Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Long Sleeves

Made a little more progress today.  These dancers had long beautiful
sleeves on their costumes.  You didn't really see their hands...they just
moved, and swirled the scarf-like sleeves that made patterns and shapes
all across the stage.  Awesome.


Work in Progress: Dancer

Making a little progress on this drawing.  The satin fabric
is very challenging.  I am still tweaking it a little.
I started on the background, just layering in some soft color,
just to take a break from the tedious part!  I will start on
her sleeve, and the rest will be easy!


Sunday, August 25, 2013


While in China, there was no evidence of God anywhere.
I left my Bible and my cross at home. I was afraid they might be confiscated
at the airport, so I did without them.  As an officially "atheist" country,
I felt a real void there.  While visiting the Buddhist temples,
I was overcome with a deep sadness for the worshippers.  They were
there, burning their incense before the statue, whispering prayers
to a wooden idol, totally powerless to help them.  They were paying
money to the monks to write their prayer requests on the ribbons that they tied
everywhere. And they were folding paper into "heavenly money" that they
burned in order to send it to their ancestors in the afterlife.  And when I
asked our guide what he believed happened to us when we die, he said that
he believed life was just over, or if he was lucky, he would be reincarnated.  But he
wasn't sure, and he wasn't really concerned.  He just said he wasn't very religious.

My heart ached for the people of China.  It still does.  Billions of people that I believe
have no hope for the future, no relationship with a loving and forgiving heavenly
Father, no faith to help them through daily struggles, no Savior to cling to in times
of trouble.  And no hope of eternal life in a place of peace, where there are no more
tears, pain, or sorrow.

I was so moved in church today.  Just to get to sing the name of "Jesus" brought me to
tears. Just to sing the comforting words of the familiar hymns and bow and pray freely.
 I was so overcome with  gratitude for our free nation, for the freedom to worship the God
who loves me; to bring my Bible with me, to study its' words, to wear my
cross.  I know we all take things so for granted, but until you have been
in a place where freedom is non-existent, where religion is essentially
banned, where idol worship and paganism abound, and God is not just
forgotten, but never known, you do not understand how blessed we
truly are. 



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Onions shouldn't make you Cry

Today was the workshop in Grand Cane.  We had a
great time!  Some of my students had no art experience
whatsoever!  But they all had a good attitude, and wanted
to learn, so learn they did.  I taught some of the basic
techniques, and we did a cherry on a couple of different
types of paper, and then we did this red onion after
the lunch break.  They all did very well.

I will be posting a fall workshop schedule soon. 
If you are interested in taking some classes, get in touch with
me, and I can put you on the mailing list.

Gail Shelton

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Colored Pencil in Grand Cane

The Desoto Parish Arts Council building in Grand Cane, Louisiana

The main street historical buildings

Part of the gallery space inside...after the meeting

One of Don Edward's prints

I just got back from a speaking engagement at the Desoto Parish
Arts Council meeting, in Grand Cane.  They were interested in learning
more about colored pencil, and they invited me to bring 10 pieces for a
mini-show there, for the next two weeks. 
There were several people there that I know: Don Edwards, well known wildlife
artist, Ronnie and Mary Kidwell, wildlife artist and his wife from Shreveport,
and several others from the Natchitoches Art Guild, and the Animal Artists
Group in Shreveport.  It was great to see everyone, and share some info on
one of my favorite mediums.

I am also teaching a workshop for them this Saturday, from 10-3, Beginning
Colored Pencil.  It is $55 and all supplies are included.  We will begin with
some of the basic techniques, and I will demonstrate.  We will do a small
piece together, and I will also show some of the latest techniques, using
solvents, etc.  There are still 3or 4 spots left.  If you think you might be
interested, let me know asap.  You can ride with me up there Saturday. 
I would love to have a full class!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Furniture Fun

Painted end table...white with hand rubbed finish

Turquoise table

Turquoise bench

Great school desk...painted charcoal, with distressed finish

We have been fixing up some furniture at the shop.
We have been stripping, painting, distressing, and
antiquing some pieces.  They are all for sale, and they
can be seen at the gallery. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cupcakes and Canvas

We had our "Cupcakes and Canvas" class tonight...what fun!  I had some
cupcake patterns they could trace, and some of them chose to get
really creative.  We snacked on some yummy cupcakes while
painting as well.  Looks like smiles all around!

Our next canvas class will be in mid-September.  Will try to
advertise.  Call the gallery and register...anyone is welcome!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Can I Have this Dance?

These are photos of the Chinese dancers that I saw
during the trip.  They were beautiful, and so graceful. 
I started on this colored pencil drawing last night. 

I have been asked to speak at the Desoto Arts Council meeting
this coming Thursday, and then I am teaching a colored pencil
workshop for them on Saturday, the 24th.  Ten of my
colored pencil drawings will hang in their gallery for the next 
few weeks.  I am very honored, and it should be fun.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

More Sketchbook Pages

This is Kunming Lake, at the Summer Palace in Beijing.  It was very
crowded with all kinds of boats

This is a Dragon Boat.  We rode in one across the lake, back to the

Close up of the dragon head on the boat in ink

This is the Peking duck chef at a
restaurant in Beijing.  It was delicious!

This is my watercolor of the Great Wall...what an experience!

And a pen and ink sketch of part of the wall

Here are some more sketches and paintings from
my sketchbook journal.  I am finished now, and I will
start to add these pages to the digital copy.

I also started a colored pencil drawing today of one
of the beautiful Chinese dancers..will post the
work in progress soon.



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sketchbook Pages

Since I have been home, I have been trying to
finish up my sketchbook.  These pages were done while
in China :
Tianemen Square  Forbidden City
Imperial Garden  Vegetarian Lunch
Temple of Heaven

I am doing many more pages, and should be finished
up today.  Then I will scan these pages, upload them,
add some of my photos, and make the digital copy of the sketchbook.
They will available for sale, $100, by the first of October (I hope)
If you would like one, you can let me know.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Pagan Pagoda

The Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian (jshee an)

The monks use ink and brush to write on the prayer ribbons
in calligraphy

Some beautiful wood carving on the building

The monk painting on the ribbon

We visited this pagoda in Xian.  I haven't talked too much about
the religion in China.  Officially, the country is atheist.  Those who
are religious are one of the following: Buddhist, Taoist, or the
teachings of Confucious.  I only saw two Christian churches...one
in Beijing, and one in Shanghai.  They do allow Christian missionaries,
but on a very limited basis. 
I spoke to our tour director, Andy, and he said he believed some
of the Buddhist beliefs.  I asked him about the afterlife, and he said
he thought that life is just over.  If you are lucky, you are
reincarnated, if not, you just fade away.  It made me very
sad.  I told him I was a Christian, and he knew about the
religion with the one God, and Jesus.  He said it was a
"good one". 

These monks are writing on prayer ribbons, that the worshippers
buy at the pagoda.  They pray for different things and
situations, and they write the request on it.  Then it is tied
on a tree or bush, or part of the building.  The worshippers
believe then that the prayer will be answered, but they have
no assurance.  There is not a personal relationship with any
of their "gods".  The idol worship and paganism really
bothered me, and my heart was broken for the people there.

I will pray for the people of China...that the saving grace and
love of Jesus could reach at least some of them. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

Shanghai by Morning

The "Bund" in Shanghai...a wide walkway along the harbor

Some of the skyline of Shanghai...the round building is the
television tower

Shanghai harbor by night...beautiful lights

More of the skyline...the circles are raindrops.  There was also some
stunning lightening ...didn't get to catch it on film

Our last days were spent in Shanghai...beautiful.  We took a night cruise
on a large boat around the harbor, in the sprinkling rain.  There were many
Chinese tourists there, too.  I am surprised the pics even came out at all...
not the optimal photography situation.  Pretty..


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Food, Food, Wonderful Food

Pig snouts and feet...yum!!!

Noodles, biscuits, etc

Lots of fresh fruit!

Noodles boiling

And this was our beautiful meal at one of the shows..
shrimp, potato ball, and some veggies

Peppered beef, and fried rice

And lots of "artsy" food...a cute tomato fish

I haven't said too much about the Chinese food.  I
love "America" Chinese food...beef and broccoli,
orange chicken..  I didn't see any of that in China.  I
am not sure what we were eating most of the time!

Here is just a sampling of some of the things we saw
to eat...very interesting.