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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Donna, Carol and Courtney do London and Paris

 Well I am back from our two weeks across the pond.  It was a great trip and so special to see these wonderful cities through the eyes of a young person, with all her enthusiasm, energy and sense of adventure.  Here are a few photos that Carol took of our adventures.

First things first, these shoes were $1,500 euros and worth it or so we were told.

We shopped every day for fresh fruit and of course breads

Courtney singing along in the subway

I am still tasting the coffee at the outdoor cafes. One of the true pleasures of city life.


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Great Southern White Butterfly

My good friend Vincent Lamb is a wonderful nature photographer and I am a proud owner of a number of his fine photographs of Florida flora and fauna. When I saw his photograph of this composition, I knew that I wanted to paint it. Vince was kind enough to give me his permission. His photograph of the Great Southern White Butterfly was his favorite photograph for 2010. I love the way he has softened the background elements and focused on the wild aster and butterfly in the foreground. This painting is done in acrylics and is 30"x40". It was a long time in the making as I paint slowly and am not one who paints on the same thing everyday. Often I will have several things going at once. I really do like this painting and hope that Vince would be proud of what I have done from his wonderful photograph. Thank you Vince for sharing so graciously.

Phillis Holland

Saturday, June 4, 2011

More collage experiments

My friend and fellow artist Carol and I decided to have some fun with collage again. We weren't quite sure of what to do so we decided to use a wonderful photograph she had of a geisha and see what we could come up with.. The contrasts between her subtly beautiful silk gown and elaborate black hair were wonderful and the mood they evoked was softness and a feeling of gentleness.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Great Tree Snail Hunt

I've just returned from a wonderful trip to the Everglades looking for Liguus Tree Snails. They're an inspiration for a project that I've wanted to do that explores the relationship between the patterns on these beautiful shells and the incredible designs on Seminole/Miccosukee clothing. When I first saw the collection of tree snail shells in cases at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center over 30 years ago I immediately thought of the designs in Seminole Patchwork. The relationship seemed obvious. But research back then didn't support a connection. Still, it has stuck in my head that there is one.

The cases have long since vanished - possibly in Hurricane Andrew. And speculation is that the snails with the beautiful colors I saw in those shells are now extinct. During my trip I was able to find and photograph over 50 unique snails at Royal Palm, Pinelands and Pinecrest. As you can see in the three photos of snails here, they are still amazingly beautiful and inspiring.

I also visited the outstanding Ah-tha-thi-ki Museum south of Clewiston to do research on the origins of the clothing in their library. The Museum itself is small but the exhibits are so modern and incredibly well designed it's a real treat to visit. And their collection is said to have over 4000 artifacts, much of it early clothing samples. I didn't even get to that yet!

Last month I purchased Henry's Close's wonderful book on the Liguus (The Liguus Tree Snails of South Florida) and he devoted a small chapter to the connection between the snails and Seminole clothing. And at the Museum library yesterday I found a quote from Harriet Bedell back in 1941 that totally supports the idea. The quest for more information is going to be fun! I have much more research to do and am excited to have the opportunity to be the Artist in Residence in the Everglades for the month of July to continue work on my project.

If you have an interest in Liguus or Seminole clothing, please write!