Friday, October 20, 2017

2018 New Bern Desk Calendar by Jan Francoeur

I finally have next years calendar done! This year I painted 12 tiny - 5 x 6" or so originals for it. The calendar comes in a cd case, open it up and it holds the calendar upright.

$15 each.

They are available at Carolina Creations along with the original paintings and prints of some of them. I'll post those tomorrow!

You can also purchase the calendar on the website. 





Sunday, October 15, 2017

Corolla Duck Manteo Ocracoke I need to stay home

I went to Nags Head to a painting workshop, the last day our teacher was sick so I had to decide whether to paint outside on my own (HOT and HUMID) or go exploring, so no surprise I went exploring.

I'm always looking for painting ideas. For the past 15 years I've concentrated on New Bern and towns close for things to paint because I've just sold my work at Carolina Creations. We sold everything I could do. But now with more time, I'm thinking I'll approach some galleries in other towns, so that really opens up what my subject matter might be.

My first stop was the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. I love the surrounding buildings just as much as the lighthouse itself.





The are other spots along the Outer Banks. I'm always pleased when a photo turns out nice, because I rarely take photos for the photo, I usually am taking them for ideas of things to paint.







Manteo is a pretty little town on Roanoke Island. 





The Manteo waterfront is beautiful plus the Downtown is attractive too.




The Elizabethan Gardens were established over 50 years ago and contain an ancient stone fountain, a waterfront gazebo, benches, statues and fabulous live oaks. 

There wasn't much in bloom when I was there but it was still worth the visit.









I saw this black and white cat in the garden, the most interesting thing about it was I saw 3 cats on my trip, this one at Manteo, another in Salvo and the third on Ocracoke, and they all looked just alike!





My next stop was Bodie Island Light, followed by Hatteras Light. I've seen them before but how can you pass a lighthouse without taking a photo of it?



I took the ferry to Ocracoke and loved seeing the dolphins following us.







I've been to the Outer Banks 7 or 8 times so I didn't go anywhere I hadn't been before but this was the first time by myself.

Someone told me when your spouse dies it actually gets harder a year or so out rather than easier. I have to attest to that. I told a friend that Michael always called me when I was traveling alone to see where I was, what I was doing and how things were going. The fact that he is not here is really driven home then. She said she felt like it was because you always knew someone had your back and now you don't. I think she is right.

So to counter act that I am always really careful when I travel, I don't let myself get into situations that aren't good, and so I just keep going. I love to explore, another friends said boy you are really a vagabond!

Down East North Carolina is a very remote part of our State, and fishing is still a big industry there.










I haven't painted any fishing boats in a long time but I think I can find a good painting or two in the photos I took. My list of paintings I want to do is getting pretty long!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pansy Rings are Back

One of the things that Michael made that people loved were his pansy rings.

That is the main reason I decided to learn how to throw, so I could make them myself.

Right now that's about all I can make but I've been pleased that I was able to master them so quickly!!



Now I need to master bowls, I think that will take a while longer.

I doubt I'll ever be a real potter. Even though I've been doing pottery for 15+  years I really use clay as a canvas for my paintings. I've always made tiles and done hand building. So rather than say I'm a potter I would say I'm a tile maker, sculptor and hand builder.



The difference is what the focus is, is the the shape of the piece combined with the decoration, or is it mostly the decoration. For me it's been the decoration.

The thing I love about clay, is it can be used in so many ways, looking forward to having the time to do a lot of new work, using my own tiles to use in mosaics, doing more outdoor sculpture.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Richmond Virginia

I intended to go to these gardens this summer on my way to Michigan but it was 100 degrees there and I missed my exit. I have a feeling that early October was a better time to go anyway, I would have melted in July.

One of the docents said the best time to visit is usually late May-early June or September, but because it was so hot this year early October was perfect.



We were surprised so many things were in bloom!









In one part of the conservatory they have a butterfly house during the warm weather, it closes October 15 and they ship any of there butterflies that are still alive to Arizona.






The butterfly in the center was the most unusual one we saw, if not the prettiest. It is called the Orange Dead Leaf because that is exactly what it looks like, a leaf!






Lots of orchids in bloom! Mine at home don't usually bloom this time of the year but I have 2 that are.






The have a nice childrens garden section.




And 3 or 4 places for weddings!


Here's a link to the website if you get a chance to visit, it's worth it!