Nov 30, 2013

On the campaign trail

Cavalier King Charles on his throne, 6x8" watercolor
Cavalier King Charles, three views, 6x8" watercolor
The tough thing I’ve found about campaigning is you have to keep asking people to vote for you. I will be so happy when the end of this day is here, and I can stop asking people to give me a Like in the BoldBrush Painting Competition. I think I’ve come up with at least ten instructions on how to cast your vote for my painting, and the one that seems the easiest to understand is the one my nephew Chris posted on Facebook,

Please help my aunt on the link and hit like. Thanks!!!

The painting in the competition is an oil, not the painting above. Because this is a blog about plein air painting, I decided the featured painting should be one that was at least painted on location. The paintings of the Cavalier King Charles above is the pet dog of a friend’s grandson.

If you cast your Like for me today or if you already have, I give you my sincere thanks.

Nov 29, 2013

After dinner painting

Wilkins’ Home at Christmastime, 7x9 ½ watercolor
I have asked myself why in the winter I do fewer plein air watercolors. Can’t answer that. An oil painting generally takes longer. Since I get out there with little hesitation to do oil paintings in winter months, the misery of standing out in the cold is not a good alibi. Maybe it’s because winter colors tend to be more somber, and my watercolors are more whimsical in their approach.

Nonetheless, I managed to get one watercolor done after dinner yesterday. I went to this house thinking I’d paint the giant turkey balloon I’d seen in the yard. What I found instead were Christmas trees, Core Sound Christmas trees — lots of them. The entire extended family was out in the yard, each family member with their own tree. Several rows of trees, representing the different generations of family, were positioned. I was told by one of the family members that this is a Thanksgiving ritual and now a family tradition.

Nov 9, 2013

Dobbin House

Dobbin House Tavern, 7x10" watercolor
Went on a Wayne Community College organized tour of Gettysburg last weekend with a fun group of Goldsboro people. I believe this was their eighth tour led by Goldsboro Civil War aficionado Randy Sauls. He knows the battles of the Civil War at Gettysburg like the back of his hand. The entire group had dinner at this 1776 home that has been converted to a tavern. What an amazing treat! The entrées were pricey, but oh so worth it. After the Saturday tour, one of my tour mates lent me his stocking hat, jacket, and fingerless gloves so I’d be comfortable painting this scene late in the day on Saturday after our battlefield tour. I had the world’s smallest stool with me, so I could sit close to the ground, giving me easy access to my brushes and water container.

Oct 24, 2013

Captain Phillips

Gone shrimpin’ 8x10" oil on panel
Last night I went to see the new action-packed movie Captain Phillips with a couple of my Goldsboro girlfriends. The movie kept us on the edges of our seats. Great acting coming from not only Tom Hanks, but from those who played the four Somali pirates. During the movie, I asked my friends, “Wonder where they dug up those Somali actors?” Turns out over 700 Somalis auditioned for the parts in Minneapolis, MN, my former home. There is buzz about that one of them will receive a best supporting actor nomination.

Came home and found in my files the two paintings I did of Capt. Phillips, a shrimp boat that docks in Swansboro, NC. I think I sold one of the paintings, but still have the one below. Just a couple of weeks ago, my painting buddy Robert Rigsby and I painted in Swansboro where Capt. Phillips is usually docked. The boat must have been out shrimping. I feel the space left by it made for an interesting composition in Gone shrimpin’.
Capt. Phillips 2, 6 x 9½ watercolor

Oct 16, 2013

Wedding in Jackson Hole

The artist’s room at the Inn, 7 x 9½ watercolor
Here is the room that welcomed me when I flew into Jackson Hole, WY last month to paint a wedding. The fireplace had gas logs and the only problem with using it continually was that it also put out heat; appreciated, I’m sure, by many skiers during winter months. Note my cowboy boots near the bed. I wore them to a party on top of a mountain that Friday night where guests were entertained by a group that call themselves One Ton Pig. Their music was dynamite; darn near blew the top of the mountain right off. Give a listen.

One Ton Pig at Couloir, 6x8" watercolor

Oct 7, 2013

Jack Ketner, artist/musician, Satirical Surrealist

The Chicken Dance (detail) by Jack Ketner, 34 x 54"
Chicken Line Dance, 6x8" watercolor
Multi-talented Jack Ketner and I were first introduced several years ago on a rainy day in Swansboro, NC. I had the opportunity that afternoon to visit his paintings. I see a lot of artwork in my travels, but I don’t see artwork like Jack’s. I’ve never asked “How much?” I’m sure, way beyond my reach. I feel privileged to have seen his collection of work and look forward someday to revisiting it in a deserving museum.

To give you an idea of how different our work is, here are each of our painting approaches to the “Chicken Dance.” Mine was painted on location at an anniversary party in Calabash, NC. Jack’s was painted in his studio wherever that might have been at the time. He so captures the character and spirit of the people he paints. See what I’m referring to by visiting his awesome web collection at

Sep 24, 2013

R&B + 1

Get-together at the lake cabin, 7 x 9½ watercolor
I used to drink at parties; now I paint. Call me a paintin’ party-pooper. If I had not known I’d be gifting the painting to my hosts, I may have thought twice before withdrawing into my little painting here. I did stop to eat. Wouldn’t you know?

This year and last, hosts Ron and Rena invited my friend Rita and me to their lake cabin on Devil Track Lake. I’ve always thought it strange that people who live on America’s largest lake, have lake cabins inland to which they retreat. Perhaps it’s the privacy and the isolation they seek, the same solitude they were attracted to when they first settled the North Shore of Lake Superior. This year Ron, Rena, Rita, Bob, Bev, and me were joined by someone other than an R or B, Lee, a fellow plein air painter. We let him in though. He’s the one on the FAR LEFT [in the painting]. Lee Englund carries with him the fine distinction of placing third in a competition of 70 artists and over 200 entries in this year’s Grand Marais Plein Air.

I was one of the other 65 artists who didn’t place. I think I’ll drink now.

Sep 19, 2013

Another Judy room

Downstairs at Judy and Steve’s, 7x10" watercolor
I just counted the number of paintings I did on my trip out West. Fifty-five! This included six oil paintings and forty-nine watercolors. Forty-four of the watercolors and one of the oils I painted in Wyoming when I was on commission there to paint a wedding.

Here’s the downstairs at Judy and Steve’s in Minnesota. The guest room connects to this room. All together, the downstairs rooms might be called a guest apartment. White terry robes await guests in an armoire. Their house is filled with the coolest stuff—beautiful paintings, crafts, and a huge collection of Limoges boxes. I’m proud to say they have three of my paintings hanging on their walls. Art is fun!

Sep 18, 2013

Cherished in-laws

Judy and Steve’s, 9½ x7" watercolor
Highlights of this and last year’s trips to Minnesota were overnight visits with dear friends (and customers) Judy and her husband Steve. Judy is the sister of my late husband, Jerry Behr. Although my time with Jerry was cut tragically short, I consider him the love of my life. After a too-long separation, Judy and I reconnected a couple of years ago on Facebook.
Last year, these wonderful inlaws hosted a dinner in my honor, inviting not only their closest friends, but Judy’s brother Dickie, who I hadn’t seen in some thirty plus years. I was so honored. All this visiting left little time for painting. A few paintings like the Canada geese below is all I had time for last year.
I love spending time with these people, so it was a challenge this year retreating from conversation to go out in their yard to paint their lakeside house. How I wish we lived closer.

Six geese, three ducking, 3 x 8½" watercolor

Aug 28, 2013

Sugar Shack, Ocean Isle, NC

Sugar Shack, 6½ x 9" watercolor
It’s really hard to turn around and charge a customer after they’ve shown you incredible hospitality and generosity. Such is the case of a loyal customer who, when I wasn’t painting, last weekend showed me a great time in Ocean Isle, NC. There were two places he commissioned me to paint. Here we have Sugar Shack, a Jamaican restaurant, probably the No. 1 restaurant in the area. The jerk chicken is out of sight, and the caprese salad is awesome.

I debated. Do I paint the place early in the day before the parking lot fills up with cars and obscures the building, or do I paint the restaurant with the lot overflowing with cars, thus capturing the very essence of this popular place? At night, one can barely see the restaurant, concealed behind all the cars that are parked there. An agreement was reached with my customer on two vehicles in the parking lot—the Jeep of owner Lynn, plus my customer’s golf cart.

Here’s ending this post on a retro note. Click Sugar Shack for a song that hit No. 1 on the charts in 1963.

Aug 20, 2013

Hula girl

Aloha, 9x7" watercolor
Fun with a Capital F. If I didn’t already know the person who owns this place, I’d want to meet them. Last time I stayed here, I painted my high-heeled bedroom. This is the stair landing that lies just outside the bedroom’s door. Since it’s at the top of the stairs and one might either be coming or going here, I named the painting Aloha. English translation: hello and goodbye. Check out the hula girl lamp. Although you can’t see it in the painting, my inspiration came from the movement of the lady in the grass skirt. Flip the switch to on, and she hulas for you. Hula bula!* Ya gotta love it!

* No translation, it just sounds good.

Aug 16, 2013

80’s decor

Judy’s room, 7x9" watercolor
Seems the last couple of years, I’ve made it almost a practice, when I travel, to paint my room. I stay in some wonderfully charming guest rooms, so the inspiration is provided. Also, the paintings later make apropos gifts to those who so generously open up their homes to me.

I’d heard of southern hospitality before I moved back to Goldsboro, but now I can say I’ve had the privilege to experience if firsthand. Turns out, both Dan and Jean, my last hosts, are New Yorkers. Jean and I first met in a Frank Webb workshop in the summer of 2004. She and I shared the same station at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff in Boone, NC. It had been awhile since I’d visited the mountains, so my visit there was past due.

Dan and Jean have two grown daughters. This was the room of their oldest daughter, Judy. The poster has a French name on it as well as the year ’84. Jean told me that’s about the time the room was decorated, but that the carpet had been green. Thanks Judy for the use of your room!

p.s. The shoes (one pair of Mary Jane’s, and one of flip flops), no longer there, are where I put my footprint on the room.

Aug 3, 2013

Rx for too much framing

Raleigh’s Angus Barn, 7x10" watercolor
Of all the posts Google Blogger could mess up, yesterday, through no effort on my part, subscribers received “Rx for short plein air days.” Sorry for that to all who are subscribers. And here we are, less than two weeks after Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Rx for the longest days of the year might include sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, insect repellent, and some anti-itch remedies.

I had a heck of July. Sales were great. They needed to be. I framed, for the first time, something like thirty-five paintings. These were included in thirty paintings for a show, currently hanging at the Arts Council of Wayne County; four, for a show opening next Wednesday at Overland Gallery in Kinston, NC; three, for commissioned oils; one, for a show August 9 at ArtExposure in Hampstead, NC, plus nine watercolors for Tyler White Gallery in Greensboro, NC. Several pieces received mats only. I haven’t counted those.

With all that, I really needed to squeeze in some painting time just for me. Painting in the city had no appeal to me, so on Wednesday, between drop-offs in Raleigh, I drove up to north Raleigh where I painted a landmark restaurant, The Angus Barn. Red and green in the painting, yes, but certainly not a Christmas-themed painting. The second painting, I focused on making the sky more dominant.

The Angus Barn Too, 7x10" watercolor

Jul 4, 2013

Have a dry and Happy 4th!!

Irregardless Landscape, 7x10" watercolor vignette
French is such a pretty language. And lucky for us, many of our words come from the French. Vignette, for instance, the word used to describe a borderless painting. Most of us are familiar with photographic vignettes, those often old-timey photos whose images fade into white. The same word applies to painting.

And then there’s en plein air as well as my term for the method I used yesterday to paint these two paintings, dans la voiture. How I chose to use this term for painting in the car, is better explained on my “Dans la voiture” blog post. Yesterday I had just enough time in which to paint these two vignettes before meeting customers for dinner at Raleigh’s Irregardless Café. It was necessary when I was painting, to turn on the air conditioner intermittently to stay cool, the heat on the dashboard to more quickly dry the base coat, and the defrost to defog the windshield so I could see the scene before me.

All this work was rewarded afterwards by a wonderful dinner at the popular Irregardless. I needn’t recommend this restaurant to those who have had the good fortune to dine there. Not surprising the engaged couple I had dinner with are considering the Irregardless’ catering services for their wedding reception next year.

Irregardless, the café, 10x7 watercolor vignette

Jul 1, 2013

Welcome to The Fishhouse

Old Homes Tour at The Fishhouse, 7x10" watercolor
This is actually the second painting I did of The Fishhouse. I’m including the first one below for those who didn’t see it in yesterday’s Behr Path newsletter.

The woman sitting in front was one of the hosts during the Tour. She would welcome people to The Fishhouse, invite them to enjoy some refreshment (see glass with pink lemonade on a nearby piling), and give them an introduction to the house they were about to enter.

When she saw that I had included her in the painting, she said, “Just like they used to wear—an apron and tennis shoes with anklets.” Since the house was built in the 1940’s, I assume she was referring to that era. It was intentional that I included her 21st century sunglasses. It was not intentional that the seagulls look like Greek sigmas flying backwards. Together, they could form a fraternity.
The Fishhouse, 14x22" watercolor

Jun 30, 2013

Old Homes and Garden Tour in Beaufort, NC

An Old Fisherman Lived Here, 7x10" watercolor
The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Beaufort Historical Association is the Old Homes and Garden Tour that takes place each June. My friend and Greenville painting buddy Dr. Lou Everett has for three years been the go-between who has benefitted two plein air groups, Greenville Brushstrokes and PAINT NC, by obtaining invitations for them to paint during the Tour in the lovely, quaint and historic seaside village of Beaufort, NC.

This year, I requested The Fishhouse as my preferred place to paint. The painting above is a corner of the inside of this must-see attraction on Front Street. The house was originally owned by the late fisherman and carpenter Captain Louis Christopher Styron. When I asked where she was born, the daughter of the Captain, Faye Styron-Brown, answered, “Right here.” The cradle in the foreground of the painting is where she slept as a baby.

With deep love and a high regard for things past and a lifestyle very different from ours today, Mrs. Styron-Brown has made The Fishhouse a literal shrine to her father Captain Styron. It benefits us that she is so graciously willing to share with us her former home.

Tomorrow I’ll feature the paintings I did of the outside of this popular stop on Beaufort’s Old Homes and Garden Tour.

Jun 25, 2013

June wedding

Trio, 6x9" watercolor
I just matted and put in sleeves sixteen wedding watercolors that were selected for purchase from those I did at a June 1 wedding in Durham, NC. For a limited time, I’m posting a slide show on this blog (upper right) for those curious to know how I paint a wedding. Fast, very fast. I like to include in my offerings when I paint a wedding at least two paintings that are more time consuming (2hr). For this wedding the top choices for these two paintings were the couple’s first home and the church where they were married. I did both earlier in the afternoon before the ceremony began. Black and flesh tones don’t mix well, so because the paint is wet, they need to be kept apart or given time to dry. Light blues and lavenders in a brides gown, however, are magical when they flow together, so no worry there when the colors mix.
Today’s featured painting was the first one I did inside the church. It was not one of the sixteen chosen by my customer, but still I like it.

Jun 17, 2013

House with boy toys

Fun house, 7x10" watercolor
Just a quick post here. Thought I’d share the house that was wrapped around the “High-heeled boudoir” I slept in last Friday night. Love the architecture, the palms, the touches of whimsy, all so perfect for my whimsical watercolor style. This is the smaller painting I did as a preliminary for a larger one.

Jun 15, 2013

Girls do just want to have fun

High-heeled boudoir, 8½ x 11" watercolor
This is not a dream. This is what I painted when I died and went to heaven last night. Got to stay at a customer’s house when a commission took me down to Ocean Isle, on the coast about 35 or so miles south of Wilmington, NC. My customer confesses his mom pretty much did this room. Called it the room girls tend to like. He got that right. Tired as I was, I had to put paint to paper on this one.

Jun 12, 2013

Irregardless Café

Irregardless Since 1975, 7x10" watercolor
I’d dined at this popular eatery in Raleigh before. Recently I enjoyed a delightful brunch with some customers here. Loved it. Loved sitting out front afterwards and painting the restaurant too. The following Sunday I had brunch again, this time with the owner’s Mrs., who then bought the painting. I’m delighted this watercolor will soon be hanging on the restaurant’s walls alongside some noted North Carolina artists.

Irregardless of the number (from 10-500), I’ve learned the Irregardless Café has a successful catering business. Click to check it out. I also learned that irregardless is not really a word, so be careful using it around spell check or grammar queens.

Jun 4, 2013

Remembering Vollis Simpson

Vollis Simpson 1919-2013. Photo: Dick Sonnen
God rest his soul, Vollis Simpson died in his sleep at the age of 94 last week. He was one of the most famous artists I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. Considered a folk artist, I’m not sure he viewed himself as an artist. I think he had a compulsion to weld together and paint structures that looked and acted like outlandish, whimsical farm windmills. I don’t suppose any artists does art for the goal of “making art.” I think we attempt to create things that ultimately are uniquely ours, that bring fulfillment to us as we create them, and hopefully, bring pleasure to others when viewed. It’s icing on the cake if an artist can make a living this way.

I am honored that I could spend time with Vollis and happy that I could do two paintings en plein air at his Whirligig Windmill Farm. Click Whirligigs to see the second painting I did that April in 2011. Later that year, I paid another visit to Simpson, this time with my talented Minnesota photographer friend, Dick Sonnen. Photo above.

Whirligig Windmill Farm, 24 x 36" oil on canvas
Vollis in 2011 with my painting

Jun 3, 2013

Show Opening, DOUBLE VISION: Plein Air Perspectives of Fearrington Village

The Roost at Fearrington Village, 7x9½" watercolor (SOLD)
If you haven’t visited my Carolina Watercolors show on view at The Granary Restaurant Gallery in Fearrington Village, I encourage you to stop by. When I’m not painting with plein air painting buddy Robert Rigsby, my ideal afternoon at Fearrington includes a stop outside the white fences to paint “the Belties,” the Village’s beloved mascot cows, lunch (or at minimum a chai latte) at The Goat, a friendly, casual coffee and wine shop, then an hour or more of shopping Dovecote, a lovely upscale home and garden shop whose buyer’s taste is incomparable. Either lunch or dinner at The Granary Restaurant is worth the drive itself.
This Thursday, June 6, the watercolors come down and that evening at 6:00, Robert Rigsby and I will be there to open our exhibition, DOUBLE VISION: Plein Air Perspectives of Fearrington Village. Since last fall, the two of us have made many trips to the quaint Village to paint views of the landscape. Painting at our easels in oils, and standing side by side at times, we’ve come away with eleven sets of plein air paintings. The show focuses not only on Fearrington Village, it’s about how differently two artists might interpret the same view.
Click Fearrington Village for their web site and directions. Hope to see you there.

Left: Belted Bank by Robert Risby; Right: Pin the Tail on the Donkey by Brenda Behr

Jun 2, 2013

Doughnuts to dollars

Krispy Kreme is HOT, 7½ x 9½" watercolor
Day 1 of my stay in the [Research] Triangle over the Memorial Day weekend was getting there and checking in. Day 2, I devoted to painting Krispy Kreme®, Raleigh’s most treasured doughnut shop, one that has reached iconic proportions as a landmark.
AMERICA’S FAVORITE TRUCK, 7½ x 9½" watercolor
I managed to paint one large and one small one before the rain came. Twice that afternoon, I asked to see the manager about painting inside. Since he was no where to be found, I never did get permission. In back of Krispy Kreme a truck was being loaded. I set my sights on it and had a fun conversation with a shuttle truck driver named Terry. Turns out, he transports doughnuts from the shop in Raleigh, also a “production center,” to the Krispy Kreme location in Chapel Hill that I’d painted a couple of weeks ago. Click to see the May 18 blog post that includes the painting.

It’s a given. If I do a painting of Krispy Kreme, I’ll sell a painting of Krispy Kreme. When the owner of my gallery in Raleigh (the gallery that represents me) first saw my Krispy Kreme paintings come in, she said, “Can’t you give us a little different perspective? We can’t have any ‘cookie cutters’ in here.” I didn’t feel I needed to tell her there are just so many views of the place that make for a good composition. Now that same gallery is glad to see any of my Krispy Kreme’s come in. It means a sale. Since the watercolors are painted en plein air, each one is a little different—different time of year, of day, some with cars, some without; some with different color cars. Not quite cookie cutters.

The painting below was a quick one. No time for a base coat to dry, so I skipped it and did strictly calligraphy. Cars aren’t quite as likely to move as people, but unless you're the one who’s driving one, you never know when they’re going to pull out. Check out that front wheel. I must’ve had doughnuts on my mind.
The Doughnut Lot, 8x10" watercolor

May 29, 2013

Behr Gallery

Debbie & Kent’s, 7x10"
If there is a couple I would call collectors, it would be my friends Debbie and Kent. I just returned from six days at their house while Debbie was celebrating her retirement from RBC in Minneapolis. Upstairs, I counted six of my artworks on their walls—two oils they had bought, two greeting cards they had framed, and two watercolor paintings I had gifted them as thanks for their hospitality as well as rides to and from the airport. Downstairs, I counted another six paintings, five of which were purchases.

I had wanted to, but never painted the outside of their lovely home. A commissioned work might never include the plant on the left or the vehicle on the right. Here’s what happens when you leave an artist to her own devices. The heart-shaped leaves on the shrub to the left actually belong to a small Weeping Red Bud tree that I gave to them in memory of Kent’s mother. The vehicle on the right is my ever faithful RAV4.

May 20, 2013

Sutton’s Drug Store, still bustling at 90

Sutton’s at 138 E. Franklin, 7½ x 9½ watercolor
I’ve had two requests for paintings of Sutton’s Drug Store in Chapel Hill in the past couple of months. I don’t know how a drug store becomes a landmark, but staying around for ninety years has to help. Popular as it may be, Krispy Kreme® was not my painting target when I set out to find a parking spot on Franklin Street last Wednesday, but conveniently located just an alley way across from Sutton’s, I managed to paint it as well. The drug store celebrated it’s 90th birthday just last month. The awning out front was faded to the point it looked beige and a pale orange. If I hadn’t painted it before, I would not have taken the liberty to brighten up the colors. Perhaps the owners wanted the drug store to look its age for its birthday.

Below is the interior scene of Sutton’s that I painted a couple of years ago as part of my Chapel Hill 23 show at Carolina Union. The painting was bought as a gift for the breakfast buddy of someone who eats at Sutton’s counter every weekday morning.

Sutton’s Drug Counter, private collection

May 18, 2013


Krispy Kreme on Franklin Street, 10x7" watercolor
In 2007 I was commissioned by the Parents Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to paint Franklin Street. See painting below, now available as an 8x24" giclée reproduction.

Students who came up with the idea for the painting gave me the names of what they believed to be the most popular establishments on their highly revered block of Franklin Street. With my trusted little red canvas folding stool, I went all the way down the 100 block of East Franklin Street and did small watercolor studies of the various locations. All but one of those paintings sold, many of them to parent members on the Council. I was able to include the Ram’s Head Rathskellar in the final painting. Known as “The Rat,” the popular pub and eatery closed that very year, but has since reopened.

One thing that did not exist on Franklin Street in 2007 was Krispy Kreme®, a doughnut shop originally founded in Winston-Salem, NC some forty-five years ago. I consider the watercolor featured above my most successful attempt at capturing the HOT NOW sign associated with North Carolina’s iconic doughnut shops.

Carolina Spirit: Franklin Street, original watercolor 16x60"

May 17, 2013

How much for this watercolor?

The Neighbor’s House, 7x10" watercolor
People often ask, “How much?” For a watercolor this size, anywhere from 6x8" to 7x10", I charge $115. I like to present small watercolors like this in a clear sleeve in a white 11x14" archival mat with archival backing. The price includes the mat and packaging. When I am asked to do a special piece, which was the case for this painting, the price goes up to $172.50, one and a half times the price of a piece I choose to do on my own. I’ve found customers don’t like to hear that their special piece is more costly than that which they might find in my inventory or in one of the galleries that represent me.

Commissions mean I’ll be doing custom work, and most often, that I am going to do a painting based on my customer’s inspiration, not on my own. I prefer not to work from photos unless absolutely necessary, so it may mean a special trip to a specific destination. If someone asks me to paint a famous landmark like the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at Peace and Person streets in Raleigh, or like the Old Well in Chapel Hill, and they don’t have an urgent deadline, then the price is $115. Selling an iconic landmark is relatively easy. For a piece like today’s painting, however, a piece that may be of interest only to someone connected to this home and not to the public at large, the price for me to paint it is the commission price, $172.50.

I’d love to receive knee jerk reactions to the statements I’ve made above regarding pricing. Please email me or comment directly below. Thank you in advance.

May 16, 2013

Painting cows ‘til they come home

Landmarked Landscape, 6x9" watercolor
One, Two, Tree, 6x9" watercolor
Laying Low, 6x9" watercolor

I can hardly believe these “Belties” scored me a weekend at Fearrington Village. I was so thrilled to do a trunk show last year at Dovecote, the quaint boutique situated in the heart of Fearrington. Only a few of the paintings are still available, so I’m busy creating a new crop of Beltie watercolors, these being three of them. Besides, painting the cows is amazing practice for the wedding watercolors I do. Two weddings are on the horizon for me to paint—one in June with a reception at the Nasher Art Museum in Durham, and another this September in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Westward ho!!

Do get a sneak preview of mine and Robert Rigsby’s plein air Double Vision exhibition coming up at The Granary Restaurant Gallery at Fearrington. See post below. Opening reception for the show is Thursday, June 6, 6-8pm. Everyone is invited. Foodies will love dining at The Granary. I had a double evening there last fall when butternut squash soup was featured on the menu. Yum, to die for.

Double Vision Fearrington

Click here to view this photo book larger

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May 6, 2013

I love funk.

Safari Suite, 7x10" watercolor
Here’s the room I was given to stay in last week when I went to Winston-Salem, NC for a paint-out in Old Salem. The lady-of-the-house is the daughter of my dear Goldsboro friend, Miss Ellen. Daughter E. Scott just married a couple of years ago. This room is on the lower level of the couple’s first home. First thing I “spotted,” obviously, was the fake leopard skin on the rug. The zebra and rhino heads are fake too. They were given to E. Scott by her husband Hill for their first anniversary. Made out of paper mache, I say pretty dang clever of Hill on the couple’s paper anniversary.

Apr 2, 2013

Fritha, the brigantine

Fritha, 8x6" watercolor
They call this ship a brigantine. Truthfully, I never know when to call a ship a ship or a boat a boat, much less a brigantine a brigantine or a schooner a schooner. When I tell people I went to the Philippines on a boat, they always correct me, telling me, “No, you went there on a ship.”
The home base for Fritha is the Northeast Maritime Institute in Fairhaven, MA, so I’m sure they could set me strait on my limited sailing vocabulary. This beautiful vessel has been wintering in Beaufort, NC, near Morehead City, where I spent my Eastern weekend. I did three paintings of Fritha on Saturday. Not so much that I wanted to come home with three paintings, but because the weather was damp. Since this style watercolor requires a completely dry first coat, working on simultaneous paintings can provide the time necessary for previous base coats to dry.

Mar 26, 2013

Carolina Watercolors

Spring walkway at Coker Arboretum, 18x24" watercolor
Spring has come to North Carolina—barely. The red buds are just beginning to show their fuchsia buds, and occasional azalea blossoms are beginning to show their brilliant pinks. Tonight’s the opening of my Carolina Watercolors show at The Granary Gallery in Fearrington Village. Many of the watercolors were painted en plein air, some in Chapel Hill; others, at Fearrington. Hours are 6-8pm. The public is invited. For more info, visit the EVENTS section of my web site.

Mar 5, 2013

Starlite Drive-In

One night at Starlite Drive-In, 6½ x 9" watercolor
I suppose there’s a price on everything. I suppose. This is one of my few paintings I’d hate to let go of. I can never again return to the Starlite Drive-In where I painted this en plein air. Days before a class reunion in 2006, one of my old high school chums was willing to drive me up to Durham so I could paint this historic drive-in movie. Picture two old classmates, both approaching sixty, doing such a thing. The person who owned the drive-in was Bob Groves, a man we met that night, a man who was passionate about running a drive-in theatre. Mr. Groves died suddenly the year after I did this painting. Failing attempts by the community to save the landmark, the place is now history. Read more about the Starlite and the man who kept it going long enough for me to paint it by visiting the blog, ENDANGERED DURHAM.