Monday, November 7, 2011

Plein Air Excursion on Dauphin Island - Nov 2nd-4th

For the past couple of months, my artist friends Missy Patrick and Gail Bramer and I have been planning to spend a few days plein air painting on Dauphin Island. We decided to spend 2 nights at a Bed and Breakfast (Dauphin House) on the island and thus spend 3 days painting to our hearts' delight. We completed our trip last Wednesday through Friday. Although cool and breezy, it turned out to be perfect for some intensive plein air painting, and there were endless subjects to paint on the island. We also had a few others join us for the day the first day or two of plein air painting. This turned out to be a wonderful way to learn from each other and hone our plein air painting skills; figure out what type gear was best; and scratch the surface on painting subjects on the island. Once we started painting, the cares and worries were left on the other side of the bridge. The island has a slower pace and a definite laid-back atmosphere; and parks and scenic views abound. The days started with the hearty B&B breakfast; ended with relaxed conversation and a glass of wine; followed by seafood dinner and early to bed. As Gail said, she was suffering from DI withdrawal once she returned back to Mobile. I completed a couple of watercolors in my journal the first day; and spent the rest of the time trying out my oils and palette knife. I don't know how well I captured the scenes, but it was definitely fun trying. We are looking forward to our next foray into some intensive plein air painting, and planning some day trips back to the island before too long.

Two views of the pond in the Audubon Bird Sanctuary.

Below is marsh view next to the Ferry Landing on the East end of the island.

Below is photo of Missy and me painting the marsh scene.

Below is scene in Little Billie Goat Hole looking toward the Estuarium and the Gazebo overlooking the marsh creation site.

Below is fishing pier and weather tower on the East End, with natural gas rigs in the background. There was a grey sky as a weather front moved through for these two oil paintings on the water.

Below is bench along one of the nature trails at the Shell Mounds park. This was such a meditative place to explore.

Plein Air Painting in Downtown Mobile

Last month, my friend Satomi and I decided to do some plein air painting downtown on a Thursday morning, in an attempt to capture some of the downtown "flavor" - this was in anticipation of doing some drawings for a fund-raising cookbook to be put out by the Cathedral Square Gallery. I did a couple of quick studies of The Spot of Tea cafe on Dauphin Street; and the Saenger Theatre (looking out from our sidewalk lunch at Cafe 219). A couple of weeks later I spent another morning photographing several other historic structures as resources for future drawings. I was never able to finish some black & white drawings for the cookbook (due Nov 1st), but here, at least, are the 2 watercolor sketches I completed on that beautiful fall morning.

The Art of Reading Show

On my way out the door to head to the library to help take in artwork for The Art of Reading show on the morning of Oct 1st, I received a call that my Mom had just fallen and broken her leg - the same leg that was just beginning to heal from a hip implant she received a couple of months earlier. I headed straight to the emergency room, but Kathy, Phyllis, Tori and Ed came through and managed to pull together the show - in an outstanding manner. I've spent the past month or so doing hospital duty and eventually helping my Mom get back home and hopefully on the road to recovery; so am just now beginning to get caught back up on things. Here is a photo of me at the reception beside my monotype print, "Remember, It Is a Sin To Kill a Mockingbird". Kathy's wonderful photo of bridesmaid reading as bride preps for the wedding is over my shoulder.

The library staff furnished a beautiful cake, which was a work of art in itself, with a 3-dimensional artist urchin sitting atop a pile of books - I was lucky enough to be able to save it and bring her home with me. We had a wonderful selection of artwork in the show, and I commend those artists who took the time to share their love of books and reading as reflected in their artwork; and to the Friends of the Mobile Public Library for donating funds for several purchase awards (providing $800 in purchase award funds!) The show will hang at the West Regional Branch Library until December 2nd, so be sure to go see it if you haven't already. This is a bi-annual show, and already looking forward to doing this again in 2013!