Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"life on the half shell" ...Day 14

Yes, I am a coastal soul.  Love the salt air and the salt water and I love seafood.  It nourishes the body and the soul.  I didn't know how lucky I was when I was a kid and got to eat my seafood the same day it was swimming in the water.  But I do now.  And when I head back to the coast for a visit, I gorge myself.

Oysters are one of my favorites.  Although as a young child, I wouldn't touch them.  One of those foods that I had to grow into I guess.  But growing up, my mom always made oyster stew and at Thanksgiving half of the cornbread dressing had oysters and the other half was plain for my brother and I.  My parents didn't really encourage us to try them....I don't think they wanted to share :)  But in my teens, I discovered what I had been missing.  I've been making up for lost time ever since.  When the weather gets cold and dreary, it is God's way of saying it's time to have an oyster roast.  We have to have something to get us through the winter, right?  For your Garden & Gun fix of the day, here's a link to everything you need to know about oysters: Click Here

I painted these from life, and sadly by the time I was done.....they weren't safe to eat and I had to toss them in the trash.  Almost made me cry.  Don't let it be said that I'm not suffering for my art. :)

"life on the half shell"
10" x 8" oil on linen panel

One of the reasons I wanted to paint still life for this January challenge was to get back into the practice of painting small.  I also wanted to practice setting up still life compositions into interesting arrangements, lighting them and painting them.  It has truly been a learning experience! But there is a method to my madness.

In February, I will be teaching a weekly beginning painting class at Butler Studio.  We will be painting from life.  I want to teach "how to see" and how to put what's right in front of you down on the canvas confidently.  I think this stage is so critical and is the foundation for everything that you paint.   I am so excited about this class.  Can you tell?  If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining us email me at  It's going to be a small class, so space is limited and we are going to have so much fun!  Great, big thanks to Curt Butler for his confidence in me and for giving me this opportunity.   Life is good on the half shell.

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