Friday, January 28, 2011

Women who Art - Student Spotlight

This weeks artist highlight is on Sara Jackson, another woman who has been painting with our Ladies Monday morning art class since the first class.   Sara is a prolific painter and storyteller, bringing into each class a  freshly painted canvas and another funny story yet to be told.  She continues to inspire and humor us with her latest body of work and vast knowledge of "Bob Ross" painting techniques. 
City Scene
Recently, inspired by the work of another artist,  Sara has taken up the technique of painting with a palette knife.  This style of painting is excellent for producing textured, impasto work and sweeping areas of flat color as well as adding tiny shapes of color.
Painting with a palette knife and complimentary color scheme  helps her showcase the energy and emotional vitality of the urban city scene.
Using a small brush, Sara added smooth, reflective qualities to the windows and buildings.
Through these painting techniques and knowledge of color,  Sara aptly represented the people, energy, light, and atmosphere apparent in a night time city scene. 

Sara's impressive representation of the copied work.  I can say nothing more than Simply amazing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My heart longs for Charleston

On a cold, wet, dreary winter day like today my heart longs for the warmth of Charleston in spring.  Window boxes dripping with flowers, lush walkways and long shadows on light filled streets.

Wishing I could transport myself into these images and back to one of my favorite cities.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Putting the fun back into Functional...

A new concept for customizing your art work ~ paintings that feature a unique chalkboard space on the back for personalized messages and love notes.  The following two paintings are the first in my new theme of functional art...

Chalkboard Art
Original Painting
Little Swimmer in Pink
This original painting of a young girl swimming is backed with 3 coats of chalkboard paint for adding your personalized messages:

As a parent who, for many years sat on a hard bench, in a chlorine induced atmosphere, for hours on end waiting for my children to swim 2 laps in 1 heat because I was incredibly proud of their dedication to the sport and inordinate amount of time spent practicing, it wasn't hard to think of what to write as an example for the back of this painting.  Of course, these are my feelings thus easily erased.  You are free to add your own personal love note or message.

Custom Portrait Painting:
Custom Painted Portrait of cousins at play
Add your own handwritten message to the back of a hand painted portrait as a playful way to personalize your keepsakes.
The images are hand painted with acrylics on primed canvas, signed, sealed with a protective gloss varnish then carefully mounted onto sanded wood blocks. The back of which is painted with 3 coats of chalkboard paint for your personalized messages and love notes.  Just click on the images shown above for more information or to order your own customized portrait.

I love creating custom pieces, so please don't hesitate to send me your ideas! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Do you remember when...

there used to be only one fast food hamburger joint in town?

Carrol's Hamburger Restaurant
Back in the day, my mom would take my four siblings and myself to this Carrol's Hamburger Restaurant when my father was out on a naval cruise.  We would order our hamburgers and french fries at the front window and eat at them on the concrete tables located in the background.  This was before Carrol's restaurants were converted to Burger King Franchises back in 1975.  Now there's a fast food restaurant every where you look.  Yup, those were the good ole days!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Student Spotlight - Women who Art

This weeks spotlight shines on another woman who is new to our Ladies Morning Art classes ~ Celeste McLean.  Celeste, as she tells it, wanted to focus on art in high school but her art teacher told her, in a round-about way, that she might want to put her energies elsewhere.  Taking this advice to heart she became a Chiropractic doctor.  Thankfully, putting that teachers advice to rest, she has kept up with the creative and artistic side of her brain.
The Yoga Place
For her first class Celeste brought an image of one of her favorite spots in Hawaii. This is the place she goes to meditate and practice yoga whenever she is vacationing there.

As one can see from these images, her style is very expressionistic.  She paints not to depict objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses she feels when visiting what she calls her special place

Her goals here were not to reproduce the impression suggested by the natural landscape, but to impose her own feelings and sensibility onto it.

Celeste aptly expresses her memories of this place by distorting and exaggerating the natural elements and through her bold use of color and brush strokes.
Celeste and her finished painting - the colors of which are much more vivid in person.  A true testament to the fact that you should sometimes follow your passion and not necessarily the advice given to you by others.  Well done Celeste!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Valentine Gift Ideas for your Guys

As Valentine's Day approaches I would like to suggest a few  gift ideas for the special men in your life.  Today's selections focus on the man who enjoys the sport of surfing.

Cuff Links
A great gift option for the man who, when out of his board shorts and dressed up for an evening out, wants to show off his love of surfing and passion for the ocean
Winter Surf Cuff links

Wood Block Triptych
An original painting, inspired by your photo, hand painted on canvas, cut into 3 sections, mounted onto 3 natural wood blocks and sealed with a protective gloss varnish.  
Individual blocks measure 7" x 2.5" x 1.5" ~ together they measure 7" x 7.5" x 1.5

Original painting of an early morning board meeting between three surfers. 

Surfing Prints

If you are interested in and would like more information on any of these surfing gift suggestions, simply click on the image.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Custom Painted Pottery Portraits

Hand painted pottery portrait
Fresh from the kiln.  

Custom painted pottery portrait  plates.  A keepsake handmade from your photo with personalized names and date make a unique gift for Valentine's Day, Weddings, Anniversaries or as a special plate for those milestone birthdays.  

Each pottery plate measures 10.25 inches round and is hand drawn, hand painted, outlined, coated with a non-toxic, lead-free glaze then fired in my kiln. Food and dishwasher safe - but I recommend hand washing.

Hand drawn portraits are inspired by a photograph.  The image above and below were from a 50th birthday wine tasting tour.

Each portrait is a unique piece of art signed by the artist, Cathie Carlson.  The portrait plates can be displayed and used year round and make a wonderful way to commemorate a special day.
I love creating custom pieces, so please don't hesitate to send me your ideas.  You can view more of my custom work and get in contact with me by clicking here  I'd love to hear what you think!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Winter Whites - A few more of my favorites

There is  nothing like a blanket of winter snow to turn a beach town into a beautiful gray-scale color scene.  Here are a few images of my home and town covered in white.


The first snowfall of the season was beautiful and completely changed the look of our town.  It was also rare enough to leave us wanting more.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Artist Spotlight - Women who Art

It's been a while since I've shone the spotlight on one of the incredible artists from my Ladies Art Class.  So, to get myself back into gear for the New Year, this week I am featuring two artists.  The first of whom has been with me since the very beginning of my Ladies Morning Out art classes and who I look forward to seeing every week ~ Carolyn Foresta.  The second, an artist who just recently started taking classes and who has already blown us away with her unique style and talent, Gina Foresta ~ yes, they're related ~ Gina is Carolyn's daughter-in-law.


Working with a limited color palette and simple shapes, Carolyn begins painting a Monarch butterfly.
Sometimes, for painting in detail, a lap works better than an easel.
Carolyn adds highlights to the Monarch's wings with various shades of red, yellow, and white

More detail is added to the Monarchs wings , body and to the flower on which it landed.
Carolyn and her finished Monarch masterpiece.  Another stunning painting to add to her walls and portfolio - if her granddaughter doesn't claim it first!!


For her first painting with us, Gina chose to recreate an adorable photo of her husband and daughter.  In her pre-mommy life, Gina was a graphic designer. Her design sensibilities and skills shine through in her drawing and painting techniques - which were apparent from the very beginning.
The painting at the end of Gina's first class.

During the next session, Gina added detail to the features and background.
Using the original photograph for guidance, Gina put her own unique spin on the colors and detail.
She played with colors and brush strokes to create a blurry background scene.

Gina contemplates detail in the features of her daughter,
then adds more shading and highlights to the body and background.
Gina and her finished family portrait.  An amazing work of art and a wonderful heirloom painting for her husband and daughter.

Welcome to the New Year.  I look forward to another creative year with my art ladies and to the spotlights which showcase their astonishing talent and art work