Orange Tea

Orange Tea
This winter has been a busy time for me.  After many years of being home, making my own schedule and painting most every day, I have had to re-enter the 9-5 schedule.  We have an agency that provides supported living for the mentally challenged and it was right that I become more involved in the day to day operations.  To say that this change has altered my schedule is an understatement, but working with our people has many rewards.  I know that I am where GOD intends for me to be now. 
Relieved of the pressure to produce works for shows, I have decided this is a great opportunity to experiment and try new techniques and styles. Artists tend to develop a technique they are comfortable with and that produces a cohesive body of work, and I am no different.  Stepping out of one's comfort zone, is scary, but it also allows one to grow and develop.  Hopefully, my experiments will be successful and when (or if) GOD decides it is time for me to get back to my art full time, my work will have achieved a higher level.

 I do enjoy testing my skills when working from life.  Plein air  forces the painter to work very quickly due to the changing light, whereas the technique employed for this still life allows for lots of time to achieve accuracy in the drawing, hue and values. 

I hope you enjoy viewing "Orange Tea" a set up that I did on a cold wintery day.

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Blowing Rock

I will be exhibiting in Blowing Rock, NC Saturday, Sept. 8 for Art in the Park.  The Chamber of Commerce sponsors this show each month from May through October and I have been invited to exhibit in October as well. 

The weather will be warm, but there is already a hint of fall in the air.  Perhaps it is due to the unseasonably dry weather we have had, but then it is September and autumn is just around the corner. 

Blowing Rock is a picturesque mountain village that offers delightful shopping and sight seeing.  It is just a few miles from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  That is the little team that upset Michigan last week in football.  I expect all of western North Carolina is still celebrating. 

"Signs of Spring" is one of my newest works.  This original oil measures 22"x28" and features a red breasted gross beak and purple iris .  The white picket fence adds to the nostalgia. 

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Summer's End

Better Times
It is hard to believe that this is the first of September, the unofficial end of summer and only 4 months remain in the year.  It means that I have got to get BUSY if I am to accomplish the goals I set.  One of those goals is to do more painting on location.  I've used the excuse of the weather being too hot, but that is changing, so now I need to just do it.
The painting shown is "Better Times".  As we approach this Labor Day holiday may we mindful of all who labor to provide for their families. 
This original oil was painted from life on a linen canvas.  It measures 20"x24".  Fine art giclee reproductions are also available.  Contact me for information or to purchase.

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Drawing Class

Crissy, from life
Several artists get together on Friday afternoons at the old Cordura Marble Building in the Vestal community of south Knoxville to paint or draw using a live model.  They also meet on Saturdays for life drawing classes, but unfortunately that schedule doesn't work for me.  I don't get to attend this session as often as I would like, but I go when I can. Mr. Gifford Nicolaides is our moderator.
Other than adding the appearance of about 20 years to the young lady (something no woman ever wants!) I felt like I had a pretty good likeness for a quick study. Next time she models, I'll try to make sure she is closer to her current age.  I'm sure she would like that.

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Carole's Iris Garden

Carole's Iris Garden
Another iris painting for your enjoyment!  They are such lovely flowers and a joy to paint.  The variety of colors, sizes and even shapes seem almost endless.
This original oil on linen canvas measures 20" x 16" and features the rich dark crimson blossoms against a back drop of an iris garden. 

Rocky Top Decorative Painter's Annual Paint -In was this past week.  As usual, Jean Gregory and her committee did a superb job of organizing this fun event.  I taught a butterfly to a very eager and talented class.  Teaching is good exercise.  It helps me to simplify the painting process and to see and correct areas that can be improved. I often think that I learn as much  (if not more) from my students, as they learn from me. 

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Iris, My Iris

Iris, My Iris
Lately I've been painting iris.  This exotic flower, that blooms for a very short time during the spring, is Tennessee's state flower.  They come in a myriad of colors and shapes.  All varieties that I am aware of have stands and falls.  That is just what it sounds like, the stands stand up and the falls fall down, albeit some fall more than others.  My favorites are the old fashioned varieties that remind me of days gone bye.  I guess I'm just a traditionalist. 
The painting of "Iris, My Iris" is oil on linen canvas measuring 16"x12".  I did some small 5x7 studies in the spring and this is a studio work inspired by some of those paintings and photos I took.
We had a great time at Doris Hunter's Summertime Show in Cullowhee, NC.  It was a lovely event and we met many new people.  That is always fun.
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Independence Day

Red Wings and Cattails
When I was a kid July 4th was a day that Momma, Granny, Carolyn and I would go blackberry picking.  I LOVE blackberries.  I did not like the chiggers and briar scratches, but they were worth enduring to savor the yummy blackberry dumplin's that Momma would make for me.  She brought a cobbler yesterday for our annual family day on the lake.  The berries are still sweet and delicious. 

I'll be at Cullowhee, NC this weekend for the Summertime Show.  Doris Hunter has assembled 98 premier heritage and contemporary artists from the area for this 19th annual event.  If you are in the area, stop by to see me and my new works.

One of the series of red wing black birds is pictured here. 

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Done with Taxes

Spring at Clinch Mountain Overlook
Yeah!  I'm finished filing my income tax for the year.  By using Turbo Tax it really isn't THAT bad any more.  It certainly isn't  like it used to be when everything had to be manually figured, but I still hate to do them.  Even getting a refund doesn't make it any more pleasant.  Perhaps it is simply the conflict of left brain and right brain.  I would have much preferred to be outside enjoying the beautiful dogwoods and redbuds.

The flowering trees and shrubs are prettier than I can ever recall.  (I probalby say that every year!)  Our East Tennessee spring has been very warm and dry, so we were blessed to get a much needed gentle rain  today. 

The painting pictured here is "Spring at Clinch Mountain Overlook".  Giclee' reproductions of this original have found homes from California to New England and from Minnesota to Florida.  For some collectors,  it is a reminder of a place where they used to live or visit.  Several reproductions have gone to people who have never visited the area, but see it as a place of beauty and tranquility. That it is! 

I love my native East Tennessee in the spring.  It makes tax time much more tolerable.

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Happy Birthday

Kynleigh Pencil Portrait
Happy 2nd Birthday to my little great niece, Kynleigh Dunbar.  Well actually her birthday was last Friday but they aren't having her party until this Saturday.  At two years of age, kids don't know the difference.  This sketch is my gift to her.  I took the photo used for reference at her cousin Shelby Davenport's 2nd birthday party when Kynleigh was only 3 months old.  I thought it was so sweet that I knew it would be the pose I would use.  Selby's portrait (her second birthday gift) is on my portraits page. 
I haven't done a sketch of my own granddaughter yet.  Her second birthday was in November, so I am behind schedule.  Shame on me! However, I did use her in the painting, "A Mother's Love" maybe I'm not such a bad Nanna after all.

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