Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Heritage Golf Tournament • Day 3

I so love the Live Oaks that separate holes 13 and 14 at Harbour Town Golf Links. Heck, I love Live Oaks period!

We arrived quite early so we could set up our chairs at this beautiful spot. I should have started to paint the view then but instead we walked down 12 to 11.

Along the way I spotted a  Sabal Palmetto that made me salute nature. Given the chance, a seed will grow... no matter that it's on a tree's trunk!  Hmmm, we humans share this same trait. We can grow and flourish no matter our circumstances :)
A fern (spleenwort?), Virginia Creeper vine and Wax Myrtle tree/shrub were sprouting from several crevices on the palms trunk. Such a wonder.

I started the painting above but then we needed to head back to holes 2,3,6 and 7 so we could catch the leaders.  I took a reference photo of the scene with my iPod. You can see the trees way off in the upper right. I love the feature of being able to enlarge an image with the touch of my fingers :)

At least this gave me a bit of reference to continue from. Between the photo, the shapes that were laid in and my memory, I was able to complete the page while sitting at our next location. Well, all but the tiny blobs (people) in the bleachers.  I needed gouache for them as I was a bit too generous with the green of the bleachers.  Not to mention the flag's pole was white! Once home, the gallery and flag stick were painted. Thank goodness for opaque paint :)

Here is a shot (again with my iPod) of the painting before we moved.  Not much there, but enough.
We normally don't attend the tournament on Sunday. The crowds are way too heavy and it gives us a chance to recover. Play can be hard work!

Congrats Brandt! You had a great round :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Heritage Golf Tournament • Day 2

As bad as the sky looked, we only got a little bit of rain. Then in typical HHI fashion, the sun broke through and an ever so lovely day emerged.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Heritage Golf Tournament • Day 1

Every year that we can, Rob and I attend the PGA golf tournament on Hilton Head Island. The home to this event is Sea Pine's Harbour Town Golf Links.

This is the 43rd year for the tournament  and it no longer has a sponsor. Verizon ended it's contract last year. Rob and I can remember MCI as the sponsor prior to Verizon. Hopefully a company will step up and keep this much loved event running. What would spring be without the Heritage?? Not to mention the hit the area's economy would take and the losses charities would suffer.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Visiting Artist II ... My Lodgings

After a 4 hour drive on Monday morning, an hour to regroup, then a presentation to the 5th and 6th graders, followed by preparation for Tuesday's classes and an early dinner with Alice and Brent at the Pita House (yum!), I made my way to the Mann's residence to stay in their guest cottage called... The Cabin - a log cabin that was built in the 1700's, deconstructed and moved to this location in the 1940's. When reconstructed, all the original materials were used and modern conveniences added.

Have the words 'spoiled rotten' been said enough in my last post??

I was greeted by 'Yellow Dog' - not his real name but he so reminded me of Yellow Dog in the old movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase. What a joyful way to be greeted by a loving, must lick you to death, yellow lab!

The family was off at their kid's baseball games and I had instructions to make myself at home.

I walked along the brick path, under the arbor covered in blooming Yellow Jessamine, past blooming Azaleas and a Dogwood tree to the front porch of the cabin.  The screen door was wide open, inviting me in.  I opened the very thick cabin door to this lovely family room.  Pinch me!!

Around to the left I found this bedroom and a good sized bathroom.

 Yes, the bed's as comfy as it looks :) Feather pillows, down comforter and beautiful quilted coverlets.

There's a kitchen with all the modern appliances... in stainless steel no less! A stocked refrigerator.... oooooh, I thought, Rob is going to be jealous that he missed this treat!! How to sound nonchalant during our call when I'm bubbling with excitement?

Upstairs is one big bedroom with the old fashioned slanted ceilings.  Just delightful!

I grabbed my art bag and made my way back out the front door to sit in the yard and paint this lovely piece of heaven.

I had time enough to get a light wash of the scene down before the Mann's arrived. Jacob, Elizabeth and their three delightful boys greeted me and welcomed me into their home. What gracious hosts.

I was delighted that the cabin portrait came out to my liking. Wednesday, I found a rustic frame at the local Michael's, matted and framed the painting and presented it to the  Mann's as my thank you gift. There were squeals of delight. My heart still sings :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Visiting Artist

This week, I have the extreme honor of being a visiting artist for grades 5 through 8 at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC. This is my first residency at a school. I know I've nothing to compare this experience to..... but,  I can honestly say they have set the bar very high.  Wow! The red carpet is out :)

Alice Ballard,  a ceramic phenom, is the head of the art department at CCES middle school.  We met while she was a visiting artist at Spring Island. I was immediately drawn to her work.... it's richly organic and I knew that our love of the natural world would somehow link us together. 

We talked about our individual methods of journal keeping and she asked if I'd ever considered being a visiting artist at schools.  That thought had been playing around in my mind for quite some time.  You know, I am always amazed at how a twinkling of an idea plays itself out and comes to fruition. You never know who will cross your path and the effect they may have on your future, or you on theirs.

I expressed my interest to Alice.  She shared that the school she teaches at has had many visiting artists come work with the children.  "Who would I contact, I ask?" "That would be me, she said."  After a proposal, approval and months of planning, here I am.

Alice has created an excellent program for the middle school. She and Brent Roberts have tapped the creative juices of their students. I am amazed by the talent these kids are putting forth. In a time when the Arts are being cut from so many budgets, I applaud CCES for their determination to provide their students with a balanced, well rounded and meaningful education.

It's been a whirlwind.  The energy level needed is a new experience for me. After my first full day of classes, she who never naps was out!!

This is the school's garden. I told you I've been spoiled!!

I can't wait to tell you about my lodgings!  Yes, definitely spoiled rotten :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah

Back in March, Rob and I spent a lovely afternoon walking along the manicured trails of the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.

The second feature along the trail was an area where two Sandhill Cranes reside. I didn't want to leave!

They walked over from the far side of their area to right below the bridge we stood on. A few more people came a long and the cranes let out a sound that made all of us jump!  Goodness, they are loud!

I sketched and painted for a bit then we made our way to see the Bobcat..... very well hidden.

On to the Red Foxes.  Yes! From there we walked to the Birds of Prey area. By then. the no-seeums were having they're way with us!
We saw the Center's herd of White-tailed Deer and then moved on to see the pack of Gray Wolves.

You can observe the wolves from a bridge that overlooks their area or you can go into a building with one-way glass. Both vantage points were exciting as it was feeding time.  Nothing like seeing the pecking order of a wolf pack first hand.

Our last stop... the American Bison.  Wow! Pappa is one big dude!!

We were on our way back to the parking lot and I just couldn't stand it... I had to go back to see the cranes again :)

So, a few more crane sketches to surround the Bison :)

I've been hoping to finish these pages with color using the reference photographs we took... hopefully soon.  Then I'll add some more words. The crane page is begging for a calligraphic touch :)

What a great place to practice fast sketching! I can't wait to go back :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Fast Four Hours...But Oh So Fun!

Click for a larger view
Rob and I are lucky to have had two weekends in a row where we spent time at Hilton Head National Golf Course.  Yesterday I joined him as he played a round of golf with our former neighbor.

What fun! I sat in the cart with my journal, watercolors, waterbrush and pen making fast sketches as we made our way around the course.
There were a lot of people playing, creating slow play on a few holes, giving me more time.

Years ago, HHN is the place I was first introduced to Fox Squirrels. They are not shy and don't mind if your ball lands closed to them. They are large and slow and have great coloring.  Some are gray with black heads, white ears and nose, others are all black with light ears and nose. I just want to pick one up and scratch behind its ears like a kitty - oh ya, that will happen!

The Fish Crows were out in force. How I love to hear them - especially on the golf course. They have uncanny timing to call out their famous 'Oh, oh' when someone is about to hit their drive. Too funny as it really messes with golfer's heads!

Dragonflies are out! I saw 3 types and several Palamedes Swallowtail butterflies around the blooming azaleas.