Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fall November Colors - Waxmyrtle Fruit


This is page 3 and 4 of my autumn journal. I can't resist featuring the fruits of autumn. I originally planned on having 3 different sprigs of plants with fruits on this page but the Waxmyrtle took over :) One never knows how things will turn out. I love how journal pages take on a life of their own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheraw Painting Finished and Delivered!

Cheraw State Park Artist in Residence piece
Please click on image for a larger view.

This poor painting had way too many interruptions, but it finally made it to it's home at Cheraw State Park.

Rob and I drove up to the park today. Ranger Rick accepted my Artist in Residence piece at the golf course club house. I also presented a CD containing a poster sized image and note cards that they can easily print.

I know State Park funding can sometimes take a back seat. I hope I can add to Cheraw's bottom line with the sales of these two items.

Thank you, Ranger Rick Smith and your staff for a wonderful week. It will be in my heart always!

Thank you, Mark Davies, at Oconee State Park for spear heading the SC State Park's Artist in Residence program, and the Placement Committee for granting me this wonderful opportunity!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Full Cold Moon Eve 12.01.09

Full Cold Moon Eve 12.1.09 Rain is in the forecast this evening for the first of December's full moons. I did a quick watercolor sketch of last nights moon just before total cloud cover. It was a hazy sky with barely any definition around the moon's edges.

The 2nd full moon in December is on the 31st. It's know as 'Blue Moon' - the traditional name given to the second full moon occurring in the same month. The last Blue Moon was in May of 2007!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall November Colors

Fall Mini Journal Spread Here are the first two pages of an 8 page mini journal dedicated to the Low Country's November Fall Colors. Please click on the image for a larger view.

We don't see the over all color noted in the North East or the Appalachian Mountains but, the Low Country doesn't lack for wonderful patches of striking pigments. To me, Sweet Gum trees are the most colorful. Sumac's are a deep crimson, Swamp Maples - a combo of yellows and reds, and then there's the Ash that takes your breath away with it's brilliant yellow orange leaves when surrounded by greens of pines and live and water oaks.

I can't wait to paint all the other beauties and share them with you :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bald Cypress - Fall Colors Journal

bald cypress Last Saturday, I took time out to capture the Bald Cypress in our back yard. These wonderfully lacy trees are a favorite of mine. In the fall, their green leaves turn russet closest to the trunks while the ends of the branches struggle to remain green.

I used both Derwent watercolor and metallic pencils along with brown Micron pens. The yellow metallic #86 was the perfect color for the yellow green leaves. Other metallic colors used: copper #86 and antique gold #33. Watercolor pencils used: Copper Beach #61, Golden Brown #59, Deep Vermilion #14, Orange Chroma #10, Grass Green #10 and Prussian Blue #35. And a titch of General's Sketch & wash pencil on the trunk.

I'm taking Cathy (Kate) Johnson's 'Keeping an Artist's Journal' online course and have decided to make a small journal containing November's Low Country Colors. I'm using a piece of Arches HP watercolor paper sized to 11 x 17 inches. I folded it in half, lengthwise, then in half width wise and then into quarters. Then I hand tore 3/4 of the lengthwise fold. journal paper This is what it looks like once folded together journal folded

Arches HP paper cracks when it's folded. This is another reason why I chose to hand tear the paper. Now all sides of the book have an uneven edge. I will probably use some embroidery floss to stitch together the center fold.

Here is the mock-up I made using 11 x 17 copy paper. Dudley had to check it out :) Mock Journal A

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just For The Fun Of It....... Basenji Song

Here is a 35 second video of our singing pups.  Enjoy!  We sure do :)

Dudley starts singing in the background - he didn't want to be filmed..... Grizz took over from her extra comfy bed. She can really get into it :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Swamp-Lily, A Last Hurrah


Last week my friend, Kate, called to say she saw a flower off in the woods and thought it was something special. It sure was! A Swamp-Lily! Also known as String-Lily, Crinum americanum L.

A few days later, I was able to go take a look at it. The weather was threatening but, I did manage to make an ink sketch of it in my journal.  Then it started to sprinkle so I took a photograph, and off the the shelter of my car I went!  I painted the ink drawing from my reference photo.

I was a bit dismayed, as I didn't leave much room for the flower names......... ah well.

I call this 'A Last Hurrah' as the lily's bloom time is from June to October.  I saw quite a few plants around the area, but all had long since bloomed.  It's in the amaryllis family. A real beauty and uncommon in SC, though it can be found in the southern coastal area of the state.  That's us :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Time Out at Palmetto Bluff

Palmetto Bluff 11.06.2009
Rob and I took a much needed break today at the ever so lovely Palmetto Bluff. This is a view from the lawn in front of the Inn at Palmetto Bluff minus their dock on the May River and a few shore line trees. I love the freedom of not having to record everything I see :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fire on the Mountain - Mystery Solved!



Behind my booth at the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival I discovered a plant I'd not seen before.  I was struck by Nature's red brushstrokes within the green leaves.  So much of the plant reminded me of a poinsettia but then not.

I posted this initial sketch on Flickr and asked if anyone had any idea what  this plant was called.  Several flickr friends said poinsettia.

I search all my books, but to no avail. I wanted to know this poinsettia like plant's latin name.

John Nelson of the University of South Carolina's Department of Biological Sciences came to the rescue.  I sent him my initial sketch and a couple of photographs I took.

Here's what he said: This plant is "fire on the mountain" or "painted leaf", Euphorbia cyathophora. It is indeed related to the poinsettias of commerce. This species is introduced, and is a bit weedy, but I don't think it is really invasive--

I so love it when a mystery can be solved! Thank you, John!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hunter's Moon


I was hoping for a clear sky this evening, but not. The Hunter's Moon did peak out at one point, but not enough to light up my view of the Okatie River.  Still, a beauty of an evening :)

My favorite star gazing web site says:
The Hunter's Moon highlights the sky tonight. In most years the Harvest Moon comes in September, with the Hunter's Moon in October. But this year October's full Moon was closer to the fall equinox, so both the Harvest and Hunter's moons were pushed back a month.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Canada Geese II

Canada Geese II Rob and I went to Beaufort yesterday. Pat Conroy was having a book signing at the Beaufort Book Store. Afterwards, we journeyed over to the Cross Creek shopping plaza for an ice cream at Brewsters. The plaza has a small pond where we saw Canada Geese a few weeks ago. I needed a CG fix and was hoping they would be there. Success!!

We put our chairs in the shade of a live oak and ate our ice cream while we watched a flock of 50 -75 geese swim, preen and sleep.

The geese were about 100 feet away. A Mom and her 2 children came walking by with a bag from the nearby sub shop. They pulled out part of a left over roll, broke it into pieces and started throwing them toward the geese. WOW!!! We were surrounded! And, there I was, ice cream melting all over the place so I couldn't take advantage of the action.

Luckily, a few geese hung around after the feeding frenzy so I could get some quick poses down. I sketched in my small moleskine using a Micron pen and watercolor pencils.

Swamp or Narrowleaf Sunflower

SwampSunflower
Last week, I finally found a semi-quiet road where I could pull over to stop and quickly pick a stem of these sunflowers. The top flowers started to wilt the next day! Guess they don't like tap water!

I used Derwent pastel pencils that I've had for years but never realized they are water soluble!!!!! I like the painterly effect. I did the calligraphic type with traditional watercolors using a rigger brush. The rest of the body copy was written with a Micron 005 pen. 

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