.

Here is Stephanie with her lovely painting of the marsh and the Tensaw River.

I've been trying to simplify my compositions and paint more loosely in oil. I'm getting there, but still could play with more and thicker application of paint. This one needs some more work back in the studio.

Jami has some really beautiful photos of this egret on her blog site. I have a photo from last summer of the same egret, and have been trying to finish a "portrait" painting of it - but am not quite satisfied yet with it. I'm also starting another "bird" painting with a group of laughing gulls from a photo I took last fall on the Dauphin Island Ferry. Both of these are due December 5th for a bird show that Bill Morris is curating. I'll post these once they are completed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mama Lisas, Figure Group, Plein Air and Mobile Art Association

Today I was one of two artist presenters at the monthly Mobile Art Association. My topic was "Evolution from Government Biologist to Artist - A Work in Progress". I outlined my efforts to prepare for the transition from a career biologist to being able to pursue my art activities full time. as well as the various activities I've been participating in. I've received much support from MAA and from my Mama Lisas painting friends. There really is a lot of opportunity in the Mobile arts community and I have found the artists to be very supportive of fellow artists in the community. Joseph Mwanzia was the other presenter. We all enjoyed his story of how he came to Mobile from Kenya, and how he was able to rekindle his interest in art. He is one of the winners of a purcase prize from the Art of Reading Show, which was his first show in Mobile.

I returned last Friday from a 10-day road trip to Colorado to visit the grand-babies, and we took a slight detour on the way back through New Mexico, passing very near Abiuqui where Georgia O'Keefe lived and painted in her later years. It was absolutely beautiful there! When we returned I checked out the Mama Lisas exhibit at the Barnes & Noble "La Galerie du Loo" (formerly the Bathroom Hall Gallery). My Yard Sale Tractor and Old Barn at Kaiser Farm paintings are hanging there. We will hang there during November and December. Thanks to Kathy Friedline for arranging for this and getting my artwork there while I was out of town!

Thursday night I attended the Figure Group at Space 301. We were discussing the possibility of starting a Figure Group session on alternating Saturdays (similar to a setup at Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope). Cindy at Space 301 was very supportive of this activity. The artists in the group plan to rent the 301 facility and hire a model for the session(s); at a cost of $15 per session for each participating artist. We plan to start the Saturday sessions on Dec 5th and continue into the new year.

And on Friday, we started back up with our plein air painting. Three of us met at the Beachcomber Boatyard. There were numerous sailboats, shrimpboats and boatyard scenes, but I was somehow taken by a small skiff in the boatyard with the marsh in the background. Here is the scene with my small painting in the foreground. I was inspired by S.P. Goodman's website - he had lots of small very simplified plein air painting - just the suggestion of shapes with swabs of color. That was my inspiration anyway. It was a bit "freeing" to just quickly sketch the scene instead of trying to methodically capture all the details. We'll see if it carries over into next week's painting efforts.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Catching Up To Do

I have some more catching up to do. On October 8th we had the opening reception for The Art of Reading Show. Due to the generosity of the Friends of the Mobile Public Library we were able to grant 4 Purchase Awards for this show (Lindy Hawthorne, Karen McGahagiin, Joseph Mwanzia, and Jan Horton), as well as five Honorary Merit Awards (Billie Goodloe, Jaime Lee, Fran Newmann, Ardith Goodwin, Benita McNider). I noticed today that the Mobile Register posted the winners of the awards in the Sunday's arts section, which is really a good thing. Kathy Friedline, Phyllis Jeffery and I really enjoyed working on this show, and have received many positive comments on the quality of the show. So I hope you will be able to check it out. Kathy and I disqualified ourselves for consideration for any of the awards. But here are photos of each of us with our artwork.

On October 9th, we had the opening reception for the Mobile Art Association show at the Mobile Arts Council downtown, which was during the LODA Artwalk (I entered my tractor painting into this show). I also worked the counter at the Cathedral Square Gallery during artwalk, but was able to spend a little time at both venues.
On October 7th I participated with my last session of the Downtown Figure Group - we just have not had enough participants this fall to keep it going and to be able to pay the models. So on Saturday,October 10th, I drove to Fairhope with my friend Conroy to check out the Fairhope figure group at Eastern Shore Art Center. It was a great experience, very down to the business of figure drawing with a good group of artists and a good model. This group is moderated by Ron Thompson. We are hoping we can sustain a similar group in Mobile. Here is one of my drawings from the downtown group and a couple of drawings from the Fairhope group.

I also found out last week that I was accepted into the Watercolor and Graphic Arts Society!

I have started a bird painting, hopefully for the bird show being coordinated by Bill Morris for December. I have a couple of other ideas for bird paintings that I hope to be able to complete by then. Hopefully will be able to show you progress on these paintings before too long.

Then today I attended the Mobile Art Association monthly meeting. Had two interesting presentations by Jeff Knighton (on home-made scratchboard techniqued), and by the Yamato(?) Magnolias (Yuko, Satomi and Kaoru) on their collaboration for an upcoming show at the Mobile Arts Council blending Japanese and Southern cultures in their artwork.

Fall seems to be a busy time of year for the arts...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Art of Reading Exhibition - Reception Tonight!

I've been working with my friend Kathy Friedline and Phyllis Jeffery of the Mobile Public Library over the past few months to put together an exhibition of artwork celebrating the love of books and reading. We took in artwork for the show this weekend and hung the show on Monday. It will hang at the West Regional Branch Library through December 4th. It is really a beautiful show, and you can tell how much books and reading means to so many of us by viewing the artwork and watching the reactions of the library patrons as they view the artwork. The reception and awards presentations are tonight (Thursday). We are using entry fee money to assist the Library in purchasing artwork to hang in the library brances; and the Friends of the Mobile Public Library have also donated several hundred dollars to assist in building a permanent collection of art for the library system. Here is a copy of the exhibition Announcement and Invitation to the Reception. It is open to the public, so hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some Catching Up to Do

I just got back from a 2 1/2 week roadtrip - we drove up to Massachusetts and stopped several places in route to visit with family and friends. While I was gone, my friend Kathy Friedline picked up my artwork from the Shared Expressions show at the Mobile Museum of Art (Thanks, Kathy!). Here is a photo of the finished painting (earlier photo was posted of the incomplete underpainting). I call this Baldwin County Cow No. 2. This was a really pretty cow we discovered last fall when driving through Baldwin County looking for some plein air painting sites. This is acrylic on canvas (30-in. x 40-in.)

I got back just in time to help pull together the last minute plans for The Art of Reading exhibit at the West Regional Branch Library, and spent Friday and Saturday accepting artwork for the show. I had to frame my painting for the Reading show and varnish another painting I had just finished for entry in the Mobile Art Association at the Mobile Arts Council downtown. Both were due Saturday but at opposite sides of town - and I had to be at the libary all day Saturday. Fortunately my friend Karen McGahagin agreed to deliver the painting for the downtown show for me (Thanks Karen!). Judging and inventorying all the submitted work for the Reading show was completed on Saturday, and then hanging the selected artwork on Monday this week. I then worked Tuesday at Cathedral Square Gallery. And showed up for Downtown Figure Group session tonight. Then tomorrow is the opening reception for the Art of Reading Show. And then LODA Artwalk and staffing of the counter at Cathedral Square Gallery on Friday evening. Phew!

Here is the Watercolor/acrylic painting I submitted for The Reading Show. This is called "One, Two, Three . . ." and is watercolor/acrylic on paper. This is son-in-law Christian reading to grandbaby Priya. She loves reading books!

Here also is the painting I entered into the Mobile Art Association Fall Juried Exhibition. This is acrylic on canvas, 16-in x 20-in. I call this "Yard Sale Tractor". Someone had placed this old, beat-up tractor by the street with a For Sale sign on it. It kind of looks like Fall to me. Hopefully it will cool down soon and start feeling like fall again around here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Washington Square Oak - finally complete!

Earlier this summer our plein air group met in Washington Square for some painting - we especially picked this site because it was shady and thus cool enough to continue our painting sessions into the heat of summer. I painting the large sprawling oak in the square, and pretty much finished it on site, but there was still some "tweaking" to do. My friend Jami had expressed an interest in the painting "as is", but in my usual manner I continued to tweak it to the point she was despairing of some of the "fine-tuning" I had done. Today we met for a raining afternoon exercise in finishing up several paintings from our plein air sessions. I was able to make a few adjustments and finish this painting - under the watchful eyes of Jami. She purchased this at the end of the session - so I have now declared this one completed! Here is the final version. An earlier version is included here in my posting on June 8th. Relatively subtle changes, but it is better now.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Watercolor and Graphic Arts Society Show

My good friend Janie Brown asked me a few months ago if I would be interested in joining the Watercolor and Graphics Arts Society. Of course, I was interested. You have to be nominated as a prospective member and submit two watercolor paintings for consideration by the society members during their Fall show. I decided to enter my "Life Is Good" watercolor, and then just finished this other watercolor a few weeks ago for my second submittal. This is a fellow I often see riding his bicycle to McNally Park, with his Shitszu riding in the back basket. Last fall, several of us were doing some plein air painting at McNally Park and this fellow rode up to observe what we were up to. My friend Jami Buck took some photos, and agreed to share them with me so I could do this watercolor. I call this "McNally Park Regulars". It is framed 24" x 18" (image approximately 18" x 12"). The two watercolors will be hanging in the WGAS show at West Regional Library beginning Monday, August 31, and through the month of September. Looks like it will be a really good show, so go check it out. The public reception and awards are on Thursday night, September 3, 6pm-8pm. At the end of the month, the prospective members find out if they were accepted into the society or not.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Spy - Through a Child's Eye

The Cathedral Square Gallery theme for August is "Through a Child's Eye". I did this quick watercolor sketch, with acrylic background, based on a photo of grandchild Silas. I loved the sideways glance and called this "I Spy...". I hung this watercolor along with the "Priya Loves Cherries" at my space at CSG, as examples of children's portraits I'd be willing to do. We'll see if there is any interest. I'm having fun with the watercolor because it is so quick. I seem to be so much more methodical and slow doing the acrylics and still trying to become more facile with oils, so right now watercolor is my "happy" medium.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Priya Loves Cherries

During my Mama Lisas group painting day on Saturday I started a portrait of our grandbaby Priya who just turned 2 years old last month. This is supposed to be a companion piece to the recently completed Life Is Good portrait of her brother Silas on his 2nd birthday (he'll be 4 years old in November). Priya is wearing her sweatshirt with cherries on it, and spent this summer selling fresh cherries in her wagon in the park in Lake City, Colorado. Priya has the rosiest cheeks, and I wanted to capture their "russety" color. And I especially like the rasberry/fuschia color of the background. I may have over-worked this a little, but could not help myself from fiddling to make sure the likeness was more true. . .and still there are a couple places I might adjust before I frame this. This is watercolor and acrylic on paper (watercolor for portrait and acrylic only for background). The newest grandbaby Levi now needs a portrait and I'm debating whether to do one soon or wait for his 2nd birthday. . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Figures, Figures... and hopefully more to come...

We did not have plein air painting this week, but I did make it to both Figure Group on Wednesday and Figure Drawing Class with Ben Shamback on Thursday. We had one of my favorite models for Figure Group - she has such an expressive face and has done great holding a pose. Here's my attempt to use watercolor and also apply some of the principles I've picked up in the Figure Drawing Class I'm also taking. We had pretty good turnout and hopefully will get enough artists to show up for the next couple of sessions before we disband for the rest of the summer. We are trying to figure out how to continue Figure Group into the fall and to determine where we will meet. More to come, I hope.

Thursday was our last session for the Figure Drawing Class. I've truly enjoyed this class and it has been a great refresher on drawing the figure: we've addressed contours, gestures, core vs. cast shadows, planes, etc. Although I missed the session last week, this week and last consisted of drawing one pose for the entire 3-hour class. Here is my attempt to apply all the principles we learned these past few weeks, plus Ben advised me to "lay in some of the background" to provide a reference value for the shadows and highlights on the figure - I kind of got carried away doing that. But it is amazing how many adjustments and improvements you can make over a 3-hour period. I think I'm about done with this one and am pleased with how it came out - only a few tweaks needed... This is charcoal (jumbo vine) on drawing paper.

Today I hosted my Mama Lisa painting group at my house. We had 10 of us participating in our monthly painting session and it was great fun. I started another watercolor portrait of grandbaby No.2 - I'll post when it is finished. It will be a companion piece to "Life is Good".

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boats and Figures and Art Walk

Had a fairly busy week last week. Tuesday we had our monthly membership meeting at Cathedral Square Gallery, and I took two figure drawings downtown to hang in my space (Seated Madonna and Reclining Madonna, which I had previously hung at Chez Giselle). On Wednesday morning our plein air group met again at Scott's Landing. Here is the Live Bait boat I painted on site with oil on canvas (8"x10"), along with a photo of the scene I was painting. This is not finished yet, but I did get pretty far along - probably will just adjust the highlights and shadows and add a few other touch-ups. Trying to keep it simple this time.

Wednesday night I drove downtown for Figure Group, but our model did not show up this week (Bummer!). We did have a group discussion about the need for more participation and ways to get the word out to recruit more members into the group so we can continue to pay for models and rent for our space at Space 301. So any of you out there that haven't been coming or have always wanted to draw the figure from life, come on down on Wednesday nights! It's a wonderful opportunity to practice your drawing skills, and a very affordable way to provide for a model on a regular basis. You really can't beat it!

On Thursday I took my Silas watercolor portrait to Southern Art and Frame shop for framing. And we did have our Figure Drawing class with Ben Shamback on Thursday night. This week we focused on drawing planes to define the shapes of the figure, and shading the figure based on the planes. Ben brought a great book about a British artist (Eane Uglow) who is expert at using planes to define the forms of the figure. Here are a couple of my drawings attempting this exercise.

Then on Friday night I manned my space for my first Art Walk since joining the Cathedral Square Gallery. I did not sell anything, but we had a good crowd and I enjoyed talking to the visitors to the gallery. A few folks were interested in the dog and chicken painting (Vision Outside Fellini's) and asked whether I did pet portraits - which is something I would truly love to do.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Latest Figures...

Since my last posting, I've been plein air painting at a friend's house on Dog River and at the Blue Gill Restaurant on the causeway, and attended two sessions of figure group and two figure drawing classes with Ben Shamback. I haven't completed the plein air paintings to my satisfaction yet so will post them later. But here are a few of my latest drawings from the figure drawing class. The male figure from 2 weeks ago was concentrating on depicting "overlapping masses"; and the female figures were from last week's class when we were beginning to experiment with shading of core shadows vs. cast shadows. I like my last drawing since I seemed to have employed both the overlapping masses and shading in this one. (I also liked our model's new haircut.) Still trying to get the knack of it. My fellow classmate, Conroy Hudlow, did quite well with the "shadowing" technique - you can check his drawings out on his blog. We are loving this class!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life is Good!

On Saturday, my Mama Lisas painting group met at Claire Noojin's home for some companionship painting. Mamas who participated included Claire, Jami Buck, Kay Rodriguez, Gail Bramer, Kathy Friedline, and myself. I brought a couple of snapshots of the grandkids and decided to start a small watercolor portrait of Silas, the oldest. He will be 4 years old in November and the photo I picked out to paint was from his 2-year birthday (I think). I loved the pouting expression on his face, in conjunction with the logo on his hat: "Life is Good". And so it is. This is approximately 9 in. x 10 in., watercolor and acrylic on paper. It was a good feeling to be able to finish this portrait in just a couple of sittings. I am now inspired to do a few more quick watercolors.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Hot Day of Plein Air Painting

Today was another scorcher! We had planned to meet this morning at Scott's Landing since it has a couple of shade trees and a covered gazebo next to the water. This turned out to be a good site for the weather. There was actually a comfortable breeze while we sat in the shade. The temp was at least 97 degrees with a heat index of over 100. But we were quite comfortable until about noon, and then the breeze slowed up and it began to feel HOT! Our plein air group started to meet last September, and Scott's Landing was our first site. It seemed nice to return today. Here is my watercolor painting completed today - mostly in the field but finished up back in the studio when I got home. I think this is just about done. We were complaining about the white pickup truck that was parked in front of the bait shop and blocking our view, but after I decided to include it in the painting, I decided it was one of my favorite parts of the painting.

Next week we have arranged to meet at the Blue Gill Restaurant - they offered to let us set up on their covered deck and paint - with a great view overlooking the marsh.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot! Hot! Hot! at Battleship Park!

Mobile and surrounding areas are in an extended heat wave - it's been in the upper 90s with heat index over 100 for the past couple of days, with more to come through the weekend. In spite of the heat a couple of us actually made it out to the Battleship Park on the causeway yesterday. Our Plein Air South group has been meeting through the summer months and have tried to locate shady areas to paint in order to escape the heat. Ainsley McNeely, Suzy Fox and I met yesterday morning and we trekked out onto the birdwatching pier adjacent to the park. There are covered pavillions on the boardwalk with interpretive signs to assist in identifying the waterfowl. At the end of the pier is a double-decked covered pavillion. Suzy and I camped out on top and were able to catch the warm breezes, which almost made it bearable, and the sweeping views of the marsh and bay. Ainsley stayed sheltered below for more intimate scenes of the marsh. Here's my watercolor which was completed on site. I had fun using brushstrokes to depict all the different marsh vegetation, and lost my No. 4 sable brush overboard while adding the crane structures in the background. I'm also including a photo of the marsh view for comparison purposes. I'm not sure if I will do any more to this - maybe just a few extra detail touches in the foreground.

I had a couple of hours to recover yesterday afternoon before heading back downtown for the first session of a Figure Drawing Class at Space 301 Gallery, which is being taught by Ben Shamback (an art professor at University of South Alabama). This is going to be a great class - some of us from the Figure Group are participating in order to refresh our skills and glean some new tips. Here is one of my charcoal drawings from the first session. We were practicing getting our proportions correct and using convex lines in our drawings.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No Circus Today, and Catch-up on Plein Air

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus arrived in town last week, and are camped out in the Civic Center parking lot until the end of next week when the circus performances begin. This is a 2-week layover that allows the performers and many of the other staff to take some vacation time, so nothing much is happening until they all get back in town. But the elephants and "lions and tigers and bears", and various circus trailers, are all sequestered in the parking lot. Several of us plein air painters (Lydia and Tracy Host, Jami Buck, Laura Worsham, and me) tried today to get inside the compound so we could do some plein air painting of this unusual subject material - but to no avail. The nice fellow we talked to said that we could try again next week when the managers (those who can make a decision) come back into town. So we'll be there with our most persuasive manners employed. Stay tuned.

We then headed for Washington Square to squeeze in some painting. Laura Worsham documented us with her ready camera. The rest of us sketched or painted. I tried out some new "interactive" acrylic paints I just mail-ordered, trying to paint on gessoed watercolor paper. I was not impressed, as the paper/gesso combination just ate up the paint - too absorbent! By time I got home, I was a frustrated artist - so instead decided to finish the oak tree painting I started a couple of weeks ago when Jami Buck and I went to Washington Square on our own. I loved this grand old oak with it's huge limb reaching all the way to the ground. The challenge was to depict the various colors in the shadows on the trunk, showing the twisted musculature of the trunk, as well as the mossy bark and resurrection fern growing on the limb. Here it is - I think this is pretty much finished - but may need to add a little more color on the limb to reflect the foreshortening. This is oil on canvas, 8 in x 10 in.

I also "fiddled" more with my River Shack painting I started a couple of months ago. I decided to inject a little life into the painting by adding some pelicans on the dock posts. Last week my husband and I took a drive down to the coastal areas and photographed some pelicans so I could include what I hope are some realistic pelican poses. Here's what I hope is the final product. This is oil on board, 9 in x 12 in. I'm looking for a frame for these two paintings and may take them down to the Cathedral Square Gallery this week.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another "Baby Step" Forward

Today I hung some artwork at the Cathedral Square Gallery. This is an artists' cooperative gallery located downtown on what's known as Lower Dauphin Street (LODA for short). My artist friend Mary Rodning is a member and has been encouraging me to join for sometime now. I was hesitant to try until I had time to accumulate some artwork. I finally put my application in last week and learned on Thursday that my artwork had been accepted. I decided to start with a smaller space and maybe graduate to a bigger space once I get my feet wet. However, I learned that much of my work is such a size that it fills up the smaller space quite quickly - I could only comfortably fit 5 pieces on the wall (4 ft wide by 8 ft tall). No room for the cows! But this will allow me to take time to create new work and be ready for another rotation of artwork in a few months time. I think participating in the gallery will be a good opportunity for me to learn about the business end of art. The CSG group also has alot of fun during the LODA artwalks every second Friday, and other community art events or fund-raisers throughout the year.

Here is a photo taken after I filled up my artspace. I still need to add my name plate and a few things, but this is basically it for my first setup.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Figure Group, Joe Jefferson, and Plein Air - and New Grandbaby!

Several things to report as happenings over the past few days. Last Wednesday was plein air painting at Five Rivers and then later that day we had Jay-Jay as our model again at Figure Group. He is new to modeling but does a fantastic job. Here are a couple of my watercolor sketches from Wednesday night.

Thursday I gave my friend Kathy Friedline my Old Baldwin County Barn watercolor to place in the Joe Jefferson Theatre lobby for these two weekends while they are running the play "Company". Kathy does a great job finding venues for local artists to show their work, and this is just one of them.

Saturday morning we learned we have a new grandbaby - a beautiful, robust, little boy - making Grandbaby No. 3 (no name yet!). He was born at home in Lake City, Colorado. Can't wait to see him in person, but 'til then we are savoring the photos. I think he looks like his grandaddy Burkett.

Sunday we had our May meeting of the Mobile Art Association with a nice presentation by Ernest Kirkland and Bill Morris regarding using Photoshop (or similar programs) to assist in composing a painting. Also got a preview look at the Shared Expressions show at the Mobile Museum of Art. This is a combined show of all the local arts organizations (MAA, Mobile Watercolor and Graphics Society, Camera South, Azalea Quilt Society, Sumi-e, Etc....). The opening reception is this Thursday evening, 7-9 p.m. You should really try to check it out! The show will hang all summer until September.
Today (Monday) we held our plein air painting group at the Stewartfield Avenue of the Oaks on the Spring Hill College campus. I tried my oils this time. Here is the result. I will need to work a little bit more on some darker values, but am satisfied with the composition and the house for the most part. I painted beside Joan Whitespunner Dixon today - we were both struggling to get the colors and shadows and the green resurrection ferns on the trees - I think she finally figured it all out - I'm still struggling a little here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

VSA Partner

Last week my artist friend Carolyn Greene invited me to participate in the VSA Partners program this year. Yesterday I showed up at the Fred Delchamps (M.A.R.C. ) center (Carolyn is the art teacher at the center) to paint with a Very Special Artist partner - his name is Terry. I showed Terry several photos of cows and completed paintings of cows to pick from as references for a cow painting we could complete together. He immediately fixed on the cow angel painting I did for the Divine Bovine show, so that was the subject for our painting. Here is a photo of Terry and me with the completed painting. He was so proud that he called in about a dozen folks from the center's hallways to see his painting before I left - Carolyn said he called in another 10 or so after I left. It was really gratifying to help with this project and see someone so excited about what he had done and so proud of his accomplishment. I'm glad Carolyn gave me this opportunity. The VSA Partners auction of the completed artwork is scheduled to be held at the Easter Shore Art Center in Fairhope around June 25th.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Artists in Communities South at TASTE

Last week I received a reminder from my friend Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough that the Artists in Communities South group was sponsoring an exhibit at the hip wine bar TASTE on Old Shell Road. This exhibit was also to sponsor music and poetry by local artists. The exhibit focused on women artists in the local area. I turned in my artwork (Nova Scotia Cow No. 1 -Maggie) on Friday afternoon. This was the closest to bar-art I could come up with. The exhibit was from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, and artwork was judged by Chris Davis of Southern Living Magazine and Nancy Raia of Eastern Shore Art Center. I arrived around 8:30 p.m. and met up with artist friends Jami Buck, Mary Beth Culp and Ainsley McNeely. I learned that the ceremonies were completed around 6:30 p.m. and most everyone else had already gone home. But was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had won the first place award! Jami had received an honorable mention! I enjoyed a glass of white wine. Then we all took our paintings off the wall and went home. Interesting concept for a party!? Here is a photo of my prize: candy shaped and painted (realistically) to look like makeup and other girly things. Obviously a work of art itself!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Plein Air and Figure Group and Other Goings On

Yesterday was Wednesday - our Plein Air Group met in the morning at the Five Rivers Center on Mobile Causeway; and we had Figure Group in the evening at Space 301.
Ainsley McNeely is helping get our plein air group better organized with a new Plein Air South group website on Check it out. Those joining us yesterday were: Missy Patrick, Jami Buck, Lydia Host and Ainsley. We enjoyed our session in the shady wooded area along the nature trails. This was a different challenge, due to the dim light and filtered shadows. I attempted a grand live oak tree. I tried this in oil, which I'm still trying to figure out how to use. This will require some touching up before it is finished, but this is what I captured in the field. I hope to be able to add lots of colors in the shadows.

Also attached are some recent watercolors from figure group. I'm trying to add more colors for the fleshtones and shadows. Base color is still quinaquidone gold, my favorite watercolor tone to sketch with. We have two more sessions this term.

Also, on Monday I turned in my latest cow portrait (Baldwin County Cow No. 2) into the Mobile Art Association portion of the Shared Expressions exhibit, which will show at the Mobile Museum of Art from May 15 until September. I think this time my painting made it into the show. I did not get a photo of the finished painting (finished just in the nick of time for turn in!). But here is reference photo and the preliminary sketch/underpainting on the canvas. I liked the aqua background against the amber colors of the cow. I thought this was a really pretty cow with her spotted face. This is acrylic on canvas, 30 in. x 40 in. I'll try to get a photo of the finished painting soon.