Friday, March 25, 2016

Vacation & Art

This past week Daniel has been on break from teaching, which means it's been both a relaxing and a busy week for us. It has also made it difficult for me to visit many of your blogs, which I intend to remedy this weekend!

We decided to go away for a few days and visit Apalachicola, a small town in the panhandle area of Florida. We loved it!
There really wasn't much to do around there, except walk around town, eat in several very good restaurants, visit the local coffee shop, the excellent bakery and a few of the galleries.

We were pleased to see that Apalachicola also has their very own brewery, where we sat for a while, tasted their excellent beer and talked with some interesting people.
On one of the days, we drove to a river that originates in one of Florida's warm springs. Our hope was to maybe see some manatees. They come to the warm springs in the colder weather as they need warm water temperatures to survive.
Alas, there were none to be seen, but we still had a gorgeous paddle! It took us two hours to paddle upstream, but just one hour to get back. The way back was definitely more relaxing.
We did see a few alligators and we both noticed how used to them we have gotten over the years. We didn't even take photos.
The scenery was gorgeous!
We rented a tandem paddle, which was fun! I was in the front because Daniel is so much better at steering than I am.
The water looked dark, but it was crystal clear.

We saw lots of lots of turtles. I loved how the one above was stretching out its hind legs. Very graceful... In the photo below an Anhinga was drying its wings.

Back home, I have been busy working on our taxes (oh, joy!) and also doing some painting. I am working on all kinds of things at the moment. Below is a detail of a large painting, which I am sure will change drastically, but I sort of liked this somewhat raw stage.
Then I've been taking the online class "Expressions" by Renata Loree, which is really good. I'm somewhat behind since we were on vacation when it started, but luckily it's self-paced.
I will be drawing different face and head angels and also expressions (like the worried one on the drawing below). Another part of the class will be dealing with hands. That will be a challenge! Drawing in general is a challenge for me since it requires a good deal of patience, which I often lack... Good practice!
And then, of course, there are my little paintings. I have three in the works right now, but none finished to show you.
I am linking again to Paint Party Friday, a great hub for artistic inspiration! Head on over to have a look!

In the meantime, I wish all of you who celebrate a Happy Easter! And definitely a beautiful week for all of us!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Art and Much More

Another week has passed and it's been a busy one. It's also been a week where spring has arrived complete with sunshine, warm air - a few days felt downright summery - and tree pollen, which is giving everything a thick dusting of light green and making many people sneeze.
I've been busy painting. Small paintings like this horse. Can you see it in the background photo below?
Another small painting - a fun bird!
I saw him right away in the shapes of the background below.
This was the final small painting of this last week. Love the closeup of the owl face. The horse and the owl have already flown off to their new homes. This little paintings don't stick around for long. I'm grateful!  
Now here finally is the finished large painting of the alligator and his friend, the kingfisher. This is such a fun canvas size - 12 x 36 inches (31 x 91 cm).
I loved painting this keeping my palette to three colors plus white: Naphthol Red, Payne's Grey and Phthalo Green (blue shade). 

The funny thing is that I started the background with the red and blue because I still had a lot on my palette from another painting and didn't want to waste it.
Then I liked it so much that I only added the green for the gator and left it at that. I like both challenges - using many colors and making it work or using only two or three.
This was a very quick sketch for a larger painting I want to do soon.  I liked her pose.
Aside from making art, I went to the beach one morning just for a long walk. It was so beautiful. 
 The sun was shining and it was warm. Even warm enough to walk barefoot and put my feet in the (still cold) water.

Then, one evening I met Daniel in town after he was done teaching and we spent some time at our favorite rooftop restaurant/bar on the Savannah River.
We were in luck in that two big container ships made their way past us.
A perfect evening!
Of course with the warmer weather nature is exploding and with that our garden. Even the frogs are coming out of hibernation... 
And our fig tree, which last week was still completely bare, now is full of leaves and already has little figs growing. How amazing is that?!
I'm linking - as usual - to the fun and always inspiring Paint Party Friday. It's always an inspiration to visit everyone's beautiful art blogs!

And to you all a beautiful, warm, sunny and creative week!!

With love and joy,


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Nothing Stays the Same

I know this. I know that change is the order of things. I know that the only constant in life really is change. And of course my art has to evolve just like everything else, but it catches me by surprise every time.
I really made a commitment early on that I would let my intuition guide and drive my art and that's what I try to do. So, you can see by the elephant and the bird that my color palette was changing. A little darker, calmer and subdued.
And I kept feeling a need to paint more complex paintings, small and large. Today, I'm only showing the small ones as the larger ones are in the sketch phase only at this point.
The background above happened by me dripping high-flow acrylics into watered down absorbent ground. It made for such cool shapes. When I put this on Facebook, one of my friends saw a horse in the upper right, another saw the face in the lower left and I filled in the rest.  I love this painting!
The same with the one below - the figures were suggested by the shapes in the background and I just went with it.
And this one is really different. She was all there in the shapes, wing and all. We'll see where this leads.
Already in the background I created today, some warmer colors are sneaking back in. The textures of this piece are amazing! We'll see what it wants to become. 
And now a few photos I snapped around town and in our back yard (the flower photos at the end!). Savannah is full of "secret" gardens and whenever I walk through town, I try to find one of two.  

Everything is starting to bloom and it is gorgeous!
Winslow and I spotted this heron on our walk yesterday. It was so focused, it totally ignored us.
 And this color is all from our garden. It is spring here in the South and everything is waking up!

Head on over to Paint Party Friday for more beautiful art and inspiring blog posts!

I wish you a colorful, warm and sunny week!