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