Friday, October 30, 2009

Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival


This year's festival was great! I made this sketch early on Saturday. Within a half an hour I couldn't see across the street! Everyone was in a festive mood and..... they brought their wallets :) Mind you, the majority of purchases were smaller but, it was so wonderful to see a few good sized paintings being carried. Perhaps we've seen a turn in the economy?

Dogs were dressed in Halloween costumes - I have to say seeing tutus on dogs was....... way too silly. The poor dogs!!!

This was my booth set up.  I took advantage of extra large spaces and a slim chance of showers for Saturday.  Here in Bluffton, a 40% chance of showers, for the most part, means no rain.  Now, if we were in western NY, it would have rained all day :)  The first year we were down here I'd always change outdoor plans when the forecast called for a 40% chance of rain.  Silly me!

Festivals are great for watching people.  I don't often take pictures of them but, this family won the show stopping prize.  I titled this first photo....

                                                        And, then there were three....
                     I bet next year, the Little Miss will be in the big wagon.  What do you think?

                                                            Yup, a show stopper :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

09.09.09 Velvetleaf


Given this special 'number day' in September, I had to sketch something so I'd remember where I was. Sketch I did, I just didn't finish this page until yesterday :)

We had these plants all over our lot when we built our NY home. I remember how amazed I was at softness of the leaves - just like velvet......duh :) But, I was even more amazed to learn that the seeds can remain viable for 50 years!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Southeast Seashore Animals - A Still Life


I'm getting excited about this weekend's Bluffton Arts & Seafood Fest Fine Art Show. In celebration of this event my bird and wildflower paintings will be hanging out (no pun intended) with sea animals :) Nothing like branching out!

While my Blue Crab piece frames up to 12 x 10 inches, the Shells come in at a whopping 25 x 30 inches. This piece ought to grab some attention - at least I hope so!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blue Crab


I've been having fun with this little Blue Crab! Now it's all set for the upcoming Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival show this coming weekend. Note cards are in the works :)

Y'all come by buy now :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Inktense Watercolor Pencils


Oh goodie, new wc pencils :)

A few weeks back, when I went to the Art Material Trade Show at SCAD, I came home with 2 new sets of watercolor pencils. I've been wanting to try out Derwent's Inktense brand, but kept holding off, trying to be conservative in my spending. The prices on all products at the trade show were incredibly discounted! I'm saving all my $$ so I can bulk up at next year's event!!

This is a test of the pencils in my AquaBee Super Deluxe Sketchbook.

The second test is on Arches Hot Press Paper.  I'm not sure if I will like them on this paper.  I need to get out in the field and really put them to the test.

Oh..... I purchased two Faber-Castell Pitt Calligraphy pens too :)  Cranberry and Black.  They are markers versus 'pens' but, I'm enjoying playing with them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cheraw Painting Update


The insets are finished! Now I have the challenge of protecting them and completing the 16 x 20 painting. I must admit, it's been a while since I worked this large in watercolors - not to mention Arches HP paper. If you hear a scream, it just me :)

I usually use 'extra tack' frisket film by Grafix for masking large areas. However, the last time I used it, there was some leakage due to poor contact on cold press paper. I'm sure I'd get good adhesion on the hot press paper, but.... once burned, twice shy or something like that :)

I did see a great masking tip on Sarah Wimperis' blog Muddy Red Shoes. She cuts her masking film a tad smaller than the area to be covered and then uses liquid masking fluid to both finish the edge and totally adhere the edge of the frisket.


I didn't see the point of using the expensive extra tack frisket for this so used a role of low tack.

Here it is in place....

Time to go paint :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Off to Sea Pines



It was more than time to soak up the ocean air. While our quick trip to the beach was just a couple of hours long, it sure was a shot in the arm. We saw large pods of dolphin, 2 Osprey displaying stealth hunting tactics, a few Royal Terns, and my favorite..... Brown Pelicans. I so love how they skim the water when they glide.

I decided to decorate the corners of the illustration box with Sanderlings. We only saw four. There has been a dramatic decline of shorebirds on the island's beaches as Hilton Head has become a vacation mecca. Too, as dogs do not, during the fall/winter seasons, need to be leashed on the beaches, shore birds no longer have access to their once undisturbed habitat during this crowded time period. Although our local Audubon chapter does its level best to inform and educate, the vacationing masses seemingly don't give a hoot.

The above was my view to the right.  Reality to the left




Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shine On, You Harvest Moon

Here I thought I'd be plein air sketching the Harvest Moon in my own yard, but instead Rob and I were able to spend a lovely evening with our friends, Kate and Don, at their home on the May River.

Kate and I sat on the swing that hangs under a giant pine while I did initial sketches with my micron pen.  It was rather like blind contour drawing, as the shade of the pine blocked out a lot of the moon's glow. First we tried to catch the view from their dock, but the no-see-ums were thick - couldn't run back to shore fast enough!

I made two sketches from this location then added watercolor washes while we sat on their porch, enjoyed good company and fruit of the vine. The river glowed with moonlight.


There was not much light on the porch when I added color so I tweaked both sketches today. Here are the before and after sketches.










Thank you, friends!  As always, we so enjoyed our time with you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Discombobulated Day

October 1st: the plan........ Paint!

Well, after a morning and early afternoon of urgent matters taking over, I ended up feeling quite discombobulated!  Enough!  I have to go clear my head. Off to the tree line behind our house I went, sketchbook and wc pencils in tote.

I've been wanting to sketch the peppervine with it's berries that are turning black.  I wandered, trying to settle down.  Then I came upon a piece of a twig not more than 8-10 inches long suspended by peppervine. This is it!  This is where I will lose myself and become centered once again.

My insides were so wound up. I soon realized I had started my sketch with the wrong color pen. Well, okay, so it's brown ink.  I continued, only to realize I didn't plan very well and was running out of page for the suspended twig!!  I had to finish the twig on the upper right side of the paper!!  Then, I didn't allow enough room for the words 'Dangling Twig' and had to hyphenate!  And just to top things off, (I hope your giggling at this point) I misspelled hyphenate.  Are you sure there is an e and not an o? (I didn't find this little bit of information out until just now when spell check gave me the ol' red dotted underline...........sigh.)

Meanwhile, a little bee-like insect kept trying to land on my left hand as I stood in front of the peppervine.  I finally got a good look at it's face and decided it was some type of fly.  Sure enough... A Flower Fly that's in the Wasp mimic group.

I flipped this page over and decided I surely must have worked out all my internal kinks.  What else could I find?  A little further down I discovered that the small grouping of mist flowers were still blooming.  I started a new page.  I'm happy to say it's coming along.  My plein air sketch in now waiting to be colored and my research on the plant added with some sort of calligraphy.

I too am back to my centered self.  Thank you Nature!

P.S.  Don't forget...... Tonight is the Harvest Moon!  Music to celebrate this is by Leon Redbone.