Wednesday, April 29, 2009

See you in September...... well maybe October

My favorite constellation, Orion, was just above the tree line this evening. By next week it will be gone from my view of the night sky. Farewell for now Orion. I will miss our evening visits.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Common Nighthawks are back!

Last evening I heard the familiar frog like call of the Common Nighthawk and looked up just in time to see one performing its aeronautical flying display. I hope they are staying in our neighborhood and not just passing through.

This morning I saw a brave Mockingbird take on a Red-shouldered Hawk. The hawk flew in low over neighborhood houses and landed on a porch roof. It was surveying the ground below. A Mockingbird kept dive bombing the hawk. The hawk ducked but otherwise kept on with its backyard survey.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Live Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day and the one year anniversary of this blog, I've created a limited edition, concertina book to celebrate trees.

It is dedicated to those trees whose lives are hanging in the balance due to over-development of the landscape, and to all nature lovers who are taking a stand to protect these fragile, but strong wonders we call trees.

Tree Songs is a collection of my nature journal watercolor sketches accompanied by literary quotations from notable naturalists and authors celebrating the beauty and wonder of trees. It's constructed from 140# Watercolor Paper for the cover with 24 premium recycled, text weight pages; all of which have been printed on a 7-color Epson Stylus Photo 2200 printer. The layout was designed in PhotoShop. (what an education that was!)

I wanted to create a piece of art to remind folks how fragile the beauty and the low country environment is. Trees are disappearing daily. Lost and gone forever. Everything in the environment is so connected. That fact seems to get lost with the flurry to make money through development. When researching possible quotes for this book, I came upon a dandy "Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money". ~Cree Indian Proverb
. While I chose quotes to celebrate the love of trees for this book, the Cree Indian Proverb hangs with me. We have smart people among us. Wise souls that see the errors of mankind's waste. My prayer is that all peoples will realize it's up to us to care for our Earth from acorn to zebra and all in between.

Right now, my artist proof of TreeSongs is on display at the bookmakers festival at the ARTworks gallery in Beaufort. I will be there Saturday from 10 - 5 with many other authors and artisans to celebrate our love for books and the written word. Please click on the link in the right sidebar for more information.

I'd hoped to have the first book, in the limited edition of 15, completed and photographed in time for this post but not........ these visuals will be added next week. I will be donating 15% of the net proceeds from sales to the Audubon Society.

Please take time today to look at what's around you. Please make an effort to go "green"

I thank you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A long wait to finish....

Last year during the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament, at the Harbour Town Golf Links, I began this sketch of the Live Oaks that separate the 13th and 14th holes.

It was a lovely Carolina day with plenty of blue sky, sun and temps in the 70's. I can't remember the reason we had to depart but can guess it was time to head home and walk the dogs. Every now and then, over the last year, I'd look at this sketch and wonder if I'd get the opportunity to finish it. Would the day we picked to go to the tournament in 2009 have the same lovely weather? Would I be able to arrive at my vantage point at the right time of day? I decided to leave it to faith that all would work out.

I'm a happy camper :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Verizon Heritage - One way to dress up a journal page

It's Heritage time once again on Hilton Head Island. One of our favorite things to do each year is make the pilgrimage to the Sea Pines Harbour Town Golf Links and watch PGA Tour players navigate their way down narrow fairways and hit their golf balls onto the small greens. Far too narrow a course for Phil and Tiger. Boo has decided to claim this course as his own.... at least for two years but, Davis Love is still Lord and Master of the Links with 5 wins :)

All the times that Rob and I have attended the tournament, we've not had the chance to watch the opening ceremonies. Our schedules didn't allow us to attend the official tournament this year but, we were able to purchase passes for opening day and the practice rounds.

Monday's weather wasn't very promising. With golf umbrella and chairs in tow, we walked down 10, made the turn up 16 and headed for 18 to watch the ceremony at noon. We had a little time to frolic at the 18th tee and watched some players come through - well, Rob watched, I couldn't resist the view out over the marsh to the Calibogue Sound. It was cloudy and dreary. The wind cold. But, as I opened my sketchbook and began to sketch the scene before me, weather and people melted away. I knew I had to work fast so we could get a good seat in the stands along the 18th green. I was able to get the basics down to finish the sketch later.

Once in the stands, the different angle of view over the beach, marsh and sound called to me once more. I had a good half hour to work. Later, after the opening ceremony finished, spectators to my left and behind me in the stands commented to me how they enjoyed watching the scene take shape on my journal page. I was surprised as I so tune everything out that I had no idea I had my own group of spectators! Not to mention, I was not at all thrilled with my attempts to capture the scene. I would have to wait to tweak this sketch when we returned on Wednesday for the Pro AM.

We arrived around 10 a.m. on Wednesday and made our way around the course to our favorite holes where we can easily watch a number of holes at once. One such location is where #2 green, #3 tee, #6 green and # 7 tee are bunched together. Food and restrooms are also there :) My only request for the day was to make it over to holes 13 and 14 around 2 p.m. so I could finish last years sketch of some wonderful live oaks that separate the two fairways. Meanwhile, I worked on Monday's two sketches - they were pretty weak and needed a lot more pigment. I was sitting near the #3 tee box, feverishly working away. Rob was bouncing between holes, happy as a clam. The weather was perfect. Cool in the a.m. but sunny all day with afternoon temps in the low 70's.

When I finished tweaking my sketches, I was still unhappy with the outcome. Hmmmmm, how can I make this page more memorable? Well, it was PRO AM day, and the golfers were signing autographs...... Then along came Brandt Snedeker to the #3 tee box. He's so all American with an "Opie" like quality. "Oh, Brandt, would you sign my journal page for me?" That was pretty easy! Then along came Boo. That was a must!

It was time to head toward 13 and 14. Along the way we happened upon Chris DiMarco teeing off on 11. I waited on the side line next to another woman who admitted she'd wait for Chris all day long........ Good choice! Later in the day, after I finished last years sketch of the live oaks, we moved to 16. There we waited for Tom Lehman for the finishing touch to my page.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Workshops and Anniversary Preview

Spring is popping all around and so are my workshops. Attendance is down but that's just the way things are right now. I know I feel honored when folks choose to spend their hard earned dollars on my artwork and workshops. Thank you!

It feels like, at least blog wise, that I've fallen off the earth (my favorite expression when I'm so busy that communication with friends and family and blog suffers). Outside of preparing '08 income tax, my time has been filled with make-up workshops for the Sun City Art Club, a workshop I held at Jarvis Creek Park on Hilton Head Island, prep for the Nature Journaling Expanded Workshop, at the ever so lovely Spring Island, that I'm currently teaching and.... the design and completion of a project to celebrate Earth Day and this blog's 1 year anniversary. Here's a peak at one image......