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)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Waccatee Zoological Farm 6'12

  Looking for a good place to to sketch exotic animals or are  looking for a place to photograph birdsThe  Waccatee Zoological Farm is a small family run enterprise  that is run  entirely on private donations. 
  The zoo houses thousands of animals and over 100 species.
The first to greet you are the Peafowl (aka peacock).

 They are both beautiful to look at and good security.  At the least small disturbance these lovely creatures  begin  screaming ear piercing alarm calls, alerting  the staff and everyone else that mischief is afoot.
 From the road you see herds of buffalo and zebra roaming the open sunny grassland, but most of the zoo is located within 500 acres of private, carefully preserved, wooded property.
Some of the larger herd animals like the ( North African sheep above) are given  large tree sheltered enclosures. . Many of the animals are located in relatively small enclosures,  making them very easy to see and sketch.  
 But fair warning while clean and well fed, it did not seem entirely fair to keep such large animals in such small spaces. I was especially uncomfortable with the  cats and other predators. The zoo's website brags that  "big cats like the leopard, lion, cougar and tiger eye you up close".  It is true that one can get close.  I could get within a foot of this  little serval cat, but  it  wouldn't meet my eyes.  A  large lioness paced endlessly back and forth  between the cinder block walls of her  rooms.    It left me feeling guilty and sad to see these beautiful animals caged like this.

One are that I did find enjoyable was the raised wooden walkway that winds through the  wetlands .   A raised wooden walkway winds through  the
Located where the Waccamaw River, Intracoastal Waterway and Socastee Creek  join, Waccatee Zoo is a natural wildlife sancuary and breeding ground for many species of migratory birds.  At several times of the year it's not uncommon to see thousands of beautiful native egrets or heron in one small spot.  
The birds were everywhere, posing like photographers models
 The egret above had built its nest right over the walkway,
while a heron below posed on a branch beside the walk. The difference between the birds and the other creatures in the zoo is that the birds are free to come and go as they like.  If the zoo area does  not please them, they could simply fly on down the river to another site.
There's a lot more animals than I have shown, so if you are into wildlife art  check it out at: The Waccatee Zoological Farm 
 8500 Enterprise Rd
Myrtle Beach, SC  29588

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Caveat emptor

The sales rep at the Charleston art supply store lied to me.  Gamblin quick dry titanium does not dry at the same speed as Gamblin Fast-matte titanium.... Grrrrrrr. Not a happy camper!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Which is worse?

 Which is worse?  Wasting a day driving to get supplies, or wasting three  waiting for your supplies to be delivered?

 Last night I started  working on my 15th painting for my exhibition in August.  Then I realized that I was running out of  Gamblin Titanium white quick dry.....eeeeek .   That is a critical pigment; there is no substitute for it in my palette., and no store  near here supplies it.  I went online to order some, but soon realized that even with  an  over-night  delivery, it  would not arrive until Monday  afternoon. (We live in a rural zip code, so all deliveries take an extra day).  What to do ????. You guessed it... I made a speed run to Charleston Artists and Craftsmen Supply.  Nothing like a 150 mile round trip for a $20 product.... But at least I can continue working on the painting  while the vision is still in my head.

PS...   I did learn from this experience not  to wait until I ma almost totally out of  some supply before buying its replacement.  So of course I picked up some other non-essentials while I was there

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Charleston Piccolo Spoleto Festival's Juried Visual Fine Art Exhibition

Charleston hosts its Piccolo Spoleto Festival from Memorial Day weekend through  first two weeks in June.  The venue included all of the arts: music, dance, drama, literature,  and of course visual arts.  The latter includes a whole range of events... crafts shows, chalk walks,  demonstrations, invitational exhibitions, theme exhibitions, plus a juried out of doors exhibition sponsored by the Charleston Artist Guild.  The juried exhibition includes  three cash prizes for first second  and third place in painting ( an another three for photography) and ten  honorable mention prizes. All of the winners could be seen on display in the Visitor Center for the entire two weeks of the show.

This was a tough competition. Each applicant was allowed three entries.  One hundred eleven (111)  were selected .  All of the pieces accepted were of very high quality.  It appeared that the entrants  and awards winners were also chosen on originality of theme and / or point of view, as well as skill.