Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memory Art #3 - Grenada Waterfront

Memory Art is art inspired by stories or photos from my past.
Back in the mid-1970's, when Ed and I decided to leave our work-a-day lives in Michigan and go cruising on a sailboat, one of the first things we did was read a lot of books about sailboats and the cruising life. We also started looking for a boat. There was a new Taiwanese ketch being brokered in the Detroit area that we went to see, but other than that boat, there didn't seem to be many large sailboats available in our area.
We took to reading the brokerage ads in SAIL magazine. I contacted a broker in Florida and read him our wish list. Ed had put together a shopping list of our criteria - 40-45 feet in length (comfortable size for live-aboards), used boat (cheaper), a steel hull (strength; easily repaired), ketch (two masts with smaller sail area for easier handling), and an aft cabin (best place to sleep at sea). The broker told me that he would mail us paperwork on several boats, some of which would be available in Florida and others in the Caribbean.
One day I was daydreaming about finding our sailboat and I pictured us going down to the Caribbean to see it. My fantasy boat was called "Moonbeam." When the listings arrived from the broker, I leafed through the papers, and with a total lack of appreciation for terms like L.O.A. (length overall), and the number of gallons in the fuel tank, I looked at the pictures and read the boat names. When I saw one called "Tropic Moon," I said, "Ah ha! Here's my Moonbeam!" When Ed later read through the listings, he said that there were only two boats worth following up on. One of them was Tropic Moon.
I checked back with the broker. The second boat was too expensive, and that left Tropic Moon. But the broker wasn't even sure if she were still available - she had been on the market so long. Nor could he tell me where she was located without doing some checking. When he did call back it was to say that Tropic Moon was moored in Grenada, in the southern Caribbean, and was still for sale.

After dealing with all the practical matters, like having the boat surveyed, getting copies of the blueprints from the British designer, and negotiating the sale price, we were finally ready to go down to Grenada to meet Tropic Moon. We were also down for our "sea trial" and Tan Tan (Tropic Moon's charter captain), and a friend of his, took us out. Part of the time that day was spent motoring around the beautiful harbor of St. George's, the capital of Grenada.

We knew from the survey that the steel hull needed extensive work and that the teak deck would have to be replaced. But Tropic Moon fit our criteria - 42 feet in length, steel-hulled ketch with an aft cabin. She was even reasonably cheap because of her poor condition. Ed had said that one of the reasons he wanted an older boat was so that there would be plenty of work to keep him busy. Famous last words!
While most potential boat owners spend months, or even years, looking for the right boat, aside from that Taiwanese ketch back in Detroit, Tropic Moon was the only sailboat we looked at, and the only boat we seriously considered.
Now for my memory art. I was very taken with the beautiful red-roofed buildings on the waterfront surrounding the harbor of St. George's. Using the slide above, I cropped out the part of the town showing on the right side of the picture. Here's the Photoshopped result:
Using my ink-jet printer, I printed that picture onto fabric. I made a mini art quilt with the silk fabric, and then I used magic markers and paint to intensify the colors. That, too, got cropped, and then mounted onto an 8"x10" gallery-wrapped canvas. Here's the mini-quilt before being mounted on the canvas:
We purchased Tropic Moon and moved aboard in November of 1978. The following April, while we were still in St. George's working on the boat, there was a revolution in Grenada. But then that's another story....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Antares Sails Again

I wrote about Antares, and our sail aboard this beautiful yacht, in an earlier post called Memory Art #2 - Antares. That post also shows the first Photoshop image I developed using this photograph. Two more Photoshop images were developed in Antares Revisited, including this one:
My latest efforts, (and hopefully my last as far as Antares is concerned), is a replica of this image done in fabric. My original intent was to do a mini art quilt, but once I had the fabric picture finished, I decided against quilting it. Instead, I took an 8"x10" gallery-wrapped canvas, painted it black, and then used an acrylic medium to glue the fabric picture to the canvas.

I also coated the picture with acrylic medium to give it an extra bit of protection. When I was photographing it, one of my pictures was overexposed by the flash. I'm including it anyway because it better shows the fabrics used in this piece. Most of the fabric I work with when I make art quilts comes from old thrift shop clothing. The sails are from a black polyester blouse that had a neat rose pattern. The sky fabric was also from a blouse, while I used two different sparkly fabrics for the water.

Adios, amigo - Happy Sailing!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Walk in Beaufort

Yesterday I was in our neighboring town of Beaufort to visit an outdoor Arts & Crafts show. I came home with a small piece of pottery, and a print, from a couple of artists I know. I also wandered around town with my camera. Here are my favorite shots from the day.
Two scenes from the Beaufort Old Burying Ground:

A statue from the Old Burying Ground, and a rocking chair on a front porch:

My favorite flower shots of the day:

And, lastly, some picturesque shrimp trawlers at a local dock:

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Walk on the Beach

Last weekend I took a walk on the beach and shot about 120 pictures. At least half were deleted as soon as I got home. I cleaned up the rest in Photoshop, and some of them I worked on turning into what I call "Digital Art." I'll show some of the photos with their accompanying art. (Click on images to enlarge.)
One of the piers:

Another pier shot:

A woman and her child standing in the water:

A surfer:

A man walking on the beach:

The last piece combined two pictures - one of the waves and one of a seagull.

You can see more of these pictures on my Facebook page. I understand that you can look at photo albums on Facebook without having to be a member. If someone would try this and let me know if it works, I'd appreciate it! I'm learning as I go....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Exhibiting My Artwork

I'm a member of the Arts Council of Carteret County (North Carolina). A couple years ago, the Arts Council started a program called Adopt an Artist. The program matches up local artists with businesses in the county. It gives artists an opportunity to show (and sell) their work in various venues. This is my first time participating. My work will be displayed at the Country Club of the Crystal Coast during May and June. Partly because I had so much work on hand, I have the venue to myself. I'm exhibiting 26 pieces, 18 of which are art quilts. The other eight are paintings or mixed media. I didn't get shots of everything, but these photos will give you an idea of what some of the display looks like. (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Magnolia Blossom

We have a beautiful magnolia tree in our backyard that is beginning to display its floral finery. These are two shots of one of the first blossoms - at least one low enough on the tree to be within reach! My husband came outside with me and hung onto the branch while I took a slew of pictures.

Needless to say, that was followed by a few hours in Photoshop. Here are some of the images that I developed. You can click on any of my images to see an enlarged version.
I'm a northerner by birth (Connecticut), and though I've lived several years in North Carolina, I still find the magnolia flowers a wonder that's hard to believe.

And two more....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Playing with Pattern

Here's a picture that I took on one of my walks on the golf course.
In Photoshop, I made three duplicates of the photograph, changed their orientation, and put them together in a new image. (I described doing this with tree fungus in my last post.) Here's what the new image looked like, before and after I merged the four parts together.
My next step was to make three copies of this picture, and put them together in a new image. I then changed the color to make it look more brown than gray.
I next selected the "Palette Knife" filter in Photoshop, and got what I felt was a more painterly-looking image.
My last step was to again make three copies and put them together in a new image. This one looks an awful lot like a quilt pattern to me! It's fun to take a bit of landscape and come out with a complicated, colorful pattern like this one.