Aug 27, 2014

Creative crashing

Elizabeth’s studio, 7x10" watercolor
One of the benefits of being an artist, and of being single, is all the hospitality that is extended from friends by way of overnight accommodations. I have had more than one friend say, “Think of this as your home away from home.” I could not afford to do all the travel I do if it weren’t for the kind generosity of friends who offer me a place to stay when I am in their neck of the woods. Here is the studio of artist Elizabeth Healey whose husband/partner Duffy and I met earlier this year. They share a house with their two wonderful kids, Thiesen and Liliana.

Jul 10, 2014

Nags Head

Something Fishy, 7x9" watercolor
I made a final trip over to Nags Head to paint this gift shop called Something Fishy. My watercolor style, often referred to as whimsical, lends itself well to all things funky. It makes sense in a town called Nags Head that one would find some whimsy. I haven’t heard this story in years, but my understanding is Nags Head got its name because in days of old, when pirates roamed the shores, they would tie a lantern to the head of a nag (old horse). They would then walk the horse up the tall sound dunes that can be found in the area. Ships at sea, thinking they were spotting a lighthouse, would come crashing into the shores, only to be robbed of their bounties. Now, I’m going to check Wikipedia to see if I got this right. Not too far off, btw.

Jul 9, 2014

Jolly good fun

Jolly Roger, 9x7" watercolor
On Sunday, I followed Lou over a couple of bridges to Nags Head; then north to Kill Devil Hills. Yes, the Wright Brothers flew there. A giant leap for womankind. Get this, readers, spell check catches mankind, but leaves womankind alone. Yay! Another giant leap for womankind!

In search of a place called the Jolly Roger, we passed a place called Something Fishy. Very funky; very paintable. Knew I would need to revisit it later with my watercolors. Once at the Jolly Roger, I knew why Lou had been wanting to share this place with me. With permission from the owner to set up and paint there, I dropped anchor and did today’s featured watercolor.

So much to paint; so little time.

Jul 8, 2014

Just plein fun

Wanchese Inn, 7x9" watercolor
Yesterday evening I came home with a half dozen (3 watercolors; 3 oils) plein air paintings I’d done over the weekend on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. My good friend and painting buddy Lou Everett had invited me to join her on a painting trip to this area that she knows so much better than I do. We stayed at the Wanchese Inn, a quaint little B&B, just half a mile or so from a marina that had a good selection of shrimp boats begging to be painted. Also at the marina, was a wonderful seafood restaurant called Fisherman’s Wharf, where we celebrated the close of our first wonderful plein air day.
view from Fisherman’s Wharf


Jul 3, 2014

Here today; gone tomorrow

Docked at Homer Smith Seafood, 9x7" watercolor
Last weekend I had been scheduled to paint in the historic Old Burying Grounds during Beaufort’s Old Homes and Garden Tour. When my friend and host Deborah told me that Homer Smith Seafood would soon be gone, I opted to paint it instead. Luckily, I had my watercolors with me as a storm coming in would not have given me enough time to do this scene in oils.

Jul 1, 2014

A view of people

Davis-Kittrell family treasures, 9x7" watercolor

A gallery in Greensboro that represents my work believed my interiors such as this might sell. I have sold only one. The paintings are personal. Maybe room portraits is a good name for them. I think they are of interest primarily to the people who live in the rooms. When walking around the lakes in Minneapolis, I used to enjoy a glimpse through the windows, uncovered by blinds or curtains, into the rooms of people who lived there. Beautiful interiors with baby grand pianos in many of them. I believe my interiors give us a glimpse into the people who live in them.

Jun 26, 2014

Have brush will travel

I returned to Goldsboro on Tuesday after a three-day painting trip in Raleigh; before that, Emerald Isle and Morehead City, NC.
8620 Reed Drive, 7x9" watercolor
A couple with whom I am friends just bought the most adorable beach home on Emerald Isle. I think I featured the cabana and outdoor shower at this place a couple blog posts ago. I met Debbie Fallin through a Bunko group that I have been playing with now for almost two years. Debbie decided a stay-over at the beach would be fun for the Bunco gals. We didn’t play Bunco there, but we had some wonderful meals and great fun. As for me, my great fun was painting.

The painting of the house above will be a gift from Debbie and husband Phil to the former owner, a man whose partner died suddenly from a massive heart attack. Heartbroken, he put the house, including all its furnishings, on the market. He and his partner had exceptional taste and a flair for whimsy. I hope he likes the watercolor.


I delivered a commissioned watercolor when I was on the coast to a customer in Morehead City. While in Morehead, I ran over to El’s Drive-In, a historic drive-up restaurant that’s been around since 1959. The wind was whipping up a storm. I think I have captured it in the painting below. 
Fly-in Drive-in, 7½ x 9" watercolor