Apr 29, 2014

Blooming Garden Inn

Enter the Blooming Garden Inn, 7¼ x 9¼ watercolor
When I was told we might be walking at 8:10 on Saturday morning for the 5K and Family Fun Walk, an annual fundraiser for the brain tumor center at Duke University, immediate alarm clock anxiety set in. My friend Chris had asked if I could meet at the hotel of her and her friend Ronni’s at 7:15. I knew I’d have to find a place to stay nearby. That’s when I went online and found the Blooming Garden Inn.

Upon entering the front room, innkeeper Frank Pokrass introduced me to pet German shepherd Savannah. The room then immediately reminded me of some place in Savannah, Georgia. Frank and his wife Dolly Pokrass are collectors, have been all over the world, so the B&B they run in Durham is filled with all kinds of interesting furniture and collectibles. Normally, I paint my room when I travel, but Frank and Dolly made me feel so much at home, that I knew it would be okay to set up and paint in the inn’s living room.

Apr 16, 2014

A guy thing

Mostly Jane, with a touch of Layton, 7 x 9½" watercolor
I have been so privileged my three trips to Statesville to stay in Mabel’s, the charming guest house of friends Jane and Layton Getsinger.

Timing was such on Sunday before I left for Carowinds that I had enough time to do one more watercolor inside the charming guest house. The flashlight on the table is the “touch of Layton” referred to in the title. This is the flashlight Layton gave to me to use for walks at night back and forth to the main house.

My dad bought me a flashlight in 1980 when he and my mother visited me in Minneapolis in 1980. I had just bought my very first property. Dad walked in with the flashlight one day and announced, “I have just made a major improvement to this house.” Flashlights are a guy-thing.

Apr 15, 2014

“Thrill Capital of the Southeast”

Carowinds 2, 12x18" watercolor
NCPAP is the acronym for North Carolina Plein Air Painters, an organization of plein air painters that includes individuals as well as all the various groups of plein air painters in North Carolina. Saturday and Sunday we were invited to paint Carowinds, a huge amusement park on the outskirts of Charlotte. Included here are the two paintings I did that day.

One of the reasons I slowed down on my posts here On the Plein Air Trail is that I have become so regular posting on Facebook. Since many of you see me my posts on Facebook, I wanted to avoid the redundancy of the same work and in some cases the same words. I have decided, phooey on this! Better to have seen twice than not to have seen at all! So to Facebook friends, pardon the repeated posts.
Carowinds 1, 18½ x12½ watercolor

Apr 8, 2014

Front rooms

Front room at Mabel’s, 7x10" watercolor
Here’s looking toward the front window of Jane and Layton’s guest house. It is such a contrast to the chaos that is my front room. Isn’t front room an old way of saying living room? Seems some rooms are more living rooms than front rooms, and conversely, other rooms feel more like front rooms than living rooms. Maybe front rooms got their name as they are the rooms we most want to put in “front” of our guests. In the case of Mabel’s front room, I think it just happens that this is the room at the front of this 100-plus-year-old house.

Jane Getsinger is an artist, who, unlike me, allows her artistic talents to affect and have wonderful influence on all of her surroundings. I tend to stay busy throwing paint around, and either storing paintings here or moving them into other environments. Most of my paintings look better and are happier in other folks’ homes. Just a suggestion. ;-)

All are invited to attend my solo exhibition, North Carolina: Statesville and beyond, opening Friday evening at Iredell Museums in Statesville. For details, visit the Events section of my web site.

Mabel’s, 9x12" oil on panel

Apr 7, 2014

Sleeping around

To bed with the chickens, 7x10" watercolor
In the eighties, I wouldn’t dream of crashing at anyone’s house. I thought, back then, that this is something only college kids do. It was the eighties, the era of overabundance. Now I find myself an artist in the 21st century, and very willing to accept the hospitality that seems to run rampant in the South.

The folks I stayed with for on a Friday night in late March, Duffy and Elizabeth Healey, are an artist couple, Southern, but Southern Californian. I accepted their generous offer to sleep in Elizabeth’s studio. See Elizabeth’s wonderful watch dogs who guarded me. See her other wonderful works at http://elizabethlaulhealey.com/

That Saturday night I stayed in Statesville in the guest house of artist Jane Getsinger. I had to take chickens off the bed so I could crawl in that night.