Thursday, June 30, 2011

ATC: Artist Trading Cards

I've heard about these cards before, but I always dismissed them as something I wasn't interested in.  I didn't think they were "serious" art, or something like that.  Well, for my online course this summer, I had to complete a little set of 5 as preparation for a lesson plan. Instead of just trading the cards among the students, we are receiving contact information for a pen-pal in GERMANY!  Now anyone who knows me knows how much I like to stay in touch via old fashioned snail mail. There is simply nothing like the little jolt of joy I get when I find a handwritten note from a friend in my mailbox. My mother met my stepfather this way--- through a thank-you note!

Traditions: Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway

When I was in middle school my family took a trip to the beach and I met a friend in the pool on the last day of our trip. We are still in touch after years of writing pen-pal letters and I really think I might get to see her again this August.  We used to decorate our envelopes like crazy-- we made them look like all kinds of things. I wish I still had all those envelopes somewhere, but I wasn't as organized when I was young.  Guess what... my pen pal is a teacher in Wilmington now.  How ironic is that?  I should have known a long time ago that I was meant for this kind of thing.

Stereotype:  Fat American Tourist in a Tacky Suit

So here are my first artist trading cards.  For my class, we had to depict our region, a famous local person/celeb, something from history, a tradition and a stereotype.  Here's what I came up with.  Enjoy!

History: American Indian Figures

My Region:  The South-- lightning bugs in a jelly jar

Local Celeb: The Wright Brothers, N.C. First in Flight 
(I'm not really with-it when it comes to celebrities, so I chose historical celebs)

I can't wait to see what my German pen-pal sends back. Her name is Madeline, I think... isn't that beautiful?  This is exactly the kind of project that I would put together for students in my art classes. I've always wanted to befriend a teacher in Iraq or Afghanistan so that I could begin to build a tiny little bridge of friendship between young people there and my American students.  Hidden agenda?  Sure... I'm out to save the world... one ATC at a time. I should have one of those "whirrled peas" bumper stickers, but my car is too "serious" to deface with vinyl.... riiight.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Can't see the Forest for the trees II...

I just couldn't get enough of this image. I'm not sure why it caught my attention so much, but I just enjoyed painted the spaces between the trees! I wanted to keep the immediacy and freshness of the pigment and brush strokes so I had to force myself to stop working on this one! Here is the progression:

This painting will debut at Castalia in Chapel Hill this August! It's going to be a great show! The opening reception is the evening of Friday, August 5.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Raffaldini Vineyard Thunderstorm

A few weeks ago, our great friend, Nick was in town. We all ended up going to some local vineyards that we've discovered while living in N.C. Raffaldini is the most spectacular as far as the view, and Elkin Creek is our favorite for rustic charm, delicious pizza, roaming guineas and wine that is way better than the standard N.C. versions. As we were sipping from our glasses on the patio at Raffaldini, the most spectacular thunderstorm billowed in from the distance and we watched until it was right above our heads before we ran inside for safety! Here are some pictures and here is the painting that resulted. I must say, I just love it! It's even more fun because it's tied to such a great summer weekend memory. The painting is actually brighter and lighter in person, but another thunderstorm was rolling in as I took the picture of the canvas above. The full painting progression is below. Cheers!

"Raffaldini Vineyard Thunderstorm, 36 x 48 inches, oil on canvas"
This painting will debut at Castalia in Meadowmont Village of Chapel Hill in August. The opening reception is the evening of August 5.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Battleground Impression

I have been painting, painting, painting away this summer. Here is a new piece as it progressed from an early start to the colorful finish!

This is my favorite scene from running around Battleground park in the fall. When the light catches those yellow leaves in the trees, it makes all that exercise sweat well worth it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Through the grapevine...

I just meet the most wonderful people through being an artist. In fact, I've met some of my very best friends through the grapevine as I've moved through the process of accepting commissions and getting the word out about my upcoming exhibitions. The world is such a spider web-- and I mean that in a great way.

Recently I met a wonderful person who asked me to paint her condominium in Greensboro. We had lunch (she took me to lunch!), and then I got to see her beautiful and historic condo in downtown Greensboro. The exterior is elegant, charming, classic and lush with spring greenery, and when she showed me her entry and living room I just nearly had a cow with how lovely it was. If I had been in Greensboro instead of Savannah when I purchased my condo, I'm 100% sure we would have been neighbors!

She is even more lovely than her condo, as she is poised, gracious, elegant and charming! We shared some laughs over our secret (or not so secret) obsession with Martha (you know..The one and only Martha). She also shared some names of great chefs and antique stores. How fun is that?

Here is her painting, as well as a preliminary sketch. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I enjoyed this commission. Many thanks Anne!