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!