My trip to splash in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was a blast and just incredible. Splash is a gathering and celebration in a city that is being re-generated by the arts- it is a week of painting and art and music and fun. I hope to return in the fall for their “moon splash “at the end of October. Knowing Jane Filer has made a significant change in my life. Jane is at true visionary and free spirit, and lives life to the fullest. Her art sells almost before she paints it-she creates many layers of magic on the canvas with acrylics. watching her paint one sees creatures, buildings and people appear , disappear and reappear within moments. It almost seems as if somebody else is painting the piece with her. Jane picked me up at the airport on Monday, then we drove to pick up friend and artist Michele Yellin in Cary, outside of Raleigh, another fabulous person I met in 2009 at Jane‘s retreat. We have stayed in touch and have had a few adventures since then. We arrived in Elizabeth city at our beautiful guest house on the Little River where we stayed with Lynn Nash, a gifted and wonderful artist. She lives where the original customs house on the Little River was in Elizabeth City (the Albermarle) and the edges of the river are lined with ballasts from the ships that came to the customs house. The river banks are also lined with cypress trees .I never saw cypress "knees" before! Giant blooming magnolia trees are everywhere, We stayed in the beautifully renovated guest house. I think I had died and gone to heaven I was not sure where I was going to be staying until the day before I left – the artists all put people in their homes. the southern hospitality is beyond comprehension! When I arrived Monday I set up an easel in a corner of a room at a table, but the weather was so good I knew that I had to be outside painting. It was a challenge because I flew down and I don’t have the state of the art plein air painting equipment but between everybody’s loans and stuff I sent down prior I was able to be quite well appointed. I painted on the waterfront the first day and enjoyed a painting a view of some buildings. The next day after my morning swim ( the river really looks more like a lake and the water was so warm) and coffee with the girls on the terrace, we went back to the art building, 20 minutes away. The old arcade where we were all painting was bought by a wonderful couple who let us use it for the week.The arts has truly reenergized this place! They had couches and a piano on the street and music happened on and off all week. It was so fun to walk down the corridor and see all the different artist set up painting in many different styles are different levels. This is not an exclusive event . One just needs to have a spirit of fun and sharing-no snobs allowed! I got my gear and my straw hat and headed out back to the waterfront. People were out of this world friendly ! every single person was just charming and friendly they don’t collect the harbor of hospitality for nothing!
I was even featured on the cover of the daily paper.http://www.dailyadvance.com/Lifestyles/2018/06/06/Artists-paint-connect-converse-during-summer-SPLASH.html I enjoyed the buildings and the street scenes so much - and we were blessed with perfect weather every day. On Wednesday the organizer of this – Carolyn Peel – opened up her home on the river for a fabulous party. Best fried chicken I’ve ever had! And her house is full of art that made me swoon – colorful and fun and whimsical-SO my kind of thing! We ate a couple nights at a wonderful restaurant called Hoppin John’s – shrimp and grits were to die for. And $7.00 martinis! Sitting outside under the café lights was like being in a movie and as we dined and caroused we were being painted by a couple of plein air artists with headlamps on... The week culminated with an art walk, and then a lovely dinner at Lyn’s house and on the river. The week went by fast and fun and furiously. I managed to get eight acrylic paintings and six watercolor paintings done in total.I will post those when I finish- I have them all out in my studio to finish. I plan to return for the fall splash !
Here is the first painting...
first day- loved the cars, poles, trash cans- everything!
cypress tree on little river
music on and off all week....
the arcade with the artists
Lynn Nash's abstract in progress
this woman did cool palette knife actylics
the Peels party place ( Joe Peel was the former Mayor of EC)
loved these funky paintings
a couple of Janes "heads" made the event!
relaxed and happy!
another painting subject... too many to paint!
Jane gave a talk. She is just the coolest.
this gal called me "Boston" all week lol
The arts council was gifted this old theater- that are moving in to it soon and will be doing public art in the alley
Hoping' Johns- right out of a Van Gogh painting...
here is Karen Crenshaw- quite a good oil painter! with her painting of us that night, one of the girls bought the painting!
Libby's guest house
The old mill building
loved this gals abstracts
Margie Sawyers house ( another wonderful artist from EC) from her studio window.
What a house to live in!
I can't wait to return to this place. They want artists to come!
It's been a super busy month- I barely post a thing these days. This painting is one I did over the winter - I love turtles. I thought it would be fitting for the theme of "home" since turtles have their homes on their backs at all times. I feel a bit like a turtle retreating into my shell lately, but it is the time of year to burst out!
"Home is wherever you are" acrylic on canvas, 18"x24"
see all the other girls just wanna paint challenge paintings here!
Wow its been two months exactly since my last post! I think March did a lot of us in- and April- but now the daffodils and tulips and trees are in bloom and our spirits are up!
here's a little overview of what I have been up to. Please forgive my uncropped photos.
I got into abstracts! Sold 4 of them which was encouraging. Heres a couple ....
I painted this after a lovely snowy woods walk last month. This got into the North River Arts Festival show - I'm excited!
This is a pastel I did in a workshop with Lucinda O'Connor. She is a fabulous artist and great teacher!
I painted this 12"x12" acrylic from a photo by artist and friend Jane Collins, it's of Ram Island, Maine.
I paint at South Shore Art center in Cohasset onTuesdays- its a fun group.
Of course a dog portrait or two were done...
I went to the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit in Salem- and this piece by TC Cannon was in the adjoining exhibit- loved that show! (even more than the O'Keefe actually)
Attended the Society of American Mosaic Artists conference in Boston-Here is a section of a pebble mosaic by Deb Aldo that is in a hospital in Worcester.
Been exploring sculpture in clay- learning the face...
Went to a wonderful house concert in Marshfield of the Dupont Brothers from Vermont
( thank you Patrice!)- did this sketch of them and gave it to them. They were so sweet!
Working on sea creatures for the North river Arts festival next month-
Lots more too but here is a smattering of what's happening.
I do appreciate you all reading my blog- I need to get back to it!
This month the theme was "tools"
I painted this portrait of my friend Wally Kemp retired "general surgeon" and woodturner. He is loved by many many people. Truly a gentleman and an inspiration.
20"x24" acrylic on canvas.
These were all commissioned last year as gifts to the couples. I don't know any of these people, but the clients provided me with photos and places and significant objects, which made for a fun challenge . All are 11"x14"- watercolor on arches 140 LB cold press paper.
I've been busy but not posting much- in sort of a search and rescue mode for my muse. I'm experimenting with new stuff, and these abstracts were a departure from what I've been painting for a while. I was so excited at the get go with these- but I can only go so far with pure abstract- my love to draw instincts kick in and I get bored. I sometimes can bridge the gap between the real and the imagined.