Here is a little preview of the two pieces I have in the Juried Gala Show. They will be on display at the Randolph County Community Arts Center in September. Unfortunately, I will not be at the Gala, but I look forward to hearing about who else was juried in and who gets awards. It is always a great party and an exciting time for area artists to earn a little extra cash with prize and purchase awards.
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
The Brooksville piece was created after a visit to Maine last year and depicts the home of a friend's nephew in the middle of a huge blueberry field. It was one of my favorite photos from the trip.
The Old Crow is a black and white I have been itching to paint for YEARS so, I did. This old dead crow was hanging on the garden fence at the Burky Family Farm between Helvetia and Pickens. I suppose it is a great way to ward off live crows.
Who likes to find a parking ticket on your car after a long day? Not me. I had the opportunity today to save someone from one of those. As I was walking downtown I saw the meter man turn the knob on an empty meter (just to double check that the money did not get stuck) and then begin the ticketing process. For some reason I asked, "Sir, can I put a quarter in for them?" and he let me, voided the ticket, and went on his way. I only had a dime and a nickel in my bag, but that filled the meter. I went on with my errands and forgot about the whole incident. Later in the day, I was walking on a pebbled sidewalk, talking to Adam on the phone, and rummaging in my bag when something shined up at me- a quarter. "Lucky day" I told Adam, "I just found a quarter" and then I remembered: I put change in the meter for someone today. Wow. That was not luck- I would have NEVER seen that with how distracted I was if the light hadn't reflected exactly right. In the busyness of life today, God was sending me a message. Yes, it was just a quarter, but with it came the reminder that it is always a blessing to do good things (big or small) for people and yes, God will reward you in one way or another for kindness and Christ-like actions.
I recently got the opportunity to make a monotype for a local farm family of their old red barn. It is so neat to be surrounded by interesting structures like this one. The fence and corral area were a bit tricky to pull off, but are such a huge part of the process and production of this sheep farm. I have a few more barn images in my "inbox" of paintings to do and hope to get to those as soon as possible especially since a few of them are not used and are definitely not in the great shape this family barn is in. There was an Smithsonian exhibit that traveled through Elkins a few years ago called Barn Again! - barns were and still are important. If you have not been to a barn dance- you should put that on your list. I think that is one of the special things about having family roots in Helvetia- I got to participate in and experience things that are definitely not main-stream but give you a window into the past and how creative people were about coming up with ways to entertain within their livelihood.
EEEEK! Cardboard Shark!! Once school is out, I get to work on Vacation Bible School props (this was a pretty enjoyable project). I think the kids will have fun getting their pictures taken inside a shark's mouth for our "Deep Sea Adventure" this week....or they'll be scared by all of those teeth and pee their pants- who knows?
Here are two little watercolor sketches I did today while Adam ran around Dolly Sods. The top painting is of the view from the South Prong Trail-head and the second is from the road looking at Bear Rocks. I am trying to practice with a new little portable watercolor palette so I can at least make some sort of art work or "artwork" on the AT next May. That darn water just sometimes doesn't do what I want it to do- I need to train it a little better! I enjoyed being able to do plein-aire sketches more easily though (oils are SO messy and delicate) while crewing Adam. I think this little portable set will work pretty well for the trip (maybe not the most glorious paintings I'll ever make, but it will tide me over for a few months away from my studio). Enjoy!
This 4x6 monotype was made as a donation for the Randolph County Community Arts Center's mortgage burning party. It depicts the steeple of the former St. Brendan's Catholic Church building which is now the home of the Arts Center. The original monotype was given as a gift to one of the many many people who helped make the completion of the mortgage payments possible. We are so fortunate to have such a great Arts Center right here in Elkins. The staff and volunteers are top-notch and the programming and educational opportunities (both in the facility and in Randolph County schools) are such a great addition to the community. I'm glad I could contribute this way. This is one of the many reasons why I do what I do.
My home studio is coming right along. The new HUGE and wonderful window was put in on Wednesday. It won't get much morning light from the north, but I'm not a morning person so that is okay. The warm evening light will be perfect for me!! I am so pleased with how much this opened up my studio space. It makes me much more excited to finish this project and move in. I will be so glad to be at home painting whenever I please. I am lucky to have so many who care enough about me and my work to help make this happen.
Drywall, fixtures, HEAT, and a coat of paint...a studio party is soon to come!
Here is a benchmark drawing from one of my Kindergarten students in Mill Creek. I just found it today going through things for a student exhibit next week at the Randolph County Community Arts Center and thought it was so hilarious! I don't know what in the world this kid thinks deer do- but that definitely looks like poo to me. Enjoy!
Here is "Little Seneca Creek"! This was a fun oil painting- start to finish. I had been on an adventure with Adam this fall along Seneca Creek and took some neat photos- especially this one of a little stream that flowed into Seneca Creek. I usually don't start a painting with a single-color underpainting, but for some reason I tried it with orange since it was a colorful scene and I think it really made it "glow". Even though I covered up a lot of the orange (even the orange seen in the leaves is different from the initial orange underpainting), it still seems to seep up to the top and warm up the water/grass/trees. It is just so neat- I'm sure to try that technique again soon. Adam and his friend, Dan are planning a three day stage run in October that starts at The Mountain Institute on Spruce Knob and runs past this spot on one of the three days. The WV Trilogy should be a really beautiful weekend of running!
Here is an oil painting of my Great-grandma Alma feeding chickens on the Burky family farm in Helvetia. It took me quite a while to work from a black and white photo to add my own colors and embellishments, but I am finally happy with it. I displayed this during my recent solo show at the Randolph County Community Arts Center in October and November. I am interested in doing more paintings like this and have found several old photos that just suit my style lately. The next image to get started on is one of my Great-great grandparents (Wilmoths) on my Kramer family side sitting in front of a corn field.