Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Autumn Paintings

We continue to have sunny and beautiful autumn weather here in the North Carolina mountains.  I have been doing some quick little fall scenes in watercolor.

The first three are 5" x 7" watercolors.

This one is 10" x 10".

This next one just sold at the art and craft fair at the Jefferson United Methodist Church.

And here is a seasonal journal entry.  I just felt like painting some pumpkins!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Charlie and I have been to Boone, NC several times for doctors' appointments over the past six weeks, and I finally got to visit the Turchin Arts Center at Appalachian State University on our last trip.

The space is very lovely, right on King Street, very spacious.  The exhibit that I wanted to see was by Diane Kempler, who combines porcelain with seed pods and forms exotic shapes that mimic nature.

The tall spires were very striking, and these gourd-looking objects made an interesting display.

The next ones represent "Floating Microbes."

The next one is "Microbial Garden."

Several other artists had exhibits included in an upstairs gallery.  I liked this large piece by Bob Ray, which looks like an old quilt to me.  It is made of PVC, paint, tape, and collage.  It is named "A Room in Charleston."

Here is a detail of some of the crosses.

Bob Ray also created "Night Fence" from paint, wood, tape, and charcoal.

I liked this display by Barbara Hardy, which also reminded me of quilts in a way.

This one is named "The Other Color."  It is oil on wood.

After the art museum, Charlie and I met two of my brothers and my sister-in-law Debbie at Proper in Boone for a nice outdoor lunch.  

My brother Chris, myself, and my brother John

It is starting to look a lot like fall up here.  There's nothing like a blue October Carolina sky against fall color, like these towering goldenrods.

I like seeing the local businesses decorating with fall and harvest themes.  Welch's Produce is one of our favorite stops between Jefferson and our town of Laurel Springs.

And here is a family of wild turkeys, ignoring the "No Trespassing" sign to go for a stroll on a nearby farm.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bible Art Journaling

 I bought a new Bible for art journaling that has a full blank page for every page of text.  That will allow a generous space for artwork without covering up the Scripture.  Here is the first page that I completed.  I borrowed a scene from Vincent Van Gogh that looks a lot like our mountain countryside here in North Carolina.  The scripture is Psalm 103.

In my other Bible I added this illustration of a bald eagle for Job 28: 20-21.

And here is a very simple one in only one color of Intense pencils. (Genesis 18:1-8)

Charlie and I joined the Jefferson United Methodist Church last Sunday.  The minister was not familiar with Bible Art journaling, and loved my illustrated Bible.  He even showed it to the congregation when he was introducing us.  I may end up leading a group who wants to try it out.

Yesterday we went to Charlotte to see an orthopedic foot surgeon.  I am going to be scheduled for total ankle replacement on my left foot.  When that one heals, I will also need it on my right foot.  So, I am going to try hard to get my house organized and clean before I am on crutches for awhile.  They said it might be 6-8 weeks from now before I can have the first surgery.  I do well when I have a deadline, so maybe the basement studio will be in good shape by then.

A couple of years ago, Charlie bought me a porcelain palette for my watercolor paints.  It is designed by one of my favorite art instructors, Tom Lynch.  I finally filled it with luscious paints, and it is ready to use.  I like the holes in the corners for standing paint brushes.  There is a plastic dust cover with insulating tape around the top.

Hopefully, it will not be a virgin much longer!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

After Irma

This is the first day in a week that I have worked in the studio.  We have been busy watching The Weather Channel to see what Hurricane Irma was doing in Florida and on up to the Carolinas.  My brother Jeff and his wife Anna evacuated a week ago from Ft. Myers, Florida and have been staying with us.  I think they will leave tomorrow...going back to no power or water, no traffic lights, and pretty much chaos.  Jeff works in Naples, where the highest wind gusts in Florida were recorded.  The house is okay and all their family is safe, which is all that matters.

When they were here on vacation just a couple of weeks ago, I wrapped Jeff's birthday present in a piece of brown Kraft paper that I had painted with an undersea scene.

He liked the wrapping paper so much that I mounted it on a gallery-wrapped canvas for him.  Here it is, glued down with gel medium and sprayed with glossy acrylic varnish.

Underwater Scene, acrylic paint on brown Kraft paper, mounted on gallery-wrapped canvas.

My new quilt guild meets Thursday, and this month's challenge block was a six-inch maple leaf.  I made two.  These did not take as long as the Sister's Choice block I featured on my last post, but I am very rusty...and still having to search for things.

I have been asked to provide quits to hang in the New River State Park clubhouse for a couple of months, so I went through the stash of smaller quilts that might work.  Lo and behold, I came across The Green Man, started many years ago in an online class with fabric artist Pamela Allen.  The Green Man is probably the strangest quilt I have ever made, but I love him.  He suffered an awful fate years ago when my grand-dog had an anxiety attack and chewed off the corner of the quilt, as well as the three-D nose and eyebrow.   

I am happy to say that I have made repairs, and I think he looks just fine.  I made a new corner for the quilt and added some leaves and flowers from an old flower arrangement.  I finished the edges with Tussah Silk Tops that I just mashed around the edges and zigzagged with my sewing machine.

The Green Man, art quilt by Jeanne Turner McBrayer

I also finally finished the edges of this little batik quilt that I made several years ago.  It is oriental paper, painted with watercolor paints and sealed with wax. The drawing is a detail from a Kathy George kit that I purchased after taking a workshop from her several years ago.  I think I will mount this one on gallery-wrapped canvas.


That's about it until next time!

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Few New Things

It has been a little crazy for the last month.  Many doctor appointments and trips to the hospital.  Charlie's blood counts got so low that he had a blood transfusion a couple of weeks ago.  That is probably due to all the radiation and the drug Xofigo which is radioactive.  After getting two units of packed red cells, he was a new man.  Amazing how bad you can feel when you are anemic.


We are continuing to enjoy our new life in the mountains, and trying to get our house organized.  It has taken awhile because of all the furnishings we brought from Raleigh, and because the new basement was just a big room that I am trying to make into a usable studio/laundry room/office.

I managed to make an Auburn Angel for my daughter-in-law Melissa's birthday.

My brother Jeff and his family from Florida came up for a week in August.  We had multiple family gatherings.  They are the ones we stayed with in Ft. Myers for three months when Charlie first had radiation at the Dattoli Cancer Center.  We love them bunches!

We celebrated Jeff's birthday while they were here.  I gave him a little remembrance of the North Carolina mountains to take back to Florida with him.

My sewing stuff was fairly organized in bins even when we lived in Wake Forest, two houses ago.  It has been easy to find stash fabrics.  Everything else, not so much.  I recently tried actually sewing an eight-inch Sister's Choice block for a quilt for a friend, and it took me eight hours by the time I found the power cord to the sewing machine, some rulers, cutting mats, etc.

Here is a little watercolor sketch I did in my art journal.  It is the Sarasota skyline as seen from across the bay at Longboat Key in the last afternoon sunlight.  The city looked golden in the last rays of the sun.

My littlest granddaughter, Layla Grace, turned one on Saturday.  She had a rubber ducky birthday party.  I made painted a yellow duckling for her birthday card, and a little one with blue and green highlights framed in a floating frame.  Both paintings were inspired by photos on Pinterest.

And here is my little Ducky!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

An Artsy/Quilty Library

We have been busy becoming official residents of Laurel Springs.  I got my new driver's license, and promptly took it to the public library in West Jefferson to get my library card!  The library is in a beautiful building on a hill overlooking the town.

I am always pleased when I see original art incorporated in public buildings--including quilts used as decoration.  The Ashe County library pleased me greatly!

High on the wall of the tower section is a large barn square quilt.  I suspect it was made by the Quilt Square Girls in West Jefferson, who also made the smaller one that we purchased for our cabin.

Hanging over the reception desk is a child's quilt by a member of the Ashe Piecemakers Quilt Guild.


And in the children's section are paper quilts that I suspect were made in local school classes, or perhaps were made in a children's craft activity at the library.

Bow Tie paper quilt

Dresden Plate and Flying Geese paper quilt blocks

Speaking of the children's section, there is a fabulous climb-aboard locomotive, a  city-scape, and  a beautiful mural of a mountain scene.

There are some very attractive sitting and work areas with inviting wall art.

I came home with a basket of library books and also DVDs to borrow.  The Hubs even came in and selected a few DVDs.