Saturday, August 22, 2015

Inspiration and Tribute

Colored Pencil Drawing: Chinese dancer I photographed during a trip to China

A honey bee on a Bradford pear tree in my front yard.
Colored Pencil 

A watercolor of a brown pelican that I photographed during a trip to
the Galapagos islands.  

Colored pencil of a preening flamingo

"Street Music"  Watercolor of a street musician in New Orleans
Kestrel by Morton Solberg

White Egret by Morton Solberg

Elk by Morton Solberg


Art has always been a part of my life.  My aunt was an artist, and my
father was very creative and worked with wood.  Art was in my DNA.
If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was
always, "an artist".  My mother was not artistic, but she had many
friends who were.  One of her closest friends, Betty Gene Haile, was a
professional artist, painting in both watercolors and oils.  She loved to travel,
and painted often on location in the hill country of Texas, and villages in Mexico.
She was perhaps my earliest inspiration.  When we would visit her home, I loved to
peek into her studio, and see what she was working on.
I was always thrilled to see colorful Mexican fruit markets, boasting striped awnings
and multi colored fruit; Texas hillsides dotted with blooming prickly pear or
a rocky creek lined with live oaks and bluebonnets.

She painted what she saw and what she loved.

I'm teaming up with Patience Brewster in honor of Artist Appreciation Month and sharing 

my inspirations. Patience is a well known artist and designer of figurines and ornaments.
What inspires us as artists can vary widely I am sure.
While in college, I began to study Art History, and was inspired by numerous
masters.  But my favorite is Vincent Van Gogh.  I have been blessed to view
many of his works throughout the world.  I stand in front of them, humbled by
the brushwork, color, and passion.  I am inspired by the sheer number of works
that he completed in a very short time, and saddened by his tragic story, so full of
struggle and agony.

He painted what he loved and what he saw.
And now, as a professional artist myself, I have been able to attend workshops
given by some of favorite living artists.  The beautiful examples above are by
Morton Solberg, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a workshop in Wyoming.
I have always enjoyed painting with watercolor, but this man makes it look
effortless and fun.  I love his use of abstract surroundings and detailed
wildlife.  I wish I could paint with such abandon, and yet, focus.  He
paints the wildlife he loves, and puts them in environments that showcase
them in masterful compositions.

He paints what he knows and what he loves.\
  I am currently inspired so much by God's
wonderful creation all around me.  I live out in the country in Louisiana, and I see wildlife
every day.  I especially like birds, and I have the chance to view many of them.
I am also inspired when I travel, and enjoy capturing life in other
places...the people, architecture, the landscapes and wildlife.
I continue to paint when I am able, and do travel several times a year.

I find myself painting on location, much like Mrs Haile.  I hope that I am
as passionate about my work in even a small way like Vincent.  And
that I capture the Louisiana wildlife I love in masterful compositions like
Mr. Solberg.

I paint what I see, and what I love.
patience brewster ornaments

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Italian Journey 2016

I have booked my 2016 trip for next summer to....Italy.  Specifically Venice, Lake Como,
Milan (to see the Last Supper!), and Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera.  I would
love for some of you to join me!  The departure date if June 4, and the trip is 11 days.
I am going to stay for the added extension in Venice for a couple of days.
The trip is around $4000, and if you book early, you can make payments all during
the year.  I am using Go Ahead Tours again, and they handle all the details and

If you think you might be interested, please let me know.  I can answer any
questions you might have, and help you get signed up if you'd like to go.
I am looking forward to the trip, and it will be a wonderful experience.
Great scenery, fabulous food, beautiful architecture, and lots of art...
a trip of a lifetime.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Show and Tell

I just received notification that these two pieces were
accepted into the September Competition at the
Alexandria Museum.  Woohoo!
I have never been in this show.  I don't remember entering
very often.  But this time, I had some work I thought might
have a chance at getting in, and
I was right!
I have to frame them both with some "gallery framing".
It should be a plain simple mat with a simple black or
wooden frame.  It highlights the work more
if the frame is not distracting.  White mats allow the work
to "pop" or show up.

I have also been chosen to be on the review team
for the DAF, the Arts Council of Central Louisiana
grant proposals.  I have to read and study each
one, and rate them, making comments as I go.  Then we meet
as a panel,and review them, and determine who gets what
funding.  It is a good opportunity to
meet some others in the art community in Alexandria.  It is
also giving me lots of ideas for art related activities
that I could do in my own little town. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Germany, Austria, and Switzerland Book

I know I haven't posted in awhile....been really busy!  My artwork has
taken a back seat.  I do have good news, however.  This digital copy of my
travel journal to Europe is finally ready.  It is the large 12 x 12 format, and is 42 pages.It contains most of my paintings in the original sketchbook, and lots of
photos from the trip.

The books are $100, and I can ship them to you.  If you are interested, just
email me, or call the gallery.  You can pay with PayPal, mail a check,
or call with your credit card #.  It was a spectacular trip, and I was very
inspired by the scenery and the people.
Gail H. Shelton
Pea Patch Gallery
109 S. Abel    Winnfield, LA  71483

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Art History in Vienna

My niece, Katie, hamming it up with the Hapsburgs

Carved ivory pieces from the royal family...amazing

This carved ivory ship moved and the oarsmen rowed.  A clock maker
outfitted it with moving parts that are inside the

I thoroughly enjoyed touring the Art Museum in Vienna, Austria.
They have a huge Egyptian exhibit, lots of beautiful carved ivory treasures,
unlike any I have seen anywhere.  The building itself was gorgeous,
built by the Hapsburgs to house this collection.

I love seeing the art treasures that survive the centuries.
I like to wonder what those craftsmen and artists knew and how
they made their objects.  I wonder what they would think now
about their creation being in a museum...viewed by thousands
every year.  It would be humbling, or even comical to some of
them, I'm sure.  I am grateful that people have the
foresight to save so many valuable and priceless items.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

"I have been to the Mountain top"

We had the wonderful experience of traveling up Mt. Pilatus.  This is
the beginning of the cog train ride.

It was cloudy at first, and we traveled up thru them

As we got higher, the distant mountains peaked through the clouds!

This is the hotel and cafe on the top...very cool.  They told us
the workers work 7 on and then 7 off.  Once they get up
here, they have to stay!

We came up on the train..this is the way down!

And this is the way down, back into the clouds, and
then safely on the ground.

Wow, what a view and an experience.  Just to see all of God's
amazing creation from such a perspective.  I feel very
blessed to get to see this part of the world.
Bring on some more!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Few Sketchbook Pages

Around Mannheim Germany town square

A meal in Mannheim, and a day in

A few sketches along the way

Downtown favorite so far

A few scenes along the way...

Just a few pages from my travel journal..more to come!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Good Day! from Germany

We made it!  We flew into Frankfurt this morning, and got underway to
the town of Mannheim

This is the old water tower in the center of
the town.  A lot of the city was destroyed during the WWII
bombing, so alot of the buildings are more modern

This is our hotel...named after one of my
favorite artists!

Here we are at the welcome dinner...woohoo! we made it!

We ate at Koch's...a little Bavarian restaurant, serving local food.
This is a pig knuckle? a potato dumpling, and some red cabbage.
It was quite tasty!

This old mill stone is down around the city square also.
I am now working on my book, doing a little painting
before I hit the a rock hopefully!
More tomorrow...stay tuned for "adventures in Germany!"