Promised myself that I would try the "tent event" circuit once I retired. That would have been last year, but Covid got in the way. The first local opportunity that popped up was "Second Saturday Market Days,", a new venture from nearby Montross Brewery
(Photo on far right taken pre-Covid. Plenty of room for patrons to spread out in the garden).
Just finished this painting, "Out on a Limb." 12 x 12" wrapped canvas. It will be in the "All things Osprey" show at Jarrett Thor Gallery this month to coincide with the Colonial Beach 3rd Annual Osprey Festival.
When the Osprey return to their nesting sites along the Potomac River near Colonial Beach they are always a welcome sign of Spring's arrival. Sightings of the birds begin to be mentioned all over social media. The couples, which mate for life and normally return to the same site as previous years' to nest, have been given names. They are watched out for and then are welcomed joyfully as returning friends. Photographs and even web cams keep track of their progress as they rebuild the nest and lay eggs. The hatchlings are named as well, and we enjoy their melodious warbles and peeps of the chicks as their parents hunt for fish to keep the family fed. After about 6 months of giving us the pleasure of their company, the osprey head for warmer climes until the following spring.
This past summer, I had the good fortune to come across several osprey feathers while on walks around my hometown. So, I added this tail feather when making another "Pebble Art" shadow box this morning "just because." As always, the pebbles, driftwood and grasses used were all encountered along the local beach.
Supporting the "3rd Annual" OSPREY FESTIVAL in Colonial Beach. (Visit the Downtown Colonial Beach FB page for more info about the festival).
These little pebble and driftwood osprey chicks will be at Jarrett Thor Gallery soon, along with a variety of artists' depictions of this intriguing annual visitor to Colonial Beach.
Found myself missing color and just working with paint as I continue to create these pebble/sea glass small pieces. Trying to be ready for (hopefully) this year's art fairs!
The bits and pieces are being glued to sturdy Canson "Oils or Acrylics" paper. I am painting colored backgrounds on a few (see examples on left and right). I'm a bit ambivalent about them, however the colored background did let me use white sea glass for the jellyfish. Sea glass along my local beach in scarce, and most of the few pieces of sea glass I've found have been white.
What we do have a lot of along our shoreline is the yellow and rose quartz used in the middle picture with the cat and birds. To me, this piece has a bright feeling, thanks to both the pebble colors and the subject matter. It feels "springlike," and I am happy with the result.
This was to have been a Christmas present for the "mom" of these 3 furry friends. Instead, all she got was the promise that it will get to her as soon as it's done!
It's my first attempt at pet portraiture, which I find almost as daunting as the idea of attempting people portraiture. I am working from a photograph. Do feel like I'm learning quite a bit as it goes along, but now feel the need to turn to YouTube for some tutorials on how to paint animal fur, and especially white fur! (I know! Should have looked at those first).
My home is a few blocks from a long strip of beach along a tidal river. Being able to walk there almost daily is a great pleasure and often serves as a source of inspiration for my art. Recently, the beach has also served as a source of materials for simply crafted scenes composed of beach pebbles and driftwood. I saw and admired something similar at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show a few years ago, but that was a rather more 'delicate' treatment, with slender, sandpiper-like birds created with 'sea glass' in shades of blue and green. Very pretty! Unfortunately, colorful pieces of sea glass are not commonly found washed up on my local beach. Although I do keep looking hopefully! These are also destined for the local art Guild's upcoming Christmas Market show.
Carole Marine, the artist who wrote "Daily Painting," really convinced me of the value, even the necessity, of painting often (preferably, of course, daily). These recently finished 4 x 4" canvases are helping me do just that. While I also continue to work on larger pieces, there is a lot of satisfaction in being able to look at one (or more) of these little guys each day and be able to say, "Done."
And, I certainly benefit from the practice.
When I was in grade school, I already loved to draw and paint. My parents told me I was "talented" and encouraged me, to the extent of purchasing very nice materials (Grumbacher oils and canvases, charcoal and good pencils, etc.). But, I certainly never got the impression that I should be spending any particular amount of time painting. They did not seem to have any expectations other than that I should enjoy my art.
I was also interested in being able to play the piano and was given lessons. Maybe it was that the size of their "investment" in me was appreciably greater (they even had to buy the piano, since we didn't already have one) but the lessons did come with certain expectations about daily practice.
Fast forward to my adult years, and art and music became indulgences that I just occasionally enjoyed. It was highly evident that lack of regular practice had caused my piano playing skills to deteriorate - I even lacked the necessary dexterity in my fingers. That made perfect sense to me, and I accepted that I just wasn't all that good any more - and wouldn't ever be - unless I was willing to practice assiduously. (I wasn't).
Yet, for some reason I thought that painting could be dropped for appreciable periods of time and then picked back up with no loss of skill level. You know, that "talent." But, with painting as well as with piano, your hands can lose their dexterity. Your feel for your materials will fade. You will struggle to achieve results that regular "practice" would make virtually certain because of your familiarity with the medium.
For many artists, painting is "all about the journey." The process is what they enjoy, and they seem content to let the piece develop as it will, often, it seems, without having an envisioned end product in mind. I am a plodder. I am usually trying to create a reasonably recognizable facsimile of something I love. A bird, a beach, a boat. Being fortunate enough to live near the water, these are some of the things that I enjoy seeing every day. So I do my best to paint or draw these scenes as well as I can, and If any of my emotional response to my subjects comes through, that would make me tremendously happy.
Wow. Long post.
Trying to prepare lots of these little 4 x 4" "shelf-sitters" for two upcoming shows, the first of which will be installed soon, with the opening Reception scheduled for Nov 6th. Which, all of a sudden, is right around the corner! (The blue crab is not quite finished). I am working in acrylics on these to take advantage of the faster drying time. My goal is to have at least a dozen of these, all different, but all with "local" themes. "Local" being a tidewater stretch of the Potomac River on the Northern Neck of Virginia. My goal is to be able to price these at a level that will make them desirable for affordable gift-giving.