May 31, 2011

What paintings do people purchase?

Mary Ellen’s Choice, 5.5 x 3.5 watercolor, N. F. S.
Tim, coiled, 3.5 x 5.5, N.F.S.
It’s really hard to guess what people will purchase in the way of artwork. Last week I sold five oil paintings and a watercolor to a gentleman who is redoing his home on the coast. I’d had one of the paintings since 2007, and had never before had a nibble on it. It could very well have been one of those paintings that come out of the frame, so I can use its frame for a more saleable painting. Another of the paintings I’d had for over a year and had never as much as heard a comment on it. The two paintings represent $1000 in sales. The gentleman who purchased them has as fine a collection of fine art as anyone who has ever honored me with a purchase.

The eye of the needle, 8.5 x 5.5"
Rear view mirror, 8.5 x 5.5"

The paintings I’m sharing today include the two at the top of this post that Mary Ellen, owner of Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter, selected from all the paintings I did of Mouth with Feathers and Tim, the pelican. And if you would ask me, these are the least saleable of all the paintings of the two birds. “That’s Tim!” Mary Ellen exclaimed when she selected Tim, coiled as the painting she wanted of the pelican. My opinion of Tim in this particular painting is that he more resembles a snake than a bird, and with Mary Ellen’s Choice, one cannot see the mouth that so identifies the bird Mouth with Feathers.

Never ask me to identify an art market.

Roosting 1, 6 x 8.5"
Roosting 2, 5.5 x 8.5"

May 30, 2011

Pelican pause

Mouth with feathers, 4.25x4.25" watercolor
I just posted four more pelicans on Hot Off the Easel, so time for a break from the pelicans. Here’s a little blabbermouth of a bird. Mary Ellen, owner of Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter didn’t know if it was a cowbird or a grackle. In spite of being totally obnoxious with its continual chirping, I could have brought this little bird home with me. These watercolors as well as the last group of pelican paintings are each yours for a $25 donation to the Shelter. Postage is an additional $2.  

Saturday night, just as I was finishing my last Behr Path newsletter, I heard dogs barking outside. The newsletter was about my trip to Sea Biscuit and all about my love for animals. Afraid the dogs might be after my pet (oxymoron) feral cat, I looked outside to see what all the commotion was. Feeding at feline’s Fred’s dish, was a strange visitor. Five guesses, which image below is not a fit?

Mouth on bird, 3.3 x 5.5"
Mouth with feathers 2, 5.5 x 3.5
Mouth with feathers 3, 5.5 x 3.5"
Picasso bird, 4.5 x 4.5"
Not good at “playing possum”, photo

Happy Memorial Day

Blue beak 1, 6.5x4"
Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday with the pelican paintings I promised. I was so busy and so weary of scanning them that I just couldn’t make myself do the last four scans. To make up for it, I’ll post two blogs today.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day. Someday I’m going to paint the photo I took of my mom walking with small flag in hand to my dad’s grave. She now lies next to him there.

Here’s a gang of the small pelican paintings. I’m also going to post some on Hot Off the Easel, just a click away.
Blue beak 2, 6.5x5"

Blue beak 3, 5.75x3.5"

Looking back, 5.5x3.5"

Chin up, 5.5x3.5"

May 28, 2011

Bird rehab

Essence of Pelican, 11x8" watercolor

Watching the tennis match, 10x8" watercolor, N.F.S.

Bashful, 11x7" watercolor

Feathered, 11x8" watercolor

Tim 1, 10.5x7.5" watercolor SOLD
I was given the opportunity this past week to visit a bird wildlife shelter on Oak Island, NC. I was impressed with Mary Ellen Rogers and with the center she founded and so passionately runs. Here is the mission statement of
Tim 2, 11.5x5.5" watercolor
Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter:

The Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter cares for injured or orphaned wild birds. We provide minimum medical care, safety from predators, food and shelter from the elements. When an animal is able to care for itself, it is released to the wild. We do not keep non-releasable animals nor use heroic methods to sustain the quality of their life. However, the Shelter does make every effort to rehabilitate an endangered species and every animal brought here is treated with respect and caring.

For more information on the shelter, visit it on the web at

A $50 donation to the Shelter buys one of the original pelican watercolors featured on today’s blog post. Tomorrow, I’ll post some smaller ones that I’ll offer in exchange for a $25 donation.

It costs an average of $25 to rehabilitate a bird. If you want to make a donation, make your check payable to the Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter and send it to 1638 East Beach Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465.

Notify me on this blog which painting you would like for me to send to you. Please include your mailing information. As soon as I receive confirmation that your check has been received I will mail your artwork.

Touché, 7.5x11" watercolor

May 20, 2011

Decent Exposure

Study for Midday at the Pit, 6.5x9" watercolor, SOLD
In conversation recently with the owner of one of the galleries that represent me, I said to her, “Eventually, they will all sell.” We were discussing the twenty-three paintings I currently have in my Chapel Hill 23 show.

On Monday, I sold one of the very first paintings I ever did in Chapel Hill, a painting done way back in 2006. Study for Midday at the Pit was a preliminary to Midday at the Pit, my very first commissioned painting from the University of North Carolina. A section of the painting which is now in the permanent collection of the University, is currently featured on the cover of the May/June issue of Carolina Alumni Review, a bi-monthly magazine that goes out to all alumni of the University. Click here if you’re interested in seeing the painting in its entirety.

On Wednesday, a gentleman, who had seen one of my Carolina 23 postcards, called and purchased one of the twenty-three paintings in the collection. When I referred him to my web site, he then selected five of my oil paintings, one of which dates back to 2007. Take heart, artist friends, it only takes one buyer to buy a painting, and sometimes, just a little exposure in the right places.

The last of the preliminary paintings I did for Midday at the Pit is still available. The painting features the Pit Preacher, now part of the history of the University of North Carolina. All of the Pit paintings were painted en plein air.

Friday at the Pit, 6.5x9" watercolor

May 11, 2011

Going to Carolina. Again.

Commencement at the Old Well, 5 1/2 x9" watercolor

Chapel Hill News just published a wonderful article about my Chapel Hill 23 show. The reception is this Friday evening, so if you’re available and it’s within driving distance, I hope you can make it.

I did a similar painting to this one for the show, only larger. I’ve learned a sure fire way to not sell a larger work is to offer small works or prints of the same subject matter. Conversely, a good way to sell small works is to make available larger works of the same subject. I did this painting of graduation at the Old Well last year. I’ve sold the two others I painted that day. This one is probably my favorite of those small ones. Because it’s not as literal as the others, I suspect is why it’s the last to go. It’s also why it’s my favorite. Carolina pride may be something I mention when I speak Friday night at the reception. The families at the Old Well on Graduation Day are boiling over with pride; it’s a wonderful thing to witness.

May 7, 2011

Nursing a barbecue joint

Sucklings, 5x9" watercolor SOLD
I’m proud of the name I gave this painting. How many different names can I give a painting of this place? Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro [NC] is like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on Peace and Person Streets in Raleigh. If I’ve painted it once, I’ve painted it a million times. Not really. Let’s just say, I could probably make a living supplying the demand for paintings of these two iconic food stops. I try each time to make the painting a little different. My emphasis here was on the cars parked in front for lunch. In reality, the cars weren’t here for lunch; they were just waiting on their passengers inside. And there are actually wait people inside to do that, so these cars were just loitering outside. It’s late. I’m getting punchy.

May 4, 2011

Three guesses, why am I partial to B&B’s?

The Monarch Room, 548 West B&B, 7 x 10" watercolor

Traveling invigorates me. I meet new people and find new things to paint. If it makes sense for me to stay overnight and when possible, I stay with friends, check into a B&B, otherwise. The Monday night after Easter I stayed at 548 West, a charming little B&B in Pittsboro, NC. It was just down the road from Fearrington Village, my painting destination last Tuesday. Owners Houston and Cheryl maxed the place out when they renovated it. Humble from the outside, the inside is full of luxurious touches that they incorporated.

I started painting my rooms when I found myself staying in B&B’s that did not have in-room TV’s. So at 9 o’clock at night, what better way to entertain oneself than to paint one’s accommodations? The cheerful Monarch room was inspired by the beautiful Monarch butterfly. Notice the art on the wall, an oil painting by Cheryl’s artist daughter. The room included a flat screen TV, so this faced me with a dilemma. Do I paint or do I watch the dvd I’d packed for the trip?  Painting won out. Dvd’s can wait.