Jun 28, 2017

The Big Oak

Shrimp Burger Heaven, 7 x 9½" watercolor

Another iconic food joint, this one in Salter Path, NC. I pitched my umbrella in the blazingly hot, sunlit parking lot that day. Luckily, I found a patch off the pavement, which by noon, was filled with cars. I learned I can quick paint the cars, then put in a wash and proceed with the remainder of the painting. Vehicles, animals and people move constantly, and so present a challenge to a plein air painter.

Jun 27, 2017

Another Krispy Kreme

Crepe Myrtle Time of Year, 7 x 9½" watercolor
Back from Krispy Kreme two days later. Picking up a medium coffee and a traditional cake doughnut has become a habit ever since my system would allow me to drink coffee again. I put away my coffeemaker last year after a bout of c diff colitis, something I would not wish on anyone. I lost a much needed nineteen pounds, five pounds of which I have regained. I think I would have gained more had I reverted to my daylong habit of nursing coffee with hazelnut Coffee-mate®. Seems everything on the market with low fat is high in sugar, and everything sugarless is high in fat.

Speaking of fat, here’s the Krispy Kreme at Peace and Person streets in Raleigh. I’m happy to say I have done and sold more paintings of this shop than I have eaten doughnuts there. Can’t say the same for the Krispy Kreme here in Goldsboro, NC.

Jun 25, 2017

Do not is another way I should spell donut

Flip Flop Donut Shop, 7 x 9½" watercolor
My watercolors of late are getting ahead of me. Not really. Facebook has a tendency to kill peoples’ blogs. All of us are suckers for immediate gratification, and the social media giant makes it so easy for followers to Like, Love, Laugh, and Cry at our our posts. 

Here’s a painting I did recently when I was a guest of friends at their mobile home in Emerald Isle, NC. Speaking of doughnuts, I haven’t yet made my daily run to my favorite local doughnut shop. Be back soon.

May 17, 2017

Vintage Business

Chester Laundry7 x 9½" watercolor
I remember the first time I was asked to paint a place of business. It was a commissioned painting that would become a gift to my customer’s husband. I drove out to take photos of the designated workplace, and I remember thinking I had never seen a more uninspiring subject matter. It was a one-story building, flat-roofed that appeared to stretch out forever. Without giving away where this was, I will stop here with the description.

Not so with the business that was suggested I paint earlier this month in Chester, South Carolina. If someone had set me loose to paint any building in Chester, this is the one I may likely have chosen. Chester Laundry & Dry Cleaners is said to be the oldest business in Chester. Originally constructed as Farthing Steam Laundry prior to 1908, the business has been in the Whitesides family for more than one generation.

May 10, 2017

Wedding in Chester, South Carolina

Lowrys Schoolhouse7 x 9½" watercolor

I just received my second booking to paint a wedding in 2018. How time flies! This will mark my tenth year to receive commissions to paint weddings.

Last weekend I painted my first rained-out wedding, this one in Chester, South Carolina. The show went on, of course, but under a tent, not as planned. Both me and my paintings were rained on at the Friday evening rehearsal. The rehearsal dinner following was inside, and although it was unseasonably cold out, at least we were under shelter for dinner. Here’s historic Lowrys Schoolhouse, converted to a community center, where dinner and toasts followed the rehearsal.

Mar 23, 2017

Your favorite movie here

Your favorite movie here7 x 9½" watercolor
Fast forward to North Carolina and to spring. Finally, the weather was such on Tuesday that I could get in some plein air painting. This is the third watercolor I did that day. The Rialto is Raleigh’s most popular theater, maybe its most popular theater, period. I have sold every painting I have done of it. In 2008, I put a not-so-subliminal title in the marquis. When the movie Words and Pictures came around, I painted the theater, including movie title, mostly because I liked the name of the movie so much. I don’t know who bought the watercolor, but when someone saw it had sold, they asked me to paint it again on commission. His daughter had been proposed to the night she and her future husband attended the movie and had become engaged.

So, the name of this one is Your Favorite Movie Here. I am willing to put the title in upon request by the person who buys the painting.

Mar 13, 2017

View from a window

Looking Back at Kelley and Mack’s7 x 9½" watercolor
If I had known what crummy weather we would be having in Carolina in March, I may have chosen this month to go to California. Turns out, the weather was largely the same, except there was possibly more rain in what is supposed to be “sunny” California. I experienced a couple of perfect days to stay indoors. Kelley’s house included a lovely view of the backyard which had in it a fabulous Jacuzzi hot tub. On a sunnier day, I managed to squeeze in a watercolor of her house. Paintings like these make good host gifts when I travel. Kelley proved to be the ultimate host on my trip.
Haghighi Home, 7 x 9½" watercolor

Mar 4, 2017

It's In the Details

Mission San Juan Capistrano, 9 x 7½" watercolor
Where would we be without our phones to tell us what day we were where? After painting Hidden House Coffee in San Juan Capistrano, I moved my car, so as not to overstay my welcome in the free lot, and slipped over to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Sitting outside a Starbucks, I painted this view of the entry to the landmark mission. Paintings in this style beg for details. The person who introduced me to calligraphic watercolors, Frank Webb, was a former student of Watercolor Great Edgar Whitney. It is difficult for me to remember which is a Webb quote and that which Webb pulled from his large collection of Whitney quotes. Speaking of calligraphic watercolors, “It is not about the nouns; it’s about the adjectives” is one of my favorites. Subject matter with more adjectives than this scene offered would have made for a better calligraphic watercolor.

Feb 26, 2017

Edible Icons

The Original Frozen Banana, 9 x 7½" watercolor

I was wrong. It was my fourth day, my third full day, that I painted Hidden House Coffee. The first day, I spent within the walls of Mission San Juan Capistrano, painting the ruins of a church. Visit my web site blog post.

The afternoon of my second full day, I drove to Balboa Island to paint the landmark Frozen Banana place that earlier I had put on my mental checklist of things to paint. If it’s anything like Krispy Kreme is to North Carolinians, and I lived in the area, paintings of this place would be a bread and butter money-maker for me. But alas! I live in North Carolina, and, dollars to doughnuts, paintings of Frozen Banana establishments here would be about as popular as Krispy Kreme shop paintings would be in California.

Feb 22, 2017


Hidden House Coffee, 7 x 9½" watercolor
It was my second day in California. Just, the day before, I had been introduced to California freeways when I’d dropped my second cousin off at John Wayne Airport, just south of L.A.  It was a good introduction, still dark out, the rush traffic had just begun to build.

It was also my second day to head for San Juan Capistrano, not so very far from where I was staying in Laguna Niguel. There was a parking lot there near the Amtrak station that allowed five hours free parking. I’d been given rave reviews of nearby Hidden House Coffee, and it was my intent to paint it. Between coats of paint, I could slip in and grab a coffee. This style of watercolor requires two coats, a very loose wet coat, which, when totally dry, is followed by a second coat of calligraphic brushstrokes that define the details.