Painting Retreat in St. Kitts

In early February, I was fortunate to be in St. Kitts with 5 wonderful artists for a week long painting retreat. Everyday, we got up early, ate breakfast and then packed up our easels and paints to paint in a different location on the island. Sometimes we painted in two locations a day…exploring and creating works that remind us all of the fun and inspiration we experienced.

Plein aire painting is not easy. You arrive at a destination with gear in tow, scout a vantage point and place that you want to paint, find a comfortable spot in the shade, set up and go. For me, the pressure of deciding what to paint quickly was diminished by the beauty before our eyes, the island breezes and the comraderie amongst the artists. Some painted with acrylic, some oils and one, watercolor artist. We painted in Rosey Cameron’s art gallery in the capital square of Bassaterre, the Christophe Harbour Marina, at a private home on the beach in Turtle Bay, at a old salt mill turned into a hip resturant, at a world famous artist’s (Kate Spencer) home and studio on the northern end of the island. We took a boat to the sister island, Nevis to paint at Golden Rock, a hotel with beautiful arboretum and gardens. The group was dedicated to being productive as we were invited to show our results at a show at the end of the week at Dale Art Gallery at the marina. Dale had a lovely gallery opening for us on our last evening.

Not only being inspired by the beauty of this friendly island, I find that my work improves by painting what I see, the other artists way of working, the laughter and love between everyone in the group, and working quickly. Even when I get home, I find that my creativity has improved and new discoveries implemented.  Unfortunately, this year, I got the dreaded flu when I returned, so was very ill for nearly 3 weeks.

aPage 01aaPage 02-03bPage 28-29

This painting of the popular hot spot and resturant, Salt Plage sold at the gallery opening.bSalt Plage 16x12

24×12″ painted at Turtle BaybTurtle Bay

Painting in the courtyard at Golden Rock in Nevis.

Artist Retreat in St. Kitts and NeviscmGolden Rock Courtyard 12x12

The marina where we painted and also had the art show on our last evening.

dPage 62-63b

Some of the other paintings completed on the days painting at the marina, the capital and Kate’s studio:

Moonlit Bay 12x12Morning at Taxi Dock 24x12Palms in the Breeze 12x24Shutters at Roseys 18x14The Journal 20x16

Halloween by an Artist

SO those of you who know me, Halloween is my favorite holiday and my imagination runs amuk! I usually start thinking about my big Halloween Party early in October and start decorating mid October. This year I added to my collection of homemade and bought scary items with floating candles made from paper towel rolls, decorated my studio like a gypsy caravan, and the photo studio looked like a living room in a scary house. I also put up the floating severed heads (made from styrofoam wig holders) from last year and skeleton mobiles and cool lights. As soon as the boxes of Halloween decor came down from the attic, I started having fun posing my three 5 foot skeletons, taking photos and posting them. The party was a success and 48 guests danced and visited until the wee hours.

a skeleton emerges

After photographing everyone in my portrait studio, I went to the outside painting studio, sat myself down and read fortunes for an hour. I had bought fortune telling cards and read the book on the meanings of each symbol and placement so I could read the fortunes. The guests chose the cards and put them face down in the positions and it was amazing how accurate and telling the cards turned up. It was fun plus I got to sit for a bit and visit with my guests individually.

Halloween Party 2018decor hallIMG_0420IMG_0542Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVIMG_0651

 

 

mo decor

Here are some of the crazy skeleton poses I did over the weeks.

skeleton funSpookie

Watercolor Workshop in South Carolina

A week ago I returned from a glorious workshop in Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Not only was it absolutely gorgeous staying in a historic plantation home (the Vanderhorst Plantation rebuilt after the Revolutionary War in1802), the 13 women artists made every day warm and happy. Our teacher was Robbie Laird from California who happens to be the President of the prestigious National Watercolor Society. She was such a great teacher and as this was my first time learning about watercolors, she taught techniques that were quite advanced…which I prefer. Some days we tried new effects with hands on guidance. Many of my attempts were fails but I did have a couple paintings that I am proud of. My son came in from California the day I returned so I have not had a chance all week to practice what I learned. However, I took notes and also shot a few videos while Robbie was lecturing.

Classes started at 9:30 am and ended around 4 or 4:30.  Then we enjoyed the comraderie of fellow artists and ate delicious southern foods prepared by Donna Kay from Charelston.

ContactSheet-001

The 4 story manor was so beautiful. It was restored from a haunted house in 1994 by the Darby family. Antiques and lovely southern charm decor graced the home.

ContactSheet-002

Here are some of my watercolors:

Suwannee River Reflectionwc paintings

Photo illustrations from the St Kitts trip

As I have been still inspired by the beauty of the tropical island of St. Kitts for weeks, I went over a few of my photos and enhanced them to reflect the stunning colors. Some of these did not require a lot of enhancements and some I went a bit wild. I usually use Photoshop and a few additional filters to achieve the effects you see here. Also I do like to add borders on some. Printed on archival art papers makes for a stunning display. Enjoy!

Camping on Dutton Island

Last weekend we went camping on our local Dutton Island in Atlantic Beach. The weather was perfect and the bugs were only bothersome at dusk (when we were eating of course). We hiked around and some friends kayaked. A big bon fire at night and guitar strumming make the evening more magical.  There were about 7 or 8 tents in our group, same amount of dogs. I had forgotten that we have all this beauty in our back yard.

Prints available on demand.

Fun with Friends doing Mosaics

Last Sunday, a group of friends came over to spend the afternoon doing mosaics. I had them bring their own clay pot or stepping stone and what tiles, beads, shells or sea glass they wanted to adhere. I provided the thin set mortar and tools. It happened to be a gorgeous fall day with a cool breeze. Florida is great this time of year so  we all worked outside in the warmth (no bugs this time of year) and enjoyed each other’s company, listening to music and drinking wine. This was a first time project for them and they did amazing mosaics.