Thursday, January 14, 2016

Plein Air Paintings

Over the past several years, I have enjoyed plein air painting with several artist friends, and we have organized ourselves into a group named PleinAirSouth.  We have painted many locales in the Mobile Bay area, including but not limited to the Mobile Causeway area, Dog River area, Mobile Botanical Gardens, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, and downtown Mobile.  Our group has also traveled to Apalachicola, Florida for the Forgotten Coast Plein Air Paint Out for the past three years.  This past August, we were able to show some of our work at the Mobile Arts Council.  Below are some photos showing my artwork in the PleinAirSouth exhibit last August, some of my other recent plein air paintings, and a few photos of myself enjoying painting outside.

My artwork included in the August 2015 PleinAirSouth exhibit at Mobile
Arts Council.  These include a close-up of lotuses at the Japanese Gardens;
a shrimp boat at the Beachcomber Marina on Dog River; Merlin's Barn at
Deer Park farm near Citronelle; and an old cottage along Dog River.        

"Grassy Meadow in the Pines" - painted in the Long Leaf Pine
Preserve at Mobile Botanical Gardens, during the Long Leaf
Conference in October 2014.                                                   

Painting in the Long Leaf Pine Preserve at Mobile Botanical Gardens.              

Shrimp Boats in Scipio Creek Marina, Apalachicola, Florida.                          

Windy Day on St. Joe Bay, Port St. Joe, Florida; during the Forgotten Coast
Plein Air Paint Out.                                                                                        

Painting Old Cottage on Dog River.                                  

Painting Merlin's Barn at the farm near Deer Park, Alabama.                       

Painting boats at Beachcomber Marina on Dog River.       

Fort Gaines on east end of Dauphin Island.                                                    

Painting the Fort on the east end of Dauphin Island.         

Divine Managerie Exhibition - Reception on Friday, December 11, 2015

I thought I would post a few photos from the opening reception for my first solo exhibition:  Divine Managerie.  The reception was held during the December LoDa ArtWalk.  There were lots of Christmas Elves wandering through, as well as many of my dear friends and art lovers from the Mobile community.

Me with some of my Bovines and a couple of Equines.

My friend Kathy with her grand-daughter, Lizzie - a young art appreciator.

Me with my friend, Suzie Rouillier.  This portrait of the Baldwin County
Brahmans is based on a beautiful photograph Suzie shared with me.       

My artist friends Conroy and Kathy.
Me and my friend Connie.

Gail and me.

Satomi was so sweet to come see the show and brought me a rose!
Jeff contemplating the Brahmans.
I enjoyed discussing my art with these enthusiastic art students f rom the
University of South Alabama.  Future artists to look out for!                   
Roxann, Gail and Bill, and me.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Divine Menagerie: Bovines, Ovines, Equines and More . . .

Divine, adj. 1: of or relating to or proceeding directly from God or a god; 2: supremely good, superb.

Menagerie, n. 1: a place where animals (household or farm) are kept and trained, esp. for exhibition; 2: a varied mixture.

For the past ten years I have been working on a series of cow paintings, or shall I say paintings of the cow (Bovines).  Recently I have expanded my work to include other pastoral or domestic animals such as goats and sheep (Ovines), and burros (Equines), as well as a few family pets.  My paintings of these “divine” creatures are treated as portraits, rather than animal paintings.  As such, I attempt to capture the personality of my subject, and also hopefully establish a connection between the subject and the viewer. 

I am having my first solo exhibit during the month of December.  The opening reception is Friday, December 11, at the Mobile Arts Council during the LoDa ArtWalk.  This show includes artwork I completed over the past 10 years.  Many of the pieces in the exhibit have been previously posted on this blog, which was interrupted over three years ago by the extended illness and death of my mother, and the subsequent family responsibilities I inherited. Although I have continued to post highlights of my artistic experience on my Facebook page, I think it is time to return to my ArtSpace on this blog.  I thought I would take this opportunity to post some of the "newer" artwork in my show that has not previously appeared in this space.  And I hope that some of you will be able to see the work in person during the month of December.

Misty's Eyes, Watercolor on Paper, 7 in. x 10 in, 2013.

Audubon Petting Zoo Sheep, Acrylic on
Matboard, 3.5 in x 2.5 in, 2014.

Blount County Goats, Watercolor on Yupo, 16 in. x 20 in.,
Nellie and the Turkish Rug, Watercolor on Yupo,
18 in. x 24 in., 2015.

Baldwin County Spotted Ass and Burro, Don Quixote and
Sancho, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 in. x 48 in., 2015.

Suzie's Baldwin County Brahmans, Oil on Canvas,
36 in. x 36 in.,  2015.

Mary's Little Lamb, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 in. x 30 in., 2015.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Last month was June? And now it's July!

Well, time does fly nowadays!  Last month was June and we had our Watercolor & Graphic Arts Members' Exhibition at the Mobile Arts Council. this show hung until June 30th. I had entered two paintings - a simple little watercolor of one of the wagons full of produce at the Cathedral Square Saturday Market Day; and a small watercolor monoprint I did integrating one of my figure drawings.  Here is a photo of my monoprint.  This is called "The Bamboo Garden". 

I've been enjoying doing the watercolor monoprints and experimenting with this medium.  I've now ordered some lithographic supplies and hope to experiment with this other traditional printmaking medium in the next few weeks.

. . . And on the 30th of June we took down the WGAS show and took in artwork for the "Dog Days of Summer" exhibit, also at the Mobile Arts Council.  This show will hang for the month of July. The show is curated by my friend Kathy Friedline, and the artists will also make up notecards of their dog artwork to sell as a fundraiser for the Alexander's Place rescue organization for Great Danes and other large dogs.  The opening reception will be during the LoDa artwalk on July 13th.  Here is my dog painting:  "Morgan's Sad Hound-Dog Eyes", acrylic on paper, approximately 10 in. x 10 in.  This is a portrait of my college room-mate Kathy's "grand-dog" - her son Aaron's dog Morgan.  While visiting with her a couple of years ago I promised her I'd do a portrait of Morgan, and have been feeling sheepish that I'd never yet gotten around to completing the portrait.  I was delighted that this show came up, because it gave me the spur I needed to go ahead and paint Morgan's portrait.  Hopefully I have been able to capture those sad, hound-dog eyes.

Hope you can make it to the exhibit to see all the wonderful dog artwork - there are 31 artists participating and lots of diversity in the artwork.  And please consider making a contribution to help out the dog rescue organizations!

And here is a wonderful article about the Dog Days of Summer exhibit by Thomas Harrison of the Mobile Press-Register.  We will really miss Thomas and all he has been doing in support of the local arts scene - he will be leaving us later this summer as the local newspapers go digital and consolidate resources throughout the State. We wish him well in his future pursuits and wonder how our arts community is going to survive this loss.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Turning over a new stone?

I just realized I haven't updated my blog for a while. Here's a follow-up on the Spanish Moss Miniature Art Show. We had artists from 13 different States, and one artist from Iran. We also had 6 local artists in the show this year. Here is a link to the AMAS site with the information on entries and awards; and a photo of some of the representative work from the show.
We took the Spanish Moss show down at the end of March. I had good news from the show - both of my mini paintings won an award. "Let's Play Ball" won one of the local artist's awards - one of the best possible awards since it was a gift certificate from Alabama Art Supply! And my "Longhorn Calves" painting won a purchase prize from the Nall Foundation. Nall was the judge for our show, and I was very honored to have a fine artist, and our judge, choose my painting for one of his purchases. His other purchase was a very fine painting by a miniature artist from California. Frances Ashcraft and I delivered the two purchase award paintings to Nall in Fairhope yesterday. Here is a photo of Nall with the mini cows.
And today was the quarterly Sketchcrawl - which was held at the Mobile Botanical Gardens this time. Satomi and I hurried over to the gardens after our morning Figure Group session and only had an hour or so there to sketch - but the weather was cool and the gardens were beautiful, so it was a wonderful day for some outdoor sketching. Here is the watercolor sketch I completed of the herb garden fountain area. And a link to the FB website posting of all of the other sketchcrawl sketches. This is a great way to join with a community of other artists for some fun sketching, and a good way to hone your sketching skills. Sketchers all over the world go out sketching the same day and post their results on the web so you definitely get the sense of a global community of artists who all enjoy the act of sketching.
And I could not resist posting a couple of photos of my newly acquired Lithographic Stone!! Two of my artist friends who are fine printmakers took me with them to check out some antique litho stones offered by a fellow whose father had long ago owned a commercial printing shop here in Mobile. Fred and Conroy helped me pick out a small stone (a size that I can handle myself), and Fred took it home and grained it for me. I brought it home today and it is now in my studio looking beautiful and ready to go. I've ordered some litho crayons and tusche, and a couple of handbooks, and hope to get started soon in the new (for me) media of lithography. I'm inspired and excited about the new challenge, and hoping to get some mentoring from my printmaker buddies. This is an 8 1/2" x 11" stone, so I'll probably be able to make prints around 6" x 9" in size.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Miniature Art - 2012

Our annual Spanish Moss Miniature Art show is coming up - we take in art tomorrow (Sunday). This year our show will be at the Cathedral Square Gallery, hanging for the month of March. There will be fine miniature art from all over the United States, and possibly from other countries overseas as well. We have also been trying to stimulate interest from more of our local artists, so it will be interesting to see how much local participation we get this year. I think you would be amazed at the quality and diversity of the artwork, so why don't you check out the exhibit during the LoDa artwalk on March 9th - or any other time during the month. Here are the 2 pieces I painted for the show. (They actually look better in person - I was having trouble getting a decent photograph due to the glare off the varnish - next time I'll photo before I varnish!

"Let's Pay Ball!", acrylic on matboard, 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. (2012)

"Longhorn Calves, Jackson County, MS", acrylic on matboard, 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. (2012)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yupo Critters

I'm trying to complete a few paintings in preparation for next month, when I will be one of several featured artists at Cathedral Square Gallery. The theme will be Animal Art: All Creatures Great and Small. I've been doing some watercolor sketches on Yupo paper during my Saturday morning figure group, and have liked the loose effect as the polypropylene paper repels the wet medium and the resulting "puddles" of color. I decided to attempt a couple of critter portraits for display at the gallery. Here are two I have just completed. Come see them in person during the LoDa Artwalk on Friday, February 10th.

P.E.I. Cow No. 4 - "Cleo", Watercolor on Yupo Paper, 7 in. x 7 in. (approx.), 2012

Audubon Petting Zoo Goat No. 3 - Young Billygoat, Watercolor on Yupo Paper, 7 in. x 7 in., 2012