Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fast forward one year...

One year ago we celebrated the marriage of two good friends and the union of their blended family.
The day was a bride's dream and absolutely perfect for an ocean side wedding on the Outer Banks. Wedding guests walked up the sandy isle toward the handmade alter placed right beside the shore.  Fortunately the waves were small, thus not a distraction to surfers in the crowd.

The couple repeated their vows as seagulls voiced their enthusiastic approval and family members said "We do"

A great snapshot of the wedded family.

My husband with the grooms family and with his precious partner :)

The bride and groom share a quiet moment together as husband and wife.

Fast forward one year...
Custom Portrait finally finished just in time for their anniversary.

Our friends recently celebrated the birth of their first grandchild and anticipate the smooth delivery of their second grandchild in February.  Jan and Mike we wish you another wonderful year together and give thanks for your special friendship.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Backwards Glance

Wrapping up another fun-filled boardwalk weekend with a quick look back at some of the Neptune Festival events from last Friday.

The morning arrived with conditions perfect for beach lovers who, like me, are not ready to give up the feeling of summertime - the sun warm, the waves gently rolling and the beach wide open.

The sandcastle builders were busy putting finishing touches on their sculptures before judging began.  This sand sculpture by John Gowdy - "Love Never Grows Old" - eventually won first place in the Solo Professionals category.  A retired firefighter, John is now a professional artist, sculpting and carving in both marble and sand. 

Friday morning was also the ideal time for checking out the art and craft vendors before the weekend crowds arrived.

Digital photographs by artist Lorri Honeycutt had the early morning crafting crowd laughing at her humorous images of miniature figures posed in clever situations.  Below are two that I thought captured the feel of a weekend beach party perfectly.
"Surf's Up"
and "Beach Music"
Click here for more information on Lorri or to view images from her Big World Photo Series.

And since we all know that you can't have an outdoor festival without wholesome, nutritional food to nosh on as you browse the show or watch the competitions, there was more than enough available to serve the hungry hordes.

Lunch time on the boardwalk with a plentiful smorgasbord to suit the delicate tastes of any food connoisseur.

Thankfully the bike path along the beach was uncrowded and perfect for cruising the show - but by Saturday evening - bikers beware - the crowd made it a path for walkers only.  But that was ok with us...

Wine Making
as we sat in our favorite outdoor cafe, sipping wine and watching the crowd and firework displays!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Student Spotlight - Women who Art

Artist of the Week - Mimi Boseman
Mimi was one of my star students this past summer - often coming to class twice a week to work on her paintings and to delight us with her company and conversation.  This week the spotlight highlights Mimi's portrait of her kitty.

Working from a photograph, Mimi painted in the background and basic shape of her cat.

Then gave more color to the canvas through the blues and yellows of her pansies and yellow in the kitty's eyes.

Mimi used a feather brush for the fur and hair and a round brush to layer color on the foliage.

The flowers were outlined in white to make the individual petals pop
and feathery detail was added to her cat for a hint of her elegant nature.

Behold the master and her finished portrait - a most colorful pair indeed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wonders arise from the Sand

Sand in your swim trunks, Sand in your hair, 
When building a sandcastle, There's sand everywhere!

It's truly incredible to think that the devotion to and beauty of these amazing works of sculptural art is a vision so short lived.  So let's enjoy them while we can.

These sandcastles are being built on the shores of Virginia Beach and are part of the Solo and Team Masters Division of the Neptune Festival's North America Sand Sculpting Championship - an internationally known event and one of the largest competitions of its kind on the East Coast.
The contest draws more than 300 competitors in all divisions. This year there are sculptors from Canada, Italy, India, Japan, Russia, Latvia, Australia, Netherlands as well as the United States.

The weather has been summertime hot, but at least the sculptors are not fighting wind and rain!  The sand sculpting event will continue on through the weekend with a local school division on Saturday and a business division on Sunday.  A sight to behold, even if for a short period of time.

And where there's a crowd...

The funnel cake cart is there to make sure the hungry are well fed!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not yet ready to call it quits...

Today marks the first calendar day of Autumn, but I'm not yet ready to say good-bye to the deliciously long, care-free days of summer!  In order to keep the season of summer warm in our hearts, my husband and I took a little time off and went for a long bike ride on the boardwalk this morning.  I was quite happy to see that there are plenty of other seasoned souls who are with us in spirit. 

In my town it's still
Summertime and Sandcastle Days.

 The boys of summer continue to set up beach chairs and shade tents ~

the ladies still gather for a girls morning out ~

beach babes, with their parents in tow, prolong their beach days as long as possible ~

while fishermen and women continue to cast their lines into the surf.

Sandcastle Days...

Yet, nothing says summer quite like a day at the beach building eye-popping sandcastles.

How lucky for us that the "Neptune Festival" brings these professional sculptures of sand

onto our beach with their talent and tools to create mind-boggling works of wonder.

That bring to mind sweet childhood memories of hours spent by the sea ~ timeless and carefree.

Ah ~ it warms my heart to see that within many of us lays an unshakable spirit of summer!

Look for more sandcastle images tomorrow as the builders will continue sculpting throughout the day today.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wedding Portraits - Finished and Shipped

Two Paintings - Two different styles:

The first portrait is a painting, commissioned by the bride, for the reception area of her peacock themed wedding:

The original photograph
and the finished portrait - peacock included!

The second portrait is of a bride and groom commissioned by the brides best friend.

The original photograph
and the finished painting.

I'm painting another portrait of a bride and groom - which I'll post as soon as it's finished.
Love is in the air!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Student Spotlight - Women Who Art

This weeks Student Spotlight falls on the newest member to our Monday Morning Painting Class,
Cindy Dixon.  Cindy joined our group at the end of June for a short, summertime painting excursion.  During the time she spent with our class she worked on, complained about, and finished two exceptional pieces of art.  At the end of August, Cindy returned to her job as a full time substitute.   We enjoyed Cindy's company and look forward to seeing her and the continued prowess of her painting talent at the end of this school year.

Portrait Painting
Over the summer one of our art class sessions included painting family photographs that were scanned, printed, cut and adhered to canvas using a gel medium.  Cindy chose to use an old sports photograph of her son in his baseball uniform.  Her son is now in college so I'm sure this painting brought back many nostalgic memories of his youthful escapades!  The whole portrait was re-painted and the surrounding canvas covered with various shades of green paint.

Here Cindy puts the final touches on the background greenery before signing her name and calling the portrait finished.

Left Hand Painting
For her next painting, Cindy wanted to paint with a looser, more expressionistic style.  Therefore, she decided to challenge herself by painting with her non-dominate left hand.
Cindy sketched in the composition with paint then quickly painted the main shapes with flat areas of color.

She continued to add color, shape and a focal point to her image then experimented with texture by dabbing the wet paint with a tissue.

The painting quickly progressed as the metal bucket was filled with dashes of white daisies and the ground covered with various hues and tints of pink sedum.

It was truly amazing to witness this painting progress, amidst moments of frustrated grousing, to the final masterpiece.  A real lesson in the limitless possibilities of a creative spirit!

Cindy - We wish you a great school year and look forward to your return next summer!
Keep Painting!!