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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Wildflower Painting, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Floral Landscape, 6x8" Oil on Panel

Today's painting is a memory of last summer.

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As I was painting, looking out my window at a cold, gray day, with snow spitting now and then, I REALLY wanted to remember last summer!  Did I question my decision to leave the beaches of Florida, for the the mountains of North Carolina?    You betcha!

But, then I reminded myself.....life is all about choices.  I don't care for cold weather, but I enjoy bundling up in warm sweaters and furry boots.  After 40 years in Florida, I look forward to the change of scenery and seasons.

No, I won't miss the sweltering summers and fury of hurricanes.  I look forward to spending the winter months on the beaches....the best of both worlds.

Find beauty and peace wherever you can.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.


Collage Lemons

My sister Barbara has been living in Spain for the last two years.  She lives inland from the coast about an hour and a half.  The terrain there is a lot like Tucson Arizona.  It has some hills, trees, dessert and the temperature is just about the same with warmer days and cool nights. 
One of the things she loves about being there is the lemon groves.  She has one right next to the house she is living in.
I created this sunny little collage for her to take back with her just to make her smile.  I used a photo from a painting I had done of lemons.



Friday, April 13, 2018

The Harpist, 11x14 Oil Painting on Canvas

This young woman was so beautiful, playing such a graceful instrument, with the light shining through the window. It's so much more attractive than a woman playing, say, a cello or a trombone. However, I do love cello music in spite of the awkward knee placement of the cellist.

This beautiful musician was playing at my beautiful niece's beautiful wedding.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

This 9x12 painting is from one of our challenges.  We were to paint a black bird without using any black.  I was o.k. with the original but when I looked at it for a few more days I realized I really wasn't happy with it.
I wanted the bird itself to be bigger, to be rougher, to be more unformed and feathery.  I really didn't want a tight bird painting but a loose, suggestive one.  So, this is what I came up with.
He is fuller, looser and has an attitude.  That is what I originally missed.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Wildflower Painting, Daily Painting, Small Oil Painting, Summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 6x8" Oil on Panel

We recently moved to the Asheville area, but, we have been spending time here every summer for years.  This painting is inspired by my many hikes along the highways and byways of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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 It makes by heart sing, to find these little pockets of beauty, on the trail.

I hope you find your own little pocket of beauty, along the trail you travel today.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Touch of Spring in the Mountains

We have just left the beaches of Florida and moved to the mountains of western North Carolina.  I am reposting this from a few years ago, as I am still trying to make our new house a home.  PS:  This is a preview of what our surroundings will look like in a few weeks...no blooms yet!

Everyone loves a touch of spring this time of the year....enjoy!

One afternoon I grabbed my camera and ran outside to capture the beautiful spring day and this is what I found.

I inherited a garden in front of our new home, and everything was coming alive at once...

Fiddleheads were popping up

Dogwood was blooming everywhere I
looked in both pink.....

and white blossoms.  Tulips, lilac and azalea were everywhere and the days were filled with the music of songbirds.

A drive to WaterRock Knob, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, showed less color at the higher elevation, but still beautiful to see.

For an Ohio girl, who has spent most of the last 50 years in Florida, it seemed all my memories of spring were spread out before my eyes.  Don't get me wrong, I truly love living in Florida, but when spring or fall calls, I head to the mountains.

Stay tuned, to see these images interpreted in oil.

Thanks for stopping by today.



Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Challenge, Upside-Down Artwork

This month our challenge was to produce a piece of art by drawing or painting from a photo that is upside down. It's a great exercise for improving our drawing skills; it makes us draw what we see instead of what we think we see.

 This was a scene from North Captiva Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  Drawing the house upside down proved to be surprisingly accurate. 


For this challenge, I decided to use a photo of a fat little female baby cardinal that my daughter took in her yard several winters ago. And it really was a challenge for me. I don't usually draw with a pencil on my watercolor paper first, much less upside down. Below is my process, progress and result. Click on the image to enlarge it. 

Kathy Garvey  

I really enjoyed this challenge.  Painting upside down forces you to really see what you are painting.  I choose a figure from a Gauguin painting because I love his paintings and I thought it would be a good challenge for me.  It was.

This is how she looked while she was still upside down.  Looks pretty close, hmmm?

This is her right side up.  Now what has to be corrected. I can see she is not leaning enough, that her blouse is too big, her hand should be more defined. The question is should I stay right side up or flip it again?

Siesta Donna Vines after Paul Gauguin


Angry Bird

This little guy is my upside down painting for this month's challenge.  I'm not sure why he is so 
angry, but I think it has something to do with the fact that he may have come back to North Carolina, just a little too early.  I think he is seriously thinking about turning around and heading back to Florida, because he is caught in a spring snow storm, here in the Blue Ridge Mts. 

 He is also my first painting, since I left my Florida home to live here in the mountains around Asheville.  I may be following him back to Florida if it doesn't warm up here soon!

He is 5x7" on oil and looking for a home, preferably in one of the more southern, warmer spots of the world.  Leave me a comment if you have to have him.

Carol Schiff

March Challenge: Draw or paint something upside down!
This is a challenge I frequently give my drawing students. It really helps one look at shapes, not identify "objects." I had not tried it in a while and it is a great exercise in patience, too! The original is a line drawing by Matisse. Mine is not too bad except for the left eye is woefully out of place!
Maybe I should do it again!
The original is on right... Yes, I need more practice!

Jean Thomas


Below is a photograph of my Great-great-great-grandmother's childhood home in Virgi. She lived there with my Great-great-great grandfather.. She was a Dressler and this picture was taken at the Dressler family re-union several years ago. I feel as if I could move right back into this home. It even has a spinning wheel. I wanted to try to draw it for this exercise, even though I am not much for sketching. I was trying to make it a values study as well. You can see I didn't succeed at that, but I did get a reasonable  drawing of the cabin.