Saturday, December 4, 2010

Figure Group and Holiday Studio Tours

Last night I drove over to see the opening of the Eastern Shore Art Association Members' Show. I have 2 pieces in the show: "Koi Splash" and "Winter Grackles at St. Marks Refuge", both have previously hung in Mobile but not previously in Fairhope. A nice crowd for the Fairhope First Friday Art Walk. And a nice start to the weekend.
We had a new model today in Figure Group and we all seemed to be inspired by her - lots of wonderful drawings today. It's been a while since I posted some figure drawings, so here are a couple from this morning - pencil sketch and watercolor (my favorite quinacridone gold) - 20 minutes each. I was concentrating on using shadows and negative space to define the form.

After Figure Group, several of us met for lunch at Butch Cassidy's Cafe, and then on to the Holiday Studio Tour. Several local artists have grouped together and opened their studios or homes for display of their handcrafted items for sale as holiday gifts. We visited Bertice McPherson's pottery studio, Val Webb's home with several artists showing together, and Kaoru Oka's home where several artists joined to show weavings, pottery, jewelry and book art. I bought 2 pottery bird whistles from Bertice; 2 sets of beaded bracelets made by Soul of Somanya (African village women from Ghana, West Africa) at Val's house; and a hand-crafted book made by Barbara Spafford at Kaoru's house. It is a wonderful feeling to have completed a portion of my Christmas shopping with purchases from local artists friends and a good start to the holiday season.

I also have started an artist journal, although it is a habit I have yet to adequately cultivate. Anyway, here are two "recent" sketches: a small utility structure I often drive past on the Brookley Field Industrial Complex which I completed in October (I wanted to capture this structure because it appears to be threatened by adjacent construction and may not remain for long); and a colorful simple sweetgum leaf which fell from the tree in my front yard in late November. We've had beautiful color this fall, and I regret not having been able to get out for much plein air painting lately due to bad weather or my travel schedule or other art activities and demands. But hopefully soon!

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