Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Paint Us! Paint Us! - a painting by Candy Crawford Day

One of the blessings of getting involved in the art community is the opportunity to make connections with other artists. I once wrote that painting has brought an entirely new dimension to my group of friends. Such a true statement! One such friend is Candy Day. She belongs to the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast and is a fellow Georgia girl. I grew up in Georgia - mostly Rome, but also Ellijay and Griffin. As it turns out, Candy went to the same high school I attended and married the boy who lived next door to us when we lived in Rome, GA. Literally right next door! Although I knew her husband when we lived in Rome, I never knew Candy.

I met Candy for the first time when PAPSE was in Leiper's Fork back in September 2018. As we chatted at one of the PAPSE get-togethers, I found out that she now lives in Ellijay. Our family lived in Ellijay before we moved to Rome. And she is also a cousin of my brother's best friend from Ellijay. Small world.

Besides the school, town and neighbor connections, I saw immediately that Candy is a gifted artist. A few months back, she posted a photograph of a painting she was doing of three little girls at the beach. I immediately loved that painting. There's just something about their facial expressions, and the way they're standing in the painting. Candy explained the setting for the painting. She had been painting at the beach, and the girls came up to watch her and then cried, "Paint Us! Paint Us!" So Candy painted them.

"Paint Us! Paint Us!" oil on 16x20 panel
That was about six months ago. I figured someone snapped up that painting quickly. Then six or so weeks ago, I saw that Candy had posted a painting she was working on, and in the background I saw "Paint Us! Paint Us!" on the wall. I messaged her and asked if it was still available for purchase. She said it was, and we agreed on a price. Since my mother lives in north Georgia, I decided to pick it up in person so we wouldn't have to deal with shipping. So my mother, two sisters, and I made a day trip out of it. Candy recommended a good restaurant in Ellijay for us to have lunch. We drove to Ellijay (just a 90-minute drive from my mother's home in Rome), had a delightful lunch, and then drove out to Candy's house and studio. It was great to see her studio, to chat with her and her husband again, and I loved the painting even more in person.  Here is a photo of Candy and me in her studio.

I brought the painting home and it is now on the wall in my dining room. Next to it is a painting by Kathie Odom, "Homestead Remnants" and below it is a painting of mine, "He Planted Wildflowers for Me."  (I could've moved the hammer out of the photo, couldn't I? Or cropped it out of the photo!  LOL!)

Each time I pass that painting, it grabs my attention - it touches my heart. I'm a little in awe that I own it! Art is so personal and individual. Art affects us based on our unique experiences, thoughts, and ideas. We react to what moves us. Maybe it's my years of teaching elementary school age children that makes a painting of children so special to me. I also know how difficult it is to capture the essence of a person in a painting. In "Paint Us! Paint Us!" the  individual personality of each girl just oozes out of the painting. I couldn't be happier with this addition to my art collection. 

To me, a home filled with art - especially art by people I know - my own art - art that tells a story - art that moves me - is the home I want - and blessedly, the home I have.

The Dry Spells

I believe that most people who are involved in creative endeavors hit dry spells occasionally. The past couple months have been quite dry for me. Dry spells aren't necessarily bad, though. They can be a time of renewing, resting, getting centered again.

In early December, I finished up a class at On-Track Studios in Franklin taught by Karen Philpott. I really like Karen, and ended up with several paintings I like as a result of the classes I took from her.

This is my favorite. It is painted from a photograph that Karen provided us. She had a selection of photographs for us to choose from, and I chose this one because I love the contrast of the cold icy snow in the foreground to the warmth of the sky in the background. In looking at it with fresh eyes, though, I think there needs to be some of that gold color from the sky reflected on the snow. So I might go back and do that. It would unify the two parts of the painting.

This next one is also from a photo provided by Karen. I like this one, too.

This one was done in Karen's water reflections class back in late summer. I don't recall if I've written about or posted this one or not. It was painted from another of Karen's photographs.

This next one is a small painting - from my imagination. I love doing the water and the reflections of the boat and the land and the sky.
My sister, Debi, gave me a photo of a scene from their visit to Greece a couple years ago. I painted it for her. If I had it to do over again, I'd leave out that pier or whatever it is on the left. But I finished it, varnished it, framed it, and gave the painting to Debi. So it's done and gone - with the pier.

And now - this dry spell is into its third month, and I'm ready to bring on the rain of painting. In the next few months, I have quite a few painting opportunities that are exciting and that I'm anticipating with a lot of joy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Chestnut Group's Art Show & Sale to Benefit Radnor Lake

I am a member of The Chestnut Group, which is a group of plein air artists in the middle Tennessee area. This coming weekend - November 8 - 10 - we are having an art show and sale at the Radnor Lake Visitor Center. The Friends of Radnor Lake and The Chestnut Group have been working together for 15 years now to help support Radnor Lake. It's a beautiful natural area in Nashville - a state park - really a gorgeous place. Here's the flyer with the show information.

I gathered my courage and entered three of my paintings from Radnor Lake into the show. There's no competition - no awards - just an art show and sale. There's a long list of guidelines to prepare for the show. Any painting from a Chestnut member that follows the guidelines is accepted for the show.

It's actually my second art show. This past summer, I had two paintings accepted into the Outdoor Painters Society's "Associate Members Show & Sale 2019" in Corsicana, Texas. That show was open from August 12 to September 26. That was a good experience is learning how to ship paintings. Neither of my paintings sold, and so they were shipped back to me when the show ended.

Thankfully, the Radnor show doesn't involve any shipping! I don't anticipate selling any of my Radnor paintings, but I'm happy for the experience of being in a second show - and this one a local one! I'll actually be able to go (tomorrow) and see my paintings in the show. And if one should sell, that would be wonderful.

I entered three paintings - all done partially en plein air at Radnor Lake - and finished in my studio. Here are the three after final touch-ups and varnishing - sitting out with a fan directed at them - drying in my studio.

And here they are after I framed them.

And close-ups of all three:
Path to Radnor Lake, oil on 16x20 panel

A Place to Rest at Radnor, oil on 12x16 linen

Just Chilling Out, oil on 8x8 panel

Update: The Radnor show is over. One of my paintings sold. "Just Chilling Out" - the small 8x8 painting I did at the last minute. I'm a little in shock because my art is so amateurish next to some amazing art by professionals in the group. I figured my three pieces helped fill up space for the show. The other two painting are now back on the walls in my own home. The show did great - over $50K in sales. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Bradley, the 5-year old plein air artist is mentored by Pam Padgett

Last month on the last day of the PAPSE (Plein Air Painters of the Southeast) paintout in Leiper's Fork, TN, my 5-year old granddaughter, Mary Bradley, spent the day with me. She accompanied me into town to see the wet paint sale at Leiper's Creek Gallery and to watch all the artists that were painting around town.

Pam Padgett, Chestnut Group member and PAPSE member, was painting at the Lawn Chair Theater behind the Gallery. We talked with Pam briefly and then went on to look around the rest of the area. When we walked near Pam again, Bradley pulled me to Pam and her easel. Out of all the plein air painters scattered all over town, Bradley was taken with Pam. So we chatted with Pam again, and Pam asked Bradley if she'd like to paint. Of course we all know the answer she gave - a resounding yes!

Pam lowered the easel, attached a fresh panel, and she asked Bradley to look at the pumpkin on the stage. She talked Bradley through how to look at the shape, how to do shadows and highlights. She discussed mixing red and yellow to make orange. With Pam's guidance, Bradley painted that pumpkin.

I loved seeing the attention Bradley and Pam gathered. Leiper's Fork was full of residents, visitors and artists - and many of them came by to watch Pam and Bradley work together. Many took photos. Yes, Bradley was as cute as can be. However, she was also serious. She was 100% into the creative endeavor of painting that pumpkin. She listened attentively as Pam gave her instruction, and she followed it carefully.

In the photo below, you can see the "Porch Sale" in the background with all the beautiful paintings from the PAPSE artists. The paintings go all the way around the building on all four sides. On the other side of the building is the main road going through Leiper's Fork.

Bradley and Pam continued until Bradley finished her pumpkin and signed her painting.

Here is the budding artist with her mentor and completed painting.

Here is Bradley with her finished masterpiece.

And here's a footnote to this story: We took Bradley's painting home and set it out to dry. We told her we'd like to buy her painting, and she finally settled on a price of $20 which we paid her. However, when her parents came to pick her up, she very seriously gave us the $20 back and took her painting home. She loved it so much she couldn't bear to part with it.

And THAT is an example of what art is all about. It's about sharing with children - or others of any age -  the joy and satisfaction of expressing oneself via art. It is sharing how to look at things differently - how to see the shadows and lights - how to combine colors to get the shade we're looking for - how to see the beauty and complexity of our world - how to look beyond the obvious. Thank you to Pam Padgett for so generously giving Bradley an experience she will always remember.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Five New Paintings Added to my Home

I've mentioned before about how three of the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAPSE) stayed in our home for the week of October 14 -19 for their Leiper's Fork Paintout. It was a fun and rewarding week. All three are friends that I enjoy being with and admire, and it was a good week of fellowship and painting. One of the customs of the PAPSE artists is that they each give a painting to their hosts. It is an incredibly generous custom because their paintings are not only beautiful but valuable. I didn't know that when I first agreed to host some of them. I was just excited at the prospect of getting to know some professional artists and hopefully glean some tidbits of artistic wisdom from them over the course of their stay. The painting gifts were a bonus!

Last fall, I posted about our September 2018 experience of hosting three of the PAPSE painters. They don't usually have a paintout in the same location two years in a row, but after a hurricane last year, the Florida gallery that was planned for this year had not recovered sufficiently to host them, and so they returned to Leiper's Fork. Next year I believe they're going to Virginia. We hosted for two years in row, but it will be at least another couple years before we have the opportunity to host them again.

This year Jim Carson gave us this wonderful painting of a neighbor's yard a few doors down from us. Amos is a lawn mower repairman, and he does his work under the pole barn/carport. We pass this scene frequently - and Amos and his family are such good neighbors. He's been there for many years - long before we moved here - and is known as an expert with lawn mowers - honest and thorough. He has repaired our lawn mowers several times over the years. We love this painting that reminds us of the "salt of the earth" people that live along our charming country road.
Lawn Mower Repair, oil on 12x16 linen panel
Then Kathie Odom painted this scene in"downtown" Leiper's Fork. A small mobile home was in the parking lot of a little shopping area across the road from where she was set up to paint. That old wagon was there, too; they were being used during the weekend festivities. I watched her paint this, and I immediately loved it! I was thrilled when she gave the painting to me!
One Bed, One Bath, oil on 12x16 linen panel

Here is a photo of her painting it.

Perry Austin gave us this beautiful painting of trees on old Hwy 96 in Leiper's Fork. That's the road that our church is on. Such a beautiful scene! I want to locate the exact scene when I get a chance.

Old 96, Oil on 12x9 board
Those were our three gift paintings from the week of PAPSE in Leiper's Fork!  Amazing, aren't they?

The PAPSE week was filled to bursting with amazing art! Artists wereall over our village of Leiper's Fork and surrounding areas painting local scene. It was an inspiring sight; it was fun to walk around town and watch them paint.

Sometimes paintings really capture my attention and I know immediately I want them for my home. Artist Greg Barnes did the painting below with pastels. I also painted that barn that week - not nearly as well as Greg did, of course, but the fact I painted it made me appreciate this painting even more. The roof of that barn was a green which Greg interpreted with that gorgeous bright turquoisy color that pops beautifully. I love the softness that the pastels give this painting. It took me a few days after the show & sale to decide to buy it, but I am so glad I did. I love it.

Kelly's Barn, pastels on 8x10 panel

It took me even longer to decide to buy this next painting. Since Perry Austin had to leave early because his new granddaughter was born, he asked me to pick up his unsold paintings from the gallery after the sale was over. Of course I told him I would pick them up and ship them back to him. At the last moment, the gallery owner decided to keep one of each artist's paintings for a mini-show for a few weeks. So I kept Perry's other paintings so I could ship them all back at one time. That's how I ended up with two of Perry's paintings displayed on the counter in my art studio so they could continue drying until it was time to ship them back. I kept looking at this painting. It's a painting of downtown Leiper's Fork. The flag is the perfect touch because I see that flag every time I drive into Leiper's Fork. The painting says Leiper's Fork and home to me. I finally realized I would regret not buying it. I now have 3 Perry Austin paintings, and this one is probably my favorite.

Leiper's Fork, oil on 16x12 board 

And I have a photograph of Perry painting it!

Over the past few weeks I have added significantly to my original art collection at home. That's a good thing because I love having art in my home - especially the art of people I know personally. One of my great joys is looking at them all - thinking about the circumstances surrounding each one. I love seeing the way different artists use their colors and brushwork. What better way to decorate one's home than to fill it with beautiful art?

It is probably a good thing I'm not a gallery owner because I'd end up buying more paintings than I'd sell. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Plein Air Today - My "9 Suggestions for Beginning Artists" article published

Advice for the beginning artist - 

I am SO excited and honored! A little over a week ago, I decided to re-work the post I made in September with suggestions for beginning artists. I revised, edited, shortened the article and submitted it to Plein Air Today - an online newsletter - which is part of the Plein Air Magazine family. I emailed it to them late last Wednesday evening. Early the next morning I got a reply that they planned to use the article. Immediately.  At their request, I sent them a separate email with photos, captions, and some "about the writer" information. And just a week later, it was published! 

Click THIS LINK to go to my article in Plein Air Today. Enjoy - and share as much as possible.

Friday, October 18, 2019

PAPSE Painters In Leiper's Fork - What a treat!

The Plein Air Painters of the Southeast have been in Leiper's Fork this past week, and we have had the honor of hosting three of them in our home:  Perry Austin and his wife, Carol, Jim Carson, and Kathie Odom and her husband, Buddy. It has been such an enjoyable week!

Although we've spent the week with well known artists, the first photos of the week are of my own painting when my friend, Sheryl, and I went out plein air painting on Wednesday. We drove to a farm that had this barn. I loved it and decided to paint it. However, I wanted the roof to show up more, and thus I used artistic license to make it a red roof instead of green.

This is a terrible photograph of my painting. I have no idea what the shadow is on top. I will photograph it again later and switch it out.  I'm not quite finished with this yet - but I like it so far.

Later that afternoon we drove to Radnor Lake and painted there. Here is the scene a chose to paint:

I am FAR from finished with this one - but I have the basics, although I definitely have to change that path!  I will post the finished painting in a few days. The shadows are what intrigued me, and I'm eager to get back to this painting and get those shadows looking right.

The best part of the week has not been MY painting, but the opportunity to be with so many wonderful artists and observe them painting. Our conversations have been so fascinating. I hate to see Kathie and Buddy go home tomorrow - and Jim go home on Sunday morning.

The photo below shows Kathie Odom in our driveway finishing up one of her paintings in preparation to take it to Leiper's Creek Gallery for the PAPSE On the Porch Wet Paint Show and Sale. Thursday was a busy morning as all three artists had to get their wet paintings ready to take to the Gallery for the show & sale.

This photo shows some of Kathie's paintings drying on a table outside our barn - waiting for Kathie's husband, Buddy, to frame them.

Our good friend, Perry Austin and his wife, Carol, got word around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday morning that their new granddaughter was about to be born. So Perry scurried around Thursday morning finishing up his paintings so he and Carol could get on the road to see that new grandbaby! Kathie and Buddy offered to handle Perry's framing, and when the show is over, I will pick up his paintings and keep them until I can get them back to Perry. They were on their way back home quickly - and later we got word that baby Mara was born - healthy and beautiful.

Here is Perry, working out of the back of his car finishing up his paintings.

And here are Perry and Carol Austin with Buddy and Kathie Odom right before Perry and Carol left to go see their new granddaughter.

Here's Jim Carson working on framing his paintings upstairs in my studio.

On Thursday night, we hosted a dinner for our artist guests, along with our friends, Troy and Sheryl, and their artist guests, David Boyd and Greg Barnes. My husband, Ron, asked us to go around the table and each person tell about their most meaningful painting. Wow! What wonderful and touching stories! There were more than a few tears which just goes to show how deeply art touches our souls. If you ever have the opportunity to talk with an artist, I can wholeheartedly recommend asking them to tell you about their most meaningful painting!

Thursday afternoon, Jim Carson offered to let me watch him paint as he talked about his process and answer questions. I learned so much! I'm sure I slowed him down with all my questions, but he was so open and helpful!

All "our artists" (as I call them) got their paintings to the gallery on time and in good shape. Here are Perry Austin's paintings hanging at the Leiper's Creek Gallery. You notice the bottom painting in this first photo already has a red dot sticker! As a matter of fact, all three of "my artists" had a painting sell today!

And here are Jim Carson's paintings at the Leiper's Creek Gallery's Wet Paint Show and Sale.

And here are Kathie Odom's! I believe Kathie sold a painting before I took this photo.

Friday morning, all the PAPSE artists plus some Chestnut Group members painted in Leiper's Fork. I started a painting but ended up needing to go home. So I wiped off the panel and will try again another day.

Here is Kathie Odom painting. I predict this painting will win an award. I loved it! One thing I noticed is how accomplished artists "see" paintings in ordinary things - not the obvious. Kathy's painting is of a small trailer.

Here is my friend, MaryO Smith painting in Leiper's Fork. MaryO was working with watercolors this time - beautiful work.

My friend, Sheryl, a Chestnut Group member, was also painting in Leiper's Fork. And that's Kathie in the background - and other artists across the street. It was fun to drive through town and see so many artists painting!

And Jim Carson completed another beautiful painting Friday morning in Leiper's Fork.

And here is the reason Perry and Carol Austin went home early. Grandma Carol Austin holding newborn Mara. Just look at that sweet face!

Such a wonderful week. We will be sad to see everyone else go home tomorrow and Sunday. It has been a great week with good friends and a lot of marvelous art!

Paint Us! Paint Us! - a painting by Candy Crawford Day

One of the blessings of getting involved in the art community is the opportunity to make connections with other artists. I once wrote that p...