Oct 30, 2010

The Innkeeper

I had to rush out of Beaufort right after I painted Jerry’s house, so I could catch the light in Jacksonville to do this next painting. I’ve named it “Lorena’s Sunroom”, as it is a painting requested by a beautiful woman named Lorena and differs from the one I painted last April of the same room. Lorena Eagle is the beautiful new manager of the Inn on Oak Street, where I’ve stayed twice now during Carol Marine workshops. See the watercolor I did of the Inn by clicking here. Owner of the Inn, Robert Eagle, a wise man, married this charming woman who comes from Albania. I call him wise, for as I see it, he could not have made a smarter choice in women for a wife and in managers of his beautiful Inn. She made my time at the Inn extra special by adding all kinds of special touches throughout my stay.

Above: “Lorena’s Sun Room”
Below: “The Sun Room”

Oct 28, 2010

Southern Hospitality

“Jerry and Ray’s”
7x9" watercolor

It’s been awhile since I last posted. Travels have taken me afar. One of you has followed me well enough to know that I was headed in mid-October to Florida for a Carol Marine workshop*. And, Jerry, you were kind and generous enough to offer me a stopover in your charming, quintessentially Southern town of Beaufort, South Carolina. Only half an hour or so out of my way, the overnight stay broke up the road trip beautifully. Additionally, I can’t thank you enough for undoubtedly having the insight to know that I would be mesmerized into painting your gem of a Southern town. In the coming week, I’ll be posting here and on my Hot Off the Easel blog the fruits of my Beaufort labor [of love].

*Fellow blogger and artist, Linda Popple, has done us all the service and favor of blog posts that very well cover Carol Marine’s workshop in Jacksonville. Do click here to follow Linda’s blow-by-blow posting of the workshop from October 18 through the 25. Linda’s a buddy I had the privilege to meet in a workshop with Carol Marine last April. She’s as kind, talented, and generous as TEXAS is big!

Oct 15, 2010

Cotton fields back home

“Now a Walmart”
5 1/2 x 8 1/2" watercolor

I’ve been intrigued with cotton fields since I very first returned to North Carolina in 2003. And I’ve always enjoyed putting stories with my paintings. Next Monday I’ll be sharing with my newsletter subscribers a new oil I painted of a cotton field not far from where I live. I’ll also be discussing the use of oils vs. watercolors. Please click here if you are not already on the mailing list, and are interested in becoming a subscriber to my weekly Behr Path newsletter.
Following is the text I wrote in 2003 that accompanied this painting. My watercolor style is different now, of course I’ve changed the name of the painting, and my mother has passed, but my love of storytelling and plein air painting continues.

I drove by this field many times on Hwy 70 en route to Raleigh. The vast field with barns on the horizon caught my eye even before the cotton started bursting. Mother in tow, I did the painting utilizing the trunk of the car as my easel. The leaves of the plants had turned partially crimson. How many times did I hear Mom tell me the cotton should be picked before so much rain falls on it? Growing up, long ago, she worked for a cotton grower in Texas. That’s why she says she knows cotton. I suppose any farmer in these parts would tell her it’s not her cotton pickin’ business.

Oct 4, 2010

It Takes a Village

“Miss Tee’s House
7x9" watercolor

The modest house in the painting was the home of a former Senior Vice President of Piedmont Airlines. And yes, she was a woman. Trailblazer Ms. Davis made her way up in the South of the 50’s, a time when Harriet Nelson was role model to many. Her friends called her Miss Tee, hence the name of the painting.

Wherever you stand on Hilary Rodham Clinton’s book It Takes a Village [to raise a child], I’m here to say, It Takes a Village for an Artist to Make a Living. I view my patrons as not only those who purchase my artwork, but those who support me in whatever way they can. Friends in the town where I live keep their eyes and ears open to opportunities for me. I get referrals from people who know my work, and I receive invitations for overnights on the road where overnight stays would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. I never had the privilege to meet Miss Tee. She is the late mother of patron and friend Ed Davis. Miss Tee’s house is where I’ve stayed in Winston-Salem in preparation for the Black Walnut Festival in Bethania, NC. Thanks to Ed and also to friend Rita who flew down from Minneapolis, MN to help me at the Festival. I send my deepest gratitude to all who so generously give me their continuing support.

See another recent gesture of hospitality shown to me by clicking Cabin Retreat .