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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fulton County Goes "En Plein Air"!!

En Plein Air means "in the open air".  It is an art term used to refer to painting outdoors.  This was a practice made popular by the Impressionists and it is enjoying a resurgence among painters today.  Many communities are sponsoring plein air competitions and workshops.  The Fulton County Art Club tried their hand at it today in the area behind the public library.  It was a peaceful and enjoyable morning of painting and sharing friendship.  The club hopes to include some kind of a plein air component to the activities during Fulton Fall Folk Fest in October. 

Winslow Homer:  Sketching in the White Mountains

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cardboard Boat Race

 It was fun having Sarah visit today.  We watched the Cardboard Boat Races at the Strand, biked, got ice cream, shopped, and went to the Masthead Restaurant for dinner.  I had a great day with my lovely daughter.  I think I may be getting too much sun however---headache, chills.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Easton Studio and School

I had a wonderful day today learning more about painting at the Easton Studio and School in Easton, MD.  Talented Louis Escobedo was our instructor for the 9 - 4 class.  

We painted still life set ups.  Louis did a demonstration first to show how to chisel in a convincing 3 dimensional peach form with juicy oil paint.  He discussed how color is influenced by the color of the objects around it. 

I am coming to believe that this painting thing that I love so much is 90 percent intellectual and 10 percent intuition.  I keep hoping that I am up to the task.  

Thank you to the class and to Louis for being so welcoming and gracious to me.  A special thank you goes out to Linda K. for her invitation.  I had an enjoyable time talking with her and her family this evening.  God has put a kindred spirit in my path!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oxford and painting all day today.

Oxford has a quiet elegance that is especially enchanting in the early morning.  I was up early and biked around the town looking once again at the well kept gardens, stately homes, and harbor environments.  My goal was to locate the perfect painting spot close to "home".  I located a quaint harbor near the Masthead Restaurant just a few blocks away.  I left the bike at home and packed the car with my pastel materials.  I drove to my painting destination.  

After getting set up, I found a subject that intrigued me--- the morning sun hitting a white boat with many shadows in the water and buildings surrounding it.  As I blocked in the main values with hard pastels, the heat became more and more oppressive.  I was becoming physically ill.  I must confess that I completed the block in from the air conditioned comfort of my kitchen table.  I started this picture by blocking in with hard pastel and then brushing solvent over the pigment.  This stains in the base values.  I also allowed it to drip and run to help paint the water.  This should be dry tomorrow and I'll build it up more.  Here is how it looks in this beginning stage: 
I'll show you the changes tomorrow.  I worked on another pastel of the Masthead Restaurant's outside sitting area.  Here is how it is coming along: 

Another thing that has interested me today is the knots that boat people use to keep their boat attached to the dock.  This artsy girl did macrame in the 70's.  Maybe that is why these knots are so interesting to me.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tilghman Island, St. Michaels, Easton, Oxford---- The Eastern Shore Day

This morning, I decided to pack up the car and take off for Tilghman Island, then backtrack to investigate St. Michaels and Easton.  I went to the very end of Tilghman Island-- Black Walnut Point.  The workmen were busy cleaning up trees from high winds last weekend. 

By this time I was ready for coffee and found a lovely spot at Island Treasures in Tilghman.  The proprietor was so helpful and kind.  I bought an amber pendant and enjoyed great coffee.   I stopped at the park just beyond the bridge and took some pictures ----then on to St. Michaels.

This town was fun to walk around in.  I investigated many shops and had a great experience at Frivolous Fibers, an extraordinary yarn shop in St. Michaels.  I am a lifelong, though intermediate level, knitter.  The proprietor has just the class for me to be held on Sunday.  Janet Szabo of Big Sky Knitting will be there to discuss making sweaters that fit-----yes!!!!  Finally!!!

On my way back I stopped in Easton.  I found a great T-shirt that was waiting for me---- a Starry Night design shirt--- God had it tucked away for me to discover---- Thanks!!  I wore it with my amber pendant for my final activity--- the Oxford / Bellevue Ferry.  Tomorrow I stay here and paint in the local area.  Today I was a tourist.  Tomorrow I am going to produce some art!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Enjoying Oxford, Maryland

I am staying in Oxford, Maryland this week while I investigate and paint the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake.  I picked up the key in Easton and then drove to Oxford.  Oxford was officially founded in 1683.  It became a bustling seaport surrounded by tobacco plantations.  Robert Morris, Jr.  who signed the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution was a citizen.

After getting settled into my house, I went for a walk. Many of the streets end in water.  There are lovely gardens, historic homes, brick sidewalks, and quaint shops. I had heard that the best ice cream in the world could be found at the end of Tilghman St., so I thought that this was a good objective for my walk. 

I completely agree!!  The Scottish Highland Creamery does indeed have the best ice cream in the world!!!  They even took my picture for me.  The flavors are different and delicious and oh so creamy!! 

I stopped for a few groceries on the way home at the Oxford Market and Deli.  It is a great little "general store" kind of place with grocery items as well as sandwiches and coffee.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting Ready for My Painting Adventure!!

I am getting my drawing and painting gear ready.  Tomorrow I take off for the Chesapeake Bay.  I've packed materials for oil painting, watercolor, pastel, oil pastel, and drawing.  I am not sure what I will want so, I'm bringing all of these materials.  I've also packed easel, clothes, laptop, paper products, food, knitting, Bible, other books, notebooks, magazines, camera, binoculars, etc.  I hope it all fits in the car!!  

On Thursday, I'm taking a class at the Easton Workshop Studio and School :

Earlier today, I spotted some more monarchs in the milkweed patch.  This one was another female.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Berkley Springs Visit Today

Today my good friend and fellow artist, Linda Moseman went with me to the charming town of Berkley Springs, WV.  Our main goal was to find out about how to submit art for sale at the "Ice House" which is a co-op gallery run by the Morgan County Arts Council.  We had a grand time walking around the town and stopped into several shops before arriving at the Ice House.  We learned that artists within a 50 mile radius of Berkley Springs may submit samples of their work to be juried.  If you meet the jury standards, you are accepted as a member of the Co-op.  You pay a $30 monthly fee and a 20% commission plus a little more for credit card purchases.  There are gallery work days also and you bring in fresh stock every 3 months.  Linda and I feel like we need to try this. 

I took some pictures inside some shops.  We both fell in love with the hand painted silk scarves in the Mountain Laurel Gallery.  There was so much to see and do that we both want to go back and spend more time in this great little town that is full of fantastic art and art opportunities.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oil Paintings are taking shape

I worked for several hours tonight on the oils I started a few days ago.  The one of the road in winter is taking shape.  I want it to have a very limited palette and have a warm glow where the light is hitting the trees.  

The other painting is of Nathan at Rickett's Glen.  This is also going to be about light and shadow, so I have to get the values right.  This one has a way to go yet.

Wildlife Everywhere Today

It seems like everywhere I went today I had an encounter with wildlife.  Early in the morning I saw a tiny baby rabbit in my flower garden.  He allowed me to photograph him while he nibbled on the day lilies.  

Later when I went to the grocery store, I noticed a nest built in the "A" of Giant's huge sign. When I got home and was taking down laundry from the clothesline, I was startled to see a tiny wren feeding her family in the birdhouse in my maple tree.  I could not get a picture of this, but I will try again tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fulton County Art Club Meeting and Encaustic Demo

The Fulton County Art Club met here tonight.  We went over some business and then the group showed the encaustics we made at the Linda McCloskey workshop.  Group members were able to try their hand at encaustics in the garage set up.  It was an enjoyable time.  

The group decided to have a plein aire painting day on June 30 behind the public library.  The group is hoping to do plein aire painting during the Fulton Fall Folk Festival the third weekend in October.   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Art all Morning!!!

I worked on encaustics all morning.  I call the one "Streambed" and the other "In the Beginning".  Tonight I want to paint all night--- probably on my oils.  I'm going to make an extra pot of coffee and see what happens.  In Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, she says, "  Creativity is God's gift to us.  Using our creativity is our gift back to God."  I am trying to do creative work as much as possible.  I will control the quantity and let God control the quality.