Apr 29, 2011

Painted from LlVE telly!

Hand in hand, 8 x 5 1/2" watercolor
Royal grandparents, 5.5 x 3.5"

Royal Carriage Ride, 8 x 5 1/2"

Wedding aisle, Westminster Abbey

Leaving the Queen’s Royal Carriage
Dang! They never did ask me to paint their wedding! And then, should some watercolorist have been asked to paint the Royal Wedding, no doubt it would have been someone appointed by the Queen herself. Little does HRH know that way back in about 1955 yours truly laid eyes on Her Majesty on the Thames River. I truly did. Couldn’t tell who was who. Her sister, Princess Margaret was along with her.

I was invited last night for a Royal Wedding sleepover. Great fun. Just before the crack of dawn, we had quiche and muffins with marmalade, tea served from a silver teapot, brown sugar pound cake and strawberries dusted in powdered sugar. I painted the paintings above, plus more, while watching the Royal Goings-On on the kitchen telly. Jolly good fun!

Me! Painting the Royal Wedding

Apr 28, 2011

Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill

Easter Sunday, Chapel of the Cross

 I’ve painted many small watercolors on commission lately. Several of them are gifts, and so I do not feel free to post any of them until I know they are in the hands of their recipients. This painting was not a commission, but a request. Last year on Easter Sunday in Chapel Hill, I’d noticed the most wonderful flower-laden cross. I mentioned it to the owner of University Flowers and found it belongs to his church, Chapel of the Cross. As I was painting, a church member/passerby told me that just before the 9:00 service children cover the cross with flowers. I’ve now made a mental note of this so I can be on location with my camera and paints next year when this takes place.

Do any of you know why so many Episcopal churches have towers instead of steeples? Before I left Minnesota in 2003, I designed a logo for St. Marks Episcopal Cathedral, an architecturally impressive church on the fringe of downtown Minneapolis. The tower is the distinguishing feature of the architecture and so it symbolically, in fact, became the logo.

Apr 23, 2011

Vollis Simpson’s Whirligigs

Vollis Simpson’s Whirligigs, 20x16" oil on canvas

Here we go, art of someone else’s art. Vollis Simpson in Lucama, North Carolina is the creative mastermind sculptor behind these fantastic whirligigs. I just finished writing about them in my email newsletter, so am fresh out of superlatives to describe them. They’re to be seen, not read about anyway, so if you find yourself in North Carolina, just ask where you might find the nearest whirligigs.

This painting and another one of the same subject matter will be in my show of oils coming up May 5 at the Arts Council in Wilson, NC. Please click here for more info. Hope you can swing by during the reception. My paintings and I would love to meet you.

Apr 11, 2011

Doggone, another dogwood

White Dogwood, 6x8" oil on panel
After I painted Pink Dogwood, I spent some time driving around trying to find the “perfect” white dogwood. And it occurred to me, there are so many blooming dogwoods in Goldsboro that one could make a career of finding the “perfect” one to paint. Finally, this one stopped me. One of my prerequisites was that my perfect dogwood have layered branches much like its cousin the Pagoda Dogwood that grows as far north as southern Minnesota.

Speaking of Minnesota, here’s a joke dry-witted Swedish Minnesotan friend Leslie Carson wrote after receiving Pink Dogwood.
How do you tell a dogwood?
By its bark.
Thanks there, Leslie. Please tell Sven and Ole Dixie says Hey. :o)

Apr 7, 2011

State symbols

Pink Dogwood, 6x6" oil on panel
There is actually a website called NCpedia. I know; I needed to google NC state tree today. And it’s no wonder I needed to. The official state tree of North Carolina is the pine, shared with you yesterday being enwrapped by a beautiful Southern clinging vine, the Wisteria. And today we have the tree that bears the official state flower, the Dogwood. See where this might get confusing? Furthermore, the official state flower might actually be a white dogwood. I’ll share one of those trees at a later date.

So here we have a pink dogwood, painted entirely with a knife. I’m coming to believe the best way to paint the wispy flowers on some trees is not to paint them at all. The pink you see here is the pink I used for the ground on the panel. So not only was this painting done with a [palette] knife, it was done using a technique called negative painting, painting the negative spaces, not the positive.

Apr 6, 2011

Killer vine

Wisteria on a long leaf pine, 8x6" oil on panel
I remember wisteria from my days in high school here in Goldsboro. And I remember the way it used to climb up our long leaf pines, as this one is doing. If not destroyed, it will eventually kill its host. So much for “Pretty is as pretty does.” Unless you need to get rid of it, it’s a marvelous vine. For those not familiar with it, long before it bears leaves, it bears a lovely lavender colored flower that falls from it much like grapes on a vine. It grows wild and in spring can be seen along the highway draping the rural landscape. I understand there is a non-invasive one that is not so intrusive. Below is a plein air oil I did as part of my Highway 13 series of rural Eastern North Carolina. Difficult to make out, but here, the wisteria has already killed the tree that is its host.

Antebellum mansion, 24x30" oil on canvas