Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Drawing on the Possibilities

If you have ever been to Venice, you know about the thousands of
pigeons that inhabit St. Mark's square.  But even if you haven't traveled to
Italy, you've probably seen batches of pigeons, hanging out in parks
or patios.  These were in Venice, and the larger photo was full of them.
I picked different ones to make up this composition, and then
linked their shadows together. 

If you have been to Liberty island, the home of the Statue of Liberty, you rode on this
ferry boat and docked at this landing.  These ornate chairs and tables are still
on this outdoor area, where families and tourists gather to chow down on
hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream cones.  I was there very late in the day one time,
and snapped this photo of the long shadows cast by the furniture.  I did this drawing
several years ago, interested in the different textures and patterns.

And you probably haven't been in my front yard?!, but you probably have seen
these beautiful Bradford pear trees in bloom.

You may be wondering what these three drawings have in
common, or why I am posting them all together now.  Well,
I just submitted all three for a chance to be published in the
new Northlight book called: Strokes 7  The Best of Contemporary
Drawing.  They publish these books every so often as compilations
of drawings by current artists. This book will feature drawings that
emphasize depth or an unusual viewpoint.  They are accepting 50%
black and white drawings, and the rest, color.  So, I thought these
met the criteria, and I decided to give them a try.  I won't hear
anything till September! so you will have to wait like I will to
hear something.  Fingers crossed


Watercolor Hero

Is this not beautiful?  This is a painting by Mort Solberg, one of my
heroes.  I have always LOVED his style...the loose wet background with
the detailed wildlife subject.  I was thrilled to get to see him
in action at the Susan K. Black foundation workshop a few
years ago in Wyoming.  They are currently holding a fund raiser for
a fellow artist involved with the workshop, John Phelps.  He is battling
cancer, and artists are banning together to raise money by donating their artwork.
I bought this print as part of the effort.  I just love it.

So, when the print arrived, I was intrigued with the technique, and decided to
try to imitate his style...just for fun.  I painted the wet loose background, sprinkling
salt on the dark blue areas.  Dabbing with a Kleenex lifts the paint and leaves the
ethereal misty parts.  When dry, I painted the egret with some acrylic paint,
and added the branch.  I like it.  I may try to adapt this method, and do
some of my own semi-abstract creations!

"Solberg" inspired Watercolor
11 x 14  $100

Phelps Phund on Facebook 
You can buy some artwork to support this cause

Sunday, April 13, 2014



This egret drawing is done...I tweaked the darks some.  Made the contrast
deeper.  And then worked on the bird a little more. 

I would still like to do some more of these egret subjects.  I am trying
 some now in watercolor, and there may be some
colored pencil ones too.

It is so ironic.  I am a Texan by birth.  I have lived in Louisiana
now, however for 35 years.  When I first opened the gallery,
I cannot tell you how many people asked me if I had
any "white bird in the swamp" paintings.  I was doing some
still life, lots of wildlife, and some architectural pieces. I didn't
have any swamp paintings at the time, and it would make me
slightly irritated.  The longer I lived here, the more fascinated
I became with the swamp.  And now I have done lots
of swamp scenes and photography.  Now I just need those
customers to come back!


Pointing the Way

This is the finished sign on the side of the wall, next to my
building in downtown Winnfield.  I had a chance to
paint yesterday, due to the nice weather. I rolled the white
paint on over the pink, and let it dry.  Then I did the lettering,
to encourage travelers to stop and shop!  We will see if it helps.
Since we are right next to the main highway, we have lots of travelers
through town.  They are on their way to Little Rock or New Orleans, to
Natchitoches or Natchez.  Maybe this will encourage them to take a
break, grab some lunch, and spend some money!
Keeping my fingers crossed.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Undiscovered Treasure

Just when I think I have some great egret photos...I get some
more!!  These birds are nesting and roosting just south of
where I live.  I happened to notice them in a small lake
the other day, and managed to go back today.  I had to
walk through some high grass (with some rubber boots).
It wasn't too muddy, but I did see a snake skin stuck to
a nearby branch.  But the alligators and snakes did not
make an appearance!  whew! 

I have a few days to get some entries together for some shows.
I may be trying to whip one of these out in some watercolor!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Birds, One Stone

After I took these egret and swamp photos a couple of weeks ago,
I couldn't wait to try to draw one.  I selected this one.  I love the lighting,
and the composition.  I did a lot with the eraser...lifting out the Spanish moss,
and the highlighted feathers of the bird.  I still have some to do.  Especially now
that I see it side by side with the photo. 

I have the "Birds in Art" show to enter, and the "Strokes 7: the Best of
Drawing" book deadline approaching  The book editors are looking for
drawn subjects that emphasize depth and distance.   I thought
this drawing might "kill two birds with one stone". !!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blowing in the Wind

This is a whole collection of floral watercolors that I
designed as garden flags.  I am going to submit them to
Toland Flag Company as possible flags for them to

Speaking of gardens, I have been asked again to paint
 at the Minden Garden tour on Saturday, April 26th. They ask several artists
to be on location during the tour at each home.  I have done this several
times before, and it is quite enjoyable.  They have assigned my home, and
I am going to try to check out Google Maps and see if I can find it. 
Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, and I will be able to sell some
of the quickie watercolors I will do that day.  I also plan to take some of
my poppy bags, and other merchandise to sell too!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pick Up Time

My "Not So Angry Bird" at the Tom Peyton Memorial Art Show...
and the "Festival Award" (Best in Show)!!!

This is an oil painting by Margi Tate...very nice

I am not sure how this is done...but very interesting.

And I always love birds!

This watercolor is by Dr. Bill Bryant.  He was one of my
professors in college.  I took print making and watercolor from
him.  He has a very recognizable style, and always wanted his
students to develop one.

I like this oil painting...love the composition and color scheme.

I like this one too.  It has a very muted color scheme,
and looks like Louisiana bayous I know.

I picked up my entry today, and got to see a few of the
other pieces still there.  These are some of my
favorites.  I know a few of these artists, but the others
I was not familiar with. 

I finished painting the Natchitoches posters.  I will try
to deliver them this week.  Now, my drawing board is empty..
time for something new!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

300th Birthday for Natchitoches, LA

Several years ago, I belonged to the
Guild and Gallery over in Natchitoches, LA.
I did this pen and ink drawing and had it printed
as posters that I sold through the gallery.
I still had several of them left, so I contacted a gift shop
there, and they are going to buy some from me.
I am selling them in the black and white ink version, and
then, I am hand painting some of them as well.  I will ship them
to her as soon as I am finished.

Natchitoches is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase.  They are
celebrating their 300th centennial this year.  I believe they are having
some kind of event every weekend.  You can go to their
tourism website and see the whole schedule.  Might be fun to go and
check it out!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Big Picture

Mural Time

I have seen many murals in my life...painted on the side of
buildings, walls, and signs.  I have never painted
anything very big before...at least not the size of a wall!

This is the wall beside my building (the Pea Patch Gallery
and CafĂ©).  We own the vacant building where this plaster
still clings to the wall.  I have been contemplating for a long time
about what needs to be on this wall.  I already painted some words
on the other wall, advertising some of the things we offer in
the shop.  But I want to be able to get people's attention!  Make
them stop! And shop and eat!  So, that is what is going to be on
this wall.

The pointing hand shows the direction they need to turn.  On the
small section of pink, I am going to say something about "visit our
downtown shops" and on the longer pink section, "Stop, Shop, Have
Lunch"  Go ahead and "bayou" something!  I am planning to add some
white paint first, and then do the letters in black.  Then on the
adjoining wall, do the same colors and style, and pull it all together.
Hopefully, it will attract some much needed customers! 

Will keep you posted on the progress.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Golden Light

Stopped by Lake Martin again yesterday on my
way home...just beautiful.  The birds were
gorgeous in the fading light...golden edges and
illumined feathers.  A spoonbill landed on the tree
not far from me.  And the sunset was stunning. 
A peaceful end to a worship day.


Saturday, March 29, 2014


Spent a few hours around the French Quarter today...such a beautiful
day.  This artist is named Michael Smiroldo, and he does great
watercolors of the musicians in New Orleans.  I own one of his wonderful
paintings, and he and I had a nice conversation today about
art, design, and life!

St. Louis Cathedral...in the sunshine!

This clarinet player gave it her all for the crowd today...
made me smile

This painting was in progress in the window of a gallery
today as well.  Neat

And this really made me smile...a window display
selling these great headbands....cheese!