'The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting.' ~Vincent Van Gogh~

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Visiting the Past: TANGIER ISLAND, VA

Recently, I took a weekend trip to Tangier Island, which is a small island in the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia.  The island is only 3 miles by 1 mile in size, and shrinking.  It is a beautiful island, and has retained its original charm and way of life for many generations.  Population:  525.

The only way to access the island is by water, either from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, or from the Maryland Shore.  We took a boat over from Onancock, VA (another favorite small town of mine).  Despite the rough waters, the 12 mile journey by boat was wonderful.  The captain, an island native, was very friendly and informative.  After the hour ride, we arrived in Tangier.  The entrance to the island is filled with crabbing boats, crab shacks, crab pots and so much activity.

The main way of making a living on the island is, of course, by farming the Chesapeake Bay for crabs and oysters!  The hard-working watermen have continued this way of life for many generations.  And even though there are organizations trying to 'Save the Bay', the waters are being increasingly polluted, so much so that it is threatening the island residents way of life.

Tangier Island Special
Work in Progress
Watercolor on Paper

We enjoyed our day touring the island and talking to the locals.  They have a very unique dialect derived from our Cornish ancestors, which is quite a challenge to understand... especially when they are talking amongst themselves.  Tangier is also a 'dry' island, alcohol is not sold there or consumed in public.  No movie theaters, cars, malls, bowling alleys, etc.  They have a small 'convenience' store for groceries (which get sent over from the mainland weekly).  There is one school for all the island kids, one hospital in which the doctor flies in on Thursday's for clinic duties and a handful of 'mom & pop' restaurants. 

It was quite a day stepping back in time!
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Thanks for visiting!  Happy Painting!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Studio Organization

Organization is key to productivity and efficiency!

As we all know, organization is important in every aspect of our lives.  Organization keeps things neat and tidy, it helps us keep an 'inventory' of our supplies, and we know where everything is (which saves a lot of time!).  We also know how easy it is in a studio to create a mess and quickly become unorganized, which leads to a lot of uncreative time and energy in the studio!

 I recently started reorganizing my home studio as it was definitely in dire need of some structure!!  My husband was able to acquire a set of base and wall cabinets from a hospital job that he is doing.  They were going to just throw them away, and they were perfectly good cabinets, just needed a little cleaning up!  So, you know me, always trying to re-purpose things, I gladly accepted them in order to help organize my studio.

                                                      The base cabinet is a three door cabinet with six drawers.  The wall cabinet is a four door cabinet.  My husband installed them for me and WOW, what a great improvement!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yard Art - Refreshing the Old Stuff!

With Spring in the air, I've been busy cleaning and cleaning!  Out with the old, in with the new, as they say.  Or as I've done, take the old and make it like new again!

I just love Spring!  It's a wonderful time of year when nature is awakening, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming...

I have started getting the yard and gardens ready for the season.  Along with that, it was time to clean out the shed, a dreaded chore to say the least!  But as I started clearing things out and getting rid of old stuff, I found a few items that I wanted to freshen up and re-purpose.  Suddenly, it wasn't a dreaded chore, I was actually having fun, and was able to get a little creative!

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Creations and Ideas!

Sometimes, the unexpected is so refreshing...

Last November, while trying to get Christmas shopping done, I decided to paint three ornaments for my sister and brother-in-law.  Over the last couple years, all three of their dogs had passed away, so I thought, "Why not paint them?!  Keep their memory alive, and it would be a very personal, meaningful gift."  So I did.


Galleries Showing my Art

  • Fine Art America
  • Riverview Art Gallery, Portsmouth, VA
  • Jester's Galler Shop, Suffolk, VA