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

Friday, August 30, 2013

Amish laundry

Going to Amish country was like going back in time in many ways. One of the things that really brought a smile to my face and the smell of clean, slightly damp clothes to my nostrils was seeing laundry hanging on the line. I have not smelled that smell for more years than I can count and yet as soon as I saw a clothesline full of clean clothes my olfactory light bulb lit up like a Christmas tree. They say that smell is the best inducer of a memory and I believe it.
I took several shot of hanging laundry and did this painting at group yesterday. I have done several paintings like this in the past and for some reason I really enjoy it. I hope you do.

Donna Vines

Amish Laundry

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WILD AND WACKY WEDNESDAY AT Carol Schiff Studio, 6x8" Oil

It is Wednesday again!  How do the weeks fly by so quickly?  Time to post another painting on sale.

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$55 + shipping

I love the unique shapes of barns, especially old ones, and there are lots of them in western North Carolina.
My husband was nice enough to drive me around the outskirts of Waynesville, NC ,  stopping so I could jump out and take photos of the interesting barns we would find.  When I returned home to Florida, I had enough barn photos to keep me busy through out the winter.

This one is painted primarily with a palette knife.  It has always been a favorite because of the strong values.

Originally listed at $95.95, it is already a bargin at $65.00.  But this is Wild and Wacky Wednesday, so if you purchase this painting today I WILL SEND YOU A $10.00 REFUND!  Offer good only until midnight Aug. 27, 2013.  To receive your $10.00 refund, you must state on the order WILD AND WACKY WEDNESDAY.


Saturday, August 24, 2013


After doing some more experiments from the Carol Nelson workshop I decided to put all of my paraphernalia away for awhile and go back to oils. As much as I enjoy all the techniques I have learned I feel I need a break from all the choices and just get back to basics for awhile.
The last thing I worked on, but have not quite finished, is a tree collage. I used some of the red resin paper treated with the rust activator and some collage papers I had. Originally I used the rust paper with the imprint to represent soil and some colorful collage papers as the foliage. As I was working on it I dropped it onto the floor and saw it from a different angle. It now looked like Fall, with all the colorful leaves on the ground and the dead foliage still on the trees. Hmmm, you decide.




Donna Vines

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lots of Butterflies

by Kathy Garvey
My yard is filled with butterflies this time of year, primarily because of the proliferation of passion flowers in bloom. Attached are a few of my recent butterfly images, most of them featuring the lovely Gulf Fritillary or its chrysilis. All were done with Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator. I'm hoping to have some of these printed up to either paper or fabric for our annual Pieces of Eight Christmas sale coming up in early December. We always have wonderful paintings, jewelry, tiles and this year - decorative bird houses - at very reasonable prices. Watch this site for the date!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Amish Country

Living in Florida is wonderful in many ways but if you grew up north of the Mason Dixon line there are certain things you miss and one of them is rolling hills, farms and big leafy trees.  I got to see all of this for a few days when I visited Lancaster, PA. 
This was my first trip to Amish country and it was lovely.  I knew about the Amish and Mennonites and of course had seen many pictures of that area of PA but I wasn't prepared for how wonderful it would feel to be immersed in the culture or how quickly you could get used to eating really good, homemade, fresh food and seeing nothing but corn for miles on end. 
The reality of living like this is far removed from spending a few idyllic days in farm country but it was great while it lasted.
I took lots of photos but there is only so many fields of corn you can paint but lets see what happens.  Here are a few photos of the trip.  I tried to get away from the corn fields but they creep up on you.


Donna Vines

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wildlife Painting, "Just Ducky" by Carol Schiff

These two ducks are having a fine day....a nice little swim, maybe a little conversation.  Life is good!

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99 + shipping
This is from an image, several years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I always think of these ducks as "Ebony and Ivory".  Thank you Michael Jackson!

The lake is surrounded with trees.  If you have ever been in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the summer.....green is everywhere you look!  So on this day, the water was a gorgeous turquoise and the shadows were absolutely an emerald green.

This summer, we are staying home, but in the fall we hope to spend some time in the mountains.  Fall in the mountains is really my favorite time of year in my favorite place.  Pumpkins and scarecrows are every where, reminding me of years gone by.  We go to the apple orchard and get fresh apples, apple donuts, apple pie, apple fritters.....well, you get the idea.  But, the best part are the gorgeous mountains covered in shades of orange, red and yellow!  I love getting up every day and running to the window to see how the trees of changed from the day before.  I cannot wait!

What is your favorite season and place?  The seashore in summer, skiing in winter?

Make it a great day!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Story of Love by Carol Schiff

I recently came in contact with a wonderful woman in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Amy Jo was a fan of my facebook page and sent me a link to her wonderful page called Healing Ceilings.  Amy Jo's husband just came through his second brush with cancer.  She and her husband were spending lots of time in the Cancer Care Center of North Carolina, he, getting treatment and she, waiting and observing. Observing the same people day after day, as they came in for their chemo or radiation treatments.  She decided to do something to brighten their lives and encourage them in their fight.

BlueBird of Happiness by Kathy Garvey
Amy Jo believes in the healing power of art.  She decided to brighten the days of these patients by giving them something inspiring to look at while they receive their treatments.  Out came those old, white, boring ceiling tiles to be replaced with individual tiles turned into creative art.  How she did this, I do not know, but she has single handedly installed hundreds of tiles in cancer care centers in the Raleigh area.

Peaceful Beach by Denette Schweikert

She contacted artists through Facebook and asked them to donate their work on ceiling tiles that she somehow supplies.  Nothing stops her.  When I saw her posts and decided to donate, she arranged for me to go to my local Lowes (in Florida) where I picked up a box of the proper tiles at no cost to me.  Naturally, I involved my painting group, Pieces of 8 and gathered additional volunteers from them. One of the group, Cindy Michaud, who summers out of town, was following the journey on Facebook. Being a person who does not let grass grow under her feet, she contact Amy Jo and so far, has painted 6 tiles for the project.

Road to Sunshine by Cindy Michaud (2 tiles)

Garden of Inspiration by Cindy Michaud (4 tiles)
Everyone wanted to do peaceful scenes filled with inspiration.

Sailing the Bay by Mary Warnick

Ocean Sunrise by Carmen Beecher

I decided to do 3 typical scenes of North Carolina:

Abstracted Sea by Carol Schiff

Carolina Marsh by Carol Schiff

Mountain Mist by Carol Schiff

Did I tell you each tile is 24x24"?

Now that the tiles are complete, Amy Jo has done a "shout out" on Facebook to bring them home to Raleigh.  In her words, "The Love Train is leaving the station".  She will find volunteers who will transfer the tiles from place to place until eventually, they will be delivered to her hands for installation.

A story of love and compassion and determination.  The next time you think "What difference can I make"?
Think of Amy Jo.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

SINKING by Carol Schiff

The sunset and the sea are the stars of this little abstract painting.

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99 + shipping

Members of the supporting cast are COLOR


Probably not for the faint of heart....but maybe those of you who like life on the edge, will find beauty in this piece.

Something for everyone!

Have a great day :0)


Monday, August 5, 2013

Sleepless in Seattle

Denette and I, along with our husbands, had a wonderful time in the Northwest. Hap and I rode the Ducks with intrepid Captain Flip Dover. We drove through Seattle, then into Lake Union (the Ducks are amphibious landing craft). I keep a sketch journal, so I had to include the houseboat in Sleepless in Seattle. Flip was hilariously informative.

We met up with Denette and Jack and went off to the Olympic Peninsula. That's Denette in the tree. The rain forests are lush, green, mossy, and beautiful. I am trying to psych myself up to paint all that green.  The lower right corner of the above page is Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point of the lower 48. You go through a rain forest to get there. In other words, you hike through awesome beauty with a big punctuation mark at the end. We missed the whale that had just gone by, darn it!

Now I have many great subjects to paint, yet what did I do yesterday? A little white boat. Like I said, psyching myself up for the harder stuff. Besides, I really like the boat.

The Yellow Buoy
Posted by Carmen Beecher

Friday, August 2, 2013

Art to sit upon....

For some reason I have always loved chairs....I think it's because they remind me 
of people!  Each one seems to have its own personality. And whether it is all wood, 
metal, upholstered or a mix, I think they each have a  character and style all their 
own.  Some are comfy for relaxing, some are for sitting up straight, some help you 
work and others rock the baby to sleep.  I know that at any given time I have a wide 
variety of chairs and I can't seem to stop collecting them!

So I was thrilled when the Pieces decided that our bonus art this season would be 
to offer upcycled birdhouses, boxes, frames, plant stands and....chairs! We are 
having a great time playing around with paint that is not put on a canvas....
using color in unexpected places and creating some one of a kind pieces you are 
going to want to own.

Here's my most recent rehab project:
A sturdy oak chair that was probably in a classroom, it still had "good bones" despite a poor coat of white paint. I sanded, taped, got out some chalk paint and went to town with some favorite colors. At one point I thought of adding more (and more and more) but the word "enough" came to me and I decided to stop. I christened the chair and then waxed it and buffed it to a soft shine. There are a lot of ways the word can mean something...it happens to be the theme of a great book I am reading by Brene Brown. But it may mean something altogether different for you. If I can part with this child, I mean chair, it will be in our annual holiday sale the first Saturday in December. Stay tuned for more I formation! by Cindy Michaud