Charleston Photo: The perfect picnic spot…

Our lunch spot, Botany Bay

I have mentioned in past posts a fabulous place called Botany Bay. The light that filters through the trees is incredible. Every inch of that place is stunning. It appears untouched. The beach is beautiful, the entire area looks like you’ve stepped back in time. This is a photo of our lunch spot. We brought a picnic, opened up the back of the car and sat, ate, listened to the birds, the wind in the trees… wow… Let’s not tell too many people about this place, ok? Keep it to yourself!  Have a great weekend!

Catch you back here tomorrow!


Featured Artist… Calvin Liang!

“The Golden Gate Bridge” by Calvin Liang

Image from

If you Google Calvin Liang, you will see some pretty fantastic paintings. You will read some pretty interesting stories about his life, his accomplishments and best of all his great attitude! This man has worked so hard to be where he’s at and it shows. The featured painting “The Golden Gate Bridge” is breathtaking. THOSE. CLOUDS. I love them, they just seem to go on forever! The warm color of the bridge with the sunlight, ahhh, makes me want to be there, actually it makes me feel as if I AM there! This is a fantastic painting and I found it at “The Englishman”. If you get a chance check out his work!

Here’s a blip about Calvin from his website… there is a fascinating story about him on the Waterhouse Gallery website… click HERE to read it in its entirety!

Calvin Liang was born in Canton, China. He began painting in high school and completed his art education at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, recognized as one of China’s most prestigious and competitive art academies. In China, his skills as a fine artist were applied to the theatrical industry where he designed and created sets for operas and musical dramas for the Canton Opera Institute. Liang moved to the United States in 1987 and continued his profession as a full-time artist. He had a long and successful career creating visual art for the entertainment industry in animation, which included the Walt Disney Studios and Nickelodeon Studio where he worked for the Little Mermaid and Spongebob Squarepants. However he decided to quit working for the studios to pursue a full-time career as a fine artist, painting themes of his choosing. Since leaving his animation career in early 2002, Liang has definitely been noticed. His accomplishments include winning several top awards in important exhibitions including Juror’s Best of Show-38th Annual C.M. Russell 2006, “Art-Talk Award of Excellence” Oil Painters of America Juried Exhibition 2005, “People’s Choice Award” 6th  Annual Laguna Plein Air Painting Event in Bowers Museum 2002, “Best of the Show” American Impressionist Society’s 4th Annual Juried Exhibition 2002. Thus assuring his position as one of the nation’s leading artist. National art magazines also took notice. In 2004, Liang’s work graced the cover of Art of the West’s special 16th Anniversary Edition; and in 2006, 2007, and 2008 three years he had a full feature article in American Art Collector Magazine. Also he received a full feature article in Southwest Magazine in 2005, American Artist Magazine in 2005 and American Artist Workshop Magazine in 2007.
Calvin Liang is a Master Member of Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society, and a Signature Member of California Art Club and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.   

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Let me start of by saying how thankful I am for having such an awesome mom. She’s the coolest of all moms, funny, sweet, loving and strong. Very, very strong. I bet she doesn’t realize that (do you mom?)… Anyone that can get through cancer is a tough cookie, and to go through it with a great attitude is a big accomplishment, as well as being such an inspiration. I think I’m going to start calling my mom “Grace”… she’s got lots of it!

I’m also thankful for my mother-in-law. I know there are the standard jokes about mother-in-laws being dragon ladies… I lucked out (again) and got a super sweet lady, just like me, hee…

I know some of you no longer have your moms… I’m so sorry, holidays can be so tough. I hope you are able to keep your mom in all your good thoughts. You do know she can still hear you when you talk to her, right? That’s a small comfort…

Lots of you are mom’s… hard work no doubt. Personally, I’m a dog mom. The cards didn’t fall in my favor with the ‘having a kid’ thing, so Mother’s Day has it’s moments for me as well… But I am Charlie’s mom (woof)… and I’m a good dog mom, ha ha… (PSSST, Charlie you’re a lucky dog!)

H A P P Y  M O T H E R’ S  D A Y ! ! !

Come on Charlie, lets go play in the sprinkler! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Vintage Image via:

Charleston Photo: Fishing at Bowen’s Island…

Last time we were at Bowen’s Island we met the coolest group of women. They were out on the dock fishing and having the time of their lives. They had such a great attitude. It was chilly, it was windy, and eventually they all left, EXCEPT for this lady… she stayed to catch all the fish. I hope she did, she was a trip!

I love people who have great attitudes, what a difference they can make in other people’s lives! It’s not what you have (materialistically), its all about what you have in your heart, and this woman had plenty!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Charles Movalli!

Looking Toward Fish Beach, Monhegan” by Charles Movalli


I admire artist Charles Movalli. I would truly like to meet him one day. He seems to be a nice guy with a sense of humor. I love that. His paintings are spectacular. My husband and I first spotted his paintings at Bayview Gallery in Camden, ME back in 2006. I can still see that painting hanging up high, it was the hull of a boat with the American flag. I was captivated. It was a large painting and it was spectacular! Since that time I’ve seen plenty of his paintings that I just fall in love with! “Looking Toward Fish Beach, Monhegan” is one… another that was on the Walls Gallery website (so I’m not sure where the painting is now or if it has sold), it was called “Just Another Workday”. Did you read the other day where I mentioned that little pop of an orange or red in a painting can make all the difference… so can a larger pop… love this one!

“Just Another Workday” by Charles Movalli , Image from Walls Gallery 

Here’s a blip about Charles from the Walls Gallery website (the Walls Gallery closed the Wilmington, NC locationDecember 2011, which I was sad to hear… Walls was a nice gallery with some fabulous artists, to mention a few: Ken DeWaard, Tim Bell, Larry Moore, Cindy Baron) click HERE for more info… I see they mention that the Walls Gallery may be opening at the Greenbrier resort some time this year)…

Charles Movalli

Charles is a great ambassador for the Cape Ann School.   Cape Ann is the longest active artist colony in the United States.  No surprise. The place is one painting after another, just waiting to be painted. After all this time, you’d think the nay-sayers of art, the It’s-all-been-done crowd, might have a point, but Motif #1 still draws painters, who are still doing something that’s never been done before. Charles’ lecture on the Cape Ann School is not to be missed. Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, John Sloan,Emile Gruppe are a few of the regulars going back nearly 200 years. Gloucester and Rockport are plagued by picturesqueness.  It’s catching.  Trash bins may even be lovely.

The focus of the artists Charles admired and learned from as a young painter (Emile GruppeCarl PetersAldro Hibbard) was composition, and his paintings have a solid structure even amid dinghies bobbing at the dock and buildings listing under their years.

Charles has a PhD in English and has written books and articles galore.  The books, though pricey if you can find one, are fantastic reads for any student of painting covering not only many laudable artists, but also composition, color, and the wielding of the brush.  We are still waiting for the book on Charles himself, but he has let us know that some things will melt and others freeze over before we’ll see that book.  We’ll enjoy his paintings while we wait.

I told you… he’s got a sense of humor… love that! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Adele Earnshaw!

“One Mile To Go” by Adele Earnshaw / Image:

I absolutely love it when I run across a painting that just takes my breath away… this is one sweet painting. Fred and I were at the art walk in Charleston, SC a few weeks ago and we went in the Horton Hayes Gallery (if you haven’t been you MUST go, so many fabulous artists in one space!). Lovely work, I’m telling you, Mark Horton, Chris Groves, Nancy Hoerter, Shannon Runquist, Larry Moore, (and more) all so very talented. Then we went upstairs (if you don’t normally go upstairs it’s quite the treat, there are a treasure of beautiful paintings upstairs as well) we saw this painting “One Mile To Go” on an easel. The way the light hits the foliage, the light in the trees and WHOA that tiny red bird across from the bright sun on the bushes… brilliant! Adele Earnshaw is a very impressive artist… here is a blip from the Horton Hayes website:

A sixth generation New Zealander, Adele Earnshaw was born in Hastings and lived in Warkworth before immigrating with her family to the U.S. Her childhood in New Zealand has been a major influence on her work and choice of subject matter.

Adele’s paintings have been exhibited at the Natural History Museum in New York and have toured Japan and Sweden with museum exhibitions. The artist was selected to design the first three stamps for the New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Stamp Program. In 2000 she was invited to participate in the Ecoart Conference and Exhibition in Taiwan where her work was exhibited at the Museum of Natural History in Taipei. In 2003, Adele was selected as a judge for the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp Competition held at the Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service in Washington D.C.

Adele is represented by galleries across the U.S. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Her book, ‘Painting the Things You Love in Watercolor’ was released by North Light Publications in 2002.

Several years ago, Adele started to paint exclusively in oil after many years as a watercolorist. Although her subject matter still includes wildlife, primarily birds, she also enjoys painting on location and landscapes have become a major focus.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Photo: Sun streaming through a downtown Charleston gate…

Easter was a nice day. Ate too much. Got home and needed to move, otherwise I was going to fall into a coma. Fred and I went downtown and walked around and took photos. I was lost in the photo-taking moments, and we walked for over an hour, it was nice! Felt good to move AND we got a few neat shots. This photo of a gate on Legare Street reminds me of Heaven’s gate, although I always pictured it would be bigger, ha ha…

Have a good day, catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured artist… Brian Rego!

“Backyard at Woodrow” by Brian Rego {Image: City Art Gallery}

This is such a sweet painting. I love the happy colors, very spring/summer… This painting was done by artist Brian Rego. He’s got a very distinct style and I like it! Almost that cool paint by number look that I adore… not sure how to achieve it, I believe it’s a style, and it’s one I like!

Here’s a blip about Brian from City Art Gallery’s website:

Brian Rego received a Bachelors of Fine Art at the University of South Carolina with a concentration in oil painting in 2004. He displayed his work in the Solo Senior Exhibit in the McMaster School of Fine Art Gallery in 2004. He is the recipient of the Ed Yaghjian Award from the University of South Carolina for distinguished undergraduate work. In 2007, Brian Rego received a Masters of Fine Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and displayed his work in the 2007 Annual Student Exhibition in the Academy’s Hamilton Museum. Rego has participated in group and solo exhibitions and has shown his work in Australia, New York, Philadelphia, Vermont, Greenville, and Columbia. Brian currently teaches oil painting and drawing classes at City Art and at the University of South Carolina. 

Artist’s Statement

“I paint my subject from life and consider it to be a great joy and an immense struggle. I hope to capture the feeling of these synonymous realities in my paintings. For me, the purpose of painting is to tap into something that is profoundly human, something sensual that lies on the fringe of memory, a reality both strange and familiar. “

Check out Brian’s website! Catch you back here tomorrow!

See… it IS possible… it CAN be good!

Look at this happy couple… this is Fred’s parents, Bobbie and Carlisle Stroud. Today my friends… is their 55th wedding anniversary. So you see, it IS possible to be married for a lot of years and still be happy! IT IS possible that life can be good when married to the same person for a number of years. We wish them the happiest anniversary day ever!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

~Marcel Proust

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured artist… Stuart Roper!

“The Problem Solvers” by Stuart Roper

Stuart Roper, a wonderful artist from Asheville, NC… I love it when an artist can take a mundane scene and make it spectacular! Something like workers on the side of the road… this is fabulous, what does it for me is the ORANGE. I think a painting that has orange really catches the eye… it draws me to it… same with red, it’s probably WHY I like a painting with a flag in it, it’s that pop of red against other colors that are so spectacular! A friend recently explained how someone had told her about putting at least a hint of red or orange to make a painting really stand out, I think that’s so true! Of course in this painting it’s more than a pop of color, but you get my drift… great loose strokes… Check out Stuart’s website for gallery representation… here in Charleston, SC it appears that he has a few pieces at M GALLERY OF FINE ART!

Here’s a blip about Stuart from his website:

Born in North Carolina in 1953, painter and sculptor Stuart Roper moved to Manhattan in the mid-1970s to attend the Art Students League of New York. There, he studied anatomy and figure drawing with Thomas Fogarty and portraiture with John Howard Sanden. Following New York, Stuart made a brief move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he studied color theory under the direction of Gerry Wright. In 1980, he moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia for a year, prior to settling in the state’s capital, Atlanta. Over the next ten years, his work included various commissions, both private and corporate, as well as a number of solo and group exhibitions. In the fall of 1991, Stuart moved to France, west of Paris in the small Normandy village of Pressagny l’Orgueilleux. There, he settled in the guest cottage of the Château de la Madeleine. Only minutes away from the home of Claude Monet in Giverny, the place and its artistic precedent guided Stuart’s own paint handling; through plein-air work, he found the approach of the Impressionists, which has since characterized most of his painting. Normandy offered Stuart myriad tones of gray amidst the often-foggy landscapes, however, the frequent inclement weather made plein-air work difficult. In 1993 Stuart moved to the small hilltop village of Fayence in southern France where he would remain for the next five years working under “a glorious sun.” During this time, his work took him to Italy, Corsica and back to Normandy, all the while enchanted by the light, and concentrating on the development of his limited three-color palette. In 1998, Stuart made the decision to return to the United States, where he settled in Asheville, North Carolina. The Grove Arcade Public Market commissioned Stuart to recreate the original 1920s finials that adorn the top of the building, and the City Parks and Recreation Department also commissioned him on the development of “Grove’s Vision”, a station on the city’s historical Urban Trail. He may be spotted almost anywhere, as he continues his love of capturing the landscape and developing his artistic vocabulary. 

Ran across this on his website… if you’re thinking of coming to Charleston May 30- June 1, 2012 this would be a fabulous time for a visit!

Returns to Charleston for a Four Gallery Show 

Opening Reception: June 1st 2012 6-8pm 
Show Closing Date: June 22nd 2012 

Show Locations:

Galerie on Broad 29 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401 

Hagan Fine Art Gallery and Studio 27 1/2 State Street, Charleston SC, 29401 

Horton Hayes Fine Art 30 State Street, Charleston, SC, 29401 

Smith Killian Fine Art 9 Queen Street, Charleston, SC, 29401 

Participating Artists: 

Scott Boyle 
Loryn Brazier 
Anne Blair Brown 
Roger Dale Brown, OPA 
Katie Dobson Cundiff 
Dee Beard Dean 
Beverly Ford Evans (New Member) 
Trey Finney 
Paula Frizbe 
Karen Hewitt Hagan 
L. Diane Johnson 
Andre Lucero (New Member) 
Diane May 
Kevin Menck 
Larry Moore 
Gwen Nagel 
Richard Christian Nelson 
Richard Oversmith 
Lori Putnam 
James Richards 
Stuart Roper 
Junko Ono Rothwell 
Shannon Smith 
Hodges Soileau

Sue Stewart

Brett Weaver

Dawn E. Whitelaw 

Attending artists will paint on location in the vicinity of the gallerys (Queen Street, State Street, and Broad Street) starting Wednesday, May 30, 2012 through Friday, June 1, 2012. 

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Cooper River Bridge Run… March 31, 2012. Inspiration and Registration… (& Bridge Run RESULTS!)

Bridge Run 2011 {Image}

Hello again… Here’s an update to this post… the bridge run is over… click HERE to get the results. It’s a searchable site, so you don’t have to scroll through 43,00+++++++ names!  Just click whether you want to see the wheelchair results or the Searchable site to check results… Great job everyone!

Yes. The March 31, 2012 Bridge Run in Charleston, SC IS. SOLD. OUT. Well… almost… you still have a chance for a ticket, but it’ll cost you! The flip side of that is that it’s for a good cause… the money goes to charity. This year they capped the regular registration at 43,000 people (good grief that’s a lot of people!), it sold out 23 days before the race (according to an article in the Post and Courier). I went to the Bridge Run’s website and indeed they have sold out, BUT for $150 (that you can raise for a charity) you can buy a Charity Connection Registration (mail/fax or in person only). There is a cap on the number of Charity Connection Registrations, it’s set at 1200! So it’s still possible to participate! From the website… this is the info on the Charity Connection Registration:

Charity Connection 

Along with registration, the Bridge Run offers participants the opportunity to help raise money for 12 charities.  It can be scary choosing a charity to donate to.  In this economy, every dollar counts. You want to be sure your hard earned donations are going to the cause described, and not squandered.  The bridge run has done the research for you.  We’ve found, among many, 12 well deserving charities.  Along with the larger, more reputable non-profits, we’ve found other smaller less exposed ones, that also, need and deserve your help. Just one dollar can make a difference!  What do you get with your donation, large or small?  Each participant who donates to one of our charities receives an additional, specialized bib, showing your support, of a good cause. Here’s how… click HERE for a list of charities, visit the Bridge Run website for details…

  • Now, you can leverage your run to raise money via crowdrise.  It’s super easy to join and all the money you raise will contribute the charity.
  • Choose your donation amount with regular registration. Register online or via paper registration, for $30 (before 2/01/12) and donate any amount from $1 up.  You may also donate separate amounts to multiple charities. For example, you may choose to donate $1 to charity x, and $20 to charity y. 
  • Register through a specific charity, for $150, set fee.   When donating $150 or more to the Charity of your choice you will not only get the delight of making an impact, but you will also receive a specialized Cooper River Bridge Run Charity Bib, free entry into the Race, and free packet mailing before 2/23/12.
 There was another article in the Post and Courier (newspaper) that told an inspirational story of two men who lost weight the hard way. Exercise and healthy eating. It’s a must read, if that won’t get you off your duff nothing will! These two guys are doing the bridge run… Clinton Terrill who started at 500 pounds and is now down to 238 (and still dropping) and Bryan Ganey who started at 577 pounds and is at 287 and still dropping… KUDOS TO YOU GUYS! If nothing else the bridge and the bridge run inspires people to M O V E! You’ve got to admire hard work!
Catch you back here tomorrow!

Photo: a balcony at the Island Inn, Monhegan Island, Maine…

Several years ago we stayed in a room at the Island Inn that had a balcony… it was a delight, sitting out there in your own chairs overlooking the most gorgeous view EVER! The room was nice, but much smaller (which is fine, we don’t spend much time in our room at all). We’ve tried all different rooms and all seem to be fabulous! This year we’ll be on the third floor, so that will be nice and quiet… and you get a bonus workout each time you walk the three flights to your room, ha ha… helps burn off all the tasty food… although it seems like all we do is hike, walk, well… and  e a t! This surprise shot showcases our little bag of treats on our porch… can’t remember what it was but i’m sure it was good!

Enjoy your Sunday… catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured artist… Elizabeth Tolley!

“Color of Sunset Maine” by Elizabeth Tolley {Image}

It’s funny how I can skim through an artists paintings, and really like some of them but be sucked in by one of Maine… Elizabeth Tolley is a California artist who painted a fabulous Maine painting… I think she captured the sunset perfectly. There are the most wild and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It makes you want to jump out of bed early in the morning to see the sunrise, and be home in time to see the sunset… Of course when you plan for it, it’s not fabulous, but when you’re out and about and [GASP!] without a camera that’s when you’ll see the most spectacular of skies! As my husband said, this painting has an old world look about it… it does, it’s fabulous, and ooowie, would I love to be there… Right. Now.

Here’s a blip about Elizabeth from her website!

Elizabeth “Libby” Tolley is an American Painter and Author. She is a fourth-generation Californian. Painting the rural landscapes of California’s Central Coast has been her focus. The artist brings these California scenes into the national spotlight, as her paintings have been selected for inclusion in art magazines, books, and national exhibits.

In 2007, Libby completed an instructional book on painting landscapes called, Oil Painter’s Solution Book: Landscapes, 100 answers to you oil painting questions. The book, published by North Light Books, answers questions students have asked over the years, and illustrates the process of painting both on location and in the studio. The book has been well received by artists in all mediums. Over 25,000 copies have been sold.

Libby has been featured in over 25 articles in international art magazines including, The Artist (UK), Southwest Art, Plein Air Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine, and International Artist Magazine. Libby’s paintings have graced three magaxine covers.

San Diego Flora, another book released in 2007, included her paintings “Morning on the San Mateo” and “Afternoon on the San Mateo.” “Morning on the San Mateo” was exhibited in the Capistrano Light Exhibit sponsored by The Irvine Museum.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Robert Spooner!

“Gloucester Morning” by Robert Spooner

I really enjoy Robert Spooner’s work. The golden light in this painting is pure magic! It reminds me of Mackinac Island, MI… so many great paintings to choose from, I couldn’t select only one, sigh…

Robert’s plein air pieces are amazing. In many ways they remind me of the way our friend Tim Bell paints. Fast and loose and with such incredible style. Of course I love the ICE CREAM HOUSE! Matter of fact I would love to pop in that little ice cream house right now… His work has ‘air’, you can feel it. If you get a chance, check out Robert’s website. I look forward to seeing some of his pieces in person at M Gallery in Charleston, SC!

A blip about Robert from his WEBSITE :

Robert Spooner was born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1956. He received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Louisiana Tech University in 1978 and pursued a career in graphic design. It was not until 1998 that he developed an interest in oil painting after having taken it up as a creative antidote to the structured advertising world where he was working as a designer and illustrator. He became further motivated to continue on this path of expression when he enrolled in painting classes at the Denver Art Students League and studied with noted painters Kim English and Quang Ho.

 The dimensions of his canvas are determined by the story needing to be told. Robert works from large shapes in a scene to the small, all the time keeping his values in check. Arriving at the focal point, which in many cases may be a face, he slows down to spend more time on what he considers to be the heart of the painting or story.

 Robert explains that his art is not about any one approach but it is about developing as an artist by exploring various visual approaches. The discoveries he makes along the way are what fuel his desire to be an artist. He also finds inspiration from a number of artists and their works including Quang Ho, Alex Kanevsky, Dan McCaw, Dennis Miller Bunker, Morgan Weistling, Matt Smith, Anders Zorn and Valentin Serov.

 Catch you back here tomorrow!

PHOTO: Hanging out on a streetcar in San Fran… good times!

This is my weekend “wish I was there” photo… Fred and I had so much fun in San Fran… went for years, then thought we should try somewhere on the east coast and never made it back… need to get back there to “our” little boutique hotel that was so cool (and had wine and cheese and night, and before bed, hot cookies and milk… oh heavens!) it’s called the INN AT UNION SQUARE and it’s one awesome place! If you make plans to go to San Fran, check it out!!

Catch you back here tomorrow!