Monday, September 30, 2013

This past weekend two artist friends and I participated in the College Park Art Festival paint-out, not even a 5 minute drive from my home. Kippy and Candy stayed in my home over the weekend: Kippy (, who lives in France and hosts my workshops there, was in town to meet her newborn granddaughter; and Candy Day (, who lives in Ellijay. We woke early in the mornings, had our coffee and yogurt or smoothie or whatever and hurried down the street to find a place to park our easels.

Thursday afternoon, before the festival began, we decided to drive around the area to see what might be paintable--it seems none of us knew anything about College Park. Even Kippy's son said, "Why College Park?" Our sentiments exactly. I grew up in north Atlanta and knew about the existence of College Park in the south metro area near the airport, but had never been there. Actually, I always smugly dismissed it as being an undesirable area, not really Atlanta.

Again, in my increasing age, I am put to shame for my ignorance. Woodward Academy, an exclusive private school, is in College Park. I got to see its campus. I got to see the adjacent charming neighborhoods with pristine Craftsmen bungalows, manicured lawns, shady wide streets, trendy eateries. I got to meet some of the very content locals. College Park is every bit as desirable a neighborhood as Virginia-Highlands (for those of you who know Atlanta); it's a hidden gem.

And then there were the vibrant artists we met, from Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and even College Park. Millie Gosch (, a plein air painter with beautiful sophisticated gallery on Main Street, organized the event (I intend to paint with her and get to know her better). The day and a half paint-out culminated in a wet-painting exhibition at the Women's Club just down the road from Millie's gallery. The show was judged by Jim Richards (, who lives in Tucker, Georgia. I'm beginning to think Georgia is a terrific place to be an artist.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I won Best of Show. Not deservedly in my eyes, but who's going to argue with the judge? And nobody's taking that blue ribbon out of my hand.

Have I said it enough? I have landed in paradise.

oooh! I forgot to neighbors George and Mike (the guys that 'planted' vegetables in my garden) and Kathy showed up at the reception, to my delight. Kathy won a 5x5 painting by David Boyd ( in the raffle, something I would have loved to win myself, since I honestly thought his work deserved the blue ribbon. But he aint gittin' it from me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Well I sure do hope nobody else showed up Tuesday evening for my Monday evening demonstration at Kudzu Art Zone. I posted my announcement about it on Monday, hoping to pull in a larger audience, but was mortified to see that my announcement wasn't published until Tuesday morning! I know one lady (I'm so sorry, Jung!) who drove an hour to get there Tuesday night to find a darkened and locked building. I'm so so so so sorry if anybody else showed up Tuesday. If anybody did, please let me know. I'll try to make it up to you.

I was informed this week that one of the two pastels here won an award at the Degas Pastel Society exhibition in New Orleans last night. Not sure which one, but am looking forward to finding out!


Monday, September 23, 2013

If you're in the Atlanta area...

If you're in the Atlanta area, I will be doing a slide show presentation of my work and pastel demonstration at the Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross this evening. If you're looking for something to do tonight, you are welcome to attend.

Meet, greet and eat from 6:30 -7 pm, a short meeting (10 to 15 minutes), then I'm on. It should all be over around 8:30. 

Click on title above for link to directions.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Demonstration from St. George Island workshop.

It was a lovely two days in the Florida sun--two perfect days--with fun and hard-working students. A class small enough for everyone to enjoy the camaraderie. We had a couple of photo shoots on the beach, Honey posed with towels and parasols and flippers, traipsing through the water--the same Honey who assisted Kippy in my workshop in France. Honey, who lives in Tallahassee, put this class together with hopes of it becoming an annual occasion down there on St. George Island. I will do my best to make sure it happens again--I enjoyed every minute and would love to have more people next time.

Got home to a new roof. My 80 year old house had some leaks. I had a few roofers come bid on repairs a few weeks ago, all said they wouldn't repair it--I needed a new roof, two suggested I file a claim with homeowners insurance; there was hail damage up there. I thought, I'm not so sure I should be filing a claim only a few months after purchasing this place, but then, why not? We did have a serious hail storm 10 days after I moved in. If I had to replace the roof, it certainly would help. Friendly insurance adjuster approved, and 2 weeks later I have a new lifetime guaranteed roof. A real relief. And it'll be so nice not worrying about those enlarging brown spots on my dining room ceiling or the water which literally poured through my front porch ceiling. Now my neighbors are jealous and want new roofs too.

Speaking of neighbors... I think I have the best neighbors in the world.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

En route to my St. George Island workshop.

I drove 6 hours from Atlanta today, south to St. George Island, a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico, off Florida's panhandle. It's been a long time since I've driven alone like that. I used to make my living driving to art festivals in Miami, Chicago, Sausalito, Denver, Kansas City, to name a few. And I loved the driving; I'd catch up on classic literature on CD (Don Quixote lasted all the way to San Francisco and back!!! Oy veh) and learned conversational French on those drives. My mind would race with ideas. It was a creative time. During the summers I had my two young daughters with me. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.
But I've been teaching lately, rather than peddling. So my driving is rare. It felt good to be behind the wheel again. About 3 hours into my journey I was surprised to hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on my windshield because it was a gloriously sunny day with a brilliant cerulean sky. I turned on my wipers to clear the glass and was startled that the rain spots didn't wipe away. Ugh, I realized. I'm headed into the deep south in late summer. Those are bugs.
No need to wipe them off, it's futile. I'd just wait until I got to Florida.
Around that time I took a detour when I passed the signs pointing to the Kolomoki Mounds, which I had never heard of. I drove about 5 miles out of the way and only stayed long enough to snap a few pictures, hoping I could lure someone to go back with me one day to walk the trails and climb the mounds. Kolomoki, I have learned, is the oldest and largest Woodland Indian site in the southeastern United States. It was occupied by American Indians from 350 to 750 a.d. You'll find Georgia’s oldest great temple mound there, 57 feet high, dominating two smaller burial mounds and several ceremonial mounds. I will return.
I continued my trek; Spanish moss, Live Oaks, swollen armadillos on the roadside, cotton fields, sandy soil replacing the red clay, palmetto bushes, all signs said "Welcome to the deep south." It feels good to be here again.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Heading to St. George Island...

I'll be driving down to St. George Island, Florida, Thursday morning to arrive at a wine and cheese reception for my weekend workshop. If the sunlight is cooperative, we'll go onto the beach with our cameras and photograph a couple of beautiful models with colorful parasols. All day Friday and Saturday we'll work in the studio from our photos. Lunch will be prepared for us, dinner will be waiting for us afterwards each day. Cannot wait.  

There's still room for more if you want to join the class. Just click on the title above for more info.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

There's still room in my 2 day St. George Island workshop, September 13 & 14. 
Contact me or Honey Hilliard for registration.

I think I'm ready for a few days on the Gulf.