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