Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Uncertain for Now



I receive a newsletter from East Texas each

week highlighting their cultural activities, etc.

It is always full of great info about art fests,

museum shows, festivals, and points of interest.

This week I noticed an ad for Southern Comforts

Guest House located on Caddo Lake. I have been

by the lake once before to take some photos...

it is very picturesque. I was thinking this might

be a great little destination to do some painting

and take some pics, maybe with a small group.

I will be going by that way soon, during June,

and I will plan to go and check it out. The scenery

would be perfect to fit in with my planned

Louisiana show this fall (even though it is Texas?!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Finishing Touches

I finished this egret painting today. It is

a full sheet of watercolor paper, 22 x 30.

I am fairly happy with the way it turned

out. It is very hard to control those really

wet washes! That is what so many of my

watercolor workshop students say...they are

afraid of working with the really wet paint.

Especially those who are also oil painters.

I call them my "fiddlers"....they can touch up

an oil painting over and over, and it does not

damage it. Watercolor, however, is best when

it is done quickly, and then left alone...fresh

and undisturbed. My oil painters want to

fiddle with it, and that can damage the paper,

and ruin the painting. But I can teach all you

oil painters the beauty of a watercolor wash! And

any of you beginners also. Check out the workshop

schedule for the summer, and sign up for a class.

I would love to see you there!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lift Off

Initial washes on the white egret..just some

blue shadows and a bill

Then I covered up all those washes and

the rest of the white bird with frisket: a

masking liquid that will save all that white

paper It has a yellow tint to it

I wet the paper, and added some

blues that mix on the paper with all the

water I added some salt...it will make

some small white flecks in the blue areas

It just adds some texture and interest

A close-up of the frisket, the wet blue

paint, and some of the salt

When it is completely dry (probably tomorrow)

I will lift off the frisket, and expose the

white unpainted paper. It rolls off, much like

rubber cement.

It was a peaceful, restful Sunday today. Late this

afternoon, I started this watercolor of an egret in

flight. I am still in the "swamp mode", and wanted

to get several pieces done for the show later in the

fall. I want to give one piece to my host down in

Blind River...he would be thrilled. So I will decide

which one he would like the best.

I am still signing people up for summer classes at

the gallery...you can check out post a few days back,

or go to peapatchgallery.com and click on Workshops.

Would love to have some of you come and join

us for some fun this summer.

Gallery 318-628-3560

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Workshop Application

As part of the application process for the
workshop I would like to attend, images of
your work must be included. Since I would
like to work with the watercolor instructor, I
have to send watercolor images. Stephen Quiller
is an artist who specializes in landscapes, and
does cityscapes as well. So, looking through my
portfolio, here are some landscapes and some
cityscapes! the landscapes are from a trip to
Big Bend in west Texas, and the cityscapes are
from Paris. The workshop is only open to
intermediate and advanced painters, so I guess
they want proof that you are more than a beginner.
I hope to be able to prove that to them! Now,
I have to go get that resume together....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Final Flight

I finished this colored pencil drawing tonight.
I will take it into the shop tomorrow, and mat
it and put it on display (if anyone is interested
in seeing it in person!) It will be part of a "Louisiana
Images" show that will be in the gallery in the
fall. I am working on several more things, and
will be gathering up Louisiana items for sale:
fleur di lis, New Orleans, alligator stuff, Tabasco,
etc....! If you have any ideas, let me know.

I received some info about a workshop this fall
in Yellowstone sponsored by the SKB foundation.
Stephen Quiller is the watercolor instructor, and
I love his work. I have to apply to be able to go,
so I will send off my app, and see how it goes.
It would be exciting to get to attend. Several other
important artists will be teaching as well. You can
google any of them to see some of their work:

Dawn Whitelaw Stephen Quiller Mort Solberg
John Seerey-Lester David Rankin John Phelps


Finding Machu Picchu

"On hands and knees, they crawled up a slick and steep mountain

slope in Peru the morning of July 24, 1911. Hiram Bingham III

and his companions had met two farmers that assured them that

the ruins they had heard of did in fact exist, and they were close

at hand. When Bingham finally reached the site, he gaped in

astonishment at the scene before him. Rising out of the thick

tangle of undergrowth was a maze of terraces and walls, an

Inca ghost town hidden for nearly 400 years."

A little less than a year from now, I will be making my own

discovery of the fabled Inca village, that was discovered

almost 100 years ago! I am excited about the

possibilities for some great photos, and lots of inspiration for

paintings too.

The photos and the text are from an article in a National

Geographic magazine that a friend brought to me this week.

He is originally from Costa Rica, and he is excited that a

group of us are making the trip. There is still plenty of

room, and if you are interested, please get in touch with me.

More incentive: the price will stay the same only through

May. Increases may be on the way!

Peru Trip: April 19, 2012 Non-painters welcome..

Leaving from New Orleans. 11 days

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Birds, Blossoms, and Bicycles

making a little progress on this background and


the hollyhocks are still blooming...so fine

The morning light on these is just right...

This time last year, my good friend and fellow
photographer Raelene, proposed we do a show
in the gallery titled: Birds, Blossoms, and Bicycles.
I supplied the birds and blossoms, and she had
lots of photos of bicycles, taken all over the world.
We sold several pieces, and the display was very

I thought about her today. We lost her last November,
and we are all still reeling from the shock. As I worked
on this bird drawing, and took some more pics of my
blooming hollyhocks, I remembered how we had
put all those elements together to form a delightful
whole. So, I rode my bicycle for some exercise this
evening, just to complete the pattern.
Here's to you, Raelene


Call of the Wild

On Sunday, I visited the Global Wildlife

Center near Robert, Louisiana. Here are

some of the many animals awaiting us!

We rode on an open wagon train, and were

able to feed the animals along the way.

These are fallow deer, which they nickname

"follow deer" because they tend to follow the

wagon all the way through the park!

One of the large African antelopes...beautiful

The black one is a "beefalo" and the longhorn
is a breed from Africa as well.

This is a black buck antelope, the dominant

male in the group...very arrogant!

Hannah feeding the bison...

Pete feeding him, too!!

Unfortunately, this is as close as we got to

the giraffes! maybe next time...

They do offer private tours in a smaller vehicle,

and they said you will see all of the animals

during those tours because they can go


The park is open 7 days a week, and the wagon

tours are every hour or so. You can check them

out on the web, and find more info. It would be a

fun trip for children; the ones there really loved

getting to feed the animals. fun, fun...

Global Wildlife Center

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gone to Market

Down in the French Quarter... a small cafe near

the French Market flea market.

They sell fruits and vegetables in part

of the French Market...yum.

Lots and lots of hot sauce...


Flea market sandals...pretty.

Lots of jewelry and a bored vendor!

More jewelry, very colorful.

I spent the weekend down in New Orleans.

I was there attending a wholesale

jewelry/gift market held at the New Orleans

convention center. On Saturday, however, I

wandered down to the French Market Flea

Market that is only held on the weekends.

There are all kinds of vendors, from voodoo

dolls to sunglasses, from fruits and veggies

to sandals and sundresses. I bought a couple

of treasures, and ate some goodies (there is

lots of food, too!) And I could hear some

jazz just right down the street. It's a great

place to spend a weekend afternoon. Wear

comfortable shoes and bring some cash!!

I did go to the wholesale market as well, and

brought back lots of cool stuff for the shop.

Come by and check it all out...I should have

it priced and out by Wednesday. fun, fun....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Art and About

One of my sunflower posters, framed
with some other blue and yellow items.

That is an acrylic painting of some
poppies among the other red items
on the shelf.

If you are in town, and have some
time, you need to come in and have
some lunch, and browse around the
shop. We have lots of new gift items,
and there is always plenty of art on view.

Pea Patch Gallery and Cafe
109 S. Abel Winnfield, LA 71483

Cool Colors

These are a couple of pics from the shop.

This area has the orchid photo that I took

in Costa Rica, and the wisteria photo from

Monet's garden.

This area is decorated with lots of blue/

and two of the watercolors from Greece.

I had a nice couple visiting in the shop

the other day, and after talking to them,

found out he was the Art Editor for

Louisiana Life Magazine. Hopefully he

saw some things he liked, and maybe we

will be talking again soon~!

I am currently down in New Orleans attending

a gift and jewelry market. I will be adding some

new things to the shop soon

Time to Arrange

I have so much art at the shop, that it is not

all hanging in the gallery at one time. And

since Daniel Rockett's show is up now, I have

to make room around the shop for some of

the artwork.

You might recognize the bird collage I finished

a couple of weeks ago. I worked it in with an

arrangement of several other bird gift items

we have for sale in the shop. We had some

people in today from Arkansas who really

admired these construction pieces. They

enjoyed some lunch, and were on their way

to south Louisiana.

Lots of travelers...summer must be right

around the corner.

Bird Collage " A Time for Singing" $250

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Summer Art Class Schedule

I will be teaching some classes this summer,

and I am posting the schedule here. There

are some children's classes in watercolor and

drawing. And there is a collage class for all


We are offering some new classes...
"Art Parties" where we will all do a project

together and share some refreshments. You

may be familiar with similar events in other

places. I am planning some fun projects that

everyone will be able to do, and all ages are

welcome....(10 and up).

Summer Art Class Schedule

Pea Patch Gallery Gail H. Shelton

1. Art Party "Cookies and Canvas" All ages

Saturday June 11th 10:30-12:30 $20

2. Children's Watercolor Class Tuesday June 14

2:00-4:00 Age 10 and up $20

3. Children's Drawing Class Tuesday June 28th

2:00-4:00 Age 10 and up $20

4. Collage Class Tuesday July 12th 2:00-4:00

All ages $20

5. Art Party "Collage and Cupcakes" All ages

Saturday July 23rd 10:30-12:30 $20

6. Art Party "Canvas and Coke Floats" All ages

Saturday Aug 20th 10:30-12:30 $20

Supplies will be included. Please call the gallery to

register at least 1 week before the class. Payment

can be made at time of registration. Class sizes

will be limited. I am looking forward to

these classes. They will be lots of fun, and I

hope you or your child will learn

something as well!

Pea Patch Gallery 318-628-3560

Winnfield, LA

In the Name of Progress

I made a lot of progress on this drawing today.

I took the time to work on it some this morning

before I went to work at the gallery, and then I

have been drawing all evening while watching

American Idol!

I really LOVE to draw, and I also love to sing,

and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the

show this season. It is always a pleasure to

witness someone doing something they love and

are passionate about.

I found this funny plaque in the Acacia catalog

today as well, and thought I would share it here:

"Wouldn't Life be Perfect if:

sweatpants were sexy,

Mondays were fun,

Junk food didn't make you fat,

Girls didn't cause so much drama,

Guys weren't so confusing,


Goodbyes only meant till tomorrow."

That is for all of you who are struggling a bit

with the whole "life" thing at the moment;

losing a beloved pet, working long hours at

your job, juggling family and career, searching

for meaning in the day to day....Hang in there.

I know it sounds cliche', but it always does

seem to manage to get better if we see it

through. And you don't ever have to do that


"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all

these things will be added unto you...allelu,


Welcome to some new followers...I am glad you

are along for the journey.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Time to Fly

Finally starting to do some art from my

recent trip to the swamp. Since this was

one of my favorite images, I thought I

would start with it. I decided to do it in

colored pencil, but I will probably try it in

watercolor as well. They will be very

different in feel and technique. Colored

pencil is very tedious and slow, but lends

itself to fine detail. Watercolor will be more

loose, and kind of "splashy". I may work on

both of them at once....taking breaks from this

time consuming drawing to play around with

the watercolors. It's a tough job...but someone

has to do it!!

I have been giving out a lot of info about

Champagne's Cajun Swamp Tours. If you are

interested in booking one, here is his number:

337-230-4068 His name is Bryan.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cypress Reflections

Early morning on Blind River...stillness complete

Timeless images of 500 year old cypress trees along
the river

At the turn of the century, loggers entered

the swamps of south Louisiana, and proceeded

to harvest every healthy cypress tree they

could find. It is one of the great tragedies of

the cypress swamps. These are some of the

large trees we saw on Blind River; however

most of these trees are hollow, crooked, or

damaged, and therefore were not harvested

in the past. They are the "ghosts" of the swamp,

all that is left of a once thriving cypress forest.

Several years ago I met Greg Guirard, an author,

photographer, and naturalist who has written

several books on the subject. You can check out

his website, and even buy one of his beautiful

photography books. His book, "Land of Dead

Giants" details the story of the logging, and is

quite interesting.

I have been thinking about all of this today as I

have watched the Morganza flood gates releasing

their captive overflow. It is going to affect thousands

of people, animals, and the trees themselves. May

God watch over them all.


"Atchafalaya Autumn"

"Land of Dead Giants"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Osprey Encounter

"I never for a day gave up listening

to the songs of our birds, or watching

their peculiar habits, or delineating

them in the best way that I could."

John James Audubon

I have never really seen an osprey before

this trip, and I was able to experience one

up close. We came upon this one perched

on top of this dead tree out in the middle of

Lake Martin. He let us get really close, and I

had him in my telephoto lens the whole time.

He finally flew, and I captured the moment he

took flight.

Then later in the trip, I saw another osprey

dip into Lake Marepas directly in

front of the boat, and snatch a large

fish from the water, and fly off with it.

What a treat to get to see these magnificent

birds in their habitat, and watch them living

freely and fiercely. I was reminded of

Audubon, and added his quote above.

Happy bird-watching, wherever you may be!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Duck, Duck, Baby Duck

As we made our way through Blind River the

other day, I spotted this female wood duck

standing on a stump. As we moved closer, she

did not fly away...an indication she might have

ducklings nearby. All of a sudden, heads began

to pop up, and seven adorable ducklings started

jumping into the water. They all moved through

the lily pads trying to hide from us, as I was

frantically snapping pics, attempting to stabilize

the large heavy lens, and focus on moving targets!

I am amazed that I managed to get anything at all.

These are some of my favorites...enjoy!

(everybody say "ahhh", how cute"...!)

Wood Duck prints 11 x 14 $25.00

Note cards set of 4 $10.00