Jun 26, 2014

Have brush will travel

I returned to Goldsboro on Tuesday after a three-day painting trip in Raleigh; before that, Emerald Isle and Morehead City, NC.
8620 Reed Drive, 7x9" watercolor
A couple with whom I am friends just bought the most adorable beach home on Emerald Isle. I think I featured the cabana and outdoor shower at this place a couple blog posts ago. I met Debbie Fallin through a Bunko group that I have been playing with now for almost two years. Debbie decided a stay-over at the beach would be fun for the Bunco gals. We didn’t play Bunco there, but we had some wonderful meals and great fun. As for me, my great fun was painting.

The painting of the house above will be a gift from Debbie and husband Phil to the former owner, a man whose partner died suddenly from a massive heart attack. Heartbroken, he put the house, including all its furnishings, on the market. He and his partner had exceptional taste and a flair for whimsy. I hope he likes the watercolor.

I delivered a commissioned watercolor when I was on the coast to a customer in Morehead City. While in Morehead, I ran over to El’s Drive-In, a historic drive-up restaurant that’s been around since 1959. The wind was whipping up a storm. I think I have captured it in the painting below. 
Fly-in Drive-in, 7½ x 9" watercolor

Jun 16, 2014

Destination: Uniquely R’s

French-press bar at Gladstone, 7x9" watercolor
Here’s a new term, destination shop. That’s what you will say too once you’ve experienced Uniquely R’s in downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina. In our town, small businesses have been chewed up, swallowed, and digested by the existence of two Walmart stores. Before Harris Teeter came along, a person would have to go to one of these Walmart super stores to find anything as exotic as cilantro. You may agree, it is perhaps the produce department where all things exotic end at a Walmart.

Now Goldsboro has a shop that no Walmart will ever touch. Uniquely R’s, located in the old Gidden’s Jewelry Store, is full of the quaint, the romantic, the one-of-a-kind conversation starters that make unusual gifts for your best of friends should they be so lucky. The shop has reasonably priced designer clothing that you won’t find hanging at even the swankiest department store. I gave in this week and picked up some items appropriate to wear to my next art opening. And then, allowing owner Creativity Queen Ruth Glisson to accessorize another ensemble I was trying on, I realized I was outfitted for the next Academy Awards. Now just to get the invitation.

Once you’ve browsed the shop, contemplate your selections over a hot-pressed coffee or tea served in the tea room in back. This room called Gladstone has the ambiance and charm of a cozy Victorian parlor. A variety of cakes and cookies are available, depending on the whims and inspirations of a local baker.

Mother daughter tea at Gladstone, 7x9" watercolor
Uniquely R’s and Gladstone are located at 135 South Center St., next to the Historic Paramount Theatre in Historic downtown Goldsboro.

Jun 9, 2014

Peint sur l’emplaceme

Sandy’s studio, 7x9" watercolor

I awoke this morning knowing I wanted to share this interior today, but then thinking, it’s not en plein air if it was painted inside. The literal translation for en plein air is “in the open air.” So, what do I call my interior paintings? Sur l'emplacement in French translates to “on location” in English. The last time I searched for a new term was when I was looking for a phrase for [painted] “in the car.” I went online with dans la voiture, a French prepositional phrase, and landed on a French soft porn movie. One needs to be careful when coming up with terms in another language.

I think I’ll stick with “on location” for those paintings I do of interiors. So, this painting was done on location in the studio of talented artist friend Sandy Donn. Sandy put me up four times earlier in the year when a Scott Burdick series of portrait classes had me running to Winston-Salem. She extended her hospitality again Friday night when a fundraiser at Tyler White O’Brien Gallery took me to Greensboro, not that far from Sandy’s place in Winston-Salem. This little watercolor will be a small token to her for my appreciation.

Jun 3, 2014

The magical Blooming Garden Inn

Find the daddy cardinal in this picture, 6x9" watercolor
This spring has been a ripe piece of fruit that I have juiced for all the paintings I could squeeze out of it. Many more paintings were painted en plein air, but most of them oil, so I have not shared but a few of them on this blog. As I’ve mentioned, I try to reserve this plein air blog for my calligraphic watercolors. The ultimate place I visited this spring at which to render these watercolors was perhaps the Blooming Garden Inn in Durham.

What a treat it was to stay there. Proprietors Frank and Dolly Pokrass are equally interesting and eclectic as the Inn with all its trappings and antiques. I am convinced Dolly dresses up at night as a fairy godmother with a duster, magically transforms all the fireflies in her garden into fairy recruits and puts them to work weeding the garden by moonlight and helping her dust all the collectibles inside the Inn. If you knew Dolly, you would believe this possible.

I hope these paintings of the Inn’s animal-friendly garden convey a touch of the whimsy that permeates the appropriately named Blooming Garden Inn.

Find the mama cardinal in this picture, 9x6" watercolor

Jun 2, 2014

En plein country air

Late spring at Mabel’s, 7x9" watercolor
I love coming home from a trip with a slug of watercolors I can share. This time, I came home from a five-day trip with four oil paintings, and just this one watercolor. Mabel’s is the guesthouse at Jane and Layton Getsinger’s, where I have the good fortune to stay when I travel west to Statesville, NC. I have mentioned Mabel’s in earlier posts, as already I have shared an oil of the house as well as three watercolors of its interior.

On the same property this past week, I immersed myself in an attempt to capture the beauty of the Getsinger property. A vast hayfield there is now in its prime and ready for cutting. I also made it a point to paint Shoes in the walls, a curious interior view, also inside Mabel’s. The shoes painting as well as the story behind the shoes can be found in “A country dream,” the Behr Path newsletter I sent out yesterday.

Path to the garden, 8x10" oil on panel