Showing posts from 2014

Christmas Wisdom!

Christmas comes but once a year and what an impact it has upon all of us! Traffic picks up slowly as the month progresses until its at a fever pitch the week before the big day! Shoppers scurry to catch holiday bargains before they disappear, and yet amid all this hustle and bustle, it's the time of the year when we stop to reflect on what the year has brought and how our lives have been changed during its passing. I, for one, have much to be thankful for! Here's some words of wisdom taught by my grandmother....appropriate for the Christmas season.
Collect friends.....
Never step over someone who is down, lend a hand to help them up.....
Being nice is not an option.....
and one that I especially like, Get up and get on with life!
Christmas is the time for friends, for helping others less fortunate, and getting on with life. The New Year is just around the corner!
May all of you experience the love of Christ this Christmas Season! carly


During my summer trip to New Hampshire with Sharon Peters and Donna Claytor, the conversation turned creative - as it usually does with a group of artist friends! A previous project for the Darien Wineshop had been on display for several months, so we began thinking about a new project. The idea for the giant crab was born!

The ombre water background consist of three sheets of vinyl roofing....lightweight and easily spray painted. The crab itself was designed by Donna Claytor, a professional collage artist. Working with all the ladies was so much fun! Everyone created their own crab claw under Donna's guidance and she and I collaged the body.

Really should have seen us hanging this onto the wall in the! Drop by if you're traveling thru the area, have a glass of wine and check out "Her Majesty The Crab".

Now back to the brushes and oil paints!!

Summer Past

Summer has been filled with visits from friends and family and visits to friends and family. Like all of you, I'm sure, its a busy busy time! This summer I fell in love with kayaking the low country rivers and hiking the New Hampshire mountains! A vast difference in summertime weather and terrain but both places whet the imagination for new subject matter.

Thought I'd share a bit of the New Hampshire inspiration today!

Creekside 9x12 oil on panel
This was a favorite morning walk along a flowing creek just down the mountainside from my friend's restored 1800's home. Smells of evergreens and the sound of the creek with the cool temperatures was a delightful relief from the summer heat of coastal Georgia!

Creek Makes A Way 9x12 oil on panel
At one time the creek had a dam across this area where a mill operated on the other side. You can still see part of the rock walls along the hillside but the force of the water over the years has pushed them downstream.

Falling Water 1…

Glorious Skies

What an exciting month June has been! The paintings are piling up in the studio and drying slowly. The summer is heating up and it's time to hit the water. I spent a great day on Sapelo Island beach with a couple of friends, had the adventure of flying over the coastal rivers and Darien in a two-sitter Piper Cub plane, and bought my first kayak!! Wow...and now it's time for a weekend show with the Georgia Coastal Artists. Busy...busy!'s what's up in the studio! More glorious sky paintings!! This first is the cloudy sky over the Darien River. A few touches and it's ready for a fall show!

Sunrise Over The Ocean 30 x 30 oil on canvas

and a bit different for me...a more somber palette! 30 x 30 oil on canvas
Breaking Storm

Tip of the Day Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box! Deepak Chapra

End Of Day

What's on the easel? The 'hopefully' completion of a 60 x 48 oil on canvas "End Of Day". In a previous post I shared the beginning of this painting.

Following the advice of Ken Elliott of finding a motif for my artwork....something that I was drawn to and upon waking, I can't wait to get to the studio to paint, has been a new adventure for me. I've often taken pictures of the beautiful skies over the lowcountry marshlands. From sunsets to sunrises to the immense summer thunderstorm clouds, I've found a subject that truly excites my creativity.
My wish for you, if you're an artist, is that you would find that motif that both excites and challenges you!
Keep the brushes in the paint!!

Looks Like a Good Painting Month!

Don't you just love it when painting time is profitable. I'm not speaking in terms of dollars and cents...but in the satisfaction of applying the paint to the canvas and seeing your vision begin to appear. For the last few weeks I've been working on paintings for future shows and skies and sunsets seem to be appearing more frequently in the studio. The size seems to be growing too!!

To update you from my last post, here's the finished painting of the lowcountry sunset! It will be one of my paintings featured in Low Country Rhythms in September at The Glynn Art Gallery on St Simon's Island.

And to begin the month, here's the finish to Breaking Storm over Darien River, 48x36, oil on canvas.

And what's on the easel now? It's a 60x48 stormy low country sunset! Something BIG is coming in November!

For anyone interested, this is the underpainting consisting of acrylic inks, hard pastel, and a wash of oil paint!
Stay tuned!

A Good Day Painting!

You know when it's a good day painting because the canvas talks to you and responds with every stroke of the brush. This is a 36 x 48 oil on canvas that I began a couple of weeks ago but didn't have the time to put it on the easel again until today. I often begin a couple of paintings at a time with abstract color as an underpainting. Using acrylic inks is a great way to cover a large canvas with rich color and it can be whatever you choose!

The first image is how the canvas looked when I placed it on the easel today. Then with the music (Eric Clapton) turned up, the fun began! One layer of oils over the underpainting....notice the green in the water!

Next image, I've worked the clouds strengthening a diagonal line across the deep blue low lying clouds and graying down some of the cloud masses.

And here's where I left the painting to "gel". The sky is lighter but still keeps that stormy quality and the water now reflects some of the light from the sky. The tr…

Inspiration From A Garden

One of my favorite things to do each spring is visit the St Andrews Cemetery when the azaleas are in full bloom. Every pathway is filled with the lushness of pink and white azaleas and the dogwood blossoms twinkle in the early morning sunlight. A sense of calm drapes my shoulders like the spanish moss gently touching the branches and cascading to the ground.

In the past several days, I've been working on a new mixed media piece that complements two other paintings in the same genre. All three depict ladies hidden within a garden scene. While painting this week, I began to think about the spring gardens at St Andrews and drew inspiration from my time there.

The Scent Of A Garden 36 x 36 mixed media on gallery wrap canvas
On display at Blondie's, A Coffee Shoppe, Broad St, Darien GA Grand opening on June 4th

Adventure for Painting Class

After sharing stories about Creighton Island and how inspirational it has been to my paintings, my Thursday Class requested an outing there. The owner graciously agreed to boat us to the island last Thursday so that the group could paint on the island. Here's a few pics to share that adventure with all of you. After a short boat ride, here's what the group dubbed  "The Perilous Approach".

Frank's Front Porch was a popular spot for most of the artists!

 But Betty found a cool spot in the shade! And the porch sitters had a lot of curious company!

That's Steve the Bull! After lunch the group and I did a short walking tour. The views below are from the fire tower. Notice everyone but me is in the field below.....well, someone had to take the pic!

We checked out the gator hole! Everyone was happy not spotting one!

....and we strolled thru the beauty of the island.

Not a bad day for inspiration!

Too Cool Not To Share!

Ok....sometimes you run across an idea that is just too cool not to share! This is one of those. Going to go to the studio tomorrow and begin with the nails in a board!! If you're an oil or acrylic painter, this is a perfect way to store those tubes and keep the paint flowing toward the top! This was found on a craft site...sorry, no one was given credit. You could also use a straight board across a wall and add the nails and clippies.

Landscape Redo!

There are times when an artist (that would be me) just paints because there is no muse to excite the senses, no current project that needs a painting, or no thought of what the canvas should actually be about! One of the landscapes that has sat unattended against my studio wall is such a creation. It first began as a watercolor underpainting with fun colors flowing and blending into one another. Then it morphed into an abstract scene with rivers flowing and multi colored trees bending in the forward a year!

The artist (also me) sits staring about the studio with no real thought of what to paint when suddenly, the corner of an abstract landscape catches her attention. Pulling it from the corner, the painting seems to be speaking "I want to be finished....paint me....paint me!" And just as suddenly the artist (me again) literally sees **** (well not real stars)....sunflowers!! all over the canvas. And you know what artists do when inspiration strikes.....!

Spring Leaped The Fence Today!

Seemed like Mother Nature just forgot about spring this year...although, I've had my share of spring allergy
symptoms and I'll be happy when the pollen is officially fallen! Here's a small (for me) painting reflecting my spring fever!

It's 14 x 14, an oil on gallery canvas.
The title is " Spring Leaped Across The Fence Today From My Neighbor's Yard Into Mine"

'Bout time!

An Impromptu Class

As an instructor, we often go the extra mile for a class. When I got a call from a local art association asking if I was available to teach a class the next day, I almost said no. But when I heard it was a group of out of town visitors who really wanted to do some art while in town, how could I say no!

Not knowing what the group might want to do ( just knew that they had their own supplies), I took my alcohol dyes to show them how to do an abstract underpainting. There were five students ranging from teenage to adults and everyone wanted to try the underpainting technique! We had a lot of fun with that. A couple of the teens had never painted before but they did an excellent job with the references I supplied. Everyone had a great time painting and I was really glad that I had said yes.

Here's the demonstration I began for the group with an alcohol dye underpainting. It's 20x16 acrylic on canvas. The reference was taken at my brother's place outside Portland, Oregon, a cou…

Workshop Gone Wild!

What a title for my first post to Abstract Color!

 Recently I took a workshop with Ken Elliott, who is a fabulous contemporary landscape painter from Colorado! After viewing his book featuring landscape paintings, I knew he would have much to teach me about abstracting the landscape. After a year of planning, Ken arrived on St Simon's Island ready to encourage and challenge six of us to stretch our wings and fly! Although I've had a love affair with color for many years, the depth of Ken's teaching brought out new ideas on how to achieve the colorful landscape that I wanted and to capture the essence of a scene without a lot of details.

This is one of the paintings from the workshop. 30 x 30 oil skyscape. It's featured at the Tannery Row Artist Colony "Perfect 10" show, honoring those artists who are presently at the Tannery and those who have previously held studios there during the past 10 years. If you're near Buford, GA, drop by. The show closes April…