Even though my paintings are getting larger these days, I still enjoy working on smaller accent paintings. Still I paint what I am drawn to…ocean related. These are all 12×12″ except for the Octopus which is 14″. The shell paintings are a series of three, sold together for 295.00. I also think that the shells would make nice images printed on fabric for pillows.
SO those of you who know me, Halloween is my favorite holiday and my imagination runs amuk! I usually start thinking about my big Halloween Party early in October and start decorating mid October. This year I added to my collection of homemade and bought scary items with floating candles made from paper towel rolls, decorated my studio like a gypsy caravan, and the photo studio looked like a living room in a scary house. I also put up the floating severed heads (made from styrofoam wig holders) from last year and skeleton mobiles and cool lights. As soon as the boxes of Halloween decor came down from the attic, I started having fun posing my three 5 foot skeletons, taking photos and posting them. The party was a success and 48 guests danced and visited until the wee hours.
After photographing everyone in my portrait studio, I went to the outside painting studio, sat myself down and read fortunes for an hour. I had bought fortune telling cards and read the book on the meanings of each symbol and placement so I could read the fortunes. The guests chose the cards and put them face down in the positions and it was amazing how accurate and telling the cards turned up. It was fun plus I got to sit for a bit and visit with my guests individually.
Here are some of the crazy skeleton poses I did over the weeks.
“A Splendid Day” is 24×40″ and was started a year ago. I finally finished the scene which was painted from various sketches and memories. I like bringing the islands into a home because it emotes vacation!
As I have been still inspired by the beauty of the tropical island of St. Kitts for weeks, I went over a few of my photos and enhanced them to reflect the stunning colors. Some of these did not require a lot of enhancements and some I went a bit wild. I usually use Photoshop and a few additional filters to achieve the effects you see here. Also I do like to add borders on some. Printed on archival art papers makes for a stunning display. Enjoy!
Last weekend we went camping on our local Dutton Island in Atlantic Beach. The weather was perfect and the bugs were only bothersome at dusk (when we were eating of course). We hiked around and some friends kayaked. A big bon fire at night and guitar strumming make the evening more magical. There were about 7 or 8 tents in our group, same amount of dogs. I had forgotten that we have all this beauty in our back yard.
Prints available on demand.
I was very fortunate to be included with three other artists from Jacksonville on a week long retreat on the beautiful island of St. Kitts. Our host, fine artist Beth Haizlip got us up early daily to set up our painting gear at a different location. Since her family has a vacation home there, she mapped out and got permission for the various venues before we arrived. Plein air painting has its pluses and minuses. The pluses are that as an artist, we are able to really see the scenes we are capturing. The colors and flavors are more vibrant. When you first arrive at a site, finding the spot and the scene that is interesting to you is key. Cropping in your head just the part you want to paint and setting up your tripod easel, paints, water, brushes, rags, palette, umbrella etc. Sometimes the views were so amazing that it took a bit to relax and decide what to paint.
As you start painting, you have to contend with the wind and sun, people coming by to see what you are working on (this is a minus for me since so many people want to make comments and chat which breaks up your concentration). Many times, my easel blew over and scattered my supplies a couple times but hey, no biggie. We were in PARADISE!!
The local art gallery, Dale Art and Originals, in Christophe Harbour set up a gallery opening on the end of the week. We all brought more paintings for the show over in our luggage and Dale advertised the event so there was a great turnout and several sales.
I just returned from an amazing artist retreat with 3 other women artists. Not only was it amazingly gorgeous, I learned a lot from working with other painters and we were able to offer helpful critique. Everyday, Beth Haizlip, Debbie Pounders, Julie Garcia and I would get up early and set up on a different part of the island. Painted all day and then enjoyed the people and beauty of the island.
The first day, we painted at an iconic hot spot; bar, snorkel and restaurant which happened to be its last day in existence since a large hotel is slated to be built. Setting up to paint plein aire is so difficult with the breeze and people milling about. My easel blew down a few times. The first photo here is of a woman and I at the gallery where she purchased my painting of that day. She had watched me paint two days before and dreamed of owning it. SO honored!!
Other locations during the week included spending the day up in the hills at a Batik manufacturing and tourist attraction. Too many looker-ons for me. But it was really pretty. Then one day we went up to a sugar cane plantation on the northern end of the island where the famous painter graciously allowed us in her home to paint. Everything was so inspiring and beautiful that it took me an hour to get my jaw off the ground before I could even set up. Kate Spencer is amazing.
More later… got to go paint with my Artistic Chicks club.