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

Monday, February 17, 2020

A Trip Down Memory Lane…Sort of.

by Fay Picardi

 This past week, I was fortunate to visit the Cumner Museum in Jacksonville, Florida with my good friend and fellow poet, Bonny Sanders. There we found an intriguing exhibit called: Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt. My first step in understanding this exhibit was to review a definition of iconoclasm. From the Oxford Dictionary:
Noun: 1) the action of attacking or assertively rejecting cherished beliefs and institutions or established values and practices. 2) the rejection or destruction of religious images as heretical; the doctrine of iconoclasts. Maybe not an exact fit to this exhibit, but close enough.

Here are some of the sculptures that were displayed. I found it somewhat amusing that grave robbers would destroy the noses of the “dead” so they would not be able to breath and therefore could not report them to the authorities. Below is a photo of the head of Hapshepsut.


This next sculpture is my favorite from an artistic point of view. I am thinking of doing a collage of it for the Pieces of Eight February challenge. Do you think the subject is a woman or a man?

I don’t know who this last guy is, but he certainly is the lucky one. His sarcophagus is untouched. Again, sort of.

After all this afterlife, it was time for some modern frivolity. A  circle twelve foot in diameter made of resin and dead flies. Makes quite a statement, even from a distance. The lights give it some pattern, but the circle is solid black in reality. 


Friday, February 14, 2020

Children's Church Mural

For the past four weeks I've been working on 82 feet of mural in the River Run Christian Church in Melbourne. Hap and Audra saved me hours by putting in the largest blocks of color, then Kathy Garvey came and painted many of the little critters you see. Last Sunday a two-year-old little girl walked right up to the wall and gave a turtle a kiss. That's what it's all about.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

More from My Life in Limericks by Carmen Beecher

We were living in Charleston and Suzanne was a baby when President Kennedy was shot.

Next came Bermuda. Can you imagine living in Bermuda for three years? Yes, it was wonderful. We lived in Diamond Cottage on Suffering Lane. That was our whole address. 

The water was turquoise, the beaches had pink sand in them. Snorkeling was great and we could stay near the shore. Beautiful fish were abundant. It was a great place for kids.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Mural for the Children by Carmen and Kathy

You won't see any paintings from me for a while. I am painting 80 feet of mural in the River Run Christian Children's Church. The theme is a river with Florida critters.

 This was the first day. Hap and Audra painted the big areas, saving me hours of time!

I did some landscaping.

Added some critters.

Kathy Garvey came yesterday and added some cute little snails, birds, fish and lizards.

This is a really fun labor of love!


Friday, February 7, 2020

Sketchbook Project at the Brooklyn Art Library by Carmen Beecher

I am participating in the Sketchbook Project, a challenge by the Brooklyn Art Library to fill a sketchbook by August 15 using one of their suggested themes. Limericks were one suggestion, which is right up my alley. My book is called "My Life in Limericks," and I am writing and sketching about all the places I've lived. I have lived in a lot of places. Here is a bit of my book.
I have come to the realization that art is not all about making money. I am enjoying this project so much, and I hope my enthusiasm continues at this level for all 29 pages. This is a sentimental journey.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Figure Painting Again!

      When I first began to paint I was fascinated by what I called "body language."  I was painting figures but I wanted their body posture to express the story...no need for facial recognition.  It's been a long time since I painted such but when I came across a photo of my daughter-in-law and my two grandsons I felt it was the perfect composition to paint.

Notice how the three figures form a triangle that keeps the eye in the painting? See how both boys are obviously looking at (what?) something out of field?  The hand of the standing child reinforces this but a bit or orange brings the eye back to the people.  There is a story here.

I roughed out the image with pencil and then an under painting of acrylic.  These were colors that I wanted to leave peeking through the final colors but at the same time they gave me a sense of light and dark as I progressed.

Now I got a little braver with the colors knowing I could cover them if not appropriate.  I think this is the time to take chances and be color bold! It's only acrylic! 

Now I switched to oils for that wonderful oozy feel of mushing and blending on the canvas.  You can tell that the rocks are getting more realistic and I am working towards a better flesh tone on the figures as well as directional lighting.  This is the stage where I sit back and make a list of my own critique.  Such notes here might include: correct child's pointing hand, fix mother's hand on back, correct mothers hair highlights and so on.  I need time to evaluate, clean my eyes and step away so that I can see the adjustments needed.

Here is the final portrait.  I adjusted the items mentioned but also the light direction in background.  How many triangles do you find in this composition?  Lots by my count.  I was very pleased with this piece.  It's renewed my interest in painting figures that tell a story.

As the original became a gift to my son and his wife I had a giclee made to give to the in-laws.  I am not a fan of giclees (they lack the human touch and thus the vibes that original art gives off) but I knew that I was not going to paint this again.  The giclee process was interesting and took numerous adjustments on the part of my print guy to get all of the colorations correct.  He was good and patient but it was not a process I was fond of...(perhaps if I were making millions of posters I might do it again) it was a lot of work to register each face's color to look like the original.  But done! and I learned a lot.

Cindy Michaud Art

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Saturday, February 1, 2020


by Denette Schweikert

I love flowers but I have a brown thumb.  Therefore I take pictures and paint them.  Ah, the joy of painting!  

This bromeliad that I saw in Rock City Gardens south of Melbourne fascinates me.  Isn't it different?


See my website to see other paintings.