The Conference On The Front Porch at Plein Air 2017

Recently I heard about a very “Art, Food, Home” type event. It’s called “The Conference on the Front Porch” and it’s being held at The Mill at Plein Air – in Taylor, MS – so if you are anywhere near Mississippi and want to be part of something really cool, you may want to check this out. This event is October 18-19, 2017.

Here’s a quick summation from Campbell McCool:

Our conference focuses on the significance of what the front porch represents. What forces drove it out of popularity after WWII. What brought it roaring back. How communities changed as a result.

This year John T. Edge is keynote speaker – head of Southern Foodways Symposium. Bill Dunlap is speaking on the front porch and art. Scott Baretta on how the blues came to be as a result of the front porch. Cooter Ramsay, (from Beaufort), on the resurgence of front porch communities.

As you’ll see from their website, this event celebrates the front porch – music & food, but even more than that – there are going to be some great speakers including:
John T Edge (writer and more), Scott Barretta (blue’s historian), William Dunlap (artist and sculptor), John Maxwell (theater), Cooter Ramsey (architect with Allison Ramsey Architects), Jay Watson (Professor of Faulkner Studies), Curtis Wilkie (journalist, college professor and historian), Tricia Walker (singer/songwriter), Garlan Gudger, JR (owner of Southern Accents – the South’s largest collection of architectural antiques), Michael Dolan (journalist, television writer/producer and author) and Ralph Eubanks (author). Read more about each of these speakers on their website!

This conference is open to architects, developers, planners, social historians and everyone who loves a porch. I usually try to feature house plans with at least one porch. Porches are vital living spaces – a place to congregate with friends or neighbors, a place to have your morning coffee and read the paper, or a place to spend the day. I grew up with a house with a porch overlooking the river in Michigan. In the summer it seems watching the river, the boats, the activity is much more fun than being inside watching the television.

Registration for this unique event include six meals, an evening porch concert and a porch play. This is so creative and sounds like such a good time!

Click HERE to register – this is the second year of this conference and it’s a hit! Registration is limited to the first 180 people who sign up.

Wondering where to stay – oh, so beautiful!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Image via, used with permission…



Another Year Wiser?

I skimmed my photos looking for a photo that doesn’t make it look like I am my age. Ha. Good luck with that. The fact is, as time goes on, even though you feel the same way you always have in your heart (well, add in a few aches and pains) it’s an undeniable fact that if you are lucky to still be on this earth, you are going to age.

I remember the exact day I discovered I was no longer “young”. My parents had flown in from MI and we were all going on a cruise out of Charleston, SC. We were on a shuttle full of young, very excited kids. I didn’t think anything of it until one young girl said Ma’am, I’m sure you’re wondering why you’re on a bus full of young people – it’s SPRING BREAK!!”

Oooohhh. Mmmmmm. Geeeeee. 😳

My first inclination was to turn around and look behind me. Surely there was a very old person sitting there. No… she was talking to me. Then it hit me. Wow. I AM NOT YOUNG. I really never thought of myself any other way, so that was a big HELLO! It didn’t make me sad, it made me laugh actually. I mean, really, what else can you do? (After a week with young college age kids on Spring Break let me tell you – I was never so happy to not be young. Ha ha… I am completely happy exactly where I’m at!)

There are magic potions and treatment to help reverse. I clearly don’t use them. I’m trying to be positive here, every wrinkle is from a life well lived. I am so fortunate to be married to such a wonderful man, have a great family who are all healthy – this is truly a gift, the best birthday gift you could ask for when you think about it!

So I spend my birthdays going forward feeling blessed, and thankful. Thankful for friends and connections made over the years, for the ability to spend time with my husband and little beast Charlie (and of course for the ability to write this blog 😉). I’m thankful for my parents and sister and all my family in MI and sprinkled throughout the country – I’m thankful for Fred’s parents and family, all nearby… When you wake up in the morning – it’s a good day! Be mindful of all you have to be thankful for. If you see someone in need, do your best to help, in whatever way is possible for you.

Now, when your birthday rolls around – remember these words – don’t stress about the small stuff. Life is short – enjoy each day…

As for the “another year wiser” – lets hope so!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Philip Frey!

Tandem by Philip Frey 24×24″ Oil

Philip Frey. I’ve been an admirer of his work for many years. His paintings have always been something special. I love the movement and vibrancy in this painting. The hair high in the air mid-jump. The reflections in the water are stunning – this is fabulous!

I love all of Philip’s subjects. He paints interiors that are so wonderful (go see!) – as are all the paintings he creates. This one stood out as different to me. Fabulous!

View more of Philip’s work via these links:

Website  |  Instagram  |  Workshops  |  Exhibitions

Read a bit about Philip, from his website:

Philip Frey is a visual artist whose colorist and painterly work is focused on the here and now, the feeling or connection to his everyday experience: evocative colors; unexpected light and the sublime quality of ‘ordinary’ objects and surroundings. His work address our relationship to visual space and the paintings surface by gently asking us to observe, to look again and again. He invites us to ‘walk through’ the painting, from dark to light, from enclosed to open spaces, from shape to shape…to enjoy the indescribable patterns, shapes, colors, brush strokes and marks on the canvas.

Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist and has been featured in many publications including: Art New England, Art of Acadia, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review and the Maine Sunday Telegram. The University of Maine Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of his work in 2016. Currently, his work is held internationally with prominent private collectors and the corporate collections, including that of writer Harlan Coben, Rep. Chellie Pingree & Donald Sussman, Dick Wolf Films and the University of Maine Museum of Art. He will be featured in 2017 exhibitions at Carver Hill Gallery, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Edgewater Gallery and Maine Art Gallery.

Philip has studied with artist Alan Bray and graduated from Syracuse University in 1990 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting. He maintains a full-time studio practice nestled in the woods along bold coast of downeast Maine and teaches select painting workshops each year. Continue reading HERE

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

The Meridian Residence House Plan by Lake + Land Studio!

The Meridian Residence house plan by Lake + Land Studios

This is the The Meridian Residence House Plan by Lake + Land Studio. This plan is 1,894 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. This is a gorgeous home designed to be built like they used to build them. Quality and class. I think this plan has so much curb appeal. Especially since it DOES have a garage, you just drive behind the house to access it. So nice! Another bonus… those dormers – precious windows add so much character!

See more details HERE!

Meridian Residence house plan by Lake and Land Studio Main

The first floor plan starts with an large front porch, a place that expands the foot print of the house in terms of usability. (Can you imagine the time that can be spent on that wonderful porch?) The porch leads into the main area living/dining/kitchen area – note the side porch with an entrance to the master bedroom – wow! There is a nice size master suite, plentiful closets – I’m not sure if this is a viable option, but for us, we aren’t tub people, so I would see if there would be a way to move the laundry into the master bath and turn the existing laundry into a pantry.  This is a sweet plan, with great storage and livable options…

Meridian Residence House Plan by Lake and Land Studio 2nd floor

Upstairs only adds to the options… that bedroom on the front with the three dormer windows – LOVE IT! It could also make a good studio, that still leaves you with a guest room! I think it’s great that Lake + Land thought of using attic space for storage, we all need that… well, most of us!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for construction or reproduction, they are property of the design firm.


Featured Artist: Guy Corriero!

Watercolor by Guy Corriero  18×24″  – Available at Camden Falls Gallery

Guy Corriero. An artist with wonderful paintings! His seascapes are legendary. Whether oil or watercolor they capture the tumultuous seas so beautifully. Of course that isn’t the only subject that Guy paints, he has some beautiful Southwestern paintings and many centered around Maine. I am in love with his snowscapes at the moment (heat index 105) – there is an ethereal beauty to them… check them out!

Read a bit about Guy, from his website:

The sea in all it’s calm and fury has always been the most fascinating subject to me. I spent years as a ocean lifeguard on the shores of my home town of Long Beach, New York and that must have had some influence on my work. It was a lot of fun but I also learned to have a deep respect for the ocean.

My formal art education began at the School of Visual Arts and C.W. Post College where I studied painting with Jules Olitski, and sculpture with Pierre Bourdelle. Joining the The United States Marine Corps after graduation led to a series of assigments  eventually illustrating for  the Marine Coprs Gazette Magazine. While working as a commercial artist in New York City I taught figure drawing on a part time basis before joining the full time faculty at The State University of New York at Farmingdale. Seven years later, with a Master’s Degree in Humanities,  I joined the faculty at Herkimer County Community College designing and implementing a fine arts curriculum. Receiving The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was a proud moment in my teaching career.

My wife Sharon and I recently moved to Portland, Maine where I can be seen painting by the sea which is located within minutes from our home.

My professional achievements include signature membership in many watercolor societies including The American Watercolor Society. Most recently I’ve had one person shows in galleries in Maine, New Mexico and San Miguel, Mexico. Seventeen instructional videos covering a wide range of subjects from painting, drawing, sculpture, art history and art appreciation can be obtained from Educational Videos in Huntsville, Texas. Producing them was both fun and educational for me. Pressure is on when you’re in front of a camera. Every once in a while I will teach a class in watercolor and oil painting, most often on Monhegan Island, and Kennebunkport, Maine. For further information about these classes see the Workshop link at the top of this page. (There is so much more to this Bio, it’s FABULOUS… continue reading HERE…)

View more of Guy’s work via these links:
Website  |  Workshop Info

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

Eclipse – Monday, August 21, 2017!

Are you going to be one of the many people to watch the eclipse next week (August 21, 2017)? If so you want to be sure you have safe eclipse glasses – regular sunglasses are in no way sufficient! (The eclipse glasses shown above are by American Paper Optics).

We have ours and are ready to watch! There is so much interesting information going around about what happens during an eclipse. I thought this was so interesting: Weird Things That Happen with a Total Solar Eclipse from a blog (Astro Maven).

Read more from NASA re: Eclipse 2017 Safety!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Craig Stephens!

Halved Avocado by Craig Stephens 7×7 Oil – Sold

Craig Stephens. This man is amazing, he can paint anything in the world and he does so with his own twist which adds so much interest! I love his strokes, his use of  color and bits of abstraction. He often paints every day items and he does so with pizazz! Visit his Etsy shop, if you see something you like, place a bid, the painting won’t be around long!

In addition to painting, Craig teaches art. Can you imagine having this kind of influence as a kid? They’re so fortunate! Check out more of Craig’s work and you’ll see what I mean!

See more of Craig’s work via these links:

Blog  |  Instagram  |  Etsy  |  Video (Coming Soon!)

Read a bit about Craig, from his blog:

I am an artist living in Northern California. In 1993 I graduated from U.C. Davis where I took classes from Wayne Thiebaud, Dave Hollowell and Roy DeForest. I currently teach art at Chana High School in Auburn California. On this blog I have posted 1000 paintings in as many days. I took a break from that strict schedule for a couple of years but since the beginning of 2014 I have been completing one small painting on a daily basis. The practice of completing a painting a day suits my disposition and aesthetic. I have also found that modeling this sort of daily practice for my students is important.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via Craig Stephens, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.