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, November 17, 2009

Ashville: Blue Ridge Mountains Fall '09

This past  weekend we went to   see the fall change of color in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.   Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains are a five hour trip from our home. It is far enough away that won't go there and back for a day-trip but close enough that we feel comfortable going there for a two or three day weekend. 

 The Asheville area is one of the top art destinations in the USA, which is good motivation enough for either of us to visit, but add to that the beauty of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, and we are positively addicted to the area.
One Sunday morning we woke up to the Weather Channel showing a picture of the Blue Ridge Mountains in full Fall Color. That did it... Within ten minutes we had grabbed our leather jackets, an extra set of clothing, cameras, and whatever snacks we could stuff in a cooler, and we were off. There are some signs of Fall here in the Low Country but nothing like the show that our Southern mountains put on.  Shortly after we crossed the North Carolina and reached the foothills we began to see color on all sides of us. 
Above and below US Highway 26 Northbound as we entered North Carolina, and the view from our hotel  in  the Biltmore Estates the next morning. 

All along the road were spectacular burst of color.
 We drove as far as Craggy Peak and took a short hike to the top of the mountain. The entire top of the mountain is covered in Rhododendron and Flowering Ashe. 
Below: A tunnel has been cut through the Rhododendron for the trail to the peak. 
Can you imagine how beautiful this hike must be when the Rhododendrons are in bloom?  I can’t wait to see this area in spring
The view from the top was wonderful.  You can see why the mountains are called the Blue Ridges.  What I hadn’t expected was all the contrasting bright red of the Ashe Tree berries.  No wonder they made this area a National Park and the Blue Ridge Highway a National Scenic Road.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Plein Air SC style Nov '09

My most recent adventure was in Charleston.  The Charleston Fine Arts Council Designated Nov 5-7th as Fine Arts weekend, and the entire city got in the act with art walks, gala openings in the city's many museums, and auctions to benefit various art causes. I haven't met a single plein air painter since I moved here, so I was very excited to read that the council was sponsoring a PLEIN AIR event in Washington Park.  Boy was I in for a surprise!  Plein Air painting as I know it usually means the artist painting(1) a small landscape or architectural scene(2) that is being looked at on location (3) in a somewhat impressionistic manner (4) to capture a the local color of what is seen. (5) They are almost always small because (6) one is trying to capture the image before the light changes.
In Charleston,  Plein air seems to mean anything that you paint in plain air out of doors. 
  There were people realistically painting remote landscapes from photographs, and creating watercolor seascapes from photographs. 
Some of the artists set up still lives complete with settings to direct the light 
 or brought a model and posed her on a bench.   

The participating artists had been invited to donate work towards an auction which raised money for the Charleston high school district art program. 

Much of what was donated were graphics, abstracts, and or decorative art pieces. 
  There were a couple of artists who were trying to paint the local scenery,  
  but I didn't envy them trying to see their subject matter through the crowds.   
 The winning piece of art from the exhibit was what appeared to be a colored photograph of a pelican.  (Even if I am mistaken and it was a incredibly realistic hand rendered pelican... I don't know how it could be called plein air). Oh well, plein air or not, the effort and money went to a good cause, so no complaints.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Georgetown Watermedia Society Meeting 11 '09

The Georgetown Water media Society met today for a presentation by two of our members on painting with Acrylic paints. Diann  Hammett led off  the presentation with a discussion of how she approaches  abstract and more traditional representational artwork  and the pros and cons of using acrylic paints in both.

This was followed by another member who  showed us how she uses acrylic paintings in  traditional subjects like this study of her son sitting on the beach
She then explained that as a buzy mother of several children she cannot spend as much time as she would like in the studio.  She maximizes her time, by painting on round table-tops that can be fitted onto the steering wheel of her car while she is waiting for her children to finish their  little league practice etc.  Needless to say the fast drying quality of acrylics is a real boon  under such circumstances.
Above:Initial pidgeon desgin on tabletop with small travel acrylic set shown in plastic bag on table. 
Below: Completed painting of pidgeon.
How clever!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dennis Cordereio Presents at SAG 11';09

Metal Artist,  Dennis Cordereio gave presentation at the monthly membership meeting of the Seacoast Artists Guild .
Dennis showed the members  how cuts the metal, shapes it, then soulders, and oxidize it to produce his beautiful creations