Monday, September 20, 2010

Postcard from the Gulf

Today I mailed in my Postcard from the Gulf to Val Webb. She is helping to coordinate a fund-raiser for the Alabama Coastal Foundation. Artists from around the U.S. and the world at large have been requested to submit a vintage postcard with artwork with a Gulf coast area theme added on the message side of the postcard. Val mails out the vintage postcards and the artist mails it back once it has been enhanced with their artistic statement. Here is my postcard. I was inspired by the alligator snapping turtle at the Mobile Exploreum Reptile exhibit - we met there for the Mobile Sketch Crawl event at the end of July. I had difficulty sketching him during the sketch crawl because he kept pacing back and forth to focus on the visitors on the other side of the aquarium. But I was able to get a couple of good photos, and caught him in the classic snapping turtle pose. You do not want to get "nipped" by one of these guys! They hang out in the rivers and swamps along the Gulf coast, as well as further inland. I could not resist also adding a little to the photo side of the card - it was a colorful bouquet of flowers, but leant itself with a few little fishes to resemble a colorful coral reef - just for fun. (watercolor and acrylic on vintage postcard).

They will auction these cards for $50 each at a fund-raiser reception in the next month or so. Stay tuned. Here is a link to the Postcards from the Gulf.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plein Air at Abandoned Restaurant on Causeway

Last Thursday our Plein Air South group met at the Abandoned Restaurant on the Mobile Causeway to capture some Mobile Bay and Delta scenes. We had a good group, including Marie Nickerson, Jo Patton, Joan White-spunner Dixon, Satomi Kamei, Conroy Hudlow, and Jami Buck. I decided to try oils and paint as quickly and loosely as I could muster (and for me that is usually a challenge). Here is my result. I'm satisfied that I captured the colors of early fall. Also, here is photo of Satomi with her watercolor of basically the same scene. It it nice to see how we used our media differently to reflect the same view of the delta marsh and inlets. While there we saw a young gator, a little blue heron, night heron - and an osprey who landed on top of the tree in this painting. Later we saw the osprey diving and flying off with his catch. Some of the joys of outdoor painting!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Touch of Fall in the Air

The last couple of nights have had a touch of Fall in the air - the front has moved in some drier air and it has gotten into the low 70s and upper 60s overnight and a semi-cool breeze during the day. There is also a touch of excitement as football season is starting and the cultural events are becoming mobilized. Tomorrow is Labor Day, and the September artwalk is this coming Friday; and then a whole slew of activities begin. This past week, our Cathedral Square Gallery artist hung samplings of our artwork at the University of South Alabama campus library. I hung my large charcoal drawing (Life Drawing Class), and an oil painting I completed a couple of years ago at a workshop with Bill Thompson. Bill encouraged us to paint "fast and loose", and we were challenged to complete an oil painting within 30 minutes. Here is one I did in the workshop, which I really did not at the time feel was "finished". However, I recently bought a frame for it and intended to touch it up before delivering it to the gallery - but somehow the frame seemed to set it off and I couldn't decide what I would add or change. So here is my "finished" painting! I call this "Koi Splash" (16 in. x 20 in., oil on canvas). I painted this from memory, but the inspiration is from my friend Connie's koi pond. This is currently at the USA Library until November 1st.