I have been trying something a little different and working two paintings at once. It is nice to mix it up a bit, and it allows for some drying time between layers. Smores is almost blocked in in and Waffles is closer to being finished, but not quite done yet.
My work was featured in an article in this month's American Art Collector Magazine. Also in the issue is an ad for my work for Watts Fine Art Art in Zionsville IN.
You can click the picture to read it.
Here is a progress shot of the painting I am working on of mussels steamed in wine. It is larger than I have been doing lately. This has been a fun painting. I will never look at another mussel the same again after working on this. If you *really* look at them in light, they are jewels of hidden colors of the rainbow.
My new studio space is finished! I am very excited about it. It has a big window, and is adjacent to the porch so I can easily move out there to paint if I want. It is downstairs and close to my family so it is not shut off from everyone. I love the storage cabinets with doors because I can close away all my messy art supplies neat at a pin. My desk is huge with lots of space for my palette and deep drawers to store my paints. It has shelves for all my art books and plenty of space to display my children's artwork. Dale put up track lighting for me and the lighting is perfect.
This is a work in progress shot of my new painting I am working on, it's shrimp cocktail. I had to make a new studio inside today, because the heat was just to much outside. I plan to paint a few hours outdoors early in the morning to take advantage of the natural sunlight before the heat escalates and then move inside. My husband is going to install track lighting for me to try to improve my indoor lighting.
This is a picture of my new painting I am working on of a strawberrry shortcake. I almost have it blocked in and will soon start detailing. As I have been working on this, I have been thinking I need to go grocery shopping for ingredients to make this again.
Making the porch my painting studio has been a very good idea. The lighting out here is so much brighter than my indoor studio. I will have to work out how I will handle extremes of heat or cold, but for a good chunk of the year it should not be a problem.
We recently got back from a trip to NYC for the opening of the Summeryview Group Exhibition at OK Harris Works of Art. The exhibition is up until July 17th. It is such a thrill and honor to have my work included in the exhibition. Here a a few pictures from the show.
Our house is over 100 years old, and one of our favorite parts of the house is it's giant wrap around porch. On Saturday mornings, my husband and I sit on the porch and drink coffee on the swing. My husband made the swing for us last summer. It is made out of an old door, an old bed headboard, our children's crib rails for the armrests, and their crib mattress for the cushion. As we sipped coffee and discussed the day, it was so glorious outside I told him I didn't think it would be possible for me to leave and go upstairs to my studio and start work. Nothing is more glorious than a South Carolina Spring with all the honeysuckle in the air. I had to paint, so he helped me bring the studio to the porch! Now we can be outside all day. Later we are going to cook something out here in the smoker...maybe some chicken.
One thing that I have been doing lately is making the weekends my time to work out ideas for paintings. That involves the idea, the shopping, the cooking, and the photo shoot. Getting imagery that I am happy with and ulimately paint, does not come simply. I have realized the best way to do that is a great deal of trial and error. That means photographing many different foods so I have a large pool to pick from. My goal is to shoot 3-4 different foods every weekend. That also means I have to learn how to cook any given food as visually perfectly as I can. I love food, and I love to cook, so I do have fun on this side of the painting process. My family also enjoys the spoils of the effort.
One dessert I worked on this weekend was Strawberry Shortcake. I had a previous shot of one that was not a "real " strawberry shortcake because it was not on a shortcake. This had to be authentic, so I found a recipe for a glorious shortcake, this was so good I could eat the dough raw. I used local strawberries from Mc Leod Farms in Mc Bee S. C. They were so red, juicy, and sweet for the filling, and of course lots and lots of whipped cream. When I put this dessert together, it was WOW. My poor family waited and watched until I took a zillion shots of it. Once I had confirmed I had winner shots, my family had the green light to eat it, and it was gone very quickly .I came back with my fork for a taste and I was too late. Luckily I made a back up shortcake, and I got to taste that, and it was the very best strawberry shortcake I have ever had!
Here is the recipe for the shortcake. If you make it, (you won't be sorry) make sure to use the sanding sugar on top before you bake it, it sparkles like a diamond when finished.
1 C All Purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter - cold and cut into little cubes
3 oz heavy cream
extra cream and sanding sugar for the biscuit topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix.
- Add the butter and cut into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal
- Add the cream and stir to mix until the dough comes together. Use a light hand, and don't overwork.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and press together into a flat square shape, and roll out dough to 3/4 inches thick. Cut the dough into quarters, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the tops with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with a little sanding sugar.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on baking rack to cool.
We came back to NYC on Saturday to bring several of my paintings to OK Harris Works of Art. It was a very, very, ..... ( I think we need one more) very, happy day. The weather was like a Buck Rogers day, the perfect temperature and sunny. We spent a few hours exploring SoHo after dropping the paintings off at the gallery. We had such a good time taking in all the art, city sights, and smells. We had lunch in a great little Indian restaurant called Baluchi's. Then we started back home and that night my brother Richie made us the most incredible seafood and steak dinner you could imagine. While we were in the city Richie took my son Greyson fishing and he caught his first stipped bass, 28 inches long! Yes it was a very good day.
A couple of months ago, I sent some images of my Big Food Series to OK Harris Works of Art in New York City. Mr. Ethan Karp wrote me back, telling me that he was intrigued by them and would like to see some in person.
My family is from NJ, and we went to visit with them for Easter and brought some my paintings to NYC to show Mr. Karp yesterday.
We were very lucky that my sister Beth and brother in law Anthony came with us. Anthony was familiar with driving in the city and did a excellent job navigating us there. We were not sure that we could find a parking spot and it was a question as to how I would get the large painting to the door of the gallery. It worked out fine as we reserved a spot for the car in a parking garage close to the gallery. My husband built a cart we named "The Art Cart" for the paintings and we pushed it up the city block.
Meeting Ivan and Ethan Karp was a delight. It was such an honor to meet them. It was surreal to see my work leaning up against the walls that have had so many important artists hanging on them.
Ethan viewed the work first, and after a short while went and got Ivan to come and see them. They liked them very much and Ivan told me that he would write me down as a “qualified candidate for a show.” He said that he could not guarantee a show, but I am thrilled with potentially showing at OK Harris Works of Art!