Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Chocolate Moose in Progress

In addition to watercolors, I also do a lot of colored pencil drawings. Watercolor can be a really fast medium; some paintings I can finish in less that 30 minutes. Colored pencil, on the other hand, is a very slow medium. You build up layers and layers of the colored lead, refining as you go. Large colored pencil drawings sometimes take me a month or more.
This is the latest version of "Chocolate Moose". I have been working on the chocolates for several nights, and finally finished them. I have started on the moose, and decided to let you see it in stages. I start with a light outline, and then begin to layer the lighter underlying colors. Then, the darker colors are layered on top, and I continue to build them up until the desired effect is reached.
I have enjoyed drawing with these pencils for many years. I only use Prismacolors; I know the colors well, and know how they perform. I earned my signature membership in the Colored Pencil Society of America a couple of years ago. It is a fabulous organization that promotes colored pencil artwork, and you can go to their website to view entries from their exhibitions: www.cpsa.org

stay tuned for the completed moose in a couple of days.....

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Moose's Tooth

This was a charming little shop on
Main Street in Talkeetna. They
had gifts and goodies of all kinds,
including handmade Alaskan
crafts and treasures. I enjoyed
looking at hand-carved whale
bone figurines, Ulu knives,
fur-lined moccasins, and
beautiful jewelry.
That is one of the large metal
moose that are up and down
Main Street.
Moose's Tooth Original Ink & Watercolor $35.00 5 x 7

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chocolate Moose

I have been doing a series of drawings for several years now that
I call "Riddle Pics". These drawings contain an animal and an
object that combine to form a word puzzle or pun. You can see
more of them on my website: www.peapatchgallery.com I have
been working on a couple of versions of Chocolate Moose, and this
is the first sketch for one.
These drawings are a lot of fun, and my viewers love them. I got the
idea after I had taken a computer graphics class where we had to
do a lot of communicating with images alone. I taught Gifted and
Talented Art for 20 years, and some of my creative assignments
involved drawing images like "apple of my eye", or "hit the nail
on the head".
The first "Riddle Pic" I did was "Animal Crackers", and then the
next one was"Birds and the B's". I have done over 100 of these
drawings, published them in calendars, and had several one-woman
shows with them. Hummingbird Lane Gallery in Dahlonega, Georgia
currently carries them.
People are always giving me ideas: if you think of one, send it to me.
It has to include an animal. I have a list of about 50 right now.
I will be working on more versions of this one for a couple of days,
so watch for more chocolate mooses!

Chocolate Moose original ink & colored pencil $30.00 9 x 12

Friday, July 27, 2007

Talkeetna Cafe

This little cafe was on
Main Street. They
served salmon and
halibut. I never
tasted any salmon,
but I tasted some
halibut. It was ok; I'm
not a real fish person.
I did try some reindeer
sausage, and it was good.
There were flowers everywhere
in this little town. Every barrel,
bucket, pot and basket was full
of them.
Original Ink and Watercolor 5 x 7 $35.00

Talkeetna Alaska

One of my favorite little places in Alaska was Talkeetna. It is
a tiny village where you board the Alaska Railroad. It was
kinda touristy, but very charming. They had decorated
metal moose up and down the mainstreet, which I loved,
since in my little town, we decorate pigs. (I'll explain another
time). There was also a beautiful river on the edge of
town with a great view of Mt. McKinley in the distance.
The water in the river was from the glacier, and it looks
greyish green, very cloudy. They told us that the
glaciers accumulate sand and silt that gets carried into
the rivers. I did reach down and feel the water, and it
was ice cold.
I will be painting more of Talkeetna in the next couple of days.

Original Ink and Watercolor 5 x 7 $25.00

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This is Chelsea House, a great little bed and breakfast where we
stayed. This is the main house, and then there were separate
little cabins behind it, beside a nice small pool. It was the perfect
place to stay, within walking distance to Duval Street, and all the
main attractions.
One of our tour guides told us that Key West is the
largest preservation area of two story Victorian homes anywhere.
The oldest part of town burned early in the century because
the fire spread from roof to roof because the homes are so close
together. All of the homes are required now to have a tin
roof. The ceilings of the porches are painted blue because
it attracts the bees and wasps, and then they are killed in
the fan blades.
I really enjoyed walking in the neighborhoods in the mornings
and seeing all the quaint little homes.

Original Watercolor 11 x 14 $100.00

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pirates and Treasure

The island was the home to pirates
in the past (some may argue it is
still true today!) There are
several shipwrecks (maybe
full of treasure) just offshore.
The reef that is to the south of
the island offers protection
from some of the storms, but proved
deadly to wooden ships. This
replica of an old pirate ship is
in the harbor, moored there
along with multi-million dollar
Original Watercolor 4 x 7 $25.00

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On Key West, they are known for
their celebrations of the sunset
each day. There is just something
special about seeing the sun set
over the ocean, and they revel
in it. Down at Mallory Square,
they have street entertainers,
musicians, and assorted tourists
and spectators all enjoying the
end of another day.
I enjoy watching the sunsets at
our home in rural Louisiana.
Right now, the hummingbirds
make frantic efforts at sundown
to drink the last drop from the
feeders before they roost for the
night. I can hear whipporwills
begin to call to each other, and
whitetail deer emerge from the woods cautiously. I always
try to thank God for another day, and know that I am one
day closer to heaven.
Original Watercolor 7 x 10 $45.00 SOLD

Monday, July 23, 2007

Flowers Abound North and South

It was really ironic to see that flowers grow really large
and lush in both Key West and Alaska. On the island,
the hibiscus and bouganvilla were gorgeous; in Alaska,
I saw some begonias, geraniums, and snapdragons that
were huge. In Key West, the houses are really close
together, and they don't have very big yards, but often
every available square inch was planted with a blooming
specimen of some kind. The clapboard Victorian cottages
are painted bright, sunny colors, and are surrounded by
palettes of yellow, orange, lavender, pink and green.

Original Watercolor 6 x 9 $35.00 SOLD

Saturday, July 21, 2007

B.O.'s Fish Wagon was a little hole in the wall that sold fresh fish. I loved the hand-painted
sign, and the casual ambience! Just another neat place in Key West....

Original Watercolor 5 x 7 $25.00

An Island state of mind

Back to painting the island for awhile. Key West has just a small beach, and I don't think it
attracts the "spring break crowd" like some of the other locations in Florida. The weather
was perfect while we were there, and the cool breeze was refreshing. I went parasailing, and that was thrilling. I really had a great view from up there, and it wasn't as scary as I thought
it might be!

Original Watercolor 5 x 5 $20.00 SOLD

Friday, July 20, 2007

The state flower of Alaska is the "forget me not". These tiny flowers were blooming along the
road, and in the meadows. You had to bend down to get a good look at them, because they are very small. I mentioned before that there were a lot of wildflowers, and that surprised me. The guide told us that they thrive because of the long daylight hours in the summer, up to 20 hours a day. When we were there, the sun set at 11:45 at night, and rose about 4 am! And it never really was dark, just a kind of dusk when the sun was down. It made it very hard to go to bed...you kept thinking you would go to bed when it got dark..and it never did. I think I could get used to it, but I know I wouldn't like the long dark winters where the opposite is true...they only have a few hours of daylight. How different their life is from ours. I believe I will stay in the South!

Original Watercolor 5 x 7 $25.00 SOLD

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We spent one day in Denali National Park, the home of Mt. McKinley. We were lucky to get to see the mountain; it is usually covered with clouds. The park is 6 million acres, and has only one road. They limit the access to the park to keep it as wild as possible. You tour on a school bus in and out of the park, and the road only reaches 90 miles into the park. We saw some wildlife: snowshoe hares, ground squirrels, ptarmigan, Dall sheep, and one moose.

Original Watercolor 7 x 9 $50.00

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Center also housed three young
grizzly bears. I think their mother had
been killed. They were very playful
and romped and ran all over their
enclosure. They had a pond and they
wrestled and played in the water,
rolling around on a floating log, and
growling at each other. They were
very entertaining, and not afraid of
all the human visitors on the other
side of the fence.

Original Watercolor 11 x 9 $50.00

Great Owl

When we visited the Alaska Wildlife Center, this owl
was there. It had been wounded, and his wing was
damaged. The center cares for orphaned and injured
animals like this. Some are able to be released back into
the wild; some, however are kept in captivity. It was
sad to see this handsome bird permanently injured,
but it was also good to be able to see such a noble
creature up close and know he was well cared for.
Original Watercolor 4 x 12 $95.00
Framed $175.00 SOLD

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Alaska

in the
in a valley
where we
visited the
area. We saw
elk, young
grizzly bears, bison,
eagles, owls, coyote, and
moose. It is a beautiful
location, and this organization
takes in wounded
and orphaned animals and
cares for them.
I will be painting some of the
animals in the next few days.

Original Watercolor 9 x 9 $60.00

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back from Market

As a retail store owner, I make a yearly trip to Gift Market. This is the second year I have gone to America'sMart in Atlanta. It is a great place, and I have been there all week ordering things for the shop. I have been selecting things to go with the two major themes this year of the art show: island/Key West/seashell/flamingo and moose/mountain/lodge/pine things. I am excited about the items I found, and I think it will all come together. I shared with several of the vendors my plans, and I hope they check out this space to check on my progress.

I am sharing this eagle painting today. I actually did this painting on the cruise to Alaska. (I am still in a hotel room in Tuscaloosa on my way home) so I am not actually painting tonight! Anyway, I saw several eagles in Alaska. They were everywhere, and I am so glad they are making a comeback, and are now off the endangered list. This is a small watercolor in a 8 x 10 mat, and is for sale, as are all the paintings. Thanks for sharing in this experience.
Original Watercolor 5 x 7 $35.00

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The scenery in Alaska is so beautiful. I was surprised by the wildflowers, and the wonderful colors in the fields. This small watercolor is from the vallery in Skagway where we visited a musher's camp and rode in a dog sled on wheels. What a ride!

Original Watercolor 5 x 7 $35.00

Monday, July 9, 2007

Key West - Duval Street

The main street in Key West is Duval Street. It is a cornucopia of shops, galleries, restaurants, and attractions. We enjoyed shoppping and walking up and down this entertaining street. It is the heart of the city, and I tried to capture the bright colors and fun atmosphere of this unique place.

I will be painting some other images from Alaska next.

Original Ink and Watercolor 11 x 14 $100.00


Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Day in Key West

I had always wanted to go all the way down to the southernmost tip of the United States. I had seen photographs of that highway stretching across the water on its way to the Keys, and it fascinated me. I finally had the opportunity this past spring, and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale and met my daughter. We started on our way, winding through the hustle and bustle of Miami, and then trekking our way down that famous highway. There were lots of small islands along the way, and stretches across the turquoise water. It is only a two lane road, with lots of local traffic, and it took us almost five hours to arrive in Key West. The island was filled with lots of Victorian houses, palm trees, bicycles, and tourists. This cafe was down by the harbor, and filled with happy people. It is just one of the paintings I will do of this charming little island.
Original Ink and Watercolor 8 x 6 $35.00 SOLD

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Tern Lake

One of the first places we stopped in Alaska was this lake, named Tern Lake. It was very still that day, and the mountain reflected perfectly in the water. There were a few terns skimming the surface of the water. They migrate to Alaska to nest in the summer. They choose a mate for life, thus the joke, "one good tern deserves another".

I enjoyed doing this small watercolor of the lake in these summer colors. While we were there, we met two young men who were riding bicycles from Seward (nearby) all the way to Seattle. They are probably not there yet!
Tomorrow I will be doing a painting from my Key West trip. I still plan to do a show later this fall featuring work from my trips to opposite ends of the nation.
Original Watercolor 11 x 7 $50.00

Friday, July 6, 2007

Today's image

I am an artist, and I try to paint or draw everyday. I operate my own gallery, which also houses a gift and antique mall, and a cafe.

I travel several times a year, and paint during the trips. This year I journeyed down to Key West and enjoyed the easy lifestyle, charming architecture, and vibrant colors of island life. I also ventured to Alaska aboard an inside passage cruise, and enjoyed a real change of scenery and temperature. From the damp, lush seacoast to the ice-blue glaciers to the vistas of Denali National Park, there were subjects to paint everywhere.

I will do a show later this year with artwork depicting both wonderful destinations. The show will be titled, "Palms to Pines" and will feature watercolors, colored pencil and pencil drawings, pastels and photographs.

I am trying to paint everyday, and as a motivation, I am going to try to post my daily efforts on this blog.

The images will all be for sale, and I would love any feedback you might have about the art, the detinations, etc. You can email me at sheltongail@hotmail.com Thanks, Gail
Original Watercolor 5 x 7 $35.00 SOLD