Friday, October 23, 2009

Palletteers paint at Cruzan Gardens

Cruzan Gardens was inspirational.. as we set-up in various places on the grounds, the garden's ambiance spoke to the creative spirit in each one of us.
I painted a bird of paradise while Jan did what she referred to as "a little sketch" complete with live model of the canine variety who sat very patiently until he got thirsty.

Elizabeth tried out some vivid colors while Emy used earth tones.
The mill was the subject of Marilyn's, Larry's, and Pat's paintings.
Elwin was captivated by some bouganvillea in pots, ready for someone's garden. Roz, too, sketched the mill
Elizabeth did a few more flower inspired watercolors too.Everyone seems to be having fun with their minis, and say that they're a good way to practice color combos, composition, and painting ideas. Elizabeth brought a page of hers, below...
.. and Pat brought 2 pages of hers. It's been recommended that those you don't donate to the artist tree could be glued to the fronts of greeting cards or even framed with mini-frames for gift giving. Any other ideas?
So, yes, it was a good morning. Our "show and tell" was really interesting and we all left with smiles. It is so neat to view each other's painting results and to see how everyone is inspired to keep exploring their creativity. Thank you Cruzan Gardens for providing us with such a motivational venue!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Palletteers @ Polly's Art Show: Save the date!

Palletteers @ Polly’s

The Palletteers of St. Croix

You are invited:

Opening night:
Saturday, November 7, 6-9PM

Free wine & light refreshments * Cash bar

Polly’s at the Pier
3 Strand Street, Frederiksted
open daily—719-9434

Show will remain up through January 31, 2010

Palletteers at Ft. Frederick

After more than a week of some torrential thunderstorms, I wasn't sure what I'd wake up to on Friday morning. But my fears were baseless and a bright clear sunny day greeted me. Arriving at Ft. Frederik, the park was full of vibrant color and good shadows.
The azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, off the western end of the fort, were calm and placid and gorgeously inviting.
Several of our artists had to leave early and I didn't have a chance to get a photo of their endeavors. Here are some minis done by one of our members.
More minis, sent via email from California!
While I sat in the park trying to figure out how to paint with some watercolor pencils (until my lighter-weight easel arrives from Sun-eden so I can be a good post-cataract patient and not lift heavy loads), I wondered why I didn't come and sit in this great park more often. The passersby and park personnel were pleasant, the breeze was wonderful and refreshing, the views, among the best on St. Croix. A young boy (teachers meeting so no school) hesitantly approached a few of our watercolor painters and asked about their work.. so Elizabeth showed him how to paint and he ended up proudly walking away with his "masterpiece." What's that ad on tv say? Oh yes: priceless! We love plein air!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I was originally thinking of writing a blog post about pricing artwork. But then I came across a post in a blog written by a local artist who, like many of you, supports herself through the sales of her original artwork and so has art on commission in several shops on island. One shop (she didn't give the name) hadn't sent her a check in awhile, so she went there to see if any of her stuff had sold. She noticed that A LOT of her artwork was gone and when she asked the shop's owner why she hadn't been paid, the owner gave her the sob story that she'd had a lot of bills to pay, business was slow, and her only choices were to close the shop or use the artists' commissions to pay her bills. So, she'd done the latter: she'd paid her bills with the money that she should have paid to the artists for their commissions (not a thought about how the artists were going to pay THEIR bills). Now I would have been shocked after reading this tale but I wasn't .. why? BECAUSE I'D HEARD IT BEFORE from one of our own Palletteers to whom this exact same thing had happened last spring. I'm not sure if it was the same shop.. but if it was, this lady had been getting away with this for awhile!
This morning I also was reading the new entries from my FaceBook "friends" and one of them, a well-known Florida artist who makes her living selling her original artwork, had posted that she'd found out that someone had gotten into her Twitter account and impersonated her. We all hear about identity theft where people use stolen credit cards, but this is a new one to me! This artist has put a lot of effort through showing her work in galleries plus she's gotten her own website, sends out a newsletter, and keeps all us FB people current on her painting process as well as what she's working on. She goes to paint outs and plein air events all over Florida and shares her experiences with us and depends a lot on both word of mouth and internet sales. In other words, she's a working artist, just like the two STX artists I've talked about here, and she depends on selling her artwork to pay her bills.
All of these artists are trying to make an honest living in that same poor economy that the shop owner was complaining about. Did my mother raise me wrong to think that this is what we're supposed to do? We live on a small island so I don't understand how a shopkeeper can get away with these kinds of dealings! But apparently, that's what happened. Our artist community has to support each other by sharing these experiences so that this kind of thing doesn't continue! Otherwise we'll think that it's just an isolated case and when it happens to us, be happy with getting the money we're owed. That kind of thinking might be good for the artist involved, but it doesn't help all the other artists who come along afterwards, assume that this shopkeeper is to be trusted, and get cheated by her too. So let's get the word out.. stop this kind of theft in its tracks!
Also for those of you who use the various channels open to you on the net to market your artwork.. be careful because now we know that artists are being targeted by unscrupulous hackers who want to benefit from some else's honest efforts.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Palletteers at Nature Conservancy

I hadn't been to the Nature Conservancy since July 3, the last time we'd painted there, when the flamboyants were in bloom and we all ooh'ed and ah'ed at their beauty. Yesterday, it was the history of the site that struck me: the main house, the mill, the factory, and the overseer's cottage. I stood on the porch of the main house and took in the fantastic view of Christiansted harbor and the Caribbean and loved being where I was. It was a stifling hot day, the second in a row this week, and while I breathed in the sense of history and beauty I wondered at how the women in olden times could have endured such heat, wearing long gowns, with their arms covered and wearing corsets underneath. Yes, we are so lucky to be living in the times we do and still have such a monument to the endurance of mankind left for us to enjoy.
Because I am not allowed to "carry anything heavy" (due to my recovering from Monday's cataract surgery) I painted at home. I arrived in time for show and tell and thoroughly enjoyed the efforts of my comrades.
They really caught the essence of the site didn't they?
I'd just seen the movie The Impressionists. Did you know that Monet was the first painter to actually go out and paint nature? He and his buddies Bazille and Renoir were considered crazies for wanting to leave the comfort of their studios to paint "the light" and for many years they struggled and were shunned and laughed at for their efforts. Seeing the results of the mornings plein air made me once again appreciate what they'd worked so hard to achieve, capturing the truth of what they saw... seeing that shadows have color... noticing that light changes.
More minis, these from Jan, to inspire us...We are so fortunate to have had such pioneers pave the way for us and such a gorgeous island, full of so much history to accompany that beauty, to paint...and the excitement of our upcoming Palletteers @ Polly's show, which will open November 7, plus a new show, Artists for Animals, which will take place in early December, for us to use as venues in which we can exhibit our artwork. We paint St. Croix and we love it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Palletteers @ Polly's Art Show

The venue for our Palletters @ Polly's show is a unique internet cafe/art gallery open 6 days a week from 7 AM and Sunday's from 8 AM. Located across the street from the waterfront park in Frederiksted, Polly's at the Pier is the place to go for smoothies, coffee drinks, fine brews and good wine, and is one of our favorite spots for breakfast, lunch and light suppers.
Polly's opened last Spring with an art show featuring the artwork of Palletteer Helen Green.
Our show will open November 7, 2009 and run through January 31, 2010. It will feature the watercolor and oil paintings of the Palletteers of St. Croix. We are very excited about this showing of our work.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Palletteers at the Palms at Pelican Cove

I have to learn to be careful what I say! This morning I was reminded that I've said that it never rains on the Palletteers' painting mornings. We'll this morning almost proved me wrong. I arrived at The Palms at Pelican Cove in the pouring rain and had to sit in my car for 10 minutes until it stopped. After it stopped I unpacked my painting stuff, met up with a few other Palletteers who'd arrived, and went looking for a painting site. The sky still looked like it would open up any minute, so instead of looking for a site that would provide shade, we looked for sites that would provide shelter. As you can see, we all found what we'd been looking for, and as the morning ran its course, the sun came out and had us exclaiming what a beautiful day it'd turned into. So if you notice a slight discrepancy in our paintings between the broody sky and the bright beach, you'll know you're not imagining things! I do want to note that after we got back to our cars after lunch, the sky opened up once again.. hmm.. doesn't that prove that I was right? it really didn't rain while we painted; it only rained before we'd started and after we'd finished.
Elizabeth brought the page of minis she'd been having fun with to show the group. Ginger