* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Daily Painting, Small Landscape "A Touch of Fall" 6x8" Original Oil

We spent a few days in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains last week.  Mother Nature out did herself with perfect days in the mid 60's, blue skies and the trees in peak color.

Purchase here
This scene is our next door neighbor and I couldn't ask for more.  The brilliant red house nestled into the fall foliage and everything reflected in the lake at the front of the property.  

If you have not taken the time to celebrate autumn.......do it now!  Go carve a pumpkin :)

It was hard to leave the mountains and return to Florida where it is still hot and humid.  

This is the third time I have written this post.  It appears Blogger hates me.  When I try to publish....the whole thing suddenly disappears.  Is anyone out there having any problems with Blogger, or am I the only lucky one?

Don't forget to check out my painting sale at my Etsy site where I have listed paintings at 1/2 off for a short period of time.

Hot Cubans, 6x9 Oil Painting on Panel

This place serves excellent Cuban sandwiches, hence the title...what did you think I meant?

I loved their casual pose as they were waiting for customers at a Miami South Beach restaurant. 

Remember to Save the Date, Dec 5 and 6, for the Pieces of 8 Annual Holiday Sale. Our location has changed. We will be at Ralph's Art Supply on Highland Avenue in the Eau Gallie Arts District on Dec 5 (first Friday) and Dec 6. Bargains galore! 

Carmen Beecher

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Abstracts to Collage to Oils oh my

One of the best things about being an artist in a group is that you are exposed to so many techniques.  Our group is so diverse, with so many interests we are never bored or boring nor is our Art Sale!!
This December 5th and 6th is our famous, yes I mean famous Pieces of 8 pre- holiday sale.
This year for the first time it will be a 2 day event, tied into First Friday in Eau Gallie and continuing on Saturday.  We will be at our new studio space at Ralph's Art Supply and he has graciously agreed to us starting our sale on Friday from 3:00 to 8:30 and into Saturday 10:00-4:00.
I love dappling in oils, collage and abstracts of all kinds and will have all of the above for sale at the show and I am only  one person. 
We always have so much fun meeting some of the wonderful people who support us by purchasing our art,  following us on Facebook and our blog.
Here are a few of the pieces I will have at the sale.  Please come by, browse, enjoy  and say hello.
Donna Vines


Button Up

Hand colored black and white photo

Wandering & Wondering...

You know that feeling you get when a project is complete? That whoo-o-osh of relief and pride? I am about to roll around in it, as soon as the glue dries and stamps are on the envelope. I am really done!

Last Christmas I received this wonderful package from my eldest son. He had paid my way into "The Sketchbook Project," a traveling library of artists' books created by thousands of people from over 135 different countries.  And what's more, he 'super-sized' it by assuring that the finished product would not only travel around the U.S. but would be "digitized" for others to see on line!  How exciting...what pressure!

While my beautiful little manila covered book sat in my studio for many months, it always occupied a space in my brain.  I kept mentally going through my roladex of 'great ideas' searching for the right topic, style, medium etc.  The word 'wander' kept circulating; I think I may be a professional wanderer....but how to depict?

I Wonder As I Wander  is a favorite hymn of mine.  My research revealed that it was based on an Appalachian song fragment collected by John Jacob Niles in 1933 in the town of Murphy, NC.  A young woman sang this haunting tune at an evangelical fundraiser for 25 cents a performance.  Niles completed the song by composing more melody and adding lyrics.  It was first performed that same year at theJohn C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.

I got the chills learning this as the Appalachian Mountains, Murphy and the Folk School all hold dear places in my life.  As a wanderer at heart and a lifelong wonderer, the theme of the little book came together quite easily.  I set to work writing the "poetry" and planning the pages.  Here's a sneak peek:

There is a path (hmm, is that the yellow brick road...?) that connects each
page to the next.

Simple? yes, but that is what I like about it.  No angst, no ax to grind, no rant or diatribe.  Just simple, happy thoughts that could appeal to any age, simple easy drawings that share the wistfulness of the original song.

See the barcode on the back?  This is an important part of the entire project.  As soon as I pop this baby in the mail they will match it to my registration and set about photographing it for the on-line viewing.  You can use my name as author to find it (after the Jan 15 deadline).  But wait there's more:
the book will also go "on the road" in a little bookmobile of sorts that travels to different venues across the country.  They camp out in public places for a day and visitors can freely punch in tags or subjects they might enjoy and voila! they get matched with several sketchbooks to "check out."

Someone asked me why in the world would an artist want to pay to send their work to a collection project.  I wanted to ask why wouldn't they?  I suppose that for me the Mission of the project so closely fits my own:
     "We think art should be collaborative.  Using the Sketchbook Project as our vehicle, we have connected tens of thousands of artists from all over the globe.  We are the largest collection of living artists sketchbooks in the world."

Art should be available to everyone, art should contain pieces that appeal to a variety of people, if one is not exposed to real art (as in touching, smelling, connecting with the media) one will never, ever become a collector.  If I can find a way to get "it" out there, I will.  

And besides, it's kind of fun to think that my grandchildren could wander into the Brooklyn Art Library and wonder if grammy has anything in it.

Guess what? She does.

Wondering and Wandering,


Monday, October 27, 2014


One of the fun techniques that I did some experiments with was working with foil.  I really liked the way you could manipulate it with anything that had the ability to leave an impression.  You could use everything  from a spoon to a fly swatter.  All you had to do was press it onto the foil or press the foil on top of the impression.
When I was in Michael's I saw some really interesting pattern presses, before I started this I had no idea anything like that even existed.  The "pattern presses" are just small flat pieces of metal with an embossed design on them.  They had so many interesting ones that I had  to buy one to experiment with.   I choose one that had different machine gears embossed on the plate.  I also used various acrylics to see how different colors affected the design.  This is how it came out. 
Donna Vines

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Away, Away

Well here it is the end of October and finally it seems like we will all be back in town again.  This has been one of those years for The Pieces.  We have all seemed to be involved in lots of traveling, either for pleasure or family, and had some surgeries, either us or family, thrown in.
While I am getting ready for the painter and getting ready for our annual art sale December 5th/6th I have some across some pieces that seem to fit the mood.  One of them is this little collage I did last year when so many of us were away. 
This piece reminds me of wind in your hair road trips back in the day.  I took this photo really close so you could see the collage paper is old maps and travel stickers.
Donna Vines

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