Maryland Federation of Art Fall Show

I just got the preview email for the MFA fall show and it’s a great one! My piece, “Badfish: A Nod to Sublime” has been juried into this show. I am thrilled to have been chosen from the 411 artists that submitted. Only 66 were chosen (if I remember correctly). And after looking at who I will be hanging next to, I’m super excited to say the least!

http://mdfedart.com/mfaentry/sales/salesgallery.php?exhibit=134

The opening is this Sunday from 3-5pm at Circle Gallery in Annapolis. It is also the weekend of the Annapolis Boat Show! So, be sure to be prepared for parking spot jousting (did you know that jousting is the Maryland State Sport?). It will be a crowded weekend in Annapolis, but a great time for people watching and the weather is supposed to be perfect!

Thank you for stopping by! I did some collaging today and will post some soon!

Red Rock, Green Valley

I am so happy to be back to a regular schedule!!!  The kiddos started school again last week, and after getting on to more reliable (and quieter!)  schedules and days, I've finally sat back down to think about my next piece.

Maryland Federation of Art's annual Collector's Choice event is approaching again in late October.  I donate a signature piece each year, a duty and a privilege, so that great art can be both viewed and acquired by both novice and decided collectors.  This event is one of the best things going in the Baltimore-D.C. corridor, because a ticket at $185, entitles two attendees to drinks, food, and a ticket number that will undoubtedly be chosen during the evening, where as the ticketed guest may take home an original piece of art.

The most fun (I have to admit) is the way in which numbers are chosen, and listening to the oooh and aahhhhs as folks make a tidy list of their top favorite works, then wait for their number to be called.  Only two hundred tickets are sold, and the sooner your number is randomly picked, the more likely you are to get your one of the works at the top of your list.

In addition to donating a new piece, I always purchase a ticket so that I too can go home with a new piece to add to my humble collection.  It's pretty exciting!  One year, I even delivered a piece to an attendee who chose a very large (!) piece, but didn't consider the fact that it did not fit into their minivan.  This is why I often drive a big pickup.  Yes, I look a little honkey.  But, I always have room for whatever I need to take with me whether it's a 5'x8' painting, or a dining room table and six chairs from a great yard sale!  I don't know how I lived without a pickup...

So, as promised, I prepped a canvas and started a cool little landscape that may or may not end up being named, "Red Rock, Green Valley".  I intend this 11x18 to be for Collector's Choice (unless it is snapped up before hand and I need to paint another piece).  Here's what I've got so far, over about four hours time:

 To celebrate a new school year, I also organized my paints and such so that they are easier to find while I'm working...they also look pretty darn cute in wooden cigar boxes (thank you, Hubby!).

To celebrate a new school year, I also organized my paints and such so that they are easier to find while I'm working...they also look pretty darn cute in wooden cigar boxes (thank you, Hubby!).

 Adding some chunky paint for texture here.

Adding some chunky paint for texture here.

 Adding some contrast here and depth with washes.

Adding some contrast here and depth with washes.

I need to let today's very heavy, wet paint, dry before adding more layers.  This piece is looking a bit like patchwork, which is a different approach for me, but I'm always up for experimenting with my mediums to get new outcomes.  

Thank you for stopping by my studio today, and if you are feeling the effects of hurricane Florence, we are praying diligently for your safety of you and your homes.

See you tomorrow!

Back from another road trip!

Yesterday, I drove twelve hours with four kids under fourteen in the pick up with me.  What could have been a fifteen Advil day, was actually one of the most pleasant (but grueling on the body) drives I've ever had with them.  They were pretty much perfect.  The only hiccup was the six-year-old melting down in Connecticut, but that was my fault for getting him a Mountain Dew (he is so cute so telling him no is exceedingly difficult).  We only stopped twice, the last stop only an hour from home.  I wanted to celebrate the end of a fantastic trip with milkshakes, all around.

While I was away, I got some great news!  My piece, "Badfish (A Nod to Sublime)" was chosen by an well-known and revered internationally known artist, for the Maryland Federation of Art Fall Member Show to begin the last week of September.  Considering over 400 artists submitted work for this show, being one of the 66 chosen was really an honor.  You can see the others chosen at: www.mdfedart.com

I have some truly inspirational photos from which to work from my travels this summer with the family.  A ton from the Old Mission Peninsula (Michigan), as of this past week, land and seascapes from Portland, Maine, all the way to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island.

The most fun we experienced has to have been a hike through a mile-long mossy staircase to a secluded beach on Deer Isle.  There is a strip of soft, clean, sand dotted with tumbled granite and marble stones, that make a land bridge to Barred Island.  When the tide is out, you can walk from Deer Isle to Barred Island over that beautiful arc, with pristine salty shallow water to play in on both sides.  Of course, when the tide is in, there is ten feet of water and one can only pass with the help of a boat.  The kiddos spent the afternoon (at low tide) at that beach, collecting stones and climbing rocks, chasing minnows, and exploring colorful tide pools, then headed to scenic Stonington for Maine Seafood Chowder at a cafeteria-style waterside restaurant, where you can eat on the deck and watch the lobstermen unload their bounties.  That is by far, the best chowder I've had on either coast.  

School is starting in six days and as much as I'll miss my little people, I'm anxious to get some work done.  I'll be working on some sketches over the weekend (God willing).  My little brother, his wife, and one year old little boy, will be coming up from Atlanta for a visit, so I'm hoping to get a little modern portrait of him done sometime soon as well.  I'll be snapping photos of him for sure.

Thank you for visiting!  I'll be uploading some visuals shortly...

Preakness Posterior (2018)

This piece has been living on my wall for three years, looking at me everyday, wanting a change.  It wasn't until I put my head down for a nap this very humid Sunday August afternoon (the AC  broke last week and we're in line for service) that I realized what I needed to do to really make the piece below be what it was intended.

I'm super excited about how it came out, although it was pretty scary painting overtop of a piece that I felt was a strong piece to begin with, at least in theory.  

I hope you like it.  Thank you for stopping by.  I'm going to get that nap now...

fullsizeoutput_170f.jpeg

Lake Trout!

I apologize for the lull in posts. We just got back from two weeks off the grid in Northern Michigan, catching up with the hubby's family and making some new memories for our own immediate family unit.  I took some nice potential painting photos, primarily landscapes and seascapes (or lakescapes?) to (God willing) put on canvas in the very same abstract technique that has held my interest for the past month or two.  I'm looking forward to getting some underpainting down this weekend then a layer or two of paint by Monday afternoon.  

Here's a photo of the 5.8# lake trout I landed (and consequently ingested and digested) a week ago today:

 That was the big girl I caught after losing two others.  A good reminder of why patience is a virtue (or is that persistence?).  Pardon my appearance, but I hadn't had a shower in nearly two weeks.  The fish smelled much better than I did...

That was the big girl I caught after losing two others.  A good reminder of why patience is a virtue (or is that persistence?).  Pardon my appearance, but I hadn't had a shower in nearly two weeks.  The fish smelled much better than I did...

We also drove to see my husband's beloved uncle, Norm, who has recently been transitioned to Hospice at home.  He's been fighting pancreatic cancer like the tough nut that he is for many many years but his body is simply not up for another battle.  He looked so happy though, with his kids all around him and about fifteen grandchildren running around the yard, swinging, and climbing.  After we visited with them, we drove a couple hours north to Indian River, Michigan, to the largest crucifix in the world, to say a prayer for Norm and another dear friend of mine who was also declining and only had a few days left.  The cross was made from a solitary California Redwood and the statue portion, bronze.  It's breathtaking.

 55' high and 22' across (if I remember correctly).

55' high and 22' across (if I remember correctly).

Lastly, here is a photo or three of Northern Michigan that will be debuting on my easel in the coming weeks/months.

 Hascerot Beach on Old Mission Peninsula, with a storm rising on Lake Michigan in the background.  I think we were the only ones swimming...

Hascerot Beach on Old Mission Peninsula, with a storm rising on Lake Michigan in the background.  I think we were the only ones swimming...

 Michigan wine country, also on Old Mission Peninsula

Michigan wine country, also on Old Mission Peninsula

 The view from the back of the fishing boat...  You can see my rod in the right lower corner.

The view from the back of the fishing boat...  You can see my rod in the right lower corner.

I'll have some more visuals early next week.  Thank you for stopping by and a hearty hello to NY, NY, St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida), Cleveland, Cincinnati, LA, Southern Virginia, Texas, and all my other recent visitors.  I appreciate you spending some of your time with me here on the blog.

One more quick thing (I just remembered).  I just got word that a painting of mine may have made the cut for the Maryland Federation of Art's 50th year anniversary art book.  Considering how many shows they've had each year x 50 years, being featured (or even considered) for this commemorative book really tickles me.  If you'd like to purchase one for yourself, pre-order is available at:  www.mdfedart.com  I believe the books will be $50.  I already ordered mine!

In-process photos of "And Then I Woke".

My paint supply has yet to arrive, but I found an old tube of my much needed hue that had about a teaspoon left in it.  I squeezed every last drop out of the tube and was  able to lay down a little more whitish space on the canvas I'm working on.

The interesting thing about abstracts is that they can be flipped, turned, and hung in four possible ways.  This process is even more fun with larger pieces because the way a piece is hung can really change a room!

Below is the in process piece, "And Then I Woke", kind of a dream-inspired, prayer-petitioned composition that I've been updating this week after having it in a large closet for nearly twelve years.

 here's the piece right side up

here's the piece right side up

 here's the same piece upside down (which i think i prefer?)

here's the same piece upside down (which i think i prefer?)

I got a new iPhone this week after shattering my trusty 6 last week in a bike accident.  As much as I protested getting a new one (i am not a fan of new stuff in general), the camera in the 8 is really much better, and the colors more vivid and crisp.  I guess there's an upside to everything.

My car also died in the garage yesterday, so I'll be doing car stuff tomorrow.  Geez.  I hope that the rest of this week is a little easier on the ole pocketbook....

And then I woke up...

Every once in a while I draw a blank when attempting to conceptualize a new work.  In the instance of the painting below, I started the piece the morning after sending up a desperate Divine petition to restore my creative juju after a severe draught (months of crappy paintings).

That was (if I remember correctly), twelve+ years ago.  And that night, while I slumbered, I got enough suggested material for not one, but two pieces.  

Twelve years ago I was pretty enthusiastic about the ideas that came to me while sleeping....or shall I say were placed in my head (?).  But since then, I've really developed as an artist, gotten cozy with new mediums and learned how to layer color to get the depth I desired.  My work from twelve years ago looks a little inexperienced compared to now.  But, I couldn't give up on this piece entirely and thought it should have a chance to hang again (with some sprucing up).

 My work rarely turns out as initially intended, but sometimes that's better.  After all, they are just ideas until Something magically turns them into something else during the studio process.  I realize this may sounds cheesy, but I can't explain it any other way.  Art often happens on it's own, the artist simply being the medium rather than the mediums actually being the medium.

Anyhow, today I took the piece below from my "old work" closet in my studio and decided to rework it, maybe improve upon it, and perhaps in the process, bring it up to speed with my other recent work, particularly abstracts.

If you've never tried abstract painting, I'd like to challenge you to pick up and paint and brush and give it a try.  I'm not trying to make it sound harder than it is, but the fact is, it's definitely harder than it looks.

I have to confess that I find abstracts harder than creating representational art.  You have to be a confident paint slinger to do abstract art because it's so darn subjective.  There are no true parameters other than avoiding the ultimate unforgivable curse that comes when one copies/mimics the original work/style of another.  Taking ownership of someone else's creativity is indeed, deplorable.  It's the only real no-no for artists.

Below is what I finished up today of "And Then I Woke Up, #1"  I would like to finish it this week, but that is unlikely as my favorite mixing white is out of stock everywhere (!) and it won't be delivered for a week.  So frustrating.  But, that will give me a chance to work on another piece that I have started downstairs in the studio...stay tuned...

 A close up of some wet, swishy paint...

A close up of some wet, swishy paint...

 I have no idea what this is but I like it.

I have no idea what this is but I like it.

 I know what you're thinking...That the best part of this photo is my gorgeous pooch on the couch in the background...and you are right.  But, I think this piece will surely be worth hanging when I'm done (please excuse my dishes!).

I know what you're thinking...That the best part of this photo is my gorgeous pooch on the couch in the background...and you are right.  But, I think this piece will surely be worth hanging when I'm done (please excuse my dishes!).

I have another, much more representational little nugget to share with you today as well.  Our little guy (who just finished up KG) asked me to paint, "the house upon the sand".  It's a little song that starts out, "The wise man built his house upon the rock....." 

Anyhow, for some reason, our little guy is consumed with the house upon the sand, despite the fact that is went "splat" when the rains came down and the floods came up.  Maybe because a house in the sand seems idyllic this time of year.  This week, he asked me to paint him one, so here's the house upon the sand:

 Our son likes paintings that actually look like something so this one's for him.

Our son likes paintings that actually look like something so this one's for him.

Thank you for spending some of your Sunday with me. 

"Tree Frog with Four Prong"

As I grow in my craft, I'm finding myself more and more attracted to abstract paintings but also feel myself moving in that direction.  The fact is that the best ideas often come from nowhere.  And, I can either switch gears and ride whatever wave is granted me, or try like heck to make what I intend on making, often being disappointed in the end result.

So yesterday I began by creating a seriously saturated canvas.  I has every major color family intermixing, shifting across a wash on my canvas.  When all of that charged energy began to dry, I was left with a really truly colorful but dark piece.  Here's a photo:

 I was really happy with the composition, but not the amount of light or "white space". As for the underpainting, instead of a light blue violet or red or lilac, which I often lean on as my base color, I blended parchment with some Payne's Gray and created an inky wash with little areas of white and deep turquoise.  Not sure why, but laying down paint on a darker surface was actually easier and required less paint to create the opaque look that I desired. 

I was really happy with the composition, but not the amount of light or "white space". As for the underpainting, instead of a light blue violet or red or lilac, which I often lean on as my base color, I blended parchment with some Payne's Gray and created an inky wash with little areas of white and deep turquoise.  Not sure why, but laying down paint on a darker surface was actually easier and required less paint to create the opaque look that I desired. 

 Three hours later, after adding back some calm, I had this on my canvas.  Pretty excited.  And the piece immediately took the form of a tree frog using a four-prong cane.  Weird, I know, but I can't help what my head does.

Three hours later, after adding back some calm, I had this on my canvas.  Pretty excited.  And the piece immediately took the form of a tree frog using a four-prong cane.  Weird, I know, but I can't help what my head does.

It's the birthday of our great nation today, and if you served, please accept my sincere thanks and gratitude for ensuring the freedoms that our citizens are privy to.  We are indeed blessed to have the ability to disagree with one another in a lawful manner, and to express our happiness and discontent in whatever peaceful means we chose.  Thank you so much for willingly fighting and for offering your youth and comfort for my freedom.

Tomorrow we're headed to Charlottesville, Virginia, to show our kids where Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, lived much of his life.  I hope it's not 200 degrees outside!

"Estuaries"

I began a new large abstract piece today.  At 24x36", this piece is at once soothing and demanding of attention.  As I experiment more with looser paint and brush strokes and more "white" space on the canvas, I'm feeling that my work is presenting as calmer, gentler works that would perhaps be more appealing to folks looking for something that would be just at home over a rustic hearth as it would in a workspace or sitting room.

"Estuaries" is inspired by the Chesapeake Bay.  As soon as warm weather arrives (or basically the weather goes from 50 degrees to 90 degrees in two week's time), folks around here start making plans for crabs, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia beaches, and waterside meals of burgers and dogs.  

I was looking at the Maryland map this morning and thought it might be nice to attempt an abstract topographic map of sorts in some softer hues.  I had two mixed colors left over from yesterday that I didn't want to waste, so I started there.  Two hours later, I had this:

IMG_4512.JPG

Since this photo, I've added more thick paint and water.  I'll post another in-progress photo tomorrow.  I suspect this piece will be finished up by tomorrow night.  Hope you'll stop back to see the completed composition.

Thank you as always for spending some of your day in my studio...

"Badfish" Done!

Good afternoon!  It's 3pm and I've just signed my newest piece, "Badfish", a little nod to my Gen X cohorts and a song by Sublime that I often listen to while painting...

Yesterday, after all that swirly paint and water dried, it was much too dark and busy.  So this morning, I had the crazy idea to add some loose "Parchment" tinged with "Green Gold" and see what happens.  I had about two hours to work and am really happy with the final result after giving the piece some areas for the eyes to rest while viewing.  

Here are the before and after shots, then a detail shot of some paint on the piece:

 Where I stopped yesterday (above)

Where I stopped yesterday (above)

 Finished piece after I stopped today.  DONE!

Finished piece after I stopped today.  DONE!

IMG_4504.JPG

Here's some upclose and personal detail.  This morning really was enjoyable and I was able to lighten up the piece and make it much less complicated and dark.

I have an idea for tomorrow brewing in my melon....but I need a big canvas to get started.  I'm also running low on paint and almost all of my favorites!   I think I'm going to do another, larger piece in this style but another palette.  

An aside...it took every bit of willpower I have in my 69" to keep myself from putting turquoise or teal on the piece above.  But, I need to stop and give some other colors a chance.

Thank you for stopping by!

On My Easel Today...

I'm going all out abstract on this one.  It is a landscape of sorts, but I just let it happen vs. trying to make it something that it just didn't want to be.

I got a new spray bottle!  Ok, not what every girl has on her wishlist, but I found one that is smallish enough and has a really nice, fine spray.  My old one just spit the water out, and it was really not steady.  May as well have been a field sprinkler.

I'm not sure what this one it called, but I do know that I'm not going to change it around like last time with Red Rock Evening.  I need to just be happy with what I've given sometimes, and today is precisely one of those occasions. 

 Any ideas for a title?

Any ideas for a title?

Thank you for stopping by today!  Summer is officially here and I'll be painting with our four kiddos at the kitchen table from now until September!

Clouds and Canines...

I was really excited that my husband was going to work from home today.  I was thinking we could have lunch together...maybe some mid-afternoon coffee.

But it's 1:37 pm and he's only given me one sentence today.  And it wasn't until a moment or two ago that I realized why.  He's protesting.

After the kiddos get home, I'm taking "Moe", our 80-pound male weimeraner puppy in to "get fixed" and my hubby is mad.  Never mind the fact that poor Moe has almost gotten hit three times this week trying to lose his virginity to the hot-and-bothered lady dog across the street.  

I can hear her (and so can he), calling out to him with a "Come and get me, Boy!" sound.  Moe has been sitting on my bed all day, his nose pressed to the screen of the nearby open window, listening to her summon him from across the road.  Poor Moe.

Then finally, a few thoughtful words from my husband..., "Maybe we could get him some of those fake testicles so his skin doesn't just hang there..."

"Is that what you're upset about? You want to get Moe some 'Truck Nutz'?!" I retorted.  "How about some standard marbles? They're cheaper..." I suggested.  He didn't find my rebuttal the slightest bit amusing.

And that was the end of the discussion.  He's mad.  He doesn't want to get the dog fixed, even though the dog has been marking up my house and running across the road. 

On the upside...All that silence worked in my favor!  I was able to get about halfway done on a not yet named painting depicting a really lovely cloud and sky.  I'm really excited about how lofty and tender these clouds are.  I used a dry brush technique and the result is really soft edges.  

The composition is loosely based on a photo I took of a nearby farm road with a rather large storm cloud rolling in from behind.  

 

 About two hours in, with my inspiration photo above the canvas...

About two hours in, with my inspiration photo above the canvas...

 I spent about an hour defining the clouds here...

I spent about an hour defining the clouds here...

 I added some highlighting then stopped here today.

I added some highlighting then stopped here today.

I'll be laying down the rest tomorrow afternoon and will have this one wrapped up by Wednesday afternoon.  Thursday is the last day of school and after that, I hope to be painting with the kiddos each day and posting as we go!

 

Making Lemonade...

This morning I'm updating some of my ShopVida.com products.  This is a great way to fore into textiles with a minimal amount of cost and (wo)man hours.

Transferring photographs, drawings, watercolors, and unfinished work (or work that didn't quite work) to fabrics, leather, and other wearable items is very much designing but with my own original images.  Ever wonder where all the lovely prints on nicer clothing, scarves, handbags, or pocket squares come from?  Much of the time they are commissioned or purchased (or "borrowed") from artists like myself.  Through ShopVida, I can forgo the ever-present middle man and put my own images on finer quality wearable art.  Every once in a while I'll add to my little collection.  This morning I uploaded an image of a wet "Red Rock Evening" in-process photo.  The painting looked great wet, but as mentioned on my blog, looked pretty crappy and bland after it dried.

But here it is on a leather clutch, where it's found a happy new home:

https://shopvida.com/collections/jennifer-rynbrandt/products/red-rock-clutch

Here's another one that I really (really) like of my painting, "Sand Beach, Acadia":

https://shopvida.com/collections/jennifer-rynbrandt/products/acadia-leather-clutch-5

The site won't allow me to copy the image and post here (that's a good thing!). But you can see my images all over products at the ShopVida sight.  Be sure to take a peek at my favorite item "Sleeping Beard", a men's pocket square/scarf that looks even better on silk than on canvas!

https://shopvida.com/collections/jennifer-rynbrandt/products/sleeping-beard-square

I put down some underpainting today on a new figurative piece and will be working on that and a new abstract landscape that may also end up on a wallet or something...

I'll be making a real post with a new painting on it in about four hours so come back after dinner!

 

Red Rock Evening, Hurricane, Utah (almost done!)

Hello!  Had a splendid weekend and hope you all did as well.  I made a surprise road trip with our eleven year old to the Hudson River Valley in NY.  It was a really lovely weekend of taking our time, browsing little local shops, some good food, and no schedule.  No schedule being of upmost importance.  I am generally running ragged weekdays and weekends so having a little break (traffic aside) was really both needed and enjoyable.

Rhinebeck is a cute little town that I'd recommend seeing if you're ever up by Albany (in warmer weather).  Our daughter fell in love with the area, even asking about going to school up there in the future.  There were a little colleges dotting the way, not to mention a fantastic view of the Hudson from the Vanderbilt mansion, and the Culinary Institute of America!  I love food, so any trip must include stops at little restaurants with great reviews.  Also made a stop at a very elegant little farm stand with delicious maple syrup, English peas, and tiny beautiful strawberries that resembled the alpine wild varieties.  Our girl ate an entire pint herself so it's good that I bought two.

Back to work today on this southwest evening landscape...here's where I stopped today.  It's still very wet, but this time I upped the pigment so that the swishy wet spots dry into deeply hued schmears rather than rather bland, subdued tones like last time.  I'm hoping to add a little highlighting then be done with it!

 I had to chop off some of the sides because I was photographing on a flat surface (because the canvas is so wet.  I'll have better photo tomorrow.

I had to chop off some of the sides because I was photographing on a flat surface (because the canvas is so wet.  I'll have better photo tomorrow.

I've already put the foundation on a new piece as well, a 16x24, that will likely be another landscape.  There are a few photos I would like to try to put down on canvas, and I should be sketching that one out tomorrow after the underpainting is dry.

Thank you for stopping in....especially to Dublin!

Home Stretch....Although, I'm thinking a nightscape now...

Good afternoon!

Poor lighting aside (damn rain!), I'm having a great day with my current "in progress" work, Hurricane, Utah.

All that delicious sloppy paint that I swished around on the canvas yesterday lost much of it's saturation when dry.  Rather disappointed that the colors faded with the water (considering those babies are $20 for a small tube).  Uh.  Paints are priced by pigment, and unfortunately, my favorite hues are those of the blue/green variety.  And don't get me started on the reds...

So, after my minor setback this morning when I checked the drying paint, I decided to move forward with more deliberate brushwork.  I'll add some mood at the end by mixing a tinted glaze to go over the sky that will be left to swirl around a bit, offering a little modern nod to what has become a more traditional/representational landscape.

Here's where I stopped today...

IMG_4197.JPG

I also decided to whittle down the palette a bit.  As much as a light violet sky appeals to me, it doesn't offer as much a contrast as the "lagoon" teal blue that has been layered overtop of it.  There was just too much going on and I needed to make a change or two. Now I'm wishing that I hadn't spent so many hours on that sky yesterday....live and learn, I suppose.

I've got about eight layers of paint on this piece so that texture is part of the composition.  I like it when a little schmear of paint here and there jumps off the canvas.  It also really looks great after it's varnished.  

Happy Friday and thank you for spending a little part of your day with me.

Memorial Day Break

Artists are no doubt inspired by nature and when I'm out of ideas, getting outside is the best way to find my creativity again.

Over the weekend, I took two of our four (plus one German Shorthaired Pointer) to my folk's cottage situated on an inlet of the Chesapeake that used to be two rows of fisherman's shacks.  It's not so low brow anymore since being discovered by D.C. dwellers in recent years.  There are only a handful of the original 1940's cottages left, ours being one of them.

After hurricane season each year, repairs are made, and the little cottage that could is again residable. Not to say that it isn't quirky...having a big ole' hot water heater next to the throne in the one bathroom does not make for peaceful deposits, and it's hotter than hell in that little place once June gets started.  But, native Marylanders are used to humidity.  I'm just a little sensitive to the heat since experiencing Minnesota and Michigan summers, sunny, 80-degree days with no stickiness, no baked car interiors, and no need for cold mid-day showers from constant overheating.

Memorial Day weekend was near perfect this year at the cottage.  The threat of rain kept many away, so the roads were near empty for bikes.  The glut of holiday weekend fishermen/women/children were nearly non-existent.  And Point Lookout State Park, only a bike ride away, is always on the itinerary for an early morning bout of exercise on wheels with my dad.

That morning, the location of what was arguably the most cruel of all civil war prison camps, Point Lookout, offered quiet, calm waters, and a coolish breeze to enjoy the natural beach and native birds crafting nests of weathered driftwood twigs the hue of common button mushrooms.  You can see Point Lookout from our cottage deck and Civil War reenactments are a local staple, celebrating our country's young struggles and those who died while bringing together those who deeply disagreed on the issue of state sovereignty and the equality of "all men" as penned in the Declaration of Independence.  Both sides honor their dead on towering monuments only an acre apart.  The union memorial consists of two obelisks.  The single confederate monument was privately funded years later.   Both are covered with names of the men who died and what state they were originally from.

Below is a photo of the beach that the cottage sits on.  My parents got engaged on that very beach where I learned to swim years later.  It's where our dog spied a sea turtle leaving eggs in a burrowed dune concealed by a large log and some robust grasses.  We also saw the remains of an egret...a mound of marbled feathers, that must have been injured, then done-in by some hungry nearby blue crabs.

 Near the turtle egg laying spot

Near the turtle egg laying spot

thumbnail_IMG_4109.jpg

Low Tide in the evening....the best time to wade...(above)

 

And in the studio today...I worked on my Hurricane Utah painting all morning today and am really excited about where it is going.  As soon as I let go of my hyper-controlled lines/strokes, I started to feel like the color and composition was very representative my work.  Below is where I started today, and then where I stopped.  My canvas is absolutely soaked! So, I have to wait until tomorrow to add more paint.  It's starting to bubble up and I don't want to lose the underpainting...

 This is where I started this morning...

This is where I started this morning...

fullsizeoutput_1600.jpeg

 

Thank you for stopping by...I expect to have "Hurricane, Utah" wrapped up by the end of the day tomorrow.  Super pleased with today's progress!