Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christiansted Jump-Up, first of the season!

Thanks to Alma's efforts,the Palletteers set up a Christmas Shoppe in the conference room Upstairs at the Comanche to sell our artworks during the first Jump-Up of the season, held Friday evening from 6-10PM. Alma, her husband Rudy, Marilyn, Carolyn and I were there to set up and help with the shop. Carolyn had brought a Christmas tree on which we displayed many of the ornaments our members had hand painted as a fund raiser for the Palletteers. Other items included original paintings, hand painted cards, and prints. The music was lively and the crowd was full of good cheer (and probably some rum and beer, too!). Although it appeared to us that fewer people were out for this first event of the season, each one of us sold something and we even sold some of our unique ornaments... so it was a good night for everyone!

The Ruins at Cruzana Manor

When I first saw Emy's painting, I focused on the central scene, thinking that was her painting... then, as I stood back I realized the entire canvas was her painting. A discussion ensued about how she could create dimension and draw the viewer to realize Emy had painted the wall plus the view through its window. We all agreed, she had a great painting there!What better way to spend the morning after Thanksgiving than by painting with the Palletteers? That's what 6 of us did this past Friday. Invited by Carol Boston of the Garden Spot, we took advantage of the invite.
We had the property to ourselves and though the flowers called to us, somehow we all migrated to the ruins of the former Cruzana Manor to do our paintings. I've a good friend whose uncle was one of the former owners of Cruzana Manor and he claimed that Don't Stop the Carnival was written while the author was a guest there. I always envisioned the characters seeking shelter from the plot's hurricane at either the Club Comanche or at the old hotel on Protestant Cay, with a prominent island family as the basis for the main characters.
The ruins are spectacular but they also brought back memories of my wedding reception held on the property 40 years ago this month. In the early 70's, it was the perfect place for a party. Below, I'm getting ready to throw my bouquet while standing on the same steps pictured in the photo above. My mom, of course, was doing some organizing! Notice my wreath of flowers and my husband's love beads, with the former greathouse behind us!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Greeting Cards

I always end up with some sort of holiday project and one of mine this year has been to make my holiday greeting cards. Since I wanted to create an oil painting for the front of each card and have 60 cards to send, it's been quite the process.... no kidding! I thought I'd share it with you and give you a look at some of my final cards.
After deciding on my design, my first step was to paint the background on a big sheet of canvas. I began by dividing my canvas into correctly measured rectangles and then painting within each of the boxes (more or less.. you know I can't paint a straight line!). That proved to be a slow process with my oils, even though I'd thinned them with mineral spirits. So for my last sheet, I just painted the entire canvas the prussian blue I was using for my night scene. I also started to paint the shape of my egret but this didn't work out because my paints were too wet and the blue started to mix with my white. The first photo shows my canvases drying. The next day my canvases were dry enough to begin adding the details and other colors. Each little painting was different. I'd begun with two egrets and then decided to just paint one in each painting. Not one to enjoy doing the same thing over and over, in addition to changing the kind of egret in the painting, I added swirls of water to some, overhanging leaves to some, and eventually, even changed the kind of egret.
The next day, some were still a bit tacky, so I hung my canvases outside to make sure they'd be dry enough for me to cut out my individual paintings without danger of smearing the oils. After they were cut out and backed with with heavy watercolor paper I mounted each of the paintings onto a card. At last my cards were ready to have my message added inside and be prepared for mailing! You'll notice that even though each painting is different, they all contain a morningstar for the egret to "wish upon." For this reason, I think of them all as Morningstar Egret. Ginger

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rejuvenating George and Gleston

It's not every day that we're given the opportunity to give some worthy recipient a new lease on life! This morning we did just that at the St. George village Botanical Garden with their 16' tall plywood mocko jumbies, George and Gleston! George and Gleston go back about 10 years and were originally conceived for the garden by artist Phyllis Charles, Director of the Garden at that time. Credit also goes to Henry Hunt who cut the whole Ten Days of Christmas, which included the Mocko Jumbies, out of plywood. The Jumbies will be found gracing the lawn of the Botanical Garden when the Garden conducts its holiday festivities during the first weekend in December.

Afterwards, we also helped decorate the posters that will be used to advertise "Glamour in the Garden", the annual fund raiser to be held on December 2.
All in all, it was agreed that helping out the Garden was a great community service project for our group!
When we went to lunch in the guest center by the gift shop we noticed the recent award the Botanical Garden received from the Chamber of Commerce: It was one of the paintings that the Chamber purchased from our show at the museum that they gave as awards to various businesses on the island. What a nice way of giving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Gorgeous Morning at Tamarind!

Another great painting morning: There was sun, shade, a breeze, great views, friendly people, and we got some very good paintings! The only other thing we could ask for would be that more of you could have joined us!