Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gallery Goings

Lots of gallery openings this month. On Thursday night a friend and I attended a reception at Hanover Gallery in Riverview. About eight artists are represented, one of them the owner. Most have a very contemporary style with bright colors and simple compositions. The gallery is in what used to be a residential section in a converted garage. The owners have done a great job with hanging panels and display lights.

I went by two Friday night, In Town Gallery and Tanner Hill Gallery. Very different shows. In Town is an artist co-op where I was a member for twelve years. Approximately thirty artists are members now with paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and photographs. The reception was well attended for a cold night in town! In Town is on Frazier Avenue, north of the river. This section of town has been on the upswing with new businesses, condos, and parking garages.

Tanner Hill Gallery is located on the first floor of an old Saddlery building. The building now houses artists' studios upstairs, a photography studio, a yarn shop, the Arts and Education office, and other offices. I love to see the old buildings being restored for other uses. This show had about six or seven artists' works.

Now it's your turn! I have a landscape painting in this show:

You are invited to the Opening Reception of the Tennessee Watercolor Society Region III Exhibition this Sunday, December 14, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, at the North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive, Hixson, Tennessee. On display are works by 27 artists.
The North River Civic Center is located behind Northgate Mall. You turn by the post office. If you need further directions: 423-870-8924. They are open daily. Admission is free. The exhibit continues until February 28, 2009.

Warm your heart- Look at art!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Counting Blessings

As the holidays approach, we should pause and reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us. As Americans, even with talk of recession and financial problems, we are still among the richest people in the world. When you think about it, we have to rent storage spaces to keep "stuff" we don't have room for in our houses. We have two or even more cars per household. Computers, televisions, cell phones, the list goes on.
We are free to worship in any way. We can vote our convictions. We should be thankful for the privileges we have as Americans.
Greenway Walk, watercolor
My friend from Thomaston, Georgia, is thankful to have been born and live in the south. There is a large variety of scenery, a change of seasons in most southern areas, and somehow, the people just seem friendlier. So even if you weren't born in a southern state, you can still be thankful that you can choose to live there or come visit when you wish.
Mostly, we should be thankful for our family and our friends. Although you can't choose your relatives, most of us have pretty good ones that share our DNA. Our friends are the ones who stick with us, even when we whine about minor things, and we should be glad that someone else who isn't related, likes us for who we are.
If you are traveling to visit loved ones, or have guests coming to see you, I wish you a safe and trouble-free holiday. I am looking forward to having dinner with my "crew" and hearing what the Grands have to be thankful for this year.
Many Blessings to you!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


The new gallery space, 2712 LaFayette Road, Ft Oglethorpe, Georgia

For those youngsters, that was part of a song from some years ago. It was going through my head today when I was thinking about this past week. A lot has changed! My daughter gave birth to a boy Monday night. She has two girls, ages 4 and 6. This new addition is a real cutie- blonde hair and eyebrows, sure to have blue eyes. So now, our family has increased. I didn't think it was possible to love another child as much as I love the others, but it is! Somehow your heart is big enough!
This week also marked a change in locale for my weekly classes. Instead of meeting on Lookout Mountain, we met at my Ft Oglethorpe studio for a Color Workshop. I called it, "Need to Know about Color". They were very enthusiastic about making charts of colors and mixing grays. Hopefully, they all gained something they find usable in their painting.
Then, this weekend, we have been moving the studio to another building just down the road from where we were. I say "we" because I share the space with my husband, Bill. He has an office for his company and I take the majority of the space to paint! Good deal, right? It has been some experience packing and moving supplies, canvases, easels, tables, etc. When I moved from my retail space a year ago, I put everything in storage and went to Italy for two weeks! Needless to say, there are boxes I haven't opened since and here they were, ready to move again. My son and husband have been very patient with me- I have enough canvases if we have a major depression for the next five years. I know this because he told me! So I said, "Right! I can keep on painting while other artists are wishing for canvases." :) So, if you are in need of a painting and NO ONE else in the USA can do it because they are out of canvas, I am your artist!
Of course the major change in our world is our new president elect. I am hopeful that he will be energetic yet methodical in his duties. It's not a job for a sissy! How great is it to live through a stage in history like this?

Back on the "art front", I will be taking commissions for original works through Michael's Fine Arts and Framing in Dalton, Georgia. Now is the time to request a painting in time for Christmas. The house portraits will be offered with framing at a great price. Stop in and see Michael at 1325 Dug Gap Road or phone: 706-278-8840 for more information.
Have a wonderful week and remember our Veterans.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Art is Comfort Food for the Soul

Sometimes you have to express what is in your heart. This has been on my mind for a couple of weeks (understandably). When you make your money from selling art or from selling anything right now it can be nerve wrecking to think about. So I hope that no matter what business you are in, this message will lift your spirits and give you ideas that are helpful.

Lundi (Monday) Oil on Canvas, Durinda Cheek

A lot of preparation goes into a show or any event where you have invited the public and depend on them for the revenue. Once artwork is chosen, framing is considered, titles, prices, hanging, buying advertising, mailing invitations. . . the list goes on. The news we are hearing about the economy isn't great which makes anyone nervous. You need to have sales to cover your expenses and it would be nice to come out ahead.

People are willing to pay for products that they feel they "need". Artwork is an emotional purchase. It either "grabs" a person for its subject matter, style, color, shape, or some type of connection. In my opinion, art is not a luxury item. People have the need to surround themselves with things they admire, things they are proud of, or things that have meaning to them. Art is Comfort Food for the Soul.

As an artist, I am honored when someone purchases my paintings. I have a connection with them now because they have a "piece" of my heart. I don't paint things that I don't like. I don't like ugly art, political statements, explicit sexual content, or violent scenes. I probably wouldn't have been commissioned to paint during any political uprising! I want my paintings to bring joy to the owners. Is it a memory of a place they loved? Someplace they would like to be? Colors that embrace their personality? If it "goes" with their sofa, that's great. That means it has the color palette that they want around them. I like those colors too or I wouldn't have chosen them for the work.

I am so proud of the students' works in their upcoming Autumn Art Show next weekend. Some of them have been with me almost three years and others are fairly new to my weekly classes. They are all special to me and I am blessed to have them in my life. I hope that many of their friends and the invited public will come to support them. And, who knows? You may go away with a little Comfort for Your Soul.

Autumn Art Show

October 23 - 26

Thursday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Friday & Saturday, 11:00 - 5:00

Sunday, 1:00 - 5:00

Happy Painters' Studio

116 N Watauga Lane

Lookout Mountain, TN

Monday, October 13, 2008

All About Amelia

Here is our group during the week on Amelia Island. The gals are Martha Elder, Ann Currey, Barbara Murray, Betty Moses,
Sarah Fowler, and
L.J. Huffaker.

Sorry the photos are
so jumbled up- use your creativity to figure out which are which!

Yes, we had a little fun with our studies at the Amelia Island workshop. Here they are calling on their inner Creative Goddesses while going over the notes for the week. The boas made for a different interpretation of "feathers flying". I am sure that L.J. will have to explain to her husband about the feathers everywhere in their home on Amelia Plantation. The highlight was the burning of the creative blockers in her outdoor firepit. We were now ready to paint!

Tuesday we set up at Walker's Landing, a wonderful park including a boat launch and event house that overlooked the marshes. Absolutely a stunning view! Tuesday night we had dinner at the Ocean Club, an Amelia Island Plantation owner's exclusive. It was make your own pasta night with everything you could imagine, including a dessert table. After all the hard work outside that day, we deserved that wonderful meal.

Wednesday was Paint the Town day. Our group lined up across from The Addison House, a bed and breakfast in the historic section of Fernandina Beach. Our lesson that day had been drawing in perspective and this house had lots of it! We were able to have lunch outdoors in the courtyard of La Bodega Cafe downtown. That afternoon we visited Amelia SanJon Gallery (see earlier posts) where I am the featured artist this month with paintings of beach chairs and marshes. (L.J. stands with some of my works and Sandy's display of jewelry and pottery in the gallery)
Thursday we painted at the Tiger Point marina. I had driven there during the summer and loved the drydocked boats. Lucky for us, the marina let us use their event house decks that just so happened to overlook the docks. Artist friend, Barbara Perrotti from Ormond Beach, FL phoned to invite all of us to an opening of her artwork on Amelia that night! (That's her in the hot pink jacket at the opening). It was so fun to see Barbara and husband, Lou, and her beautiful paintings of children and figures in beach settings. Another great meal that night at Brett's, a waterfront restaurant in town. The week really flew for me. I hope the gals who were brave enough to go with me enjoyed the introduction to plein air painting Amelia Island style!
If you are interested in information about my next workshop, email me to keep you on an update list:
Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Southern Light- Show at Michael's Fine Arts & Framing, Dalton, GA

Sandra Babb ( and I will be showing at Michael's Fine Arts and Framing in Dalton, Georgia for the month of October. The show is called "Southern Light" and features Sandra's landscapes in oil and my architectural watercolors. Sandra and I paint together frequently and it seems that we both favor scenes with lights, shadows, and color.
Here Michael and I are choosing framing for a new watercolor (that I posted earlier). Center: Savannah Stairs, watercolor, 22 x 15
Right: Sandra and I are posing in front of a painting in the gallery from the September show. Wasn't it funny that we both wore the same shade of green that day?
The opening reception will be Friday, October 3, 6:00 - 8:00 pm. That night is also the opening for the Creative Arts Guild show in Dalton so we are hoping that it will be a night of culture in Dalton, carpet capitol of the world! Michael has a fun night planned with catering by a popular Italian restaurant and light jazz.
Michael and I went to high school together. He was also very good in art. I think he said that he has owned his gallery twenty years this fall. (maybe 25?) Anyway, he has an anniversary coming up this month for the gallery.
While I will be partying in Dalton, Ga, Sandra Baker-Hinton will be having the opening at her Amelia SanJon Gallery in Fernandina Beach on Friday night. My paintings have been mailed, let's hope they make it OK and that someone will want a painting that night too!
Celebrate Fall!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hunter Eddy Workshop Notes and Upcoming Show

Studio class with Hunter Eddy

painting demo

Shown at top is the painting demo by Hunter Eddy next to the real vase of money plant. Hunter was in town at the Gold Leaf Gallery ( for his show. He gave a talk/demo on how he paints. Hunter is an instructor at the Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy ( . It was very enlightening to have him explain the procedures of painting that require precise measurements and accurate color mixing. His work is not photographic, but soft edged and very subtle. They remind me of Jean-Baptiste Chardin (1699-1779). Hunter also does large figure paintings, mostly nudes, from models at the Academy.

The other photo is part of the our oil class from the Lookout Mountain Studio who attended the demo: Anne Platt, Sarah Fowler, Hunter Eddy, Durinda, Evelle Dana, and Martha Elder. We now have our notes and observations to compare. On our next workshop trip to Tuscany, we will definitely visit the Academy and see Hunter's studio. Evelle Dana's son, Brent, attended one year after graduation from Baylor and loved it. The first year is very strict about learning to draw from life using plaster casts and then drawing from models. Excellent instruction that some of our American art schools are not teaching. Everyone who wants to paint realism should study drawing, in my opinion. I know there are artists who have never taken formal classes, but drawing consistently in a sketchbook counts too. It is all in training your eye.

Featured Artist for October at Amelia SanJon Gallery:

I will have 5 or so paintings for the First Friday opening, October 3, at Sandy Hinton's gallery in Fernandina Beach. See earlier posts: Around Amelia and Amelia Island Part 2. The show will be up through October. Here is one painting based on my stay there this summer. I fell in love with the area and decided to do a series of beach chairs in different sizes and situations from 30" x 36" to 4" x 4". This is Dune Buddies, 36" x 36", oil on canvas. I also have a couple of paintings of the wonderful Victorian porches and the marshes. An article is in today's Town Talk in the Chattanooga TimesFree Press about the show and the upcoming workshop with students from Happy Painters': L.J. Huffaker, Anne Platt, Martha Elder, Sarah Fowler, Barbara Murray, Ann Currey, and Betty Moses. I am hoping that there will be interest in doing another workshop there again soon.

Lots of things coming up- hope you are having a great start to fall too!
"Every artist was at first an amateur," Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home," Twayla Tharp

"Precious Phoebe", watercolor, 10 x 10

This is a portrait commission of Phoebe, a Maltese mix who was beloved by Bob and L.J. Huffaker. I remember reading that pets are relatives we can choose and I think that is right. They give us so much in our lives. Phoebe left a loving legacy to a new brother, Crosby, who joined the family a couple of weeks ago. My daughter also lost a precious pet pug, Prissy, who had been in her family for over ten years. Prissy was a good model for me in several paintings. Mainly because she had such a inquisitive face that I loved to paint.

If you paint pet portraits or would like to have a portrait done of a pet, most artists will work from photographs. I like to meet the pet and shoot my own photographs, but that is not always possible. Most people shoot looking down on a cat or dog which makes their head appear larger and foreshortens their body and legs. Better to get on their level and shoot, thinking about what you would want painted, a side view, frontal, seated, etc. Unfortunately, pets think we are getting on their level to play or pet them so they tend to come towards us while we are aiming. It's fun, it's like trying to get a toddler to sit still- and look at you- and smile- and not put their hands or anything else in their mouth. Cats will just walk off and leave you sitting there too. So sometimes you need to know something about the anatomy of an animal in order to paint it in proportion because your photographs are not often the perfect shot. Sketching, cropping, making changes are all a part of designing the portrait, just like you would do for a person. Then, I really like it when my patron lets me decide if it should be an oil or watercolor. Phoebe had such silky shiny fur that I saw her as a watercolor.

Tomorrow I will sit in on a painting demonstration by Hunter Eddy, an oil painter who teaches at the Florence Academy of Art. He does striking still lifes. I will share my observations about his technique with my classes Tuesday and also later in the blog.

On another thought, I was nominated for a blog award by Vicki Ross and I graciously accept! It is my turn to nominate a few people and I will contact them with the news. I will have to go into my bookmarks and get their addresses to share with you so will post them next time.
Hope you have some "away" time this week to enjoy what you love doing.
Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Harvest Moon I
Saturday, September 13, is the Gallery Hop in Chattanooga. Several galleries and artists' studios will be open from 2 - 9 pm with receptions. Some are opening new shows. This is my painting that is in the Tennessee Watercolor Society Exhibit at Gold Leaf Gallery, 2646 Broad Street. The exhibit's theme is "Harvest". There are 20 paintings in the show. A list of the galleries is in today's paper and also available at each gallery. Sounds like a fun time to see area art and friends! Bill and I will be stopping by Gold Leaf sometime that evening and peeking in a few others too.
I collect "skies". This was a section of a photo I took from my front yard when we lived at the golf course. I didn't know at the time that the September full moon was called the Harvest moon until later. I am just a city girl, after all. This year's Harvest moon is September 15. Hope I am out with my new Nikon that night too. We have a natural field across the street from us right now with a view of a ridge behind so that would make a good view.
Hope to see you Hopping and Happy Painting!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that outlasts it." William James

I like to collect quotes, don't you? It all started with a sixth grade teacher, Ms. Lanham, who would write a quote on the board every day. Did I write them down? Of course not. But I do remember thinking about some of them and who said them. Who writes all this stuff down? If I say something "profound", who will ever know it? My cat? She's like the Bush beans dog, she "ain't tellin". :)

This one speaks to me as an artist. Hopefully, the "good" ones will live on and I can mercifully get rid of the "bad" ones while I am still around. All forms of communication: writing, songwriting, painting, etc take some thought, some editing, some twinking before they are audience ready. I like to have my paintings around for awhile in the studio and sneak up on them sometimes to see if there is something not quite right. A color? A value? A kissed edge? When you self-critique, you should first say what's good about it. What did you do well? What did you learn from this painting? Then, look at what can you improve? What didn't work? Would you attempt a "do over?" Why or why not? Unless you are Margaret Mitchell, you probably have more than one story in you. Keep going!

Happy Painting!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Amelia Island part 2 and fall paintings

This is SanJon Gallery in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Fl.
Here is the shot of Sandy Hinton and me in front of some of her wonderful works in her gallery I talked about last week. Sandy paints in acrylic and watercolor. She had a painting in the Tennessee Watercolor Society exhibit this year. I put links to her work and the gallery in last time. I hope to show a few tropical paintings in her gallery during October. Amelia will be a great place for the workshop. Lots of interesting things to paint!
I don't know why I couldn't load my photos last week, but I think the computer is trying to tell me something. I think I have every photo on it that I have ever shot with a digital. HMMM- time for a cleaning?

This week in the studio I have been working on fall landscapes. Never too early to get ready for fall shows! My concern has always been how to keep fall landscapes from looking like "Kmart", excuse me, but the contrast of reds, oranges, and yellows, with greens and browns can be too much. I credit Diane Johnson with getting me in the North Carolina mountains one fall to paint foliage. Her advice was to mix a complement with the colors. Since the sap is going away, so is the color, so you need to dull it. Only where the sun hits directly on upturned leaves would there be a brighter hue. I try to keep that in mind when painting fall scenes.
Get out and enjoy the summer while you can!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Around Amelia

We have just returned from a long weekend on Amelia Island, Fl. Our visit had a dual purpose: I wanted to check out spots to paint in October when I teach a painting workshop, and Bill wanted a little R & R which included good seafood. So, we managed to do both.

Sandy Hinton, artist and owner of SanJon Gallery in Fernandina, is formerly from North Georgia. She was a founding member of In Town Gallery, the artist co-op in Chattanooga, a past president of Tennessee Watercolor Society, and a signature member of National Watercolor Society. Sandy's gallery is in the historic section of town in a house built in the 1800's. Sandy was very helpful in giving me ideas of places to paint and Bill places to eat. You can see her work on her website: and check out the gallery: Sandy does a lot of work with the endangered sea turtles, helping the babies to get to the water and keeping an eye on the nests. Seems everything likes turtle eggs!

Fernandina has 50 blocks of old Victorian era houses and commercial buildings. I was able to paint a row of houses on Friday morning by standing on the sidewalk across the street, under a tree. It is nice when a town has wide sidewalks and some shade! I tried to download my photos for you, but I think my camera was set on large file and they were too large to use. I will have to work on that! My new Nikon D80 is great, I love the clarity and playing with my zoom lens, but the manual is like a textbook and I haven't gotten very far!

Another wonderful feature of the area is the marshlands. I love them! I can't wait to see them in October when they will be golden. We saw pink spoonbills on Saturday. From the road they looked as bright as flamingos. Beautiful! It was also pretty amazing that the island had a sunrise view on the Atlantic side and a sunset view over the Amelia River. So much to paint and so little time! It will be hard to decide what to paint in October!

The regular classes at Happy Painters start soon. I am excited to see what everyone has been working on this summer.

Off to paint now!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Gallery Space Idea in Chattanooga

A new idea in creating gallery space has opened in Chattanooga. Charline West, wife of artist Terry A. West, has partnered with Eastgate Town Center to show and sell artwork within the corporate space. Eastgate was the original mall of the area and now houses several large companies and medical offices. Charline met one of the owners and director, Hoss Baghay, who expressed interest in placing art within the space after he commissioned paintings from Terry for his home. Charline, the business mind of the partnership, saw the opportunity to showcase professional work. She has invited artists of varying styles and mediums to be part of the new Spence Gallery.

Artists include Sandy Bose, oils; Judith Briton, pastels; Helen Burton, watercolors; Durinda Cheek, oils; Jere Chumley, acrylics; Valerie Fleming, photography; Carolyn Kaufman, mixed-media; Will Rhodarmer, acrylics; Sandy Washburn, acrylics; and Terry Wes, watercolors and acrylics. I am honored to be a part of this fine group of artists from all around the region!

The best part is the artwork is available to the public seven days a week, plenty of free parking, good lighting, and plenty of space to view the work. Every tag shows the contact person on site available for sales. Charline has thoughts of placing a million dollars worth of original art! For those who don't want to go into a "gallery" setting, for those who want to see a variety of work under one roof, and for those who work the same time that other galleries are open, this space will be ideal for shopping for art! Isn't it wonderful when the corporate world wants to support the arts!

Back to painting!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Floral Painting Workshop Coming July 31 & Aug 1!

I will be leading a two-day workshop in painting flowers at the Happy Painters Studio on Lookout Mountain. This is a class that I have been thinking about since teaching the Sketching Callaway workshop in April. I envision lots of flowers on a center table with artists circled around it. We will begin with sketching individual flowers to explore the structures. Next, we will work with composition, different techniques, and color with setups. Each artist will complete a larger painting in the medium of his/her choice.

The workshop will be 10 am - 2 pm on Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1. Artists will need to bring their painting supplies, supports (paper or canvas), and a sketchbook with sketching pencils. Cost is $100. The class will be limited to six. You can bring a lunch or order from the Mountain Cafe. Email me to register:

Let's Paint!


Lucky Cat is Ready for Art-a-ma-jig Auction!

This is my painting, "Lucky Cat" for the Arts and Education Council of Chattanooga's fundraiser. Lucky is based on my cat from Hawaii that Bill and I brought back from Maui. We had been in several shops there they had a cat like this. Finally, I asked what the cat meant. According to ancient legend, this cat stood in the doorway of the Gotoku-ji temple and raised her paw in the traditional Japanese beckoning gesture to a feudal lord who was passing by. The feudal lord followed the cat into the temple and instantly, a lightning bolt struck the place where the lord had been standing. Thus, the cat saved his life.
In business the cat is said to bring success. Her raised paw beckons in customers and welcomes personal happiness and harmony. I like her too, because she looks like a calico cat.

The oil painting is 10 x 8 with a gold edged floating frame. I did the reflection of the cat on the table by looking at a piece of plexiglass on the tabletop.

The theme for this year's Art-a-ma-jig is Fortune. Some of the artists that are invited to submit don't follow the themes, but I think it is fun to challenge yourself.

The auction will be Thursday, July 24, 6:00 - 8:30 pm at the Tanner Hill Gallery on South Broad Street, Chattanooga. For more information, go to Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Workshop! Architecture Drawing in the Landscape

I will be teaching a new workshop at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia, September 20 & 21, 2008. "Architecture Drawing in the Landscape" is designed to teach you techniques for including three-dimensional objects in your drawings or paintings. Topics will include one and two-point perspective for drawing buildings, barns, houses, fences, etc and atmospheric perspective for creating depth. We will be drawing on-site using the structures in the Gardens. I will offer demonstrations as well as worksheets on the different techniques. No experience in drawing or painting is necessary.
Fee is $150 for the two days which includes admission into the Gardens and a discount at their resorts. I will offer all the supplies you need (yours to keep) for $25.00. If you would like to bring your watercolor or acrylic supplies, let me know. The class size is limited so everyone will get individual attention.
Registration: or call 706-663-5153.
If you have questions, contact me:
Let's get outside and draw!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Paintings from France

Here a few of the paintings from the Fountaine-Fourches workshop in France.

The first is a door on the barn/studio. I painted it one late afternoon when the sun was out. Then later I was able to "kick up" some values on the sunlit parts. It is oil on multi-media board that had been gessoed.
The center painting is part of the climbing rose over the pergola on the house. The window with the geraniums in the boxes is actually the room where I stayed. This was a morning painting. It is oil on Sourcetek panel.
The last painting is of a cottage in a village called Gravon. We set up to paint across the street from it. Ann, Sarah, and L.J. worked in watercolor while Anne painted in oil. Faye did a beautiful sketch of a door on another cottage and Kippy worked on the street scene in pastel. The lady of the house came out several times to see our progress. She was so nice. Kippy invited her to our final night reception and she came! I am very honored to say that all three were purchased that night. I will post a few others later to give you some idea of the picturesque landscape and architecture of the region.
One of the nicest things about staying in one place is the opportunity to work more on something when the conditions are right. Monet always worked on more than one painting at a time and would go back to work on them when the light and atmospheric conditions were the same. If the light and shadows change while you are working, stop! Sometimes you can "nail" the shadows first and get away with painting after the sun goes behind a cloud, but it is hard to remember all the colors you saw while it was shining. It is better to go back at the same time another day and finish it.
Another thing about staying in an area is you can locate the best time of day to paint. I like cast shadows when painting architecture, so I want the sun on it and behind me. One of our stops was the lovely town of Moret-sur-Loring, where Alfred Sisley painted. Our view of the river and mill was in shadow that afternoon. I had to move up the bank and to the left to see the light hitting the facade of a building across the bank and see the sunlight dancing on the water. (That will be another post!)
Hope you have a great National Holiday week and enjoy being with family and friends. I will celebrate my birthday with fireworks and a cookout. Sometimes, it pays to have a July 4 birthday!
Back to painting!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Au Revoir, La Bonne Etoile!

Our workshop ended on Friday night with a "Vernisage" in the studio. Kippy explained that it was the night that the artists who were juried into the Salon in Paris would put the final coat of varnish on their works before the show opened to the public. It was the preview night for the patrons with a reception. Ours was lovely! The studio had tables decorated with flowers and of course, cheese, wine and champagne!

Each artist had a panel of their paintings and sketches from the workshop on display. Our watercolorists also had their sketchbooks out. Kippy and Jerome invited several guests including our chef Marc; the sculptor John-Paul; Chantal the art restoration expert; the house manager Madame DeLahye and her husband; neighbors; French friends Monique and Raymond from Gravon; artist Nicole and her husband from Villuis; and even ladies from Marnay-sur-Seine where we painted.

I was very proud of the work that each of the participants had completed from their first en plein air experience! I hope that they will all look back on this with many happy memories as I will: Living the life of an artist in France!

Check out my Picasa web photos for more workshop scenes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Here we are in Paris!

L to R: Durinda, Sarah Fowler, L.J. Huffaker, Anne Platt, Ann Currey, Faye Woolfolk

This is the group of Happy Painters in front of the Musee D'Orsay in Paris. Yes- it is June 12, it is summer, and it is COLD here in France, to us. We keep hearing about the 90 degree weather in Chattanooga, but it is in the 60s with wind and a lot of rain showers here. Neverless, when the sun does shine, we have been trooping out to farm fields and village gardens to paint. Nothing like seeing a large poppy and pea field close up. We toured a large chateau with beautiful furnishings very close to where we are staying. Our train trip to Paris included a guided tour of the Impressionists paintings, followed by lunch in the museum restaurant (tres chic!) and then a visit to L'Orangerie where Monet's large waterlily paintings are displayed.

Saturday found us in the medieval walled city of Provins where a medieval festival was being held. It was a lot like the Renaissance festivals we have, but this was in the REAL thing with the tents set up in the mote around the outside of the city. What was so cool were all the people who came to the festival ALSO dressed in costumes: mothers, dads, children and even babies! It was hard to tell the performers from the visitors!
The group has been working on still life paintings in the studio with a copper pot, wine glass, and fresh produce when we can't get outside to paint. There is always a way!
A busy week ahead for the painters! Let's hope the weather cooperates and we get lots of outdoor painting time!
Au Revoir for now!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bonjour from Fountaine-Fourches, France

Not sure if I can post any photos on this, I am trying to read the French on Mon Yahoo to know what to do. It is beautiful here in the countryside. It has been rainy and cool. I am sitting beside a fire after painting outside for an hour or so. I got cool- yes, I know it is quite warm back in the southeast US, but it is more like March here right now than June. I haven't been able to paint outdoors as much as I had planned, but the rest has been wonderful so far.

Tomorrow the workshop participants will arrive! I am ready to get to painting for the next two weeks. Kippy has driven me around to several villages and spots that will be perfect for our plein air experience. IF the weather continues to be cool and damp, we will use her barn/studio that has all the comforts and paint tres francais pottery, linens, fruits, vegetables, and beautiful roses from her garden.

As for painting, I am most happy with my Sourcetek panels. I wish I had brought a dozen more! I am painting with my Gamblin paints and trying out a medium called archival lean from Chroma that Kippy had in the studio. I will let you know how I like it. It is similar to Liquin, but not as gel-like, more like Galkyd Lite. I have been painting here around the house and studio, one of the door to the boiler room, but I call it the pottery shed, one of the rooftop of the house with the roses over the arbor, and one of the barn doors which lead to the studio upstairs. Will try to shoot and post them soon!

Until next time,

Au Revoir!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sourcetek Artist Panels for Plein Air Painting

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Sourcetek at that I had won $100 of their products in their monthly drawing! I had gone on the site to order their artist panels for the upcoming France workshop and saw their promotion for their 10 year anniversary. I registered with the thoughts of placing my order later.

Sourcetek makes handmade artist canvas panels. I have used their birch panels for quite a while for my plein air work. They are easily packed, carried, and stored. Perfect for plein air work. This time, I am trying the Gatorboard panels. They will be even lighter to carry. I am so excited to share the panels with my workshop participants.

The owner, Will Pierce, also phoned to offer his help with the workshop. He will be sending sample product panels as well. This will allow my students to try the different supports and canvases to find their preference. Thanks Sourcetek! You will also see on their website the other products they carry such as brushes, paints, cleaners, and carriers. It is really nice to have a company with such top quality products that makes an artist's life much easier!

Keep painting!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Scenes from Callaway Workshop

Here are some of the participants in the Sketching Callaway workshop last weekend in beautiful Callaway Gardens. We started on Saturday drawing close-ups of leaves and flowers and then ventured into the Rhododendron Trail on Sunday to capture the plants in the landscape. The group was just wonderful to work with and so open to trying new things. We enjoyed having Katie Steinhoff, Interpretive Horticulturist, explain the gardens and plants in bloom for us. I hope that that everyone will continue to use a sketchbook to record their surroundings and feelings.
I am pleased to announce that I have been invited back to teach Perspective Drawing, a two day workshop on drawing buildings, fences, etc in the landscape. Dates are September 20 & 21, 2008. We will work on the mechanics of drawing and use sections in the Garden that contain structures. Registration will be with Callaway:
I am also looking forward to teaching another Sketching Callaway workshop next April. I will post the info as soon as everything is worked out.
Just a reminder: The Spring Show at Happy Painter's Studio, Lookout Mountain, continues until May 30. Hours are Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 - 3:00 or by appointment. This is your chance to buy directly from the artists!
Also, coming up is the workshop in France! I am getting excited about the trip and all the sites and images we will see and paint while there. If you are thinking of painting outdoors this summer, see my past posts on oil and watercolor gear to pack.
Have a Marvelous Mother's Day Sunday!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Surprise Guest at U.K. garden

I had just blocked in the painting of the cottage and garden when I looked up to see this lovely lady "floating" down the path towards me. She leaned over my shoulder to look at my painting and said, "How Love-r-ly!" I was thrilled. So I asked her very politely if she would just pause on the path so I could put her in the painting and she said," De-light-ed!" No sooner had I brushed the white paint for her dress then she had disappeared!
Can you guess who she is?


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Successful Show at Happy Painters

Here is a group shot of the watercolor class at Happy Painters' Studio on Wednesday. Our show opened Friday night and it was very well attended. I was so proud to hear many comments that the artwork this spring was even better than the previous show in the fall. Congratulations to all the artists who sold on opening night: Estelle Skoretz, Ann Currey, Wendy Williams, Betty Moses, Anne Platt, Jeanne Rudisill, and Margaret Sexton. The show will remain on view until May 30. The gallery is open Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm or by appointment. Don't worry, each artist has another work to replace the one that sold, so the gallery will have plenty of wonderful original works for sale during the show.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Condo Showcase Thursday

This is a view of the lovely model condo that will be part of the Open House at The Pinnacle this Thursday, April 24, 5:00 - 8:00 pm. I will have several original paintings for sale in place of the model ones for this event. The living/dining room will feature my newest Tuscany series including one that is 4' x 4' in soft greens. The kitchen and hallway will have my Wine Tasting series in oil. The two bedrooms will be watercolors of Savannah and Charleston.
This condo is 8B. Coyee Langston will have her works in model 8G and Sandra Babb will be in 11 E. This event is sponsored by Renaissance ReMax. Downstairs all three of the artists will have works in the Clubroom. A live band will be on the terrace by the pool and of course there will be plenty of food and drinks.
The owner has also offered a $2000 allowance for the purchaser of a condo to buy original art that night!
Of course you don't have to buy a condo to buy a work of art!
The Pinnacle is located off Manning Street. It has wonderful views of downtown. If you or someone you know is in the market for downtown living, come check this out!
See you Thursday night at The Pinnacle!