A Week After Springmaid Water Media Workshops

Still riding high on the incredible week of instruction and comraderi at the art workshop at Springmaid Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  My instructor was Pat Dews – water media expert, teacher extrodinairre!  Besides being an incredible teacher, she was a wonderful actress while instructing us – her favorite oft repeated line was ,” I’d rather be in Holywood “. Other teachers affectionately dubbed Pat as “crazy”, but, in a very good way.  She just gave and gave, and when not teaching, made a point of seeing each one of her 22 students that week at least once, if not twice a day.  Wow.

I came home with 7 starts and have finished 3 maybe 4 since I have been home.  But, as she said repeatedly, ” You have to paint at least 100 paintings /starts to get better… ” Only 93 more to go!

Thank you Pat for an intense week of sharing your knowledge! I am still riding high.


First Snowdrops and Crocuses are UP! And, I am packing my bags for Springmaid!

This Saturday will be heading to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to take a week long workshop with Pat Dews at Springmaid Resorts with 9 other art friends from The West River Artists Association.  As to art workshops, it is the best deal out there! Aside from being located right on the ocean, there will be over 100 other artists from all parts of the country partaking in a marathon of instruction and painting 24/7 from the country’s leading water media instructors.  It is a wonderful escape from one’s usual daily routine, especially after a long winter.  All food, beverages and wonderful studio space are included.  So much fun to meet new like minded art folks as well as friends made from the past.

Dews requires us to bring a boatload of materials, but I have no doubt it will be worth every penny. Watercolors, acrylics, inks, collage materials and more, I know I will be in heaven. And, the weather forecast is in the 60’s and up!  Can you tell that I am excited?  Looking forward to being stretched and warm.

So much to learn on so many levels

DSC_0345Okay, so I was hoping to find the picture of the wall I painted for our church nave this past fall of 2014, and 40 minutes later I still can’t find it in i-photo. So, since I opened this post up I think instead I will share with you a picture that I had painted and sold over 8 years ago.  I had not documented it, so it was not in my files, hence gone from my mind.  But by chance this past fall I met up again with the owner and she invited me into her home to see it. She had the work re-framed beautifully and frankly, well I could not believe how much I liked it!  My usual m.o. is the huge urge to rework older pieces.  This one was truly inspired and I am so happy with it the way it is.  oh dear muse, would you please come back?

Red Flower Series Because it is Still February and Cold!

26 February, 2015 23:48

A dear friend sent me a surprise gift this month.  I wanted to thank her in a special way, so painted her a little picture of a red flower bud from my blooming clivea plant.  I liked this little painting so much that I have already done 2 more bigger variations (aha, a series) and want to do even more.

This is monumental for me because I am using watercolors.  They used to be the only thing I painted with. But, thirteen years ago our fourth child died suddenly and I had no desire to paint, and once I restarted, it was with acrylics and collage.

I am using alot of red to symbolize the the warmth lacking in our physical world, and the black and white to describe the cold and snow which seems to be endless this year. I am also finally putting to good use my beautiful Kolinsky brushes which my husband gave to me years ago to help inspire me to paint in watercolors.

Time helps heal.

And here it is February 2015 – the longest month of the year.

12 February, 2015 16:13

Trying again to get on top of this blog, but find it so difficult because I have so many things I love, and soak up my time.  little voice: “but if you want to succeed as an artist, besides your website and ha – painting, one should also blog.”

So it is now February, always the dreariest and longest of months.  I thought more people died in February, but from my research looks like January wins that one.  Understandable, maybe. In reading “Healing After Loss, Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief”  my eye caught a quote from one of my hero painters : Vincent van Gogh.

“The best way to know God is to love many things.” hmm

I love many things, with people usually being number one here.  But I really love to paint, and trying not to feel guilty for not spending as much time with people, but more time in my studio.  Finally I have completed 2 paintings, one a throwback to my watercolor only days – soon to be published on my website, and the other a mixed media collage on paper, published today.  Both inspired by snorkeling in Puerto Rico this past January.

Stay warm.

While at the Grand Canyon –

Am at the Grand Canyon for a few days with some family and friends.  This is becoming a tradition for those who are super fit ( not I) for they hike from the South Kiabob down to the bottom and back up the Bright Angel – 17 and 1/2 miles.  Grueling, not for the faint of heart and all sorts of warning signs – DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS HIKE  in one day – DEATH or worse. Anyway at 4 a.m. I wished my man well and went back to sleep. 

Later in the morn while checking emails and the like, saw that my artist friend Ann Buss came in the top 10 picks for the online light, space and time online figurative art competition!  Am so glad that she entered for she is one awesome painter of figures. Congrats Ann!

Now to go out and do some sketches and photos while waiting for the gang to return.  There are some awesome abstracts with the shadows on the rocks.  Just an incredible place to be.

Farewell Pamela

We all are destined to leave this world at some point in time, and thank goodness we do not know when that shall be.  Twelve years ago we lost our fourth son, when he was only 16 years old.  He had been my muse.  When he left, I put my brushes down and could not paint.  Finally with my husband’s encouragement I took some workshops with Skip Lawrence.  In those classes, I befriended some other artists who invited me to join their Wednesday painting group.  Two years later I finally made the effort to join them – The West River Artist Association.  I have been a regular participant ever since.

The group started some 20 years ago as a plein air painters group.  Eventually it moved indoors, and now we paint in a historic schoolhouse in Galesville, MD. We come from many different counties in Md. Some folks drive over an hour just to paint, share and critique each others work over lunch.  It has been one of the biggest blessings in my life since my Justin died.

A long standing member of that group was a fine painter and equally lovely lady – Pamela Peia.  Pamela made me feel so welcomed when I first joined the group.  A gentle lady with a catchy English accent.  She was classy, caring, considerate, charming and oh so artsy from head to toe.  She painted with gusto – mainly floral inspirations but with her artistic stamp of COLOR and lots of it! She was never afraid to try the new and unusual. She loved her watercolors, acrylics, inks, collage and must add, family.

I do not know how long she and husband Rich were married, but do know how much they were intertwined in life together.  A family, children and grandchildren all of whom she adored.  Their summers were spent at Martha’s Vineyard where she was able to continue  painting and of course entertain family and friends that passed through.  Hers was a rich and happy life. She shared with our group her concerns and worries as she watched and helped one of her son’s battle cancer for the last two years.  She was so appreciative of prayers being sent his way.

Yet only 2, maybe 3 weeks ago she was not feeling well, went to the hospital, admitted and well, passed away last night.  Yes, she was older than me – early 80’s is someone’s guess, but she was so very young in her outlook on life!

I know there is a heaven.  And I know they will be rejoicing with Pam’s arrival.  But for those of us left behind, we are all still in a state of shock at her departure from this world.

So Pam, thank you for letting me be your painting friend.  You are now in a place where there is no time – aha, you can paint non-stop for as long as you like –  lol, even better than an artist’s retreat!  You were a loving, giving person. Your departure from this life leaves a large hole for all that were blessed to know you.  We love you Pam, and will miss you greatly.