Friday, September 19, 2008

Making Art in the Marshes

Just returned from Spring Island, SC, where I went with my peeps, the Pieces of 8. A fabulous time was had by all (staying in a house complete with pond and real alligator off the back deck), eating, relaxing, and painting the marshes. It was hot, muggy, and beautiful, and we couldn't wait to get there every day to paint. We didn't suffer too much--there was a clubhouse that provided refreshments and the covered dock had fans. It's amazing how the marshes change before your eyes. The light changed because we had storm clouds come and go, and the tide did a big mud reveal as it receded. Our annual artists' retreat is our chance to immerse ourselves in art all day every day--if we aren't making art we're talking about art. It's the only way to eliminate those distractions of everyday life, like pulling weeds and getting groceries. This year none of us fell out of a boat and I only stepped in my palette once. Now we need to paint those marshes larger and see if we can recall the emotion of being there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This is a small painting, 9 x 12, of one of our glorious sunrises here on the Space Coast. I love to sit on the beach and photograph each stage of sunrise, with the changing light and the constantly moving water. Even the sand on the beach changes as the sun makes its slow rise above the Earth. In spite of hurricane panics, I love living in such a beautiful place.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Farewell, Hanna; Hello, Ike

Here we go again. And Ike is very scary. Hanna is dumping wind and rain on us right now (6:53 am Friday).

Here is what I wrote after Hurricane Floyd, in which we were trapped in a motel room with no power or water. It's called "The Hurricane Diet."

Two days before evacuation, prepare a hurricane kit that includes many batteries, first aid and nearly inedible canned meats.

Worry so much that you lose your appetite.

Work hard at packing up, preparing the outside of your house, etc. Sweat a lot.

Evacuate late and stay in a line of cars for eight hours. Don’t stop to eat, because it’s too hard to get back in line.

Settle in to your hotel.

If the storm turns your way, stock up on the same prison food you bought for home.

Hole up in your room without electricity or water and survive on Spam Spread, crackers, and bananas. You won’t eat much. It’s too disgusting.

When you head home, enjoy the air-conditioning in your car and recharge the cell phone.

Upon arriving home, start clearing debris. You will lose many pounds in the exercise known as the Debris Haul. It will be hot and humid and the pounds will melt off.

The Snake Jog is very beneficial for raising the heart rate and tightening leg muscles. Your high jump is worthy of the NBA.

After a few days of no electricity or fresh drinking water, you will notice quite a difference. You will be slimmer in spite of living on Vienna Sausages and food cooked on the grill. Your thinking will be dulled and you will be chock full of nitrites, but who cares? Check out that girlish waist!