Proud Nanna

Cherokee Sunset
I am so proud of my 7 year old grandson, Cooper.  His photo of "Cherokee Sunset" won first place honors in the youth division at the Grainger County Tomato Festival Art Show.  He was excited too! 
A couple of weeks ago we were on the lake bank at dusk and he wanted to take pictures.  I showed him how to operate my Canon Rebel and he started snapping away.  One of the advantages of digital cameras is that you don't have to worry about wasting film.  I was amazed how well several of his photos turned out.  He seemed to have a knack for good composition.  It made me think, perhaps we all should rely on our instincts more often rather than trying to analyze things to death. 

Just a few days after Cooper's photo excursion, this tree fell.  It had been dead for a couple of years and finally a hard storm did it in.  We all had to morn a bit as it has been the site of lots of fun for Cooper's Mom, Uncle Greg and numerous neighborhood kids.  When the lake level was high, they would climb up the branches and dive in or swing out over the water.  That is, until they saw gar fish swimming around. 

I will be at the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, VA August 2-7.  Stop by booth #1 in the big tent near Barter Stage II and see me.

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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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