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KW Commission Shadows Palmetto #50 Bait Fishing
Going Coastal Mud Bound Charleston Moonlight Moonlit Marsh

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Making Decisions

Human beings are decisive creatures.  With every day, for every person, decisions loom.  Some decisions are made for oneself, but sometimes choices are made for us. Each decision an effect, large or small. Artists have their decisions to make too.  Some are easier than others, but all direct efforts to create and express. 


Here are a few areas of choice:

1) Subject matter: do  you create something familiar and comfortable? Do you stretch your visions to confront, to provoke the viewer? To record reality or share a dream?


2) Media: is your vision better conveyed in paint and canvas, drawing, carved stone or wood? Glass or ink? Fabric or steel? Music or dance? or both?


3)  Purpose:  are you creating to lead to cash, feed your family or your ego? Share your heart? Get your point across? Reflect a social conscience? Personal enjoyment? Creating a legacy?


4) Getting it seen:  Only for you, or for others? Who do call? (Not Ghostbusters, hopefully) Gallery, online, art shows or fairs? Co-op? Door to door?  eBay? Advertise?


Whether the choice is conscious or impulse, we are guided daily by the decisions we make.  Make the conscious ones in honesty, with your heart, and with positive intention.  It's yours to choose.



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Late on a summer afternoon, the shadows on the marsh lengthen, and daytime life slows toward evening.  The wading birds continue to search the mud and water, seeking dinner.  The breeze in the trees whispers and cools.  Welcome rest from a hectic day is ahead.  This painting reflects that most special time of day, a time of beauty and peace.

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In The Garden

As I was organizing the studio, I came across this piece from my early days of painting.  In 1987, I was in love with oil paints, and exploring what I could do with this living medium.  The inspiration came from a photo I had seen in a magazine...a figure standing at the edge of a garden.  The background of a misty, rainforest-ish hillside above the glass greenhouse gave a sense of quiet and simplicity.  The sunflowers imply the joy of the garden, the figure, neither male or female, serene in the garden path.  I've ordered a new frame for this piece, and will keep it in my personal collection.  A memory of my early painting experiences, and a precursor of the many many paintings to come.  I look at it, and I am, again, in the garden.

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Under the Sea

Sometimes you just have to have fun!!  


After a visit to the Georgia Aquarium, I was fascinated by the huge reef display, with its many colors and shapes.  I have been playing with this painting off and on for several years, and finally have it where I am happy with it.  It is a painting full of color, movement and joy.  When I look at it, I smile.  Goal achieved!

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The days are full on the coast, lots to do and see. Sometimes, one forgets that little boat down on the tidal marsh, waiting for a quick check of the crab traps, or a snag of a spotted bass.  It waits patiently through high and low tides, for that special moment when you wade through the high grass and take a seat, pushing into the tide's pull.  Who knows what you'll find?  Or what will find you!

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Last Light

At the end of the day, the last light hits the trees and grasses, one last glow before evening falls. It is a time of settling in and resting after a long day of work, or play.  

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High Tide on the Point

High tide fishing on the Point...barely room for the rods and chair.  Beach erosion has cut into the dunes behind, but left a nice little shelf of sand to enjoy. A brush with a hurricane last year created a quick flowing breach from the marsh to the ocean.  Not a safe place to swim, but a great place to fish, as the tidal exchange brings nutrients to and from the marsh.  Eventually it will fill in, as sand is swept down the coast, but for now, it provides a quiet place to put a line in the water, and to escape the crowded beach.


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For Lewis

Painted this work the day of the death of Lewis Grizzard, the Georgia writer for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, and author of a yearly collection of essays with comical titles. I stood in line at Rich's department store many a time to get that yearly autographed copy. I grew to adulthood/motherhood reading Lewis' column, and he wrote about the South and how it was growing up here, and what was changing. He loved good barbecue and hated wearing socks.  He was a rascal and a black sheep, but we loved him anyway.  He loved University of Georgia, and it was said that some of his ashes are scattered at the 50 yard line, though we don't know for sure (wink).  I've visited his official grave in Moreland, GA, and walked through his small museum up the street. I wept when his heart gave out, just like the other Southerners who knew him, too.  He'd always had a bad ticker, and had dodged a few close calls with death, but I think this time, he knew his time was running out. When I found his last column in a drawer the other day, wherein he was asking for folks to pray (and they did), it prompted me to pull out this beautiful watercolor from those years ago...still vibrant, still beautiful. I had never really tried to sell it...so much emotion and memory in it, even now.  I sat at the work table in my studio, working on the painting, tears falling - there are probably some mixed in the watercolor.  He had lived his life to the fullest, as should we all.  Thank you, Lewis, wherever you are.  Throw a stick for that dog, Catfish, to chase, and I'll look for you when my time comes.  I wonder if they'll have barbecue.....

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Going through the old files, and found this piece....so many good things going on in it!!  It was a time of experimentation, a time of intense learning, and making art for the sake of creating.  I had just been to a week of instruction with a challenging instructor (bless him, I learned so much!) and I had all the time in the world to haunt the studio, trying this and that, and learning to trust myself as an artist.  


Jump forward eighteen years, and in many ways, I've come a long way.  As I have focused my marketing, and art creation to fit it, I had forgotten how much FUN I had just exploring.  Don't we all need to simply relax and remember why we wanted to be artists in the beginning?  Grateful for this happenstance -- seeing some work that makes me smile, remembering the drafty studio where I could sit at the window and just dream, sitting at a folding table in the middle of the room, artwork before me.  Tossing fishfood down to the koi in the pond below the window.  Wondering if I would ever find a way to be profitable.  


Well, I found a way, and I love it.  But there is a reason this fell beneath my eye today...a subtle reminder to set time aside to play.  Will be making time for that more often, with this reminder!

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Finding the Magic

I recently accepted a commission from a long-standing client for an artwork she needed in a short time frame.  That typically isn’t an issue, so I began to work on the piece.  It was relatively simple in scope, a smaller version of a painting she admired, but couldn’t use as it was.  The subject was uncomplicated, and my confidence was strong that the result would be pleasing to the client.  The composition was straightforward, and it seemed like a simple assignment. 


As I worked on the piece, the technical execution of the art was moving smoothly toward completion, and I should have been happy with what was evolving on the canvas.  But I wasn’t.  As a photograph of the inspiration piece, it was accurate, but as a painting, it had no life.  It was lacking in the magic of the scene.  When I realized there was a disconnect, I began to augment with active brush strokes, and subtle, but charged, color combinations. Not enough to stray from the client’s wishes, but enough to breathe life into the scene.  The painting came alive.  Now I could see what she loved in the inspiration painting.


The work was accepted by the client, and I’ve moved on to another commission.  It was a timely reminder to keep finding the magic in each artwork, large or small, and to treasure that spark of the creative that only the artist can bring to life. Isn’t that one of the reasons artists do what they do? 


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