A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ITS - Bottle Tree 12 '08

Brookgreen Gardens has planted a Bottle Tree.
  "What's that?", you ask.  Its a southern holiday tradition.  Find an dead tree, cut  off all the think branches;  then back the  small branches to within 24 " of the trunk,  cover the ends of the branches with colorful bottles.
 ITS   (It's the South)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Brookgreen Gardens Night of a Thousand Candles 12 '08

The Archer
This is mysecond year to attend Brookgreen Gardens' "Night of a Thousand Candles"
Palm Garden Pond by Day
 Every Year, hundreds of volunteers  string lights and light s tragically place thousands of  candles  throughout the the entire garden
Turning an already stunningly beautiful  area
into a fairyland of sparking dancing light
Same Palm Garden Pond by candlelight.
And here's a different view of the Palm Garden with the South Carolina State emblem ( Palmetto Palm and Moon)

Some of the displays are beautiful

And some are a bit spooky

Even if you have visited Brookgreen Gardens in the past, this event is not to be missed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fall in the Low Country 12 '08

I am really surprised at how much fall color we get in the Low Country.
Coming from a part of the world where we get none
this is truly a treat
My artwork has become so m uch more colorful since moving to the East Coast

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jekyll Island, GA Nov. 16 - 17,’08

Nov. 16 - 17,’08  Jekyll  Island, GA.
The end of November saw us taking a major road trip south in the RV.  The original plan was for Bruce to get in some warm water diving and me to do some serious painting.
We left home early Sunday morning and drove 5  hours south to Jekyll Island, GA.  The Island was once a privately owned turn of the century luxury resort community, but has since been declared a Georgia State Historic Park.   You can see why from the moment you drive in on a road lined with huge old landmark oaks.

  It’s a beautiful place, surrounded by marsh with beautiful vistas 
 with beautiful vistas and hiking trails everywhere
One  board walk  hiking trail leads across the river
then follow the river trough the marsh
affording us some great bird watching opportunities.
 Its beaches are magnificent.  One of them…” Driftwood Beach”,
 has been called one of the most romantic beaches in the world ( you can see  why from these photos.)
It used to be a maritime forest but the encroaching time has eroded the soil from under the trees  to create this beautiful "Boneyard"
You also get classic views of shrimp boats from the beach
I was so impressed that  I even worked up a quick watercolor sketch
 You can book a ride on a working Shrimp Boat
The Island also boasts of having: tennis courts, fishing, kayaking, three golf courses, lovely old Victorian hotels and its own active art community.   And their boast list doesn't even  mention all the  great birding, hiking and miles of bicycle trails.  Needless to say we will be returning for a longer visit one of these days. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Abstract Artworks 11 '08

My husband Bruce has been pressing me to paint more abstract work.  I actually like   art that is abstract, or at least abstracted, as opposed to decomposed graphic designs, so I decided to give it a try.  Its a lot harder than it looks
"Which way Up"
 First I tried  painting two different 24" x 30" acrylic abstracts on gallery wrapped canvases..    Both came out well, and the process held my attention,  but neither painting left me feeling the sense of tranquility I have after  painting a more impressionistic landscape
"Red Sky in the Morning"

Then I reverted to a more abstracted style city scape.  This style is closer to the way I painted when I was in college.  While I found the process and the product more satisfying than the first two pure abstracts above, it still does not speak to my soul  the way painting a beautiful landscape does. 
"Winter in the City" 16" x 20" Oil
So for awhile I will continue with more traditional  subject matter.  When the time comes for me to move in an abstract direction,  This experience should gives me the confidence to do so.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Art, art, ‘n’ more art! 10 '08

My husband, Bruce recently acquired four small theme paintings from Southeastern artist, Grant Nelson.   He hung them on either side of the window in the music room.   Bruce liked their effect so much, that he started pestering me to create some larger scale graphic design paintings with a music theme for the other walls in the room. 
Grant Nelson paintings

I have no training in graphic design, nor any desire to paint in that style, but Bruce can be VERY persuasive when he gets his heart set on something.  So when South Carolina’s hurricane season limited me to indoor activities, I decided it would be a good time to see what I could produce to make Bruce happy.  I soon learned that creating good graphic art is harder than it looks.  After several failed attempts at coming up with a decent design, I fell back on the time honored tradition that most art schools use to teach a new skill…. Copy someone else’s work.    

My first attempt was to paint an enlarged (three foot by three foot) version of a four inch by four inch electric light switch-plate cover with a Kaminski like design on it.   It was hung above the piano adding a playful note to the room.

Encouraged, Bruce started bugging me to paint something even larger to hang over the sofa.   This time I attempted a triad.  The project was very educational.  I learned that it is very important to pay close attention to exactly what paint color one is mixing if you are working on a multi canvas set, and I also learned a lot about balancing colors, and tones across the canvas. .Each painting was painted separately then, after all three were completed, I went back to add detail and adjust color notes so that the paintings would view well as a set.  In addition,  I learned that it is very important to pay close attention to balance  color hues and color values  across the set of canvases   I  also learned I don’t want to be a graphic artist, and I how to have a happy husband.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Asheville NC: October 16-17, 2008

Asheville NC: October 16-17, 2008
The City of Asheville is the largest city in Western North Carolina. It is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its natural beauty and good arts and crafts. 

  From our house it is an easy hop, skip, and a jump, making it an ideal location for a quick weekend getaway and to check out the art shows theat are held there..   Fortunately we decided to make it a four day long weekend, because there is so much to do in the area that we didn’t begin to see it all.
Downtown Asheville, NC's street scene

Downtown Asheville lives in its own artistic microcosm.  There is art everywhere -- in galleries, churches, businesses, and in every restaurant - not to mention on the street corners.  It’s been ranked as one of the best art communities in the US.  It is impossible to see it all… but we tried. As Bruce put it after two days of gallery-hopping, “I’ve seen so much art my head feels like it is going to burst”  Fortunately Asheville also has plenty of fine restaurants to help fuel our bodies for our marathon Thursday/Friday art walk.

BJ in the Blue Spiral Gallery
 And in the evening we could relax with a glass of wine and just enjoy the beauty of the area  from the comfort of our RV campsite. 
View from our campsite

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Collectors Cafe 5/21/08

I am still learning about the different art communities in South Carolina .  I heard that 
The collectors Cafe in North Myrtle beach holds a reception for their artists once a quarter, and it seemed to be a good way to get to know some of the other local artists.
Entry gallery
The place is always packed with lovers of contemporaneity art 
(The free appetizers are bad either)
My husband, Bruce purchased several  small originals to add to the collection in our music room

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Swan lake for Mothers Day 5 '08

Last weekend we celebrated Mothers Day by going to see Swan Lake in Sumter SC. It is one of the prettiest city parks I have ever visited. The lake is a flower and bird lover's paradise. The beautiful black waters of Swan Lake form the setting for the spectacular Iris Gardens. The lake is dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant. It is the only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species, Swan Lake-Iris Gardens is also home to some of the nation's most intensive plantings of Japanese iris, which bloom yearly in mid to late May and last until the beginning of June. The garden also boasts many other flowers including colorful camellias, azaleas, day lilies, and Japanese magnolias.  
Swan Lake-Iris Gardens began in 1927 when Hamilton Carr Bland, a local businessman was developing the 30 acres of swamp into a private fishing camp. At the same time he was landscaping the grounds of his home with Japanese iris. The iris failed miserably in the home garden, and Bland ordered his gardener to dig up the bulbs and dump them at the swamp. The following spring, they burst into bloom. The accidental garden, referred to by Southern Living magazine a "lovely mistake," has since been developed into one of the finest botanical gardens in the United States

Australian Black Swan

The magnificent swans were brought in from all over the world; representing Australia, North America, South America, Europe and Asia were originally imported by Mr. Bland in the late 1920's.  You might find it interesting that the Australian Black swans have been in residence the longest, and some of the birds living in the garden at present are their descendents.  They were definitely my favorites. Visitors are permitted to feed the swans. The swans are quite tame and friendly and will come right up to you looking for a hand out; so do the Canada geese, mallards, egrets, herons and anhinga which also call the gardens home.
Canada Goose
Of all of the photos I took today, I liked this one the best and am sure I will wind up painting "The Goose at Swan Lake"
Tri color Heron
family of Pied
Hogsbill turtle

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Impressionist Exhibit at the National Art Gallery 4 ';08

CC in front of a Plein Air  Demonstration
The National Museum of Art was running a major exhibition of  the French Impressionist
BJ posing by / as VanGogh
We spent several hours soaking in the beauty of artworks that we had only seen in  art  history books
CC in front of a Monet