Monday, April 28, 2014

Hidden Gem down at "the Farm"

This is the art class building.  It was packed with children making and painting 'stuff'.

The sign has the  purposes: to promote and provide a place for the arts..woohoo!

One of the cleverest fountains I have ever seen...way cool

This is the drama area...they put on a production of Hansel and Gretel here

This is "sooooo" me!  And I love Vincent Vangogh's work with a passion

This is the Gingerbread House

The face painting fun

The entrance to "The Farm" 
 Minden, LA

I found the neatest place last Saturday.  After the garden tour, I asked
about art activities in town, and they pointed me here.  It is located in south
Minden, and sits on 4 acres.  Here is a summary provided by them:

On February 27, 1887, Judge Harmon Drew pronounced Mary Fuller and
Frederick Moess "husband and wife".  In 1999, more than a hundred years later, their granddaughter, Zenobia West, donated the family homestead to Cultural Crossroads.Careful thought and planning has gone into creating a haven for creative expression.
From the largest children's arts festival in the area to the ever
popular summer art cams for kids, it is now home to the Farmer's Market, music festivals, and a host of other community building activities. 

I was there on the celebration of their 20th year!  They were
hosting fine art vendors, a talent show for kids, live theatre, create
your own art stations, and much more.  It was
a fabulous place.  I immediately thought of two fine art educators that we
lost in our community.  I so wish we could have a place like this. 
Fran Heath and Raelene Pell would
have loved something like this
(those of you who knew them are nodding your heads!)

I think they are online.  And they are on
Facebook as well.  Check them out....great place.  I applaud
anyone promoting the arts to children these days.  Bravo!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Watercolor Give-Away


Here's close-ups of the little watercolors I painted in
the garden at Minden yesterday.  The irises are at the top,
then the little pot of flowers, and the lemon tree at the
bottom.  I think I will give these all away.  Leave me a comment
before Mother's Day, and I will give all three away.  They are
8 x 10, matted and ready to frame.  So, leave me a comment or
email me (some people have trouble with the comment section?!), and
I will put your name in the hat.  There will be three winners this time,
and I will give the first name I pick, first pick of the paintings! 
Just a little Mother's Day "happy"!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Painting in the Garden

My watercolor and the pot of flowers that inspired it

Dutch iris with their matching watercolor

The backyard

The location on the Trails and Trellises Garden Tour in Minden
where I was assigned to paint.

I sat on that bench, and did my thing.

And a lemon tree with my little

Trails and Trellises

I spent the day in Minden, Louisiana today at the garden tour.  I was asked
to come and participate again by painting on location in one of
the gardens on the tour.  It was a beautiful day, and I left early to
make the hour and a half drive to the city of Minden in north Louisiana.
The home was lovely, and I found the perfect spot on a comfortable bench.
I set up all my painting gear, and managed to do several little watercolors of
what I could see around me.  I got to visit with lots of people as they came
through, admiring the plants and garden features. It was a fun and relaxing day.
And I have some really pretty photos of flowers to use as references for future
artwork...great deal! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

2015 Trip to Germany

I have booked my trip for Germany, Switzerland, and Austria!
It is with Go Ahead Tours, and the departure date is June 6th, 2015.
It is a 2 week adventure through these three countries...lots of sight
seeing, shopping, eating!, and sketching and painting (for me)!
You can go to  to see the
entire itinerary, prices, etc.  The cost covers most of the expenses including
airfare, transportation, hotels, most meals, baggage handling, etc.
The deposit to reserve your spot is only $300, with the balance
due sometime next April.
If you think you might be interested, feel free to call or email
me.  I already have several that want to go...I hope that includes you!

Summer 2015 Trip: Germany, Switzerland, Austria
June 6, 2015 - June 20th  approx $4000

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Painting in Plein Air on the Patio

We had fun today during art class, outside on the
deck.  We painted a quickie watercolor of the
wisteria vine growing on the patio.  I demonstrated
this one for them, and they worked on theirs.  They turned
out pretty well, and we were warm in the sun...not
I am going to paint in the garden again this year in
Minden, Louisiana this Saturday.  I have my garden assignment,
and I will be there to set up early Saturday morning.  I will
try to post some of the results!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Swamp Time

Just a few more pics from the swamp.  This is Lake Martin,
my favorite stop on the way to my daughter's house. 
The landscape was also beautiful this day...there was a mist
in among the trees.  And the leaves are starting to come out on the
trees.  Pretty soon they will cover up the no more
photos for awhile. 

I hope you all had a blessed Easter with time to worship,
and time with family and friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Art Projects

Did a little stenciling this week in our little art
class.  Samuel is putting some color on the
sponge brush and adding it to the frame.

Claire's finished frame....cute



And then I started my own art project.  This is the wet into wet
background for a watercolor of the swamp.  I am going to add a bird
in the branches.  It may be a blue heron, maybe a white egret?

This is the original photograph I am using as a reference.  I took this
years ago when I went all the way through the Atchafalaya in a wooden
boat with Mr. Bob Carroll and Robert Mayeaux.  We went in the fall, as you
can see from the rusty color of the cypress trees.  It took us most of the
day to travel from near Breaux Bridge to Port Allen.  We stopped all
along the way for me to take pictures, like this one.  Fun memories

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Drawing on the Possibilities

If you have ever been to Venice, you know about the thousands of
pigeons that inhabit St. Mark's square.  But even if you haven't traveled to
Italy, you've probably seen batches of pigeons, hanging out in parks
or patios.  These were in Venice, and the larger photo was full of them.
I picked different ones to make up this composition, and then
linked their shadows together. 

If you have been to Liberty island, the home of the Statue of Liberty, you rode on this
ferry boat and docked at this landing.  These ornate chairs and tables are still
on this outdoor area, where families and tourists gather to chow down on
hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream cones.  I was there very late in the day one time,
and snapped this photo of the long shadows cast by the furniture.  I did this drawing
several years ago, interested in the different textures and patterns.

And you probably haven't been in my front yard?!, but you probably have seen
these beautiful Bradford pear trees in bloom.

You may be wondering what these three drawings have in
common, or why I am posting them all together now.  Well,
I just submitted all three for a chance to be published in the
new Northlight book called: Strokes 7  The Best of Contemporary
Drawing.  They publish these books every so often as compilations
of drawings by current artists. This book will feature drawings that
emphasize depth or an unusual viewpoint.  They are accepting 50%
black and white drawings, and the rest, color.  So, I thought these
met the criteria, and I decided to give them a try.  I won't hear
anything till September! so you will have to wait like I will to
hear something.  Fingers crossed

Watercolor Hero

Is this not beautiful?  This is a painting by Mort Solberg, one of my
heroes.  I have always LOVED his style...the loose wet background with
the detailed wildlife subject.  I was thrilled to get to see him
in action at the Susan K. Black foundation workshop a few
years ago in Wyoming.  They are currently holding a fund raiser for
a fellow artist involved with the workshop, John Phelps.  He is battling
cancer, and artists are banning together to raise money by donating their artwork.
I bought this print as part of the effort.  I just love it.

So, when the print arrived, I was intrigued with the technique, and decided to
try to imitate his style...just for fun.  I painted the wet loose background, sprinkling
salt on the dark blue areas.  Dabbing with a Kleenex lifts the paint and leaves the
ethereal misty parts.  When dry, I painted the egret with some acrylic paint,
and added the branch.  I like it.  I may try to adapt this method, and do
some of my own semi-abstract creations!
"Solberg" inspired Watercolor
11 x 14  $100

Phelps Phund on Facebook 
You can buy some artwork to support this cause

Sunday, April 13, 2014



This egret drawing is done...I tweaked the darks some.  Made the contrast
deeper.  And then worked on the bird a little more. 

I would still like to do some more of these egret subjects.  I am trying
 some now in watercolor, and there may be some
colored pencil ones too.

It is so ironic.  I am a Texan by birth.  I have lived in Louisiana
now, however for 35 years.  When I first opened the gallery,
I cannot tell you how many people asked me if I had
any "white bird in the swamp" paintings.  I was doing some
still life, lots of wildlife, and some architectural pieces. I didn't
have any swamp paintings at the time, and it would make me
slightly irritated.  The longer I lived here, the more fascinated
I became with the swamp.  And now I have done lots
of swamp scenes and photography.  Now I just need those
customers to come back!

Pointing the Way

This is the finished sign on the side of the wall, next to my
building in downtown Winnfield.  I had a chance to
paint yesterday, due to the nice weather. I rolled the white
paint on over the pink, and let it dry.  Then I did the lettering,
to encourage travelers to stop and shop!  We will see if it helps.
Since we are right next to the main highway, we have lots of travelers
through town.  They are on their way to Little Rock or New Orleans, to
Natchitoches or Natchez.  Maybe this will encourage them to take a
break, grab some lunch, and spend some money!
Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Undiscovered Treasure

Just when I think I have some great egret photos...I get some
more!!  These birds are nesting and roosting just south of
where I live.  I happened to notice them in a small lake
the other day, and managed to go back today.  I had to
walk through some high grass (with some rubber boots).
It wasn't too muddy, but I did see a snake skin stuck to
a nearby branch.  But the alligators and snakes did not
make an appearance!  whew! 

I have a few days to get some entries together for some shows.
I may be trying to whip one of these out in some watercolor!