Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cherie's Progress

Friends forever: Barbara Beasley, Cherie Stannard, Yours Truly

Cherie has a brand new place where you can make TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations! Her uncle worked hard at finding out how to make the possible. She really still needs all the help she can get as she has no health insurance and is relying on Medicaid to pay her bills and they do NOT cover everything she needs.

Cherie and Yours Truly last February on her birthday

President Obama raised a record breaking amount of money for his campaign in $5 increments online. Can you give $5 to help an amazing woman in need?

As of late she has been making progress! She has been gaining strength in both arms and is finding she has more sensation in her right arm. She is able to keep herself up sitting straighter without the benefit of armrests and THIS IS HUGE! It means that the muscles in her torso are getting signals, which means her spinal cord is making pathways and her brain is getting the message. She is also getting tingling in her legs, which is also new. Physical therapy has helped this very much, but PT costs money and Medicaid does not cover all of it.

Here is the link, check it out for yourself and consider a small donation, forward to your family and friends. Do something good for a stranger today. It will make you feel good, I promise.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Progression of the "she fowl"

©St.Hilaire Nelson, sketch on cradled birch panel, 36x24

The female peacock marks my FINAL piece of the 50 for my Noah's Ark Series Solo Exhibition at the Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts. This show opens April 27th and runs through June 16. I need to finish the artwork this week in order to print the Exhibition Guide I have been designing.

©St.Hilaire Nelson, sketch with beginning under-painting on cradled birch panel

All of my pieces start with a pencil sketch on a clear primed birch wood panel. I prime clear in order to give myself the freedom to leave some of the grain and striation of the wood showing through, should I so desire. This is a decision I a make somewhere along the way, and it's not pre-planned.

I block in the local color and define my values with the underpainting. I am playing with the background paint application as I intend to leave the green above her head painted. This decision I THINK is made, but we shall see what happens when I get into the glue.

©St.Hilaire Nelson, under-painting on cradled birch panel

The "she fowl" is in my studio drying, I'll add collage application later in the day today or this evening. Most of the time I work at night and on the weekends as graphic design is my day job. Every now and then you do see daylight behind my easel in a photo though. I snuck out there this morning at 5:30 and this afternoon around 1:00pm. Nothing like a deadline to motivate!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The LUCKY artists of The Studios of Key West

The Studios at Key West in the old Armory Building

Today we visited The Studios of Key West. a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2006 and based at the historic Key West Armory. They are managed by a professional staff, and governed by a volunteer board of community leaders. How lucky are these artists to have such a space in the heart of Key West to do what they love?

TSKW considers it their mission to support local creative people, celebrate the island's unique heritage and to foster new collaboration and artistic production.

A residency studio sponsored by The Green Parrot

All of the studios had plaques on the doors that indicated who sponsored them, mostly local businesses. You can apply for an artist residency at the studios on their website. 

These studio spaces were amazing! big windows, bright light, and big spaces. 

What a great space!

Peeking through the window into a resident studio

We enjoyed an abstract exhibit as we wandered through the upstairs of the galleries today. 

Beautiful upstairs gallery space
Abstract show in upstairs gallery

over the stairway

What a great stop on the way to Duvall St. to celebrate the luck of the Irish and St. Pats in Key West!

Me posing with some local color!

What have you been lucky enough to receive in your artistic endeavors?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Key West Show Opening

Sean Callahan (fellow New Englander) and I at the opening

The Stone Soup Gallery opening was a hit last night! We sold several pieces between the afternoon and the opening, I could not be more happy. Many people came out to see the show and meet the artist. The gallery director Sean Callahan and I had a great time goofing around. We met when he took my workshop almost four years ago in Amelia Island.

My son is always impressed with Mom's accomplishments!

I am enjoying exploring Key West with the family. We visited the Southernmost point for sunset on Friday, we had an amazingly tasty breakfast/brunch at Blue Heaven today. We indulged in homemade ice cream and mile high Key Lime Pie. I took a training run around the island yesterday morning, dodging roosters on Duvall St. and appreciating the view of the ocean from the Aids Memorial at the end of White Street. 

Coconut Palms and Stone Soup Gallery patrons
Butterfly Strings and Night Owls

Key West is a very cool place. I saw a lot of bumper stickers and wrist bands that said "One Human Family" so I had to ask a local. What it means is that people are gay/lesbian friendly, believing that this tight knit community is one big family that accepts everyone and does not judge. I really am loving the vibe here. 

me and the kids at the end of the world

Tomorrow is day one of the workshop here in the gallery, I'm really looking forward to playing with painted paper and collage with some very excited students. Stay tuned for updates from that. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Summer Collage Workshop!

White house is the instructors quarters, red barn is where the class will be held

The folks at Yates County Art Center in Penn Yan, NY have asked me to come up to the finger lakes region and teach my Paper Paintings Collage Workshop in July this year. 

Artists are innately drawn to the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes region. It is an area that stimulates creativity and has led to the creation of thousands of images of sailboats and sunshine, clusters of grapes hanging on gnarled vines, and waterfalls and gorges that cut through a patchwork quilt of farmlands and vineyards. No, thanks to a generous donation to the Yates County Arts Center from the estate of Dr. Annie Smith, artists will have an additional opportunity to fully experience the inspirational impact of the Finger Lakes.

This workshop is open to the public, Kris at the center said. "We are absolutely open to anyone who wants to come – we love visitors from other areas and it’s a GREAT region to visit….lots of good wine, beautiful lakes, rolling hills etc.  Lots of Mennonite farmers and craftsmen so buggies are a common sight. "

Come out and tear paper with me, take an extra day or two to enjoy some of the wineries in the region.  Check out the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.  and the Penn Yan Wineries and Vineyards Travel Guide.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Key West Ships Today!

27 pieces, some large, some small, are shipping to Key West's Stone Soup Gallery in four large boxes today via good old FedEx Ground. I just have to figure out how to get these boxes into the store! Typically if they see me coming with one, they will come out and help me with the rest. My FedEx store knows me well.

Butterfly Strings #1 / collage on wood panel / 20x24

Florida Oranges #1 / collage on wood panel / 12x12

I am sending Stone Soup a wide variety of pieces, some newly created just for them, and some I have in my inventory. Florida Oranges #1 and #2 were done over the workshop weekend in North Carolina. I had Stone Soup in mind when I used Florida Oranges #1 as my demo piece.

Key West Lighthouse / collage on wood panel / 10x22

I am looking forward to heading down to the gallery next week! My husband and my kids are heading down for the show and some R&R next wednesday. I'll be teaching a two half-day class over the weekend on the 17/18 if you are close by and interested.

Blueberry Bliss / collage on panel / 24x24