Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas!

This year's Christmas card.  

It is our mountain cabin, with a few improvements to the landscape!  Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Small Quilty GIfts

If you exchange small gifts or stocking stuffers with a group of quilting friends, here are some great ideas from our Whacky Ladies Christmas brunch last Friday.

From Gloria, everyone received an owl pin cushion made from beautiful funky fabrics.  LOVE!

Gloria also gave us some candy and some Mary Kay product samples.


From the Moda Bake Shop collection, a mini-charm pack of fabrics from Carol.

Great idea...Carolyn gave us a bag of S'mores ingredients with instructions!  


Also in the bag, some bobbin covers.  I had to look this one up.  It is called a bobbin clamp or tulip.  You can string them from one of those metal key chains to keep all your bobbins together.

For you stampers out there, here is a set of gift tags with cute floral decorations.

We have some clever ladies in this quilting group!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Brunch with the Quilters

It has been a busy week with many Christmas functions and parties.  One that I look forward to every year is the Whacky Ladies brunch at Brig's Restaurant in Wake Forest.  Besides the great food, we have a gift exchange and also share small gifts with everyone.

I hit the jackpot this year on the gift exchange.

I thought Lori had made this Christmas stocking, but she says it is from Hobby Lobby.

It was stuffed with lovely gifts...the best being four yards of beautiful fabric!

There was also a very pretty journal, which I will enjoy very much.

 And stuffed in the toe, some Ghirardelli chocolate squares!

Opening all the small gifts was like Christmas morning.   I thought I took pictures of these as well, but I must not have.  I will take one of the owl pincushion made by Gloria next time- it is so cute!

Charlie and I used a gift certificate he got as a retirement gift to eat at The Angus Barn in Raleigh with our friends Ricky and Mary.  They decorate it beautifully at this time of year, but you can always count on seeing lots of quilts hanging on the walls.

I have continued to paint lots of angels, and sent this one to a relative who just turned 90.

I purchased some cards with a framed mat that allows you to insert photos or artwork.

I think that soon I will be offering these for sale in an Etsy shop to raise money for cancer research, a subject close to my heart.

I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season.  Busy as it always is, Christmas time is my favorite. I have been sharing a Bible journaling page each day of December to try to keep in mind the "reason for the season."  Here is one that I did recently.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Craft Night

A new annual tradition...Christmas Craft Night at my daughter-in-law's mother's house.  Maribeth and Emily set up stations with instructions and supplies for several fun projects.  One was to make a Christmas Count-Down plate.  Maribeth pre-painted the plate centers with blackboard paint.  Then we used paint pens, added pretty ribbon, and chalk attached to string.

Another cute project were the candy cane place card holders or labels for items in a buffet.

My personal favorite was the pine cone owl.  We used glue guns to attach eyes, beak, face and wings.

There were also pillar candles in glass containers to decorate with burlap, ribbon, snowflakes, etc.

And finally, the popular fabric garlands of lights made a second appearance.  All you do is tie strips of fabric around the strand of white mini-lights.  They look so pretty!

Maribeth and Emily searched Pinterest to get ideas for the projects.  With wine and hors d'oevres and good friends, it was a very happy and festive night!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Basement Studio Progress

A lot has happened to the basement area of our mountain cabin...which will become my sewing/art studio!  It now has drywall, electricity, and heat.  Charlie and I painted a primer coat on Wednesday until we ran out of both paint and energy, and our family arrived for Thanksgiving.  Besides painting, it will need a ceiling, floor, and light fixtures.  I ordered the bathroom vanity, faucets, cabinet and lights already.

If you want a preview, here is the laundry area just at the base of the stairs.

 We are going to add a utility sink in this area with the furnace.  That will be great for rinsing dyes or cleaning paintbrushes.

Under the stairs will be a closet.

The front room is the whole length of the cabin.  Right now it has my Gammill machine in there, which we have just been working around.

I am looking forward to having these beautiful views when I sew or paint.

You can see the Christmas tree farm across the street from the corner windows.

Here is the door to the bathroom.

The tub is in place, but nothing else.  But walls and a door are good!

After we finish painting, my brother-in-law says he will help us put in the suspended ceiling.  He has done one in his own basement room.

Once we get the sewing room/studio done, we will be making the move to the mountains full time.

And here is your reward for reading to the two precious little turkeys who were here with us for Thanksgiving!

Layla was a good mountain baby, and Charlotte is a great big sister!  We have much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you be truly thankful for all the blessings in your life!  

Autumn Leaves, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2016

Here is a watercolor page from my art journal that I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tom Lynch Waterfalls Workshop

I have finally finished my paintings from the Tom Lynch Waterfalls workshop last weekend at Art of the Carolinas in Raleigh.

Colorful Waterfall, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2016

Rocky Waterfall, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2016

Tom painted this scene with us, and also had many other paintings of the same scene from his previous workshops for our reference.  
I like all the color change and splashy water.  I came out of that workshop with paint spots all over my face and eyeglasses!

I drove to our mountain home yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday.  When I came in view of the ridge lines of the Blue Ridge mountains, I scanned for signs of smoke or wildfires.  I did not see any on the way up, but have been hearing about a new fire in Ashe County.  There has been no rain in the western part of North Carolina for a long time, and the dry conditions plus gusty winds have sent wildfires soaring over thousands of acres throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

When we went to town today, we could see the smoke from the Ashe County fire as we approached West Jefferson.  I took a photo from the parking lot at Ingle's grocery store.

This is about twenty miles from our cabin, but we know people whose homes are nearby.  I am thankful for all the firefighters who are away from home, putting their lives at risk to save land and property from fire damage.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sterling Edwards Landscape Painting Class

Today was a double-header for me at Art of the Carolinas, with both morning and afternoon classes.

First up was Big Brush Landscape Watercolors, with Sterling Edwards.  Sterling lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  He has a deep voice, sort of like Sam Elliott.  He was very laid-back and fun to learn from.  Here is the painting that he completed in class today.

Waterfall painting by Sterling Edwards, Art of the Carolinas 2016

Edwards says that he used to do photo-realistic paintings, but now exclusively works with colors  and shapes rather than detail.  He has his own line of Big Brushes with stiff nylon bristles.  He used those in his demo.

I ended up not purchasing his set of brushes.  I used my own brushes, including some that I inherited from my father.  Here is what I came home with today.

Waterfall painting by Jeanne Turner McBrayer in Sterling Edwards' workshop
Sterling helped me add the darks along the waterfall and made it a two-tiered waterfall.

I would like to rework the trees at the top a bit to make them more interesting.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Contemporary Figure Painting Class

Now I will report on my first class at Art of the Carolinas 2016 with Bob Burridge.  The title was Contemporary Figure Drawing.  The advertised photo example was this:

That is what I thought he meant by a contemporary figure in art.  I was quite surprised to find that it was a Life Drawing Class with a nude model!  It was not embarrassing or awkward at all.  First we did timed sketches in charcoal on gray paper. The model assumed various poses and we sketched until time was called (just a few minutes to start with.)

I will share some of my sketches.  Please note I have never taken a life drawing class before, OR worked with charcoal!

There was a strong emphasis on dark against light and light against dark.

After using the charcoals on toned gray paper, we graduated to adding acrylic paint on watercolor paper.  Bob thought my painting of the seated figure was very successful, but said I should soften and lower the line between dark and light background that is dividing the picture in half right at her elbow.

All together, I probably did eighteen sketches or paintings during the one-day class.

 Did I mention we were to exaggerate the model's features?

I have to say, I really loved this class, and would take any class from Bob Burridge again.  He is fun, down-to-earth, and hugely talented.  He was very encouraging.  And, I would love to take another life-drawing class so I can get better at it. 

This afternoon,  I visited the Art of the Carolinas Trade show at the North Raleigh Hilton.  I came away with some replacement tubes of Holbein watercolor paint at half price, some toned gray paper, a casein spray which is supposed to protect all artwork without mounting under glass, and some new Pigma Micron black pens.  I also got some 11 x 14 gallery-wrapped canvas for only $2.99 each.  I had no problem finding parking, and the lines were not too long for checking out.

Tomorrow I will take a morning and an afternoon class with watercolor artists Sterling Edwards and Tom Lynch.   I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Coming This Weekend: Art of the Carolinas!

Only two more days...until my first workshop of Art of the Carolinas 2016!

Held at the North Raleigh Hilton, it is a fabulous trade show with dozens of vendors selling art supplies at big discounts.  But the best part is that art instructors from all over the country will be here offering either three-hour or all-day workshops.

Here is my line-up of classes.

Thursday:  I am taking an all-day class with Bob Burridge on painting figures.  I am a big fan of Bob's videos (Weekly Bob-Blasts) on his website, and have tried many of his techniques.  This one should be fun!  He uses acrylic paints, but I have applied many of his lessons to watercolor painting.

Bob Burridge Painting Contemporary Figures workshop photo, AOC 2016

On Friday I may visit the trade show to stock up on supplies.

On Saturday, I will take two watercolor classes.

In the morning, I will take Big Brush Watercolor Landscapes with Sterling Edwards.  He is a world-renowned artist and teacher.  I will probably end up purchasing some of his "big" paintbrushes.

Sterling Edwards Big Brush Landscapes workshop photo, AOC 2016

In the afternoon, one more workshop with Tom Lynch, this time on painting waterfalls.  I have taken many previous workshops with Tom.  He has been a big influence on me, particularly in the use of bold color. I own lots of his books and DVD's.

Tom Lynch Painting Waterfalls workshop photo, AOC 2016

Hopefully I will have lots of new work to show you after the weekend!