A New Year – 2014

   It is hard to believe that we are starting a new year.  2013 just flew by.  So many things happened to keep me busy. We did make a trip to Alaska which was fantastic. What a beautiful place it is. Denali Park was unbelievable!

We also took a great trip to Washington, DC with our grandson, Patrick.  It was fantastic. It was our second trip like this with a grandson and we did much more this time. We learn more each time we go.

I became President of the Board of Glynn Art the end of April and it has been almost a full time job. A lot to do but now we have a new Executive Director so I think that my load will lessen.  Now we can move on to going out to spread the word about the importance of a visual arts center in a community and develop strong programs for everyone.

I have three goals for this year. One is to work harder on developing my artwork. The second is to continue playing golf and work on that chip shot which is so illusive for me on a consistent basis. The third is to try to make my gardens look a little better. Also. Mike and I want to continue to travel as much as we can get away since we both have a fair amount of volunteering we do.

Now for the real reason I wanted to make a posting to my blog. I have just completed a mural in the cafeteria of the new Brunswick High School. I was interested in doing this when Glynn Art was contacted about getting an artist to do this but I was just too busy with upcoming events at Glynn Art. Then, when the artist who was going to do it had to back out, I was given another chance at it.   I was happy to say I was available to do it.

I love doing wall murals above any thing else that I do.  For some reason, I am able to transfer my images to a large scale on the wall. I understand that not everyone can do this. Some artists use a projector to impose the image on the wall so that they can get the scale right. I do not. I just make my drawing – using a grid, then I just start putting it up on the wall. Sometimes, I have to make corrections but with paint that is easy.

My subject was to be a Tuscan Theme. So I worked out an image with a view from a terrace overlooking a lake and the surrounding countryside.
I worked on the mural for 6 days. The main wall was 20 feet by 9 feet.  The one corner wall was another 4 feet. For the final touch, I sponged the wall around the image to make it look older and mottled.

Wall before mural

 The first picture is what the blank wall looked like.  One of my grandsons goes to Brunswick High. So the whole project took on a special meaning to me. Main Wall

    I also like for people to see what creative endeavors can add to an environment.  Life would be so dull without art and creative people!

The photo on the left is the blank wall before I started.  The photos on the right  are the panorama image on the large wall and around the corner to the left is the wall with the window.

Then, there is a shot of the small wall around the right corner.

Window and UrnRight wall and stairway

 

 

New Floral Monotypes

Society Garlic and Ferns 3

 I have just recently had the opportunity to get back to my printmaking.  When we added my studio to our house, I got my etching press back after three years of loaning it to someone.  When we cl0sed our store, I didn’t have room for it.  But now I have it back.  I hope to get some use out of it.

I have had a busy year spending alot of time volunteering for various local nonprofits but now I think that I can once again devote a bit more time to my art.  I have been teaching art and working or creative things but now I hope to get back to painting and printmaking.

Here is my latest efforts.  I made a series of monotypes with various flower material from my yard. 

I used pastels over the oil based inks to fine tune the images.  I love using the pastel over the inks.  They grab the pastel and give it a rich base color.  These type of monotypes combine my love of gardening and my art.

New Zealand – 2011

We have just returned from a month long trip to New Zealand.   What a delight, both the scenery and the people.

We drove around the northern part of the North Island and the southern part of the South Island.  It was late spring.  The thing that I noticed the most was the continual singing of the birds.  They were everywhere and the sound was beautiful.  It was like hearing part of a symphony everywhere we went.  The other thing that was so noticeable was the gorse and the broom.  The New Zealanders think of these plants as weeds but at this time of year they are in bloom. Bright yellow coated the landscape with sunshine.  The other plant that was blooming profusely at this time was the Lupines.  These white, lavender, and purple spikes were everywhere.  It was such a treat to both eye and ear.

Besides all normal tourist attractions that we saw, we went to a kiwi fruit orchard and learned about how they are grown. We visited a working dairy farm and walked in the pasture with the cows.  Both of these were very interesting.  We saw a sheep being shorn at The Agradome in Rotorua as well as many other animals in the paddocks there.

We went on various boat trips on our travels to get a view of things from the water.  We went through “the hole in the rock” in the Bay of Pleny.      We also saw various Maori carved icons.  Especially impressive was the meeting house in Whaitangi where the treaty was signed between the British and the Maori.  Also there was the largest canoe I have ever seen.  

We saw a very active geyser and hot springs with bubbling mud.   The glow worm caves reminded me of the view from an airplane looking down on a city.  Instead we were looking up into the roof of a cave.  We saw the yellow-eyed penquins under shelters on the hillside watching over their newborns.  The Albatross flew overhead and were nesting on the hillside at the Albatross Center.  I think that perhaps there may be more sheep, cows and red deer in New Zealand than people.  they were everywhere.

On the South Island, the scenery was magnificent.  It was wild and rugged and just spectacular.  Milford Sound was breath-taking.  All natural water in New Zealand is the clearest I’ve ever seen.  The ocean’s harbors are emerald green.  They are just beautiful.  We could see clear to the bottom if it was not too deep.  We took a jet boat down the river where parts of The Lord of the Ring was filmed.  It took us fairly deep into the southern mountain range onto a lake that was not accessible other than by boat.

 

   Southern Mountains               Milford Sound                                                               Russell

 Yellow-Eyed Penquins         Maori Rock Carvings – Lake Taupo                     Geyser – Rotorua

One of the most wonderful things about traveling on your own is the unexpected little treasures you find.  The observing the penquins was one of those times.  Our guide told us that it is uncommon to see one adult penquin come back to the nest and releave the other one.  We happened to see the one adult coming out of the water from our place high up on the  hill.  We saw her walk up the beach, enter the grass in the hill and walk all the way up to the lean-to where the father was watching the hatchlings while she was on her 12 hour cycle of getting nourishment.  Then after an interesting dance routine and gesturing to each other the male strutted off, pausing at one point to define the noises he heard (us on the hill above) and then he proceeded back to the water to start his turn at the search for food.

I will post some more pictures soon.

 

New Studio and Partners in Art

 

After 4 month of renovations, I moved into my studio in July.  I coudn’t be happier.  I thought that by now I would be back to painitng and printmaking  but I have gotten myself into so many volunteer things that I spend all my time on the computer doing reports, graphic projects and emailing. However my big event for fall was yesterday so now I can concentrate, perhaps on my own artwork.

 

 

 

Yesterday I launched an associate program Partners In Art at the Glynn Art Association with an Edible Art contest. We invited local culinary experts to design something which showed off their artistic talents.  All the guest attendees judged the food and then were able to sample it.

 

 

 

The winner was Blackwater Grill who submitted a cake rendition of Guy Fieri from The Food Network.

 The Partners In Art program is designed to attract mostly non artists,  but all artists are welcome too, to come support the art association. By providing interesting talks on the many subjects which touch on art, we will try to get them to the facility more frequently and then perhaps get them to be patrons and supporters.   We will have some hands on experiences for non artists also.

Over the course of the year we will bring in speakers on art history, architecture, fashion, art collecting, about being a professional writer and a professional artist.  We will provide a myriad of programs on anything to do with art which means that we can touch on an unlimited number of subjects. I have found already enough people to come talk about their field to fill up this year’s schedule. We live in a place which has attracted many interesting people of diverse backgrounds.

We can also go farther afield to bring experts in.  It is amazing how many people are interested in the process that designers go through to create their art, buildings, landscapes, fashions, etc.  We hope to build a community of people who are interested in being with others who want to learn more about the world around them from the creative side.

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A New Beginning in 2011

After probably a year, I am ready to start entering new info again. We have just closed down our store here on St. Simons Island. We are getting ready to create a studio for me over our garage here at home. I can’t wait for that. I can get my printing press back and I will have a place to spread out and really get down to some painting and printmaking.  Of course I will save time for golf too!

I have been very busy this past year with some teaching. I have continued to teach at a senior citizens residence. I have only two students there but I am trying to attract more people so it will be worth my time going. Of course I could always have quit but the two people I have are very dear to me and they want to paint very much and it is not a hardship for me to give a few hours a month to guide them in their efforts. I also have started an after-school art club at my grandson’s elementary school. We have about 25 students in the class. They are 8 – 11 years old. We have had 3 teachers over the 12 week period and we all teach different aspects of art. It has been interesting. We are doing it because they lost their art teacher this year due to budget cuts. It has been fun.

I also have just finished a mural for a baby’s room.I am very pleased with it and would love to do more children’s rooms.

I have been asked to give three talks over the next 2 months at The Epworth Center for the Elder Hostel group that meets there. One is for a watercolor class which is the talk and demo I am preparing for now and then there will be an acrylic and then an oil class. I have done this for many years now but preciously only talked about framing but now I can extend into talking about experimental techniques in the various mediums.

Hospice Mural

Hospice Balloons Using my design, about 40 women came on a very cold Saturday morning to the local Hospice Center to paint hot air balloons on a wall in the youth bereavement room.  Many of these women had not done anything like this before but took the plunge and put paint on the wall.  Some were more hesitant and started with cutting out the hospice bird which was to be pasted on the cabinet doors to hide their sterility.

Besides the balloons, I had envisioned a large tree in a corner by a book case so that the children could sit under the canopy of the tree and read.

We also had a 3 dimensional artist create 3 hot air balloons which would hang from the ceiling.  My idea was to integrate the 2 dimensional with the 3 dimensional concept.  Also we put several strings of leaves draping over hooks on the ceiling over our painted tree.

It was great for me to see my ideas come to fruition with this project.  It did look just like I had envisioned.  My images came from the idea of young people coping with the death of a loved one and thinking of their death as a lifting up from this earth to a more ethereal place.  This I hoped to accomplish with the balloons and the flying birds.  Then I looked upon the tree in the corner as a peaceful place to rest with words of comfort.

Hospice Birds  on cabinetTo date I have done many murals alone.  I have also done a number with volunteer help, mostly young people.  I must say that this one has been one of the most rewarding.  We have turned a very ordinary uninspiring room  into a colorful and lively space but also one that should be comforting to its inhabitants.



Another year's almost over

Here we are in December already which means that 2009 is almost over.  The older you get, the faster the years go by.  I had a milestone birthday this year which, when I was young, meant you were old.  But now that I am there, it doesn’t seem so old.  As always, it depends upon which side of the fence you are standing.

At any rate, for some unknown reason, it seems that the older I get the more creative my brain becomes.  This could be because the older you get the more you forget.  Your brain has more room for all those creative juices to flow.  It could also be because you become more selective in what you to do.   You push aside all those little consequen-tial things that are apt to clog your mind.   So, here I am at 65,  full of all sorts of ideas of things that I want to create.  I still have a time problem because of working at the gallery.  However, this year,  business has been so slow that I have had plenty of time to paint.

Since August, I have been working with a committee to create the decor for a big fundraiser for our symphony.  I have helped  come up with some very interesting decorations to make the facility look like a 1930’s Miami supper club.  I have spent many hours all fall painting my life size figures, etc.  I will post pictures after our event on Feb. 6th.

One of the other things that I have been working on is a design for a mural on a wall in the youth bereavement room at our local hospice facility.  We are going to have  hot air balloons flying in the sky.  I thought that this was significant in that it conveys the idea of rising up and going away as do our departed ones but that it is also celebratory with all the primary colors.

We  also will have some three dimensional balloons hanging from the ceiling  as well as a balloon that was sturdy enough for the children to pick up and carry around the room.  They would be able to take some dollhouse size people to take in and out of the balloon also.  The coordinator of the project has gotten a local 3 dimensional artist to do this.

There will also be a tree in another corner which will have greenery hanging from the ceiling to make it seem like a canopy of foliage.  This will hang over a bookcase.  This project will be a joint effort by some of the auxiliary volunteers and will start in January.  I will also post pictures of this when it is completed.  I am very excited about this project.

We also got a new Epson 4800 printer a month or so ago which we have printed out only a few things but we are excited about this.  We can print from a roll that is 17″ wide  so that we can print larger prints of my paintings and my photos which I have altered in the computer.  This is really great.  We hope to be able to make this a profitable venture by printing for other artists as well.

Brenna on Beach

For now, that is what I have been doing this fall.  I will work on getting photos of all the things that I have been talking about.  Christmas will soon be upon us.  I hope that everyone has a blessed Christmas and a happy new year filled with many blessings.

At long last

It has been ages since I last posted a blog.  We went to Hawaii and then we were catching up on things at the store.  Then I think that I got caught up in the summer doldrums.  I just haven’t been able to get myself back to blogging.

It has been a fairly good summer weather wise.  June was terribly hot for 2 weeks but then July was nice.  We went north to visit old friends at the end of July which gave us some cooler weather to enjoy.  But now August is hot and humid which, as we know,  is typical of Coastal Georgia.

Preparing the meal, sm

 

I have been doing some painting over the summer.  I refurbished an old watercolor that for some reason I never finished.  I gave it alot more darks which always helps considerably.

 

 

I am finishing up a pen and ink drawing I did of Crane’s Cottage, one of the millionaires cottages on Jekyll Island.  This is for a young couple who is getting married in October and their reception will be at  this site.

I also did a couple more pen and inks for Chadwick’s Jewelers,  just up the street.  They wanted to put my ink drawings on display around their tree spirit pictures.  They have charms of the tree spirits and images of St. Simons Island.

I have also gotten into working on 2 committees for The Coastal Symphony fundraiser in Feb., one of which is the decorations committee.  We have a great project going with renditions of people which I am excited about.  I also just created a white paper palm tree which could be part of the centerpiece on the tables and I hope they work out because I think they would great with our 1930’s supper club theme.

So I have been very busy this summer, I just haven’t gotten into the mood to write.  People talk about artist’s block when they go to paint but I have run into this with this blog.  I just couldn’t get down to do it.  I guess it is because we have had so many projects at home to work on that my mind has been more on that.  Focus is what makes things happen whether it is work or  play.

April

Here we are into May already. It has been a busy month. I have done several new paintings but I will wait until we get back from our vacation to upload them.

We have still been slow with the picture framing so I have had more time to paint this month. I worked on several framing projects that I was very happy with and did some repair work and cleaning of canvases which came out well.  I have been trying to work on more figures in my paintings.  I spent many years doing life drawing so I should utilize that more.

I also spent time with my children and their children which was fun. I had a number of days with my granddaughter Brenna who lives in NH and I don’t get to see too often. That was a treat. I also saw my grandsons play baseball which was fun.

I wrote one art review about the Glynn Art Coastal National but it didn’t get into the paper due to lack of room.  I will keep trying and hopefully soon I can get them on the internet. I think that it would be helpful to some people if they get the view of an artist on the work that is being shown.  Sometimes that helps them see things in a painting that they might not notice otherwise.

I have several ideas for new paintings which I hope to start when I get back but I may be so full of the beauty of Hawaii that I will go off on a whole different tack, who knows.

March Update

blue-gate Here we are already to the end of March. This month has flown by. We have been fairly busy in the store. We have done some interesting things in framing.

I have painted a new oil. It is called “The Blue Gate” and it is from a photo that I took in downtown Chicago several years ago when they had a competition in their gardens along Michigan Avenue. It was so interesting to see. I would love to bring this concept to The Golden Isles someday. It would be fun to come up with a motif for artists to decorate and then landscape people to build gardens around the motif.

The other news in my life this month was winning the LGA club championship at our golf club. I have come close several times before but this time I was able to hang in and win. It was very exciting for me.

I am about to start a wall mural in my grandsons bedroom. He has a jungle theme and I will paint a tree like I did for him before in their other house. I also plan on painting the closet door like an entrance to a stick hut with an animal’s head sticking out of a window. He just needs to decide what bird or animal he wants.

So with March closing down for 2009 and April knocking at the door I look forward to writing articles of Art Reviews of exhibits in the area soon. I think that it will entice people to go to the exhibits and also look at the artwork in a new and different way than they might have otherwise. I hope that I can get this going.

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