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Tag Archives: art on canvas

Newsflash … The Flamingos are coming to Osprey, Florida!!!

Wednesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. The Flamingos Nest opens its doors for business.  With the focus on artist and artisan works of art, furniture and decorative accessories, Bob and I delivered a van full of painted furniture to the store that will be for sale exclusively through The Flamingos Nest.

The Flamingos NextDarrell and Nicki Hoke have created a tropical paradise in Osprey, Florida.  Their wit and ingenuity will delight your senses when you walk into the 10,500 square foot store.   A custom-made boardwalk and beach area leads you into the store past the little beach car, flamingos and an alligator spitting water into a pool to the left.  Lights made from sand buckets hang over the bamboo checkout counter at the back.  Delightful touches that inspire.

On the floor you will find quality new furnishings by Tommy Bahama, Seawinds, Broyhill, Lexington and many, many more mixed with on-of -a-kind creations by hand-picked artists and artisans from Florida and neighboring states.  If you see it and love it you had better buy it right then as you may never  see it again.

Their sister store, Pelican Cottage, is just down the street.  The focus there is on new and used furniture and high quality consignment items.  Spend a day cruising these tropical retreats and then do lunch at one of the nearby restaurants to end the day.  Check out their websites at http://www.theflamingosnest.com and http://www.pelicancottage.net and see what they are all about.

 

 

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The Weeks of Fifty Flamingos

The weeks..(yes, I said weeks)… of fifty plus flamingos has finally been delivered!  Have you ever had a job in your life that simply makes you crazy?  Something that seems so simple turns into an elephant on your chest at every turn?  I felt as fiftyflamingosthough my feet were stuck in mud sucking the life out of me.  It made me grouchy, which made Bob grouchy.  In the middle of the flock I swore I would NEVER do this kind of work again!

Then we made the delivery. The decorator loved it.  She love it so much that she said it was “perfect”…no corrections, additions or color changes.  She told me I had a “Warhol” style… and as quick as that it felt like those grueling weeks weren’t so bad after all.

So what did I learn from this experience?  (I’ve traveled this road before).  I recognize three trains of thought in the work that I do.  One….you create your own works of art exactly the way you want to on canvas or furniture and put it out there for sale through art shows, galleries or on-line. Maybe it will sell…maybe it won’t.

Two…you do commissioned work…working directly with the clients..creating works of art that enhance people’s lives and their homes.  They value your opinions and are open to possibilities.  The best thing of all is they are always full of joy when the job is complete and they always pay upon delivery.

Three…working with an interior designer.  They have their own artistic vision: therefore, you must stifle your own creativity and paint it the way they see it.  Unfortunately and fortunately…number three has been the most lucrative for me by far.  So why am I complaining?  The biggest problem is I feel a sense of loss of my own creative voice.  Yes, I painted it, but it was created by someone else’s vision.  For awhile I was teased into thinking that I would be allowed to paint it in my “style” but in my heart I knew that I should just shut up and paint it the way they wanted it in the first place.  So that’s exactly what I did.

I will probably try the decorator deal one more time.  The money is fantastic and I think I have decorators figured out.  Once you have them figured out you know what to expect and know how to feel when they tell you to change something or to just do it their way.  My dad always told me I was too emotional and as an adult I have tried to temper that and not get my feelings hurt by trivial things.  The other side of the coin is being emotional is what drives art; but there is a fine line between making great money and being a starving artist.  We’ll see what the future brings.

 

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Doing the Happy Dance….

Egret Evening 18″x24″

Do you hear me doing my little happy dance?  The Egret canvases are done. At least they are signed and sitting in my studio and I feel in my heart that they are complete. This project was hard for me.  I think part of it was the fact that I was making it all up as I went. I had nothing to look at to see what it would really look like so I just painted what I thought it should look like…LOL

Images are burned into my brain from years of research and studying and loving nature and I’ve retained the essence of people, animals and places seen in person, through coffee table books, photographs and movies. Somehow as I work with paint the sense of place manages to emerge through my artwork.

The first time I became aware of this was when I painted furniture for another business. I had just finished painting a chest with a beach scene of sea grass, palm trees and footprints in the sand when my boss walked up and said, “How do you do that?  I want to live there!” The next time was when I owned my own gallery and was teaching classes. One of my students who had been on safari many times said to me “You’ve been to Africa. You’ve captured the essence of the animals and the country.” I felt very flattered and hated to admit that, no I had never been to Africa. I actually painted how I felt Africa would be.

Often as I paint I think of how it feels and smells to be there. In the jungle, I think of the wetness on the leaves and the gnats flying around for the frogs to eat. How the earthy dampness fills your nostrils and how you can  breathe deeply…real uncontaminated oxygen. In the African savannah, I imagine how the merciless sun bakes the earth and how the crisp dry grasses smell. I think of standing next to the mud hole where the animals gather to drink, the mud sucking the shoes off your feet and the aromas and sounds of the animals filling your senses.

Preening Egret 18″x24″

As I wrote in my last blog…”Life is in the Details.” That’s what my art is all about.  Seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling the details of my subject’s life and transferring the essence of their existence  through paint for others to enjoy.

Creative Juice

I was sitting here in Tampa when my hubbie looked at me and said, “Everyone’s going to forget about your Egret canvases.  You haven’t been blogging.”  I said, “I’ve forgotten about the Egret canvases!”  Business has picked up exponentially this week.  I worked last Saturday and Sunday on a mural job which I rarely work weekends anymore.  Monday and Tuesday I was up and down the 10 foot ladder working a ceiling faux finish job.  Also during that time I managed to squeeze in two look-see appointments for two great commercial murals and booked both of them.  Now we are in Tampa painting doors.  We are finished for the day, thanks to our afternoon thunderstorms and I can take a breath and turn my attention to my blog.

I haven’t touched the canvases since I last blogged.  The Egrets have been sitting on the easel watching me in the evenings.  One evening I noticed how they seemed to glow as the sun shone through our drapes and backlit the canvases.  What a beautiful look.  I may have to investigate adding some kind of lighting behind the canvases.  Bob can figure that one out for me. 

Today on my way to Home Depot for glue and screws, I made a side trip to Michael’s.  My agenda was to pick up paint for a ceramic tile job but first I got side tracked by all the pretty beads and baubles in the front of the store. Show me sparkles or feathers and you can entertain me for hours.  Once I took all of that in I cruised the fabric painting aisle.  Cool colored t-shirts lined the shelves which made me think about designing our polo shirt logo and then finding the right colored polo shirt to represent our business.  Moving on I came to the canvases…big ones and little…fat and thin.  I have an idea for some artwork using all the different sizes but I just haven’t worked it out in my head yet.  Besides I already have a stack of canvases at home.  Of course they aren’t exactly what I need for the project I am thinking about doing.  I resisted temptation to go ahead and buy a few to play around with and moved on to the most dangerous aisle for me.  Brushes and fine art paints are my weakness.  To my delight I found the tube acrylics like the white acrylic I love so much and put 5 different colors in my basket along with a few new brushes and a pack of palette knives in different shapes and sizes.  I am going to have some fun. Finally I made it to the ceramic tile paint, found the colors I needed and added them to my basket.  It was a fun hour and I came away with some creative juice.  I feel excited again about creating new things and I feel excited about life.  It’s been a very good week.

New Chests, Old Chests….Chests are Fun

Last night as I was browsing through my I-Photo in the middle of the night when I couldn’t fall asleep, I came across a file full of photos from a past website.  I have painted hundreds of pieces of furniture over the years.  My most favorite piece of furniture to work with is the chest of drawers.  Tall or short, night stand or lingere chest, new chests, old chests…chests are fun.  Best of all, chests are functional. I’ve painted around 30 Florida condo style chests and nightstands.  Each one different from the other taking on the theme of my client’s home. I’ve painted chests like the orient and chests like the palaces of India.  I’ve stepped back in time to the 50’s.  With my youngest son, Dan and my husband, Bob’s, conversion help.  We made a jukebox dresser with rounded top and actual neon lights installed in the upper cabinet.  I’ve painted jungle themes and party themes…and old people at the beach themes.  Just pick a theme and make it happen.  The only limitation to a really cool chest of drawers is the imagination.

So what would your favorite chest of drawers be?

And to report on the Egret canvases…I’ve made great progress.  Everything is defined and now comes the fun part of tweaking it until it’s done. I love the glazing processes.  Happily I discovered the secret to me painting on canvas.  I am used to texture on walls and wood which is very absorbent. The acrylic paint from the large plastic tubes slid all over the canvas and I was fighting to make it perform the way I wanted it to. Today I happened to pick up a tube of white acrylic that was in a metal tube like my oils and what a difference that made.  I can control it and add the desired texture that’s needed.  I see a trip to the art store in my near future.

My Commitment to Canvas…A Work in Progress

I am excited!  Today I have a plan…a real plan to take my career in a new direction. My husband has been after me for years to paint my art on canvas besides painting on walls and furniture.  Instead I turned a deaf ear to him .  Recently a gentleman saw a photograph of a canvas I had done while teaching class.  He asked me what gallery could he go to to buy it. Then this weekend we visited an art gallery and as I viewed the many works displayed there I knew that my work has a voice and  should be in a gallery, too.  I simply need to have a collection.  So I’ve thought about it for a few days and started a couple of canvases.  They are sketched and prepped with washes and ready for my brush this afternoon.  First, however I have to finish my design job on an entertainment center for a client. The murals, custom furniture and home decorating jobs are our bread and butter which I cannot neglect.  But today, right here and now, I am making this canvas collection commitment and will blog on it as it progresses.  Can you hear my husband cheering? I will keep you posted!