Carolina Breezes

How pleasant it is to be UN-broken.
...to be whole
...to be content
...to wish for nothing more

Such are the feelings of Peace I find at the ocean
....on the hot sand
....capturing seagulls with my lens
....brushing sand off my tattered straw hat
...hearing giggles and laughter of children building sand castles
...equally cherishing the broken and unbroken shells
....being one with myself.

Today I share a new painting, inspired by such visits to
....shed the old skin
.....and live in the new
...if but for a short time.

Carolina Breezes

close up detail

This painting is 40 x 30 on gallery wrap canvas. Oil.
You may see more details at www.sharonfurner.com
click HERE

For my friends who visit my blog, there will be free shipping and 100.00 off the listed price.
You can place your order on the website and I will personally reimburse you the 100.00 after shipping. Sorry shipping only in the USA. 
This opportunity to have "a spot of the beach in your home" will expire on May 15, 2014


Collecting, Gathering, Sharing

Isn't it interesting the things that we are attracted to? I have often wondered why I love certain things when there is no context to do so.
Like green depression glass!!
 I have collected glasses, bowls, plates, pitchers, cake plates
and this special juice bowl...it was a thrill every piece I found in a rummage, garage sale....

I marvel that the depression glass was once a premium, it came with purchases of certain foods.
Today one gets coupons...even Cracker Jacks is a big disappointment.  Remember the fun toys that USED to be in a CJ box?
So glad I fell in love with this beautiful glass, the color, clarity, patterns and history.  It is a joy to hand down to my daughter and her daughter.

One wonderful way to preserve memories of things we have collected is through photography....simply taking a picture.
It was fun to pose the little juice bowl, take photographs and then apply some textures.
Some put away their special collections, but I have found great joy
in displaying and using those objects that I have been drawn to.

How many generational hands will this bowl pass through.
Will there come a time when it is discarded, like it was before I found it?  Who previously owned it...it had to have been 50-60 years old when it came to our home where it is loved.
Collecting, Gathering, Sharing


Ghost Stories from the Old Shack

The old shack stands tottering at a graceful angle. It's split-hewn wood has absorbed the grey/weathered colors of the gnarled, leafless trees that surround it.
Still, today, there is a certain regal-ness, majesty and statement;  hidden stories between the chinks in the lumber.

Railroad tracks, four meters away, once hauled a commodity desired by many world wide. 
 Money barons flourished because of it. 

What stories are closeted in this centuries old building. 

Doors are rusted shut and silent.

Perched on  beams stand carved owls acting as stewards of this building of
historical significance to Whites, Blacks and Native Americans. 

Windows reflect another time, our century filled with  
paved streets, street lights, fast cars...
all racing past this monument to the past and ancient Indian grounds.

Nailed to the weathered wood of this old building, secreted with stories and perhaps a few ghosts, 
is a sign . 
"No Smoking"

This preserved building was one of a long string of tobacco shacks, along the Waccamaw River, home to the Waccamaw Indians.

This  tobacco shack stands as a witness to another time in our history where wealth
was created through the toil of others 
in the steaming-humid heat.

A poem written by Edward Madahbee
Waccamaw Indian

The creator has only created life
It is not his duty to show us the way
We must guide ourselves through life
To truly be accepted into his arms
We should not have to ask for favors
And he should not have to provide them
What we take from our mother earth
We must give back with respect and love
Until we are able to accept who we are
We will always suffer at our own fate
We have to create our own destiny
Or does destiny create us?

Sharing with Friday Finds.


When Needles are Like Paint Brushes

Just couldn't wait to share some fantastic Fiber Art we saw last week.
This artistic genre is a first for this blog as I do not do needlework, embroidery, stitching, felting,
quilting...all those beautiful pieces of art created by nimble fingers holding a slender needle threaded  with
gorgeous threads and yarn.
I admire you who do this.
We attended FiberArt International  2013 showing at the 
Myrtle Beach Art Museum. 
It is a curated show featuring 37 works by established and emerging artists from across the world. The goal of the exhibition is to include innovative work rooted in traditional fiber materials, processes and history. 
There wasn't a single piece that wasn't unique and breathtaking.
Today I will share one.
First I must mention that all photos were taken with my camera phone and in difficult lighting situations.  The photo quality doesn't do justice to the beauty of this piece.
Peace on Earth..
This piece is very large and full of little stories.  Every inch has something to say.

Where does your imagination take you....as we peek around this "tapestry?"

Doesn't this piece bring joy into your heart?
The richness of TEXTURE, COLOR, IMAGINATION, STORY TELLING: I would love to meet the artist. 
I was happy all day after viewing it.

There is actually a little side story: we were viewing this exhibit along with half a dozen mature women, obviously a gathering of friends, wearing purple jackets and red hats!!!!
So fun!

Sharing with Friday Finds.


Limes Lemons and Yellow Bird

I have long admired the short lived style of Fauvism
which includes work by
Henri Matisse, Andre Derain, Maurice Vlaminck.
Fauvism was a short lived style at the turn of the 20th century. 
The philosophy behind fauvism was: COLOR should express the artist's feelings about a subject. They used heavily exaggerated color and simplified lines.
One of my favorite paintings is by Henri Matisse

 Limes Lemons and Yellow Bird reflects my interpretation of the Fauvist painters' style.  It is the second painting in a series.
I begin with a toned 18 x 18 gallery wrap canvas, followed by simple brush sketch in thinned acrylic.

And now the fun begins...where to go after putting all these lines in place?
Light washes of acrylic, working warm and cool colors..

My thoughts were to add visual texture to the piece, so collage papers were added, a stencil design for the fabric and for some reason the decision to not have the vase clear glass.

Back to more collage and re-defining lines.
Adding black and white to a colorful painting, helps to diffuse the intensity. Therefore, the collage of black and white stripes on the bowl.

Because I worked over a period of two months on this piece  (meaning I couldn't find the time to work on it) I made some major alterations....like letting the fish be chased off by a spindly yellow bird with a squeeze of lime on his head;
adding an additional pattern to the vase and restructuring the fruit.
It is almost a completely different piece.

If it hadn't taken so long to complete, I wonder if I would have made so many changes to the end painting? 
 I hope the fish are happy elsewhere, the bird has to decide how to peck at a watermelon with a lime slice on his head.
This painting is available on my S Furner Fine Art website.
Sold...thank you Geri, I hope this painting brings you much happiness.


May You Feel Peace

In southern India, my traveling companions and I stumbled upon an intriguing dilapidated building just bursting 
with goodies: statues of all description, rustic-antique furniture, paintings, this and that, everything tempting beyond reason.
Two of us could not resist some very crumbling, aged statues of 
Indian Deities.
We waffled back and forth, "no we can't get them home"..."well, we will never see these again."
"what should we do?"  The winner:
I purchased four, my companion...can't recall but she definitely packed some home.

These statues have a  rather interesting history. America in the 40's and 50's enticed women to purchase certain products and with the purchase was given a premium or gift. An example would be today's collectible green glass.  Well who knew, in India there was something similar. We learned that these marvelous, old statues were also a "gift with purchase." This bit of information from our sales woman was all it took to "entice" us to buy.

Besides displaying our Indian statues in our home, I wanted to set up a few photo shoots. The following is one.

There is quite a difference isn't there?
Here are a few steps that I took to move the original photo to textured completion.
I took dozens of photos with the statues, oranges, hornet's nest and dried leaves.  
Never, never once did I notice the label left on the orange!!!!!  So that was the first step to
remove the label.
The top half of the background was brushed with an "oil brush" designed by Melissa Gallo to paint the background in several shades of ochre so that it was unified.
The same technique was used to paint shadows on the white cloth.
Next I played with words and warping....this was a test of patience!
Time to apply textures. I used two of Kim Klassen's textures 
# 0801 and 2801. Each was adjusted differently: soft light and screen.
Adding the last texture, which has a grunge appearance, I removed the dark grunge color from the statues and high lighted the oranges.

I now feel Peace to have completed this project and wish the same for you in those things you choose to do. And may you always remove labels.......


In and Out with the Tides

 We found a new beach to visit.
Actually we can't say we "found" it as it is way too big!
Located in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is a lengthy, bustling beach with a boardwalk to keep teens and others happy.
(takes some of the crowds from the beach!)
Two of our kids recently moved near MB and we went to visit them and their pups.  It was quite an adventure.

Doestito exploring the Waccamaw River....it was pretty cold!
She is thinking, "HMMM how can I get away and swim wherever I want to go?"

We met up with interesting weather....cold, blustery winds and rain....interspersed with a few days of blue skies.
Gray days are really a photographer's friend....

We found stashes of seashells, mostly battered and broken by the strong waves...but there is beauty in the imperfect and we brought a  bagful home.

View from our heavily discounted room. Not bad!
In the summer we wouldn't be able to afford to stay here.

 One evening we happened upon hundreds of sleepy seagulls, all facing south....I wondered where they would stay as night was fast approaching.  Maybe this was their bedroom with an ocean view. Imagine sleeping with the lulling sounds of waves rustling the sandy shore.

Never have I seen so many birds holding still...this photo is but 1/5th of them.

One day when the sky was brilliant blue we walked the boardwalk. The rides were being prepared for the approaching busy tourist season. 

Sunrise, Sunset it doesn't matter, it is simply a glorious sight.

One of my favorite childhood rhymes is....
She sells Seashells down by the Seashore

Soon will come a posting of the shells.

Thank you for dropping by. If you have time check out 
Kim's own posting is beautiful !  Worth the visit. 


The Un-common in Common

We plant yellow and purple pansies in the fall 
since the winters are so mild.
This year was no different.
But the common place proved to be uncommon.
Snow, ice, sleet pelted the southern states
making us wonder if we had been transplanted to another sphere.
We stared wide-eyed at our world cloaked in shards of ice.

Then I learned that "delicate" pansies are uncommon in tough conditions, they are strong, sturdy, sensuous in their cloaks of ice.
I value their uniqueness.

That which seems everyday-common, becomes beautifully uncommon
when removed from their normal context. 

Joining Kat at Photo-Heart Connection


Grandmother's Venetian Glass and Pink Mints

A short, sweet little sharing.

This beautiful piece of Venetian glass, 
reminds me of a carousel ride. 
But it is far more delicate than a decorated horse spinning round and round.
For as long as I can remember, this candy dish sat on 
Grandmother's coffee table...it wasn't so precious that little hands couldn't lift the  lid and help themselves to her homemade pink mints, a recipe passed down from her pioneer family.
When our family would come for a visit, after a 12 hour drive through the Nevada desert, after hugs and loves, they would race to the coffee table: there was always candy, the hard kind that you can suck on forever, in Grandmother's precious glass dish.
She loved to share her finer things.

Bringing back beautiful memories.

Today one of our sentimental daughters inherited this piece.  Just to look at it brings back the warmth of a grandmother
who took great pride in serving us with her very finest.
And hugging us to pieces!

Posting to Kim Klassen, Friday Finds.  


Photo-Heart Connection

        Do you have favorite photos, ones that really touch your heart, bring back beautiful memories, or preserve a special someone or sometime?  Are they usually the very "professional" well composed and perfectly exposed shots?  Or are they just a great "capture" taken spontaneously?

Every year Kat Sloma hosts a Photo-Heart Connection. It is open to everyone who loves to take photos.
At the first of the month, participants  go through photographs taken during the previous month, culling for those that really speak to them.
Hmmm January what should I choose...well there was Chinese New Year with the tradition of throwing oranges with notes attached high into our trees, (ours are still swaying high), fresh cooked duck and fish, lo mien noodles...fresh not dried....yes a beautiful, colorful, fragrant time to celebrate.

Then we had unexpected snow and cold weather here in the south. That certainly warranted picture snapping since it isn't common place.

We went to Chicago to spend time with our daughter and her daughter. That was the time of the sub zero storms and closure of the Chicago airports...well not too many pictures then....afraid I might crack my lens.
So hard to choose, but choose I did. TECHNICALLY they are the least well done with their cluttered backgrounds, wiggly-moving-jumping little people, poor lighting and lots of extraneous things going on inside our home.
Storyline: Our kids from the eastern side of North Carolina spontaneously came for a visit, wanting to share their dogs and  prepare an authentic Chinese New Year feast. Lemon and Frito are rescue dogs who had been badly abused but through lots of care and oodles of love are now healthy, loving and beautiful dogs. We were excited to introduce them to our three grandchildren, the Funny Bunnies, who live down the street.
Number One and Two Bunnies took to the dogs like kids take to ice cream....sweet, messy and fast.
But the littlest Bunny was extremely nervous, hesitant, clinging to mom or Grammy, and screaming if the dogs got near.  Well give her a few hours, lots of reassurance and she adopted the more gentle one, Lemon, running around holding her tail...(yup one of the blurry photos, beyond repair! but still precious)

Out of dozens of photos I have only had time to work on a few...as I needed to get rid of the clutter of table, chairs, furniture, background people, etc. Not knowing what I was doing, didn't help.
Then I wanted to try a few textures...well one thing led to another...
However, these are the photos that touched my heart as I think of the past, fast paced month of January.

Fritos was once a very sick, neglected and abused dog.  Lemon instantly, bonded with her. They are now inseparable.  
 Kim Klassen's texture Gracie 

Lemon and Fritos have the cutest outfits....I love this one.  Funny Bunny One is growing up....in this reflective photo I can see the maturity in her face...she sat with the dogs for long periods of time, just loving LOVING them.

Kim's Belize Texture
Rad Lab/Sugar processing.

To love an animal is a beautiful thing.
When taking photographs.....it is the memory that counts.

Thank you Kim for your textures and thank you Kat for making it possible to share our favorite photographs.