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 23, 2010

Mixed feelings about selling art 11 '10

Island Art sold one of my paintings of the Hobcaw Barony Watchtower yesterday.  I always have mixed feeling about parting with a painting.  They are like children.  I want and expect them to  leave me, and to  find a home of their own, but when they do, I feel sad, and hope they are somewhere they are loved.

SAG Fundraiser Continues 11'10

You may remember this painting from an October  post as one of the paintings I donated to the Sea Coast Artist Guild's Holiday Fundraiser.
I also donated this little 4"x6"  oil (above)
Below are some of the paintings donated by other members. 
Funds from the sale of these painting will be used to purchase art supplies for our local schools art classes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

References for Gallery hopping in Appalachia 11' 10

I  just came home from a week in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of South Western North Carolina.

The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to some of the finest artist and craftsmen in the United States. So  We spent much of my time seeking out and exploring the area's galleries. It wasn't hard to do... They were virtually everywhere. Along the smaller roads, quilters announced their presence by painting a quilt on the sides of their home, wood carvers and basket weavers sat their wares in open display stands in their front yards. Slightly larger communities might have a coop gallery representing several artists working in different media. And of course the larger towns and cities had multiple galleries pulling in art from all over the region. I visited too many to name them all, but here is the list of my favorites ( and their links):
  • The Folk Art Center On the Blue Ridge Parkway had some of the finest art quilts I have ever seen, as well as wod carving, basketry, pottery, glassware, and many other local crafts. ...Folk Art Center. Milepost 382 Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, NC or http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/attractions-destinations/folk-art-center

  •  The Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville features Contemporary Fine Art and Craft for sale by Artists of the Southeastern United States The light-filled, 15,000 square-foot gallery spans three floors connected by an open stairway. Within the gallery are some of the finest contemporary art/craft I have ever seen anywhere! .... 8_Biltmore Avenue, Asheville NC 28801 or http://www.bluespiral1.com/gnews.htm
  • The Haen Gallery just down the street from the Blue Spiral is home to two of my favorite artists... Lynn Boggess and Larry Gray... See them at : 52 Biltmore Avenue Suite 101, Asheville NC 28801 or http://www.thehaengallery.com/ .

  • The SevenSisters Gallery in Black Moutain features fine arts and crafts including pottery, jewelry, sculpture,  paintings, glassware, and metal works all handcrafted by local artisans at: 117 Cherry Street, Black Mountain, NC.

  • And finally, The Silver Fox Gallery in Hendersonville was a new discovery for me and is  certainly destined for many return visits. This quietly elegant upscale gallery in Hendersonville is a delight. Color is a dominant theme with brilliantly hued ceramics by many fine regional and national artists. The glass art is equally eye catching particularly the richly hued works by Victor Chiarizia. The gallery walls are covered with fine paintings and intricate textile art and the rooms are warmly appointed with inviting hand-made furniture. It was as much of a home decorator store as a gallery, but almost everything was one of a kind,   Go to 508 N. Main Street Hendersonville, NC 28792 or http://silverfoxonline.com/index.html

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Photo Shoot 11 '10

As a belated Birthday gift, Bruce took me to see Magnolia Plantation and Gardens just outside of Charleston SC. But spent most of my time in the gardens.  The place is huge.... walkways wander off everywhere.  One could spend days exploring the place.

 It is a pre-revolutionary plantation and boasts the oldest established horticultural gardens on the continent.  The house and grounds have been in the same family for over 300 years.  Starting right off with the first owner,  formal flower gardens were planted and cared for as carefully as the rice fields.  Each successive owner added to  size of the gardens  and enhanced the number of species collected.  They were careful to balance art with nature by providing habitats to protect the native wildlife.

I took lots of photos of the statuary

and of the wildlife

                          Even at an off season like late November, the place is spectacular.

I was especially impressed with all of the subtle shades of gray and purple and green I saw in the  water gardens.  If I painted some of these scenes I would probably be accused of faking it.
can't wait to come back in the spring when all of the azaleas are in bloom

Blue Ridge Mountains: Gallery Hopping 11'10

Sorta - Gallery Hopping in the Blue Ridge Mountains with pictures

The Blue Ridge Mountains may not have many name brand chain stores, but they are home to some of the finest artist and craftsmen in the United States. So in between enjoying the scenery, and the local produce, and the out of door recreational activities, I spent much of my time seeking out and exploring the area's artists. It wasn't hard to do... They were virtually everywhere. 
Towns Brevard
 Along the smaller roads, quilters announced their presence by painting a quilt on the sides of their home, wood carvers and basket weavers sat their wares in open display stands in their front yards.
Black Mountain Coop.
Slightly larger communities might have a coop gallery representing several artists working in different media. And of course, the larger towns like Hendersonville
Silver Fox Gallery in Hendersonville, NC
  Slightly larger communities might have a coop gallery representing several artists working in different media. And of course, the larger towns like Hendersonville
Blue Spiral Gallery Asheville, NC
and cities like Asheville
had multiple galleries pulling in art from all over the region.  We  saw some of the finest contemporary artwork we have ever seen anywhere in these galleries, and  I got enough gallery hopping in to satisfy me  for a good six months.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blue Ridge Mountains: Lake Lure Surroundings 11 '10

 Lake Lure Surroundings
The low mountains around Lake Lure were ablaze with fall color when we were there
Tiny creeks have cut steep ravines throughout the entire area. 
.Homes, farms,, and entire communities, with names like Bat Cave and Chimney Rock, cling to the sides of these ravines, linked precariously by miles and miles of narrow winding roads
  a countless number of bridges, and an endless number of painting sites.  The sheer number of possibilities made my head swim.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blue Ridge Mountains Nov '10

I spent a week in southwestern North Carolina on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Home base was a small resort town called Lake Lure, but other than a round of golf at the local course, most of the trip was spent investigating nearby areas of the Appalachia.
Lake Lure, NC in the late afternoon 

Top on my list of things to explore was the Blue Ridge Parkway. On a previous visited to the area I had traveled the Southern-most portion between Cherokee and Asheville, so this trip explored another hundred miles north of there on the Parkway between Asheville and Boone North Carolina.
CC on mile high Grandfather Mountain
While there was still plenty of fall foliage to see at the lower elevations, a storm the week before had stripped the upper ridges of most deciduous vegetation. The good news is that it cleared away the foliage so that one could see all the way to Charlotte NC some 90 miles to the South.  In my opinion the lack of foliage made for some much cleaner reference photos with a definite center of interest

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mihaly Cjkszentmihalyi Flow Theory 11'10

I just learned an interesting theory about the physical mechanics behind what artists call being "in the zone".  It seems that our brains' neurons can only process data at a rate of about 120 bits per second.  By way of comparison it takes 60 bits per second to just listen  to someone speaking.  Which means that it is hard to understand for us to listen with comprehension to more than two people talking  at the same time.  So when we perform a complex  action visualizing a subject while simultaneously rendering on a canvas there isn't enough "bandwidth" for us to notice our physical sensations or our surroundings.  Hence the feeling of being outside ourselves when we are fully absorbed in the painting process.  Same thing applies to any other fully engrossing activity like playing jazz or doing yoga. Cool Heh?

Click on the following  link for Wikipedia 's  more detailed, but understandable explanation, of what  Mihaly Cjkszentmihalyi called his Flow Theory :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi

Friday, October 22, 2010

Seacoast Artists Guild Donation 10 '10

One of my art guilds  holds an annual fund-raiser in early December with the proceeds going toward supporting arts in the local schools. This year they plan on auctioning off miniature paintings which are  being donated by their members. At our last guild meeting they  gave out mini ( 3"x5") canvases to any member who wanted to participate... Above is one of the little  paintings I am donating.
Below is a photo of the display set up at :
Applewoods 14361 Ocean Hwy, SC 29585

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seacoast Artists Guild Fall Show 10 '10

 I spent the last two days "sitting"  at the SAG show... My first  reaction  to the show's location was that it was not  a good idea to hold and art show in a retail mall.  I was wrong.  The show has sold more artwork and attracted more viewers than we ever did in the gallery.
   Live and Learn!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

BrookGreen's 77th National Sculpture Show 10 '10

Brookgreen Gardens, in Pawleys Island, SC is an internationally recognized sculpture center. It is currently hosting the National Sculpture Society's 77th Annual Award Exhibition.One of the Nice things about this show is that there is a peoples choice Award, where the public gets to vote on their favorite sculpture in the show. Below are a few of my favorites:

The artists get to provide comments
"ATC" ( It is break dancers)

Sea Coast Artist Guild 7th Annual Fall Show 10 '10

The Sea Coast Artist Guild is holding its 7th Annual Fall Show in Murrells Inlet this month.

My friend Nora Mackan  won honorable mention for her  painting of the marsh.
You can see more of her work at 
 I entered three  paintings:  "The Gates of Litchfield" and "Georgetown USA" ( above),
and "Evening on the Marsh" Below.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kate Lagaly at WACG Meeting on 10_16_10

You may remember that last month I joined other members of the Waccamah Art Craft Guild for a mini workshop on acrylic beach washes ( See Sept.19 post).

This month's  the WACG member meeting sponsored artist Kate Lagaly showing us how she uses these washes in her art work.

Kate is a signature member of  the Colored Pencil Society of America
and a very fine artist and art teacher
More of her work can be seen at

The meeting was held in the studio of Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach where we were able to get in very close to the demonstration
 Kate showed us lots of different  examples of her work.  Here you see one half of a wash without any painting, and the other half with a portrait atop the wash

 Then she demonstrated  putting a watercolor wash aver portions of a  beach wash
and adding a drawing in colored pencil

 Then she took a partially complete wash and pencil and continued to enhance it.
Much thanks to the WACG and to Kate Lagaly for the interesting and informative afternoon.

Nora Makin wins award at SAG Fall Show 10 '100

Congratulations  to My Friend Nora Makin. Nora  for winning a ribbon at the Seacoast Artist Guild Fall.  You can see Nora's and many other beautiful artworks  on display until Oct 24th at the center court of the  Inlet Square Mall.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SAG Fall Show and Sale Oct '10

The Seacoast Artists Guild Fall Show and Sale  is now on display 
CC entered three pieces into this show 
Above CC with two of her local landmark series "Gates of Litchfield" and "Georgetown USA"
 Above CC with her marsh nocturne
You can see may work and all the other lovely pieces at the Inlet Square Mall Center Court in Murrells Inlet from Oct 15th Through Oct 24th 9 am to 9 pm daily.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Local Landmarks of Edisto Island 10 '10

Palmetto Palm Reflections in Edisto State Park
The first week of October was spent on Edisto Island, SC.  I enjoyed the stay.  It was a very healthy getaway both mentally and physically.   Like most of the sea islands, Edisto Island is actually two islands... Nearest to the  ocean is a narrow spit of sand called Edisto Beach .  Most of the development on Edisto  is on this sandbar wedged between the Atlantic Ocean  and a salt marsh. There's no canned entertainment and hardly any restaurants even on Edisto Beach..  I spent most of the week touring local nature preserves and historical centers and taking photo references for future paintings.

Just West of the salt marsh is Edisto Island proper.  It is a much larger chunk of land  that in turn is cut off from the mainland by two very large rivers.   It is covered with ancient oaks, towering pine, and juniper, interspersed with tidal creeks and marshes, Edisto Island proper is mostly rural small family  farms , remote wildlife management preserves, (and a lot of AME and Baptist churches). The low country scenery is magnificent and chalk full of colonial and civil war history.  I had my bike with me so I was able

 to explore a lot of the area at a very leisurely pace.  My favorite place was through Botany Bay, which is a Wildlife Preserve managed by the Nature Conservancy.  The preserve is composed of 12 former Plantations  which date back to colonial times.

Erosion on Botany Bay Beach
Jeremy Cay