Aug 21, 2011

Lookout! Another lighthouse!

Lookout Light, 9 x 6 ¼" watercolor
Pathway to Lookout Light, 8½ x 5½ watercolor
I’m skipping the oil I did of Ocracoke Lighthouse as I’ll be featuring it in one of my future Behr Path e-letters. Dick and I explored the island, met some interesting islanders then proceeded to the mainland on a 2½-hour ferry ride to Cedar Island, NC. Twenty or so miles south, we rented the house of a friend in Marshallberg, thus giving us a base from which to explore the area known as Down East. On Harper’s Island we caught a 16-passenger ferry over to Cape Lookout. I managed to do several watercolors of this lighthouse that so well marks its shoals, another strip of our National Seashore. History and lighthouse mavens will find interesting material about the lighthouse and this section of the Outer Banks by clicking Cape Lookout, NC.

Aug 20, 2011

Turning in at Blackbeard’s

Room at Blackbeard’s Lodge, 7x9.5" watercolor
Hotel rooms can be lonely places. When you’re alone and you don’t feel like watching TV or reading, what do you do? Well, I wasn’t quite ready for bed, and there was something about this room I wanted to capture. Maybe it was all the blues reminding me I was on the coast, on an island in fact, or maybe it was some of the dark wood that spoke to me of being old. Here I was in a not-so-good-value of a room at Blackbeard’s Lodge on Ocracoke Island. Maybe I just wanted to do a painting that included a roll of toilet paper—my second painting with toilet paper, in fact. Click Quail Ridge Reprieve to see the first.

Aug 18, 2011

More pier

Activity at Avon Pier, 6.75 x 9" watercolor
Photographer friend Dick needed another day at Avon Pier, and so we traveled back again the next day, allowing me to capture a different view of the old structure erected in 1962, just one year after the military delivered my family to North Carolina from the Philippines.

Alas! — a place in the shade of the pier that gave me a view worth capturing! I particularly like the spot of intense color offered by people gathered under their colorful umbrellas. Painting some quick watercolor sketches of beach people allowed ample drying time for the base coat of the pier painting to dry.
Beach people near Avon Pier, 5 x 8.5" watercolor

Aug 17, 2011

A little family history

Parked at Avon Pier, 6 3/4 x 9" watercolor
Bodie Lighthouse (for reference)
After visiting Currituck Beach Lighthouse, friend Dick and I traveled south to visit Bodie Island Lighthouse. I am no wimp when it comes to plein air painting weather, but a heat index of 114º became an issue. If I had found a good view of the lighthouse in the shade, I would have a painting of the lighthouse to share with you today. I did take some photos of the view that I will paint some time in the future.

On south even more to a pier I’d heard was torn down, Avon Pier in Avon, North Carolina. When I inquired, a lady in Rodanthe [NC] told me the pier was still standing. I’d never been to this pier that holds significant importance to my family’s history. In 1981 my dad cancelled an angiogram so he would be able to take a trip with his aunt, my mom and brother to fish on the Outer Banks. That October he and my brother were fishing on Avon Pier when dad was struck down with a massive heart attack. I’d always dreaded the day that I’d receive a phone call notifying me of the death of one of my parents. I was in Minnesota when I received the call from my grieving mother. When my mother died August 19 four years ago, I take comfort in knowing I was by her side.

Again, much of what I paint is tied to a memory.

Aug 16, 2011

A trip to the Outer Banks

Currituck Light 1, 6.5x9" watercolor
Currituck Light 2, 6.5 x 9" watercolor
 A Minnesota friend and I just got back from a week long trip along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One of my painting goals was to paint (in my calligraphic watercolor style) the lighthouses along our path. So, on day one, we headed up to Corolla where we visited Currituck Beach Lighthouse. I’ve painted the lighthouse before, but from photos. Nothing quite compares to being on location for reference when painting. Painting two views of the lighthouse better justified the travel time and expense to go there. As always with my calligraphic style, painting two views in the same vicinity also provided ample time for the wet base coat on each painting to dry.

Aug 2, 2011

Hotter‘n Hot

Hotter‘n the 4th of July, 6.5x9.5" watercolor

If I had kids and it was my desire to hand down to them a business that could ride the worst of economic times, I’d open a hot dog joint. I currently paint two popular hot dog stops in Raleigh, The Roast Grill and Snoopy’s Hot Dogs. The Roast Grill opened in 1940 and Snoopy’s, in 1978.

Notice the crowd waiting to get into the Roast Grill. When I stopped there last Friday to grab a hot dog, the temperature was 101º. Well, no need for me to stand in line. Nooooooooo, I can always do a painting! Watercolor dries a little too fast and artists melt in this kind of heat. Not only this, the jerk parked in the foreground of my painting had the audacity to pull away! Notice I left the J out of JERK in his license plate.

I cannot say when the prices on the image above were changed, but we can believe the Roast Grill wasn't selling hot dogs for $1.75 in 1940. Image came from a Roast Grill web site.