Jun 29, 2011

A couple of drive-ins

Remembering carhops, 7 x 9" watercolor

Having left North Carolina for thirty-seven years, I remember carhops, but for the life of me, I don’t remember El’s Drive-In in Morehead City. I do remember pizza burgers. In high school in Goldsboro, going to the beach took precedent over going to the prom. Five or so gals would get together, get a chaperone, and rent a place at the beach. Most often, on prom weekend, we’d skip the prom altogether, and head for the coast. Crazy. At the end of a sometimes life-changing weekend, on the way out of Morehead, we’d stop for pizza burgers. I remember getting them to go, and as the sun set low in the western sky, we’d say goodbye to Morehead City as we chowed down our pizza burgers and headed back to Goldsboro.

Forty years later, I pulled into this popular Morehead drive-in and asked my carhop, “Do you have pizza burgers?”  With her positive reply, I knew it had to be the same place we’d gone to way back in the sixties.
Backed up to the Big Oak, 5.5 x 9.5" watercolor
The Big Oak Drive-In in Salter Path, North Carolina, south of Morehead, is a place I cannot recall. Never got down that way when I was growing up. My understanding is that it’s just as popular as El’s and possibly, even older. I wish it were as easy to sell paintings, as it is to sell burgers. I got to the Big Oak at closing time, 4:00. As I painted this watercolor, at least six cars pulled up, only to find the place closed.

Both paintings have found their way to Vision Gallery in Atlantic Beach, NC. Grab a pizza burger on your way there.

Jun 26, 2011

Deep fried art

Hot Stop, 6 x 9" watercolor
I tell people that Krispy Kreme’s coffee is better than Starbucks, but more fattening. Seniors in Goldsboro, Greenville and Rocky Mount, North Carolina get a free doughnut of their choice with the purchase of a cup of coffee. It’s called the “Get Sweeter with Age” Discount. Seniors are so vulnerable.

I’ve probably painted as many watercolors of this Krispy Kreme in Raleigh as I’ve eaten KK doughnuts. People like their Krispy Kremes any way they’re served.

Jun 23, 2011

Tenth Avenue North

Christian rock, Sharpie® rendering
When someone tells me I’ve captured my subject matter, and they mean that I’ve captured the subject’s spirit or its essence, not necessarily the likeness, they can’t pay me a higher compliment. It is my opinion that Christian rock captures the essence of the Christian rock concert I attended on Sunday.
Rock band hieroglyph, Sharpie® rendering
Warm-up, 5.5 x 7" watercolor
 At times of trouble my brother used to say, “Get out your paints.” Last week when I invited my brother’s son to spend Father’s Day with me, he invited me to join he and his girlfriend to run down to Myrtle Beach to hear a Christian rock band that goes by the name Tenth Avenue North. He told me I might want to paint them. My nephew knows how to stir my interest.

The watercolor paper I took with me wasn’t nearly absorbent enough, and so took way too long to dry for this type of quick on- location painting. I resorted to my Sharpie® markers.

My experience with outdoor concerts is that if you have a really good view, a crowd will gather right in front of you. We were forced to move back for a better view, lest we be drowned by the mass of people that moved in front of us. The people attending were just as interesting to me as the band, so I came away with many pieces similar to Groupies below.

Groupies, 5 x 7" watercolor

Jun 22, 2011

Back to the beach

I really should be on the road to Wilson right now to pick up the unsold works in my recent show there. But I so love mornings spent blogging over coffee. Would I have said such ten years ago? I enjoy coffee and blogging more than bacon and eggs, more than cookies and milk, more than a whole lot of things. And without a doubt, I know it’s this fondness that keeps me from going to the gym mornings. Wish I could type a wink. io)

Bernie Rosage is a terrific painter and an all around good guy. He’s also a remarkable promoter who seems to enjoy sharing the successes of his artist friends. Click here to see the photo of me he tagged recently on his facebook page. It’s my wish that someday all his sharing comes back to him threefold.

Today’s painting is another watercolor that will soon be hanging in Vision Gallery at Atlantic Beach. Depicted here is an ice cream parlor that recently opened across the street from Big Rock Landing (see painting in my June 18 post). This is a case where all I had to do was turn the opposite direction to get a view for a second painting.

Sweet 16, an ice cream parlor, 6 x 9" watercolor

Jun 20, 2011

Beach break

Pathway to Nan’s, 6x9" watercolor
So the question is, do I stay up and post this blog or do I turn in for the night? I love writing in the early morning over my first cups of coffee, but alas, tomorrow morning I have a 9:00 appointment with a masseuse. Generous patron friends gifted me a massage certificate for my birthday in 2010, and I’m just now getting ‘round to using it.

I painted Pathway to Nan’s on my recent trip to Chapel Hill. See the other paintings I did on that trip by clicking Meet Gregory. Nan is a woman in Chapel Hill who has graciously put me up nights during many various painting expeditions over the past three+ years. She is a New Yorker with a fantastic knowledge of art and antiques. Her sister, in fact, was one of the last of the working artists to have an art studio in the building that houses Carnegie Hall. The walkway to Nan’s front door is dark like this but the surrounding garden has a lush patina that can be gained only after years of plantings and pulling. The rooster on the left is no doubt one of Nan’s charming collectibles.

Jun 18, 2011

More fishiness

Scene at the Big Rock, 5.5x9.25" watercolor
What is this? We’re just two days away from the longest day of the year, and there still aren’t enough hours in the day. Something is haywire. It may have to do with my two recent painting trips to the coast with an intermission at a lavender farm in central North Carolina. I’ve finally figured how I get so much painting done. When I’m on the road, all I have to do is eat, shower, sleep, paint and brush my teeth. Love it. Hate coming home however to unpaid bills and accumulated laundry. Home lately has become a pit stop. And the pits it is.

Here are two more plein air watercolors I painted at the Big Rock billfish tournament in Morehead City. These paintings and more to follow of the Morehead area are destined to be hung on the art adorned walls at Vision Gallery in Atlantic Beach, NC.

I actually witnessed the third place blue marlin being weighed in at the Big Rock tournament. It came in last Wednesday on a boat named Sushi. The fish was a mere 467.4 pounds. Still, that’s a lot of sushi. And the $126, 700 third place prize money might even cover that much sushi.

Big Rock Landing, 6x9" watercolor

Jun 12, 2011

the Big Rock, a fish story

Big Rock Big Hopes, 9x6" watercolor
I painted Big Rock Big Hopes Thursday morning before leaving Morehead City, NC after a three-day coastal painting excursion. On Wednesday I painted an oil of the same scene. Both paintings will be available this week at Vision Gallery in nearby Atlantic Beach. Although it might be way too crazy to capture, I’d love to paint the same scene again with the crowd as it gathers for a weigh-in of one of the blue marlins that will be competing this year in Morehead City’s 53rd Annual Big Rock Tournament. $1,398,375 is the prize. This is a really big fish story. Believe it. If you’ve got the right boat and several thousand $’s to lie down as an entry fee, you might think about signing up next year. Registration for this year’s tournament closed today:o(

Jun 1, 2011

Asian influenced pelicans, the last five

Mandarin Duck 1, 3.5 x 4.5", ink on newsprint, N.F.S.
Wearing purple, 8.5 x 5.5"
Shy guy, 5.75 x 3.5" SOLD
Pointing it out, 5.5 x 3.5" SOLD
The paintings I’ve been featuring of pelicans are in a style that has taken me some time to develop. In Minneapolis in the mid-nineties, I took sumi-e classes from Susan Frame, renown for her Asian brush painting. The paintings here were not done in sumi, Japanese for ink, so they are not considered sumi-e. More about the influence of Asian brush painting on my watercolors can be found in a past clickback of Canadian painter and author Robert Genn. When you’ve opened his web page, please scroll down to the clickback titled “Omission encourages participation”.

Here are the last five pelicans that I’ll be offering as fundraisers for Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter. At some point I’ll be matting many of these paintings and placing them in some of the North Carolina coastal galleries that represent my work. I hope in the meantime that you will take advantage of my lower prices on these paintings by making a donation to Sea Biscuit, a very worthwhile non-profit wildlife organization. Once I’ve matted them, my images like these normally sell for considerably more, $65-90. The painting Heron on Robert Genn’s clickback sold [framed] for $600 in a silent auction at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minnesota.

Out of the blue, 9x4" SOLD
Tim 5, 9.5 x 3.5"