Murphy's Tavern has been a local hang out on St. Simon's Island forever it seems... 35 years or more. It's a colorful place - both inside and out - and I've been wanting to paint it for some time. The other morning the light was just right so I gave it a go. I love those red doors!
Many thanks to photographer Shirley Robinson for sending this action shot of me painting across the street from Murphy's Tavern. (A nice shady spot on a hot August morning!)
Fishing off the pier on St. Simons Island is a favorite pastime for kids of all ages. I met Charles last week, doing just that. He came fully prepared with multiple rods and a cooler full of bait. After getting all set up, he sat and enjoyed the ocean breeze while waiting for the fish to bite. I have to say, I enjoyed that breeze myself - there is no place quite like the pier! :) PS - I know this looks like it belongs in my "men at work" group. While that series was specific to my home renovations, I am still drawn to the concept... please stay tuned.
Posing with Charles and my finished painting. Thanks, Charles!
Our renovations are finished!!! Here are many of our workmen, all together, representing months of work. From planning, to scheduling, to selecting materials and executing the plan... it's been quite a project. I've had so much fun painting these guys that I feel some new directions coming on, and I'm excited to see where those lead. Many thanks to our wonderful team of craftsmen!
THIS is a happy sight. In Texas, we have saying, "get 'er done". It kind of encapsulates the overwhelming sensibilities at the end of any big job like this. Everyone is just READY to be finished. I am soooo ready. I loved doing it, loved making the choices, loved all the workers who crossed the threshold, love the results, AND now I'm going to love some peace and quiet. Thank you, Boss! It's beautiful. We could not be happier.
You may have been thinking that we were finished with this project here, since I painted the clean up crew for my last post. No, that is not how it works. They clean up and then create a new mess. While each round does get you closer to the finished product, "things" happen. Suddenly, the electrical stops working in just one area. It's a mystery, but thank goodness, our handy electrician figured it out. Hair dryers can now be fired up without blowing fuses. All is well.
Let us not forget the ever-important clean up team... At every stage of our renovation project I was almost as happy to see the area cleaned up as I was to see the new work. Call me crazy, but I like surfaces to be clean and paths to be clear. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those whose mission it was to clear the decks! :)
Here is another one of my new BFF's from the house project. Since we were remodeling bathrooms, there was a fair amount of tile work that had to be done and this guy stayed busy. I think construction work might be where the quote "measure twice, cut once" comes from. Avoiding waste and do-overs is every contractors goal - it's true for any project though, isn't it?
I have been spying this water tank for quite some time, and finally had the chance today to get out and paint it. As the sun lit up the tank against a cloudy sky, it absolutely glowed! It was a lovely combination of color and light.
A weekend trip to the Georgia coast brought me to this gorgeous marsh scene in "afternoon shower" mode. The roiling clouds were full but the distant rains never made it over the marsh to where I was painting. Dramatic skies like this always take my breath away; and it's a joy when I get to stop and paint them.
A recent visit to my friend's garden presented me with this little scene. It felt a bit like being in a European village, and spending a morning painting there was exactly like being on a lovely vacation! My great thanks to Jennifer, who always leaves her gate open and the light "on". I so appreciate her generosity! :)
This weekend, Plein Air Austin met up in the little town of Driftwood, just outside of Austin. It's pretty small and this little corner gas station is a piece of the past. There was a grove of trees right across the street that provided a shady spot for setting up. What a lovely morning! It was quite wonderful to paint with old friends that I haven't seen for awhile. :)
On Friday, I had the good fortune of joining a good friend at her serene, forested property in Bastrop, Texas. This is the little town east of Austin that suffered horrible fires a few years ago. Many families lost their homes, and thousands upon thousands of beautiful Loblolly Pines were destroyed. Painting these majestic old-growth specimens felt like being on sacred ground. Indeed, this is a special place. My deepest thanks, TB!
Wow - it has been quite awhile since my last post! I really didn't mean to go AWOL, but sometimes it happens. I have been off having a wonderful family reunion with our children and their babies. Life can not be sweeter than that. I'm already dreaming of our next visit! In addition, our home renovations are very near completion, with only the punch list left to complete. The messy piles are gone, the street is no longer lined with trucks and trailers, and most importantly, we have moved our household belongings back into place. It's a great feeling and I love the results. But, I am also very ready to have my life back. Soon... the end is oh, so close. :)
Even though I couldn't be at the Davis Gallery reception this weekend, a dear friend of mine sent me the photo below of "my" wall. Thank you LK!!! My submissions for this summer's show feature some of my favorite Texas wildflower scenes, and it's fun to see them all framed up and hanging together.
On display through August 8 This painting is also available at Davis Gallery. I painted it this spring, during our spectacular wildflower season. The wildflowers are always gorgeous, but this year was especially abundant!
Davis Gallery's annual summer show opens officially this weekend with a reception on Saturday night. Unfortunately, I will have to miss the party for a wedding, but my paintings (including this one) will be there. Please stop by!
I have noticed that large home improvement projects involve quite a bit of collaboration. Each phase requires purposeful preparation, step-by-step execution, and the all-important clean up duty. I found this worker fully engaged on the "prep" line, mixing up muddy materials that were needed for rebuilding a wall. Not every task is glamorous, but every job is important and strategic for overall project. I so appreciate how it all fits together!
Early morning is the time to garden in Texas. I discovered this gardener getting a good jump on the day, digging and planting before the heat set in. What I loved most was the slanted sliver of light illuminating him from behind. It's such a treat to catch unexpected scenes like this... a nice reward for getting up and out! :)
Our renovations included a little bit of expansion and the bumping out of walls. Those newly captured areas were finished off by the Brick Layer, who expertly blended current day materials with the old. He quietly went about his work - measuring, marking, and setting plumb lines in preparation. Then, he frosted each brick with mortar and carefully repaired all the gaps. It was slow and messy, but a fascinating process. Looking at the new walls now, you would think they had always been there!
You may remember from one of my posts earlier in the year that we are having some work done on our home. Well, we are still at it, but very near the finish line. YAY! I've loved watching all the craftsmen work their magic, and seeing the transformation of spaces from before to after. I guess it was only time before I would start painting the project. This is the first of my "men at work" series... :)
This old barn was once part of the day to day operations of the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick, GA. The plantation played a role in the history and culture of Georgia's rice production along the coastal waterways, and its giant oak trees are spectacular, complete with Spanish moss rustling in the breeze off the marsh. I love imagining life here, back in the day.
Have I mentioned that I am feeling more and more drawn to adding people into my paintings? One blogger friend of mine finds that figures give us identification... we can relate to them and that invites us into the scene. I think it's true. It adds, well... life! When this mama and son walked into my view, suddenly nothing else mattered but their connection to each other. My focus totally shifted.
Commercial shrimp boats are constantly trawling the horizon on the Georgia Coast. Their complicated rigging is quite distinctive, not to mention the commotion of birds, dive bombing for the refuse. It's a huge industry and the harvest is enjoyed in most local restaurants. This shrimper was "in" for service and I was able to paint it at rest.
Early morning on the beach is always a surprise and delight. Some days the sun rises like a "red rubber ball" and other days it is soft and shrouded in the cool blues of cloud cover. On this particular morning it was the latter (my favorite actually), and I was happy to be out there, setting up in the dark, full of anticipation. Right on time, the sun slipped up the horizon quietly and subtly, and ever so elegantly.
Christ Church on St. Simons Island was first built in 1820, under giant oak trees covered in Spanish moss. It's location is famous for being the spot where John and Charles Wesley brothers preached in the early 1800's. (Soon after, the brothers went back to England and founded the Methodist Church.) In the civil war, the church was partially destroyed by Union troops, and then rebuilt in 1884. It is a beautiful place inside and out, a treasured landmark on the island, and it's also where we worship when we are in town!
Recently I have been getting the urge to add people into my paintings. I'm not exactly sure why, but with this painting it was overwhelming. When I got it home (finished but with no figures), I decided to go for it. I got my brushes back out and added the suggestion of a few beach lovers into the scene, working from photos I had taken. It changed everything.
This veggie truck is always set up at a busy intersection in Brunswick, GA; and I have wanted to paint it for a couple of years. On my recent visit, I finally pulled over, found a safe place to stand across the street, and was able to paint to my heart's content. I had so much fun with its bright green color and watching its hopping sales activity!
This little chapel on St. Simons Island has seen many a wedding celebration and the setting could not be more picturesque! It's particularly beautiful as the afternoon shadows drape its story-book facade.
I was able to stick around and paint for a week after my workshop on St. Simons Island. The weather was perfect - sunny but not too hot - and ideal for being outside. It felt like a real gift... to get out and enjoy the adventure of plein air from sun up to sundown. This is one of the paintings from some of my off-roading that week! :)