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)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Years Eve 12 '14

Happy New' Year's  Eve Everyone

May  your  2015 be filled with the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it,
Life is tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it."

Mother Teresa

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Review 12"14

2014 was a rough year emotionally; maybe one of the toughest I have had to deal with in quite awhile. It has been filled with sorrow from the loss of family and friends, and many unpleasant personal responsibilities. There were times I was barely able to meet both my business and personal commitments, much less give any attention to  being creative.  There were many occasions that I seemed to take one-step forward with my creative goals, only to find myself falling two back.  At times I despaired of every being able to make any progress toward my meeting my art business’s 2014 plan. 

And yet in review, I am finding that I did meet many of my personal goals as well as almost all of my business goals for 2014).

  • ·         I created several new series of paintings last year.
  • ·         Painted some larger format oils
  • ·         Successfully expanded  into the print market
  • ·         Took steps towards a future goal by taking technology training I will need to use.
  • ·         And most importantly I kept the business profitable.
Granted, accomplishing all of this was not easy and there were many hard choices to be made. For example I had to drop out of my favorite gallery.  The time commitments and cost of gasoline required to be involved in that gallery, would have prohibited me from producing art, and probably have put the business in the red.

"Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn't think we needed to know."
Amy Poehler.

The lesson I (re)learned this year is the power of having a solid business plan.  Having one allowed me to focus upon the priorities, and make choices, which will kept me on track through the hard times and  has put me  in position to move forward rapidly now that circumstances  have changed.

 So here’s to the end of a successful, (albeit, brutal) 2014 , and the beginning of a  brighter New Year in  in 2015 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nice way to end the year 12 '14

Whoop Whoop!
 Just got word that two more prints from my Pawleys Island Series have sold.
Thank you Fine Art America. That's a really nice belated Christmas gift
and a lovely way to end this year.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

SAG Fall Show and Sale 10 '14

This evening Bruce and I attended the opening reception for the  Seacoast Artists Guild's 11th Annual Fall Art Show and Sale, which was held  held at the Seacoast Artists Gallery at 3032 Nevers Street, Myrtle Beach, in The Market Common. The judged show will run from October 3rd through October 19th from 12-8 pm Monday through Saturday and 12-6 pm on Sunday.  Artwork will include paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel and mixed media as well as fiber art, sculptures and photography by members of the Seacoast Artists Guild.  All artwork on display in the show will be for sale to the public.  Our judge for the Fall Art Show will be Professor Maura Kenny from Coastal Carolina University. An awards reception, open to the public, will take place on Saturday, October 4th, from 6-8 pm. The public will also be voting for their favorite overall piece of art between Sunday, October 5th through Sunday, October 19th, and at the end of the show,  the guild will award a trophy to the “People’s Choice” winner.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Attalaya Festival 9_14

Sunday saw Bruce and I visiting Huntington Beach State Park's Atalaya Festival. It is my favorite Fine Art Craft show in the area, and we always look forward to going to see it. Actually, this was our third attempt to see this year's festival. The minute we arrived on both Saturday and Sunday it had started raining. The festivals exhibitors are set up in the out of door courtyards, and inside the castles' tiny rooms. As soon as it started raining everyone rushes indoors, making it nearly impossible to really see the artwork.

One of the more interesting aspects of this Festival is that it is held entirely within the walls of Atalaya, a Moorish-style “castle” built in the Great Depression as a winter home and sculpture studio by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, the New York philanthropists who also created Brookgreen Gardens across U.S. 17 from the oceanfront park.It is one of the most unusual buildings in South Carolina with its lush palm–lined courtyard, wrought iron window grills, and Moorish architecture presided over by a watchtower, Atalaya is a designated National Historic Landmark. Normally,the grounds are closed to the public except by guided tour, so being able to wander about at will inside the compound is a treat in itself. Sunday's weather was far less threatening and we actually had enough space to explore the historic building and to enjoy the fine art and craft on display..

It was indeed a fine collection of art. Over 100 artisans participated in the three day event. The Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival is renowned throughout the Southeast as one of the best art events of its kind. A wide variety of artists from across the country eagerly enter the rigid jurying process each year, which ensures that the quality is always very high and diversity is broad.

Here's Bruce looking at the artwork of my favorite Pastel artist, Greg Barnes.

The Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival is renowned throughout the Southeast as one of the best art events of its kind. A wide variety of artists from across the country eagerly enter the rigid jurying process each year, which ensures that the quality is always very high and the media is broad. Painters, potters, sculptures and fiber artists from all over the Southeastern states were on display.

In addition to the fine visual art on display, the event will also had a variety of musical entertainment, demonstrations by exhibitors, and an opportunity to sample some of the seafood delicacies for which the low country is known.

For more information on this event see:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

SAG host the MB Chamber of Commerce 6 14

On Thursday, the Seacoast Artists Guild hosted  a reception for the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 150 people came to the reception  which was held  in our gallery at The Market Common.

Bruce and I had a great time,  There was lots of good music   food ,and friends

and ,of  course,  lots of good artwork.

My wall  displayed some of t my "Buy local " series

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Crepe Myrtle in Bloom

Many people think of Spring as the best time to see the South in bloom.  Few realize that the warmer months of the year also have their own form of  Southern flower power.. Crepe Myrtle, Magnolia and many native  Southern plants are in peak bloom.

Cannas around the Palm Garden Urn.

 And many introduced species thrive in our near tropical climate.

Climbing Gloriosa Lily looks aflame against it's green leaves

Brookgreen Gardens is one the best places in the  state to see just how truly exotic the South can look

One of my personal  favorites blooms of the season are the waterlilies.  I always try to get in plein air  paintings of these beauties at this time of year.

Wild white waterlilies can be found blooming along South Carolina's roadways

But they are not as large nor as colorful as those in Brookgreen's ponds

And Brookgreen's  pond lilies are a lot safer to paint . Unfortunately this year 's constant scattered thunderstorms are making  plein air  even at  Brookgreen  hazardous. 
Fortunately I was able to  get in a few good sketches and grab some decent reference photos this week before the weather chased me off


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Brookgreen Garden's Fine Art Craft Show 6'14

Bruce and I went to Brookgreen Gardens new two day juried Fine art and Craft Show today  and I am so glad we did.
Threatening Sky
  The sky rumbled and grumbled all day, but the rain stayed away 

60 exhibitors is a lot
 for the sixty local and national artists who were juried into this two day show.

Held within the background of this beautiful nationally re-known sculpture garden

Whimsical living garden sculpture
BJ and I got to meet the known artists whose works are sold within fine art galleries across the country.

BJ chatting with Master wood carver, Timothy Bahn
There were demonstrations of pottery throwing, glass blowing, hand loom weaving and a chance to learn many of the processes used in making much of the work on display.

A Custom Quilted Kimona
There were whimsical items, art for the garden, custom commissioned artwork, and hand loomed wearable art on display.

BJ chatting with fiber artist Amy Bowden
Bruce bought me several original knitwear items from the very creative fiber artist Amy Bowden.  Now I can really look snazzy when we go to art events.

'Buy Local' series now on exhibit at CAG 6 '14

Here's a peek at some of my new " Buy Local" Series Paintings
"Creekside Beauties" 14" x 11" Oil
June 1st was the designated day for all the exhibitors at the Charleston Artists Gallery to refresh their  exhibit areas with new artwork.
"Got the Blues"  14" x 11 " Oil
I  had all the art work ready to go up, but was scheduled to be in California that day.
"Seeing Double" 14" x 11" Oil
My friend, Steve Jacobs offered to hang my new paintings for me.
"Take Home Sushi" 7" x 5" Oil
Thanks for the help hand,  Steve.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Another perfect day at CAG 5 '15

Spent a perfect afternoon in hanging out in the Charleston Artists Gallery talking to the crowds of art lovers who are in town for the Spoletto Festival.  I also hung  some of my new paintings from my "Buy Local" series .Here's a preview of one of them:
House of Blues 11" x 14" Oil

Friday, May 23, 2014

Opening Day at Spoletto 5 "14

With a shower of confetti and church bells all over the city ringing, the Spoleto USA festival was officially opened today in front of the historic US Customs House in  Charleston

The Spoleto festival is an almost three week event offering a dynamic and eclectic mix of "all things art". or 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters,


and outdoor spaces 

with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theater, dance,
 and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. 

Now approaching its 36th season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. and definitely a reason for visiting to Charleston.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Preparing the ' Buy Local' Series for Display 5 "14

Test layout using tiles to measure
My new 'Buy Local Series' paintings are signed, sealed, and ready to deliver to the Charleston Artists Gallery on Saturday.  Now I need to find the best  way to arrange them together before they get hung on the gallery walls..  The best way, I have found,  to do that is to measure off  areas. on my floor  that are the same dimensions as my wall-space(s).  (If you are unfamiliar with where you are going to be hanging, it is a good idea to visit or at least call the gallery ahead to verify the dimensions of where you will be and ask about any potential obstacles within that space  e.g. I once found myself working  around some light switches) Sometimes I use  blue painters tape, and sometimes I use the tiles themselves to mark the edges).  I  then start arranging the paintings  within that space until I come up with a pleasing combination.  Once I am satisfied with the layout, I take a quick reference photo, and mark down on a piece of paper the number of inches between each painting, and the number of inches the top and bottom paintings are  from the ceiling and floor.  Together the photo and layout measurements give me a quick way to start hanging once I arrive at the gallery.  If I have multiple columns of paintings I start hanging from the lower right and work up.  If I am only hanging a single column, I work from the top down. 

It may seem like a lot of extra work, but taking the time to do this one extra step is worth it. It's amazing how much smoother the art goes up with a little advance planning.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

OMG! I AM NOT Plein Air painting near any of these

OMG!   I AM NOT Plein Air painting near any of these 'scenic ponds" anymore
Check out the size of this alligator.. It's absolutely Jurassic!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gallery Hosting at Seacoast Artists Gallery 5 '14

My oil painting Golden Glory is in the gallery's front window
I had a great time today hosting at the Seacoast Artists Gallery in the Market Commons. Some people view gallery sitting as a chore.  Not me!  I loved seeing all the new artwork that went up May first.  And interacting with all of the guests who came is was a real pleasure.  I always come back from a day at the gallery recharged with creative energy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring has arrived at the SAG Gallery 4 '14

All my new Spring Series paintings went on display today at the Seacoast Artists Guild Gallery at the Market Common.  I really like how well they looked as a set.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Painting at CAG Gallery 4'14

Goose at Swan Lake
Last week, The Charleston Artists Guild sold one of my wildlife paintings.  Today I took a painting  in to fill the space on my wall.  It is a  9" x 12" oil of a Canadian Goose sitting on a Cypress Tree root.  It has always been one of my favorites in my wildlife series.  First of all, because it is actually the first wildlife I ever attempted in South Carolina, and second because I love the story behind it.

Swan Lake Iris Gardens is a County Park in Sumter ,South Carolina.  It is famous not only for its beautiful Japanese Iris which grow throughout the cypress swamp but for being home to all eight of the world's swan species.  I timed my first visit to the Park with what should have been the peak of iris bloom.  Ironically, there was barely an iris  blossom to be seen any where in the park.    Eventually I found out why.  All the swans were nesting in the iris patches.  Every so often one would lift its neck up and munch on the tender buds of what would have been an Iris flower.  The only blooming Iris I found that day were by this one goose.   Presumably, it too had build a nest nearby, and was protecting it from the swans, which allowed the Iris a chance to blossom.
My Wildlife Series at CAG Gallery
In any case,  my 'Goose at Swan Lake'  looks mighty fine amidst my other wildlife painting at the Charleston  Guild Artists Gallery