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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

'All Things Southern' Feature: "Feels Like Home"

"Feels Like Home" 
20" x 30"
Oil on Canvas
 
The past week has been an incredible week of reunions...some planned, some not.  The arrival of a sorority sister from France was the catalyst for an impromptu luncheon reuniting a group of Alpha Gamma Delta sisters last Monday.  On Saturday, my sister and all of her kids and grandchildren were in town for the first time in years for a visit and it was a gathering of every single one of us except for one nephew and my father who is in a nursing home.  Tomorrow a second cousin is coming through town and I hope to see him, too!  Unprecedented! 
 
So that brings me to this piece which I've been painting on for the past few days (maybe I'm through with it; maybe not!).  I was thinking about all of them as I painted.  I wanted to capture the familiar moss and red clay roads of the South, but as I painted I began to think of their trip here.  My niece posted on Facebook as they drove home, "Sweet Home Alabama....the air even smells lovely!" 
 
So this one's for you, my dear family and friends, who live farther away than we would like. 
I hope you can look at it and it will take you down that red dirt road, past moss-laden trees,
toward the sun, toward home. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

'All Things Southern' Feature: "Light on the Lane"

"Light on the Lane"
8"x8"
Oil on Board
 
I've been working furiously on a project for the past couple of weeks.  (I can't wait till it's time to 'reveal' the paintings!)  Couple that work with the constant rain we've had and I haven't been able to get outside and paint like I want to.  I mean, it's rained every single day since about July 3...sometimes showers, sometimes torrential downpours and yesterday outright destruction. 
Trees down, power lines down, houses struck by lightning....what's a plein air artist to do? 
 Batten the hatches and paint inside! 
 
This one features a familiar spring scene in the South which is sort of a carry-over from last week's post.  Our tall pine trees make the perfect, filtered-light/shade for our beautiful azaleas to flourish.  Azaleas are seen everywhere in the spring from about late March to the middle of April...from the manicured landscapes that golf lovers see during The Masters in Augusta, Georgia, to gorgeous Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, to the Azalea Trail in Mobile, Alabama. 
That's just to name a few! 
 
It was pouring rain when I started typing this....the sun is out now,
but odds are it'll be raining again in just a little while.  Yes, humidity, is a part of the South that I may never be able to capture on canvas unless, of course, I paint the way my hair looks! 
It's like living in a jungle lately, so for now I'll just paint inside and enjoy my "Light on the Lane"!
 
If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please visit my website:
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

'All Things Southern' Feature: "Lake & Pines"

"Lake & Pines"
14"x11"
 
 
Most Southerners are outdoors sort of people, I think.  Fishermen, hunters, gardeners....and don't forget those plein air painters.  There are quite a few of us out there, too! 
 
The lakes really are a part of our outdoors lifestyle....partly because it's so hot and partly because it's so mild the rest of the year that we can just stay outside most of the time!  Well, pines are a big part of the landscape, too.  The tall, stately longleaf pine is the state tree for Alabama and North Carolina and provides the perfect amount of shade for our azalea and hydrangea bushes to flourish.  We decorate with pine cones from autumn through Christmas and mulch our gardens with pine straw. 
As an artist, I'm most thankful probably for the turpentine!
 
...and I only realized when doing this post, the words 'lake' and 'pine' are
in most every street name in the vicinity of my house....a great duo!
 
If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please visit my website at this link:
Thanks for looking! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

'All Things Southern' Feature: "Castle Foundations"

"Castle Foundations"
20" x 24"
Oil on Canvas
 
Shhhh!  Don't tell anyone!  You don't have to go out of the country to find most beautiful beaches in the world.  I just don't want it to get too crowded, so don't tell anyone!  It's been called "The Emerald Coast" because of it's amazing blue-green-turquoise-aqua clear waters; "The Miracle Strip" because, well, can the sand be any whiter?  Also, called "The Redneck Riviera" because it's our little paradise in the Deep South.  From the coast of Alabama through the panhandle of Florida, this area on the Gulf of Mexico is the gathering place for people across our region and a bunch of snowbirds, too! 
 
It's where memories are made....with your family when you're building sandcastles and playing with boogie boards, with your buddies in high school and college.  Then the circle comes back around and you're introducing the little ones in your family to that strip of shoreline that is
a tonic to the work-weary soul.....it doesn't get much better!
 
If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please visit my website at this link:
Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

'All Things Southern' Feature: "Barefoot Beauty"

Private Collection
30"x24"
 
One thing about the South (or just Montgomery....see 2nd paragraph!) that always seems to be a mystery to those outside the South/Montgomery (and maybe a mystery to some of us, too) is why the children are always barefoot.  Unless it is really cold...and I mean, REALLY cold.....kids are usually shoeless.  In their Sunday best.....shoeless.   In weddings.....shoeless.  I LOVE IT! 
Heirloom sewing (another Southern tradition altogether) and sweet feet complement each other beautifully and make a great portrait!
 
Maybe the heat's the reason.  I mean, it's just too hot to be comfortable in shoes most of the time! But....my mother tells about our pediatrician who years ago always recommended that children go without shoes for their good health.  Maybe then all the mothers, upon seeing how adorable the kids are without shoes, just left them in the closet until absolutely necessary.  After searching the internet, it appears this may just be a Montgomery, Alabama thing! 
I'd love to hear your town's story if you have one! 
 
My latest portrait....my sweet little neighbors!  My studio is near an entrance to their house and I paint by the window, so these sweethearts got to see their portrait being painted.  I love hearing, "Hey, Mrs. Barbara!" at the window and see them waving and on tiptoes (little bare tiptoes!) to see what I'm painting!