Sunday, July 26, 2009

High hopes and a workshop

If all goes well, I leave tomorrow for a watercolor workshop - a day late, however. So much for best laid plans. Never mastering the art of packing light, I think I have everything I need except a sink! Whoever said you can't take it all with you, doesn't know me!

Tomorrow we find out how Gigi is tolerating the chemo, blood work wise. She is doing really well. No side effects whatsoever! Her sense of hearing is even returning. The vet believes the medications are taking the pressure off of the tumor for now, thus some very postitive results. She is even more like her old self than she was a month ago! We now see that there were subtle signs all along, that she had a brain tumor - loss of hearing, fearfulness and clinginess. We are so grateful to have had a really good week. She is even taking walks and looking forward to her weekend rides! My husband will be working from home next week, while I am away, to keep a watchful eye on little Gigi. Thanks to all of you who have left comments or sent emails to me. Your thoughts, prayers and support have really touched me.

I will give you a full report, on all, when I return ... and I have a beautiful featured wedding to share with you, as well.

Have a great week all! Ta ta for now.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I will be taking a "pause" from posting this week. We found out last weekend that our "only child", Ginger (affectionately known as Gigi), has a brain tumor. It has been a tough week, but she seems to be tolerating her medication well enough that she will be starting chemotherapy on Monday. She is a perfect little angel and has brought so much love and joy into our lives.

Please send her little well wish thoughts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Featured Artist Friday: Laura Frankstone

Francophile, painter, passionate drawer and travel sketcher

It is only fitting that my first featured, and one of my favorite, artist is Laura Frankstone. It is, afterall, how I discovered the world of blogging. While doing a search on another favorite artist, I came across Laura’s blog, Laurelines. At the time, I had never heard the term “blog”, but was enamored the minute I found Laurelines. I went back and read every post she had posted prior to that day. I fell in love with her loose, fluid style immediately.

That was almost three years ago. Since then I have been following Laura as she travels the world -- sketching and painting and telling the story as she goes. I love seeing the world through her eyes.

Her travel sketchbooks are a large part of her life. She is a painter and a passionate travel sketcher, but trained, at universities, in oils. She took up watercolors as a way to make exciting travel sketches.
In 2007 Laura's travel sketchbooks were exhibited at the Biennale du Carnet de Voyage at Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Laura said, in an interview on The Artful Parent, “About three years ago, I turned away from painting to devote myself to drawing, to keeping sketchbooks and travel journals. I was stuck in the studio and needed new energy. I also started my blog Laurelines at that point. I work best within rather narrow parameters, so that first year I set myself a plan to immerse myself in the study of color. I devoted six weeks to each color in the spectrum and kept daily sketchbooks dealing with those colors. The second year, my goal was to become completely fluent in drawing. I divided the year up into twelve themes and drew within those themes every day of each month. Part of my plan that year was to spend a whole month in Paris, sketching—and I did! Last year, I gave myself a more free-ranging set of goals, but I was no less assiduous."

Last year her central theme, both metaphorically and literally, was her search for water. She continues her focus on watery painting this year, with a month long trip planned to Brittany.
She is also illustrating a food lovers guide to her area,

has done some wedding sketching for a friend, and has many more exciting things to share with us this year.

As Twyla Tharp said, “You don’t get in the mood to create --- it’s discipline." Laura’s discipline is something I truly admire and respect about her as an artist. “I don’t believe in waiting for moments of inspiration. Inspiration comes as you work.”, says Laura. Insisting on discipline and orderliness in my own work, it is a quality I appreciate intensely.

I am indebted to Laura for the influence she has had on me unknowingly. Not only have I started my own blog, but she has inspired me to start painting and sketching again (after being mostly self-taught) and has me energized with the idea of wedding sketching, as something fun and exciting to offer to my wedding clients. Wanting more professional training, I have signed up for several watercolor classes over the next year and a half. Maybe I will be brave enough to post some of my work someday soon.
I commissioned Laura to paint the front window of my stationery shop. I am planning to meet her, for the first time, when she visits Asheville in August!

There are so many more favorite sketches and paintings than I can possibly begin to share with you here, so you must visit her at Laurelines to see more. I promise it will be worth the visit!! Please check out her 101 faces. Laura does the most soulful eyes I have ever seen.

Laura Frankstone has one of the most fascinating lives of anyone I know. I live vicariously through her and cannot wait to see where she will take us next!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sneak Peek: Featured Artist Friday
and Real Wedding Weekend: Ellen & Alan

Check back next weekend for this beautiful Southern wedding...
Lowcountry Charm at its best! ...and the first, in my Featured Artist series that I will bring to you at least one Friday each month.