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"....so maybe I'm not such a bad Nanna after all.

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Blount Mansion Gardens

The gardens surrounding this lovely old home are beautiful any time of  year. I stopped by one day last fall and took the photo that served as my reference for this painting.  That bright and sunny day seemed more like spring than autumn. 
I was facinated by the dramatic lines the foreground trees created and the contrast of their light colored bark against the rich deep green of the stately box woods, a standard shrub in old southern landsacpes,
While this home and gardens date back to the 1700's, this beautiful scene, with its classic design, is timeless.
The original of this painting will be at Blount Mansion through Friday, March 30, 2007.  Fine art reproductions and note cards are available there or by contacting me.

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Blount Mansion Show Revisited Again

David Chaltas and me at the Blount Mansion reception.  This gentle man left my show in Knoxville, TN that evening and drove 8 hours to Annapolis, MD for an engagement the following day.  What an honor it was for me to have him and all of the other re-enactors share this occasion with me.
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Blount Mansion Show Revisited

Pictured with me are some of the wonderful reenactors that honored me with their presence.
L to R: Ken Cresswell, one of the few times you will see him dressed in the gray, Roger Kelley, the sharp shooter also known as "Butternut", Danny Buckner a dead ringer for Stonewall Jackson, David Chaltas, a man so very much like the General Lee he portrays, Me, Stanley Dalton who is Nathan Bedford Forrest re-encarnated a fine person and an excellent horseman, Bill White who portrays General Longstreet, Jeremy Ray a loyal soldier, and the agent to General Lee.
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Blount Mansion Show

The show at Blount Mansion has been fantastic.  The reception was better than I ever dreamed it would be. Several Civil War reenactors honored me with their pressence, plus all of my dear friends who came to share this joyous occasion with me.  The staff at Blount Mansion was so wonderful to work with and they have continued to be gracious throughout the weeks the show has hung. 

It will be up until March 30th.
The pictures show some of those in attendance, the re-enactors and me, and David Chaltas as General Lee and me.  What a wonderful man.  He left Knoxville, Tn that evening and drove 8 hours to Annapolis, MD for an engagement the next day. 

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Show Opening

Well tonight is the big night.  I'm ready and rarin' to go.  That is a good old southern expression.  One that I had not used in a long time. 
As I've put this exhibit together, I've been reminded of my roots and how much that affects who I am and what I do. 
I am told quite often that I must have lived in another time period due to my subject matter and style of painting.   I don't really believe in that stuff, but I do believe that we are a sum of the parts from whence we came. 
All of my family, both maternal and paternal, settled in south east Virginia and east Tennessee dating back to the early 1700s.  Stories have been handed down generation to generation.  Family has always been important.  Not just immediate family, but the extended family of distant relatives and community. 
That closeness of family and friends is rapidly disappearing, just as the farm scenes and old dwellings are falling waste to the developers bull dozers. 
I long for the simple times, but look forward to progress. 
As I say in my artist statement, I live in the present, hope for the future and learn from the past. 
Organizing this exhibit has taught me a lot about myself and my art.  I hope it is successful.  Success will be if it brings joy to others and  few dollars in the pocketbook would make it successful too. :-o)

The painting shown is "Days Gone Bye". 
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