Earlier this year, I was accepted into Watercolorists Unlimited, a locally based watercolor group that has been in existence for over 30 years. At each meeting, the group decides upon a theme, and the following meeting, we show our work and gently critique it. I have been quite impressed with the experience level of the group and the watercolors that have been displayed at the meetings. Many members are art educators and art professionals, and all are very willing to share their knowledge with each other. Doing the assignments has been a good challenge for me..
April's challenge was to paint something local. I chose to paint a scene from Colonial Park, which is not too far from Princeton or the Canal House I was very pleased with the results.
The group also participates in several gallery shows each year. The next one, which I will be participating in, is on May 11 from 10am - 3 pm at Blackwells Mills Canal House, in Somerset, NJ, The building has an interesting history.. It borders the Delaware and Raritan Canal and was built in the 1830s, It served as home to generations of bridge tenders whose job it was to open the swing bridge when canal boats came through. It is surrounded by lushly landscaped gardens. My painting of Duke Farms, as well as several other works, will be included in the show.
Yesterday I participated in Robbinsville High School's 13th annual juried 100% Handcrafted arts & crafts show. There were over 100 artisans and craftspeople there. I thought the quality and variety of offerings was very good. The steady crowds of shoppers throughout the day confirmed that the community agreed with me.
It took me a while, after relocating from Louisiana to New Jersey, to figure where to start showing my work again. I didn't really get settled in my new apartment until the summer but did manage to participate in several shows towards the end of the year. In 2018 I displayed my watercolors and greeting cards in crafts shows located in Bethlehem, PA, E. Windsor, NJ and Lawrenceville, NJ. Below you can see some of my displays from those events. .
I find it motivating having upcoming events to create new artworks for. In considering my goals for 2019. I thought I would like is to participate in one crafts show about every three months,. In January I started making good progress towards making these things happen as I have already been accepted into 3 juried crafts shows:
I was just also accepted to join "Watercolorists Unlimited", a small Princeton area watercolor group that has been meeting monthly for 25 years. Each month they set a theme for their members to paint. Then at the following month's meeting, they critique each others work. . I am really excited about being able to participate and grow artistically as part of this group. Additionally, their members participate in a few group art exhibitions each year. I think this will inspire me to paint more ambitious works.
Finally, the Princeton Sketchers group I formed here last March, which has been meeting twice a month to sketch in downtown Princeton and vicinity, is now being officially sponsored by the Princeton Public Library. They will be providing us with a meeting room, event listings on their calendar, website and printed publications, and a special bookshelf with a curated selection of books about sketching for our members (and the public) to use. We may also be able to bring in a guest speaker this summer.
All in all, I think the prospects for 2019 look good!
Seeing the Blood Wolf Moon eclipse a few weeks ago inspired me to paint these two watercolors. It also inspired me to revisit my notes from a terrific watercolor class I took from David Rankin in 2017. I took extensive videos of him painting washes, wet on wet, using capillary blooms and laying down broken edge brush strokes and applied these techniques on these compositions the best I could. It was a really fun painting session.
I was recently reminded of a sweet song, "Painting Box", written by Mike Heron of The Incredible String Band, a 1960's psychedelic folk group. I decided to illustrate it and was happy with the result which is more decorative than my normal style. I used both watercolors and some new colored fine-liner pens I recently purchased, which were fun to play with. If you'd like to send one to your sweetie for Valentine's Day card, you can order them in my shop.
In other news, I was just juried into my 2nd crafts show. The 8th annual Craft Marketplace will be held at the historic Pennypacker Mill, in Schwenksville, PA, just north of Philadelphia, on September 21st from 9:30 to 3:30 pm. Over 80 craftspeople and 1200 visitors are expected to attend. For more information, go to http://www.friendsppm.org/craft-marketplace.html.
Some cool things have happened since I wrote last month:
1. I am thrilled to announce that I have been juried into the 13th annual 100% Handcrafted juried arts and crafts fair at Robbinsville High School (NJ), which I understand is one of the best inside crafts shows held in this area. Over 100 artisans, whose specialties include pottery, jewelry, botanicals, wood, paper, textiles, photography, metal, candles, soap and gourmet food products, will showcase their work in the high school's beautiful skylighted commons and gym. Admission is FREE and all proceeds benefit the Robbinsville High School theater and instrumental music programs.
If you are in the area and would like to join us, our events will be posted, starting in early February, at https://princetonlibrary.org/events/
The sketch below was made while the Princeton Sketchers visited the Princeton Art Museum this month. It combines designs from several different pieces of Greek pottery that are part of their permanent collection.
I started working on this watercolor of the SteelStacks after I visited there last spring. I did a preliminary sketch after I visited and found the intricacy of this old Bethlehem Steel manufacturing site, which was reborn as a festival, music and cultural event venue, a challenge to capture in all its complex construction details, angles, massiveness and rusting exteriors. I set back to work on the painting again this week and finally completed it.
Welcome to Splatters, my new blog page.
Frankly, I haven't kept a blog about anything for years. My original website, SFBayou.com - Cajun & Zydeco Web Resources, was started in 1994 and coded by hand. It documented my love of Louisiana French music and dance, and ultimately led to my relocating from San Francisco to Louisiana where I lived for over 15 years. It was a blog before they were called blogs (just like records were albums before they were vinyl, but now I am really dating myself). I eventually got tired of it, and then there was Facebook, and you know the rest.
But, I've been feeling inspired creatively lately and so, what I plan to do on the official blog page of this new iteration of sfbayou, is keep y'all posted on what I've been up to art-wise and let you know where you might find me and my artwork. Over the past year, I attended two fabulous art events - sketching in Tuscany with James Richards and then attending SketchKon, the first every Sketchbook Skool conference, where I met many of my online teachers, mentors and friends. This will be a good spot to reflect on those experiences. I've also got a trip to Fredericksburg, VA planned in the spring with urban sketcher Shari Blankophf, that I am looking forward to.
Finally this weekend I will be showing my greeting cards and watercolors at 2 Princeton area crafts shows (weather permitting). My goal is to find one crafts show each season to show and share my work. I will post that information here, once know.
Meanwhile, here's the latest greeting card I created just yesterday. Hope you like it!