Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

“Christmas Light”      9” x 11”     Pastel        $100      © Sharon Lewis
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            The presents are wrapped and one “child” is home with the other arriving this afternoon. I can’t wait! It never really seems to be Christmas without both my kids home. Once they’re married and have other parents to divide their time between I know I will have to adjust. For now though, we will still bake and decorate our traditional sugar cookies together, creating small masterpieces with frosting and sprinkles. We will have my daughter hang the star on the tree since she is the younger of the two kids and as she used to refer to herself, “the littlest” (she still is). We will have our Christmas Eve mini-feast, a fire in the fireplace, and toast Christmas together. We will open our presents Christmas morning, have a holiday brunch, and then have Christmas dinner later in the evening. I love holiday traditions!
            I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and for those of my friends who don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish for you a time of warmth, love, and togetherness.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Where Santa Lives When Not at the North Pole

“Christmas Marsh”    9” x 12”     Pastel    $100     © Sharon Lewis
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            Well, I believe I’m finally through with holiday shopping but now have to wrap all the presents. Even though by the time I get to this point I’m pretty exhausted, I still enjoy doing this. I love all of the colors of the wrapping paper and bows and even the tags. Each present after I’ve wrapped it, feels a little like a work of art I’ve created. I think I’m like most of my artist friends in that we need very little excuse to exercise our creativity…whether you want us to or not.
            Some of my artist friends might recognize the view in this painting although I’ve significantly changed the colors. It’s been a really grey, overcast day here and I felt the need for some bright, cheerful colors. The painting is based on some photos I took this September when visiting the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ. This is a beautiful, peaceful marsh, with birds everywhere and well worth a visit if you’re ever in southern New Jersey. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Looking Up

“Looking Up”     9” x 12”    Pastel     $100      © Sharon Lewis
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             Ever since I was a little kid I have looked up into the sky, fascinated by the clouds and how they changed. It’s like having your own natural gallery of art. Maybe it was due to some early esthetic sense… some precocious love of beauty…possibly. Or maybe it was because as a little kid, I kept getting slammed flat on my back, with the breath knocked out of me by the boys in my neighborhood. You’d be amazed how beautiful the sky can look to you when you finally get air back into your lungs again. Let me add that these boys were not bullies in any way. No, this was the result of me insisting that they let me play “touch” football with them. As the only girl and the runt in this bunch of kids, I was just an easy tackle…that is when they could catch me. 
            This summer I was so fortunate to see many breathtaking skies in the UK. This painting is what I saw one day when I looked up over the water into the skies of Scotland.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Walking in the Footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh

“Arles Tree”    9” x 12”    Pastel     $100   © Sharon Lewis
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           Today’s painting is of a location in Arles, France where Van Gogh is known to have painted. This came about as a result of a really fun painting idea that my friend Karen Margulis had. One evening we had what she called a “virtual paintout” using Google Maps and zoomed in on interesting views in Arles and painted from these views.  We also had fun painting in the style of Van Gogh, which I think you can see in this painting. He often used interesting directional strokes which gave even ordinary scenes a kind of frenetic excitement. I have loved Van Gogh’s paintings for years and must have 5 or 6 books with reproductions of his work.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rocky Beauty : A Reminder of Sun and Warmth

“Rocky Beauty”   4” x 6”    Pastel    $35    © Sharon Lewis
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            We have been enjoying a few days of sunshine in the Atlanta region and the rain and clouds are moving in once again, just in time for the weekend. Excellent timing on the part of Mother Nature!
            Fortunately for me, I have a ready supply of sun and warmth in the form of paintings. This one is of the northern Oregon coast, which along with the northern California coast, provided us with gorgeous views of ocean and impressive rocks. I can look at this painting and remember the tang of the salt air, the gulls flying overhead, and the breezy, sunny day. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Painting Challenges vs. Playing It Safe

“Plaid Marsh”    5” x 7”  Pastel   $50   © Sharon Lewis
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              Some days it’s so tempting to play it safe by painting the things that are easier for me. For some reason, I find it less challenging to paint skies and clouds, trees, mountains, and rocky shores. It could be because I’ve spent a lot of time in these environments and have studied what they look like for years. 
             I haven’t been around that many marshes but thanks to a very gifted artist, Karen Margulis, I find that I now want to paint them well. Karen paints such gorgeous marshes that ever since I saw her first paintings of this subject, I found myself wanting to paint them as well. Unfortunately they are deceptively simple looking but challenging landscapes for me to paint.  What could be so hard about painting a little bit of water, a little bit of sky, and a lot of land? Simple right? Apparently not for me and yet I continue to challenge myself because I’m determined (maybe I’m just stubborn) to meet this challenge and improve my skills. Every once and awhile I paint a marsh I like and it’s really fun.  The million other times, when I look in horror at what I’ve created, I just tell myself I’m learning from all of my mistakes…. sounds good, right?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Can’t Remember the Last Time We Saw a Blue Sky!

“Big Sky”   9” x 12”   Pastel    $100   © Sharon Lewis
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            We have been extremely lucky here in North Georgia because we have avoided the ice and snow other parts of the country have been inundated with. However, it’s been raining for days! I think it stopped for a little bit one day last week and I saw people walking around with dazed looks on their faces, pointing up at the sky. I thought maybe there was some cool celestial phenomenon that they were pointing at but it was only the sun. Now I’m thinking if I saw sun and blue sky again, I might be one of those people pointing up and smiling, looking a little like a crazy person.
             To perhaps avoid this possibility, I’m posting a painting of sun and blue sky. This is based on photos I took in the Lake District in England, where we saw some amazingly beautiful skies this summer.
            I hope wherever you are, that your weather is terrific or rapidly improving and that you too are enjoying blue skies.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Is Mother Nature a Little Confused?

“Near Halibut Point”   6” x 6”   Pastel   $40   © Sharon Lewis
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           It’s been warm and humid here and it’s December! I know I shouldn’t complain given the ice, snow, and frigid temperatures in the mid section of the country, but it feels like summer here! And not in a good way either. It reminds me of one summer we were up in Massachusetts, trying to see places we hadn’t seen before. One of the places we visited was a quarry near Halibut Point (isn’t that a great name for a place?). It was warm, humid and foggy (like here today) and then the sun came out and made these rocks just glow. Most of the tourists went right past this view on their way to apparently more interesting sights. I just stood here studying this beautiful scene thinking it would make a great painting. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Great Light is Gone Today

“A Great Light”   9” x 12”   Pastel    $100    © Sharon Lewis
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            Nelson Mandela, a very great man and one of my heroes, died today. What a magnificent teacher of forgiveness, humility, and perseverance!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It Was All Mist and Fog This Morning

“Misty Shore”   4” x 6”   Pastel   $35   © Sharon Lewis
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         After days of rain, I woke up to fog and mist….very spooky and mysterious looking. I think fog and mist can also be beautiful in a way and I’ve posted a painting today that I think is an example of this. We were hiking along the northern California coast one blustery, cool, summer day. From my vantage point on top of a cliff, I could see fog gradually enveloping these rocks and woods, giving them an almost ethereal beauty.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Searching for Sunshine.....

“Sunlight and Pears”    5” x 7”   Pastel   $50   © Sharon Lewis
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           I’m not sure why I choose to post colorful paintings of pears whenever it’s been raining for days as it has been here in north Georgia. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the only colors I’ve seen outside for quite some time (feels like forever!) have been grey and brown. So I’m offering to all those who might be in similar circumstances, a small dose of warmth and bright colors.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Flowers for Meg

“Flowers for Meg”     8” x 10”   Pastel   $75.00   © Sharon Lewis
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          Today is my sister Meg’s birthday and in honor of her I’m posting these flowers. Meg seems to be able to grow any kind of flower no matter whether it’s supposed to survive the cold Wisconsin winter or not. She manages to get all kinds of plants to grow and thrive. I think the secret is she just doesn’t give up on them. This seems to be an integral part of my sister’s character. She has recently gone through some really serious medical challenges but even when things got tough or scary, she didn’t give up. She has met every challenge with strength, courage, and grace. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the worst is over now. And so on this happy birth day, these flowers remind me of my sister Meg…. bright, colorful, and always beautiful. Happy Birthday Meg!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Special: An Image of Peace and Quiet

“The Getaway”   5” x 7”    Pastel    $50   © Sharon Lewis
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             All the work is done. The feast was prepared and enjoyed by all. I know some of my friends and family are out hunting bargains in the shopping chaos of Black Friday. I’m not that fond of shopping even under the best of circumstances and just the thought of this sends chills down my spine.
            Today’s painting is for all of you who could use a vision of peace and quiet relaxation. Hope you enjoy a happy, restful holiday weekend.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Who Knew Turkeys Posed for the Paparazzi?

“Family Gathering”    6” x 6”   Pastel   $40   © Sharon Lewis
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            Recently, while on Bailey Island in Maine, wild turkeys would periodically strut out of the woods and parade back and forth through the backyard of the house we were renting. One morning, these turkeys actually posed exactly like this long enough for me to get photos.          
            Our turkey (not either of the ones in the painting) is finally in the oven stuffed with dressing. The gravy is simmering on the stove and most of the food is prepared or on the way. Soon family and friends will sit together to share a feast. I hope wherever you are, you enjoy a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Harvest

“Thanksgiving Harvest”    6” x 6”   Pastel    $40    © Sharon Lewis 
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           My kids are home, my refrigerator is bursting with food, with more on the way, and the sun is out. Although I’m not looking forward to all of the food prep ahead of me (since I’m not at all domestic), I know it will be fun since I will have plenty of helpers. There’s something wonderful about a meal prepared with the people you love. There will be lots of opinions about the best way to cook something, just as many compromises, lots of laughter and lots of love…a true Thanksgiving harvest.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Looking For Some Sun and Warmth

“Sun on the Marsh”    2.5” x 3.5”   Pastel   $20   © Sharon Lewis
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              It’s another gray day with the added attractive feature of almost incessant rain.  I decided I could really use a little sunshine and warmth. Since the weather gods seem to be ignoring my wishes, I created my version of a much nicer day in today’s petite painting. Hope you enjoy.