Monday, September 1, 2014
And I forgot to say 3 more things I am grateful for on the second day. So here they are a day or two late:
1. I'm grateful for a garden, good black soil and the proliferation of seeds I am now accumulating.
2. I'm grateful for good neighbors (who make an incredible hot pepper jelly from the peppers growing outside my kitchen window--I served it on brie yesterday when I had some recently single high school friends over--it was a big hit).
3. I'm grateful for my kitty Molly, who has become an amusing little companion and bed partner, even though she's lately gotten into the habit of crying to go out the back door only to cry to come in the front door only to cry to go out the back door only to cry to come in the front door only to...
This pastel is another 5x7 up for auction. Click on the title to see the auction. Bidding begins at $100. Good luck if you're bidding.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
"Somewhere in France" is a 5x7 pastel available at auction. Click the title above to visit the auction.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
My sister Emily challenged me to do the ice bucket thing. I know it's a worthy cause and it's an excellent fund raising campaign. But as soon as she started her sentence I knew where it was going. "No! Please!" I interrupted her. I'll just donate the money, just please don't make me put myself up on facebook. Thankfully she respected that and went on to all the other sisters in my family.
Now, like I was beginning to suspect, other challenges are coming. For some reason this challenging thing is starting to make me uncomfortable. I don't like feeling coerced.
My daughter challenged me to post 3 things for which I am grateful, for 3 days, after she was challenged to do it. Because I love my daughter, I'll do it, but I won't challenge anyone else. It ends here with me. But I'm dealing with that guilt that comes with not continuing a chain letter.
My waking thoughts every morning are gratitude. I am overwhelmed at waking to be in my own beautiful little house, and I say a prayer of thanks for that daily (1). I am grateful for my healthy beautiful daughters (2) and my best friends: my faithful sisters and brother (3).
Here's another 5x7 pastel at auction. I'm putting a few more up today. I challenge you to go to the auction and bid on it.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
I used to work in graphic design, and I found I thrived on deadlines. The deadlines motivated me when I moved into fine art too. A show in 3 weeks? I could work like crazy and produce some really good work (and some not so good).
You may have seen this imagery before, or something similar; I'm going through my old photos. This is my oldest daughter Anna and her baby Victor at the beach on Tybee Island. It was his first day at the beach. He was slathered with sunscreen. He was almost impossible to hold when the water hit him; he's slip out of her arms,
Victor is 10 now. They still live down in Savannah. He was stung by a Portuguese Man o' War last week. Look that up on google images. YUK! Actually, I'll spare you the time searching for it. Here it is.
A Day at the Beach is an unframed 5x7 pastel on PastelBord. Click the title above to see the auction.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Stewart Fine Art
12 State Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Friday, September 5
Friday, October 3
Go, if you're in the area.
It's been quiet here since my return from France. I've spent the time trying to clean up the garden (again), getting my house in order, building shelves everywhere in the house and cranking out some new work in the studio. Things will get busy again in October, when I'm to get back on the road to teach in Cleveland, New Orleans and Dallas.
Several weeks ago I had this unexplained burst of energy, which lasted for days. I found myself waking at 3 or 4 a.m. Wide awake. So I figured, why don't I be productive with this time, instead of fighting to get back to sleep like I usually do.
I had been wanting shelves installed in a little room I use as an office. The ceilings are 12 feet high. All my stuff has been stacked on the floor or crammed into files, leaving 2/3 of the room wasted--all that space above me. I had gone to Lowes, had some 1x12's cut to 84", the width of my room, and then I just stressed about it because the walls are plaster; I've already put some frightening holes in my walls (hidden by pictures now) in other parts of the house trying to find studs. I sort of hoped some man with carpentry skills might just appear in my life, but realizing it wouldn't be wise for me to just wait for him, I decided I should give it another try.
I got out of bed and googled 'find studs behind plaster' and did what everybody advised: start at a corner, keep drilling holes until you find a stud, then measure 16" from that. I did it, I found the studs, standing on my desk at 4 a.m. So I proceeded to use my level and measuring tape and found all the studs every 16" across the room, all the way up to the ceiling, allowing for the shelves to be 13" apart. I stained my boards and tried drilling screws through my reinforced metal brackets (which I had spray painted the day before because Lowes didn't have any black ones) into the studs, but they wouldn't penetrate the wood. I was stripping the heads of all the screws. I googled "can't drill screws into studs in 1920 house." Try square screws, someone advised. Try star screws, someone advised. Whatever those were. The consensus was that philips head screws wouldn't work with old dense wood. When Lowes opened that morning, I was there purchasing both kinds of screws and the bits for them.
I know this is going on and on. But just wait. I finally got the job done by the afternoon--all my shelves stained and screwed into the wall, secured onto the brackets with screws--the star screws. Square screws didn't work. I'm learning. I organized the shelves with books and baskets and all the stuff that was all over the floor. I wrote about it on Facebook.
My friend Vicky messaged me that day: "Margaret, are you still on steroids?"
When cleaning out my garden the week or so earlier, I was pulling 20 year old poison ivy from the english ivy which was taking over my yard. LOTS OF IT. I filled 4 construction bags full of only poison ivy. I was relatively careful, work gloves and plastic bags, knowing however that I'd probably have some reaction, but I've always handled that fine. Three days later I was swollen, gouging my arms scratching, and it lasted for days with no sign of decreasing. I finally went to an emergency clinic, got a shot of prednisone, prescriptions for 10 days of prednisone and itching relief.
If prednisone does that, I want more. I started painting the exterior of my house the next day.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
"Just Outside of Gordes" is a 7x5 pastel on PastelBord. Bidding begins at $100. Click the title above to see the auction.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
"A Brilliant Day in Cassis" is a 7x5 pastel on PastelBord, available at auction. Click on the title above to see the auction. Bidding begins at $100. Thanks!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
"Lavender Fields" is a 5x7 pastel on PastelBord, available at auction on ebay. Click on the title above or the link below to go to auction. Bidding begins at $100.
Monday, July 21, 2014
I've also been painting in my studio, thanks to Mike and George, who finished my ceiling and installed my air conditioner while I was gone. It's comfortable now, and lately I've spent hours up there, forgetting about the time, loving the tactile feeling of paint smearing on a canvas. I close my eyes and see beautiful brushstrokes intermingling with surprising color combinations.
I've been taking a painting class from Jim Richards an Atlanta artist; he's probably my daughter's age. But he can teach me what I need to learn -- that expressive painterly stroke. Here's one piece I worked on in class that I'm pleased with. Normally I hate my oils, but I'm thinking I'll be happily working soon.
"Red Ribbon" is an 11x14 oil on canvas.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
All he ever wants is a thank-you. I give him more when I can. But I'm told I won't be able to thank him until he returns from his 4th of July camping trip. He had recently rekindled a relationship with his high school sweetheart; they were in the north Georgia mountains. They were going to look at houses up there on Monday.
George died in his sleep Friday night. 54 years old. I won't be able to thank him for everything he has done for me in the short time I've known him.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
Did I say a small fishing village? That's what Rick Steves said. Turns out Cassis is a thriving resort with cafés, bistros, shopping, fine dining, incredible turquoise water, cold and wavy. It's been years since I've put on a bathing suit in public, but nothing was going to stop me from swimming in the Mediterranean. Initially freezing, once I was completely submerged it was glorious. The heavy salt content keeps you afloat so you don't even need to tread water. We could have bobbed around in the waves forever, surrounded by cliffs and terra cotta roofed houses. Only one thing I could have done without...no sand to speak of on the beach. It's all pebbles, which hurt. Especially going into and out of the water. But so worth it.
We had seafood lunches at an outdoor table with a beautiful rose wine, went back to the beach for one last dip, and headed out for one more location, stopping en route to snap pictures of the incredible countryside. Jerome always takes the scenic route, no matter how far out of the way.