Friday, September 28, 2018

ISAIAH by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

For my New Bern show at , I've decided the name is "Roadtrip".   Sites and scenes, trails and towns over 2,000 miles of cycling along the East Coast.

Along the North Carolina coast is the historic shrimp boat at Phyllips Seafood in Swansboro, North Carolina.  It carries the reputation as the most photographed shrimp boat on the East Coast. During a lunch break I spotted it's gleaming white sides, which were almost blinding on this Carolina sunny day.  It's green swooping nets draped from the red lacquered crossbars.

This boat is covered with ropes and buoys, reels and rods, anchors and ladders, but the nets!  The nets!  I'm in love with the nets!  Carefully, I walked along the old greyed planks of the eroding deck in hopes of getting some images. A friendly gentleman in tall black boots approached.  He was obviously was a master shrimper with strong tired working hands...the keeper of the vessel....a sort of Forrest Gump. He invited me onboard and let me wander aimlessly snapping pictures.

When I finished I handed him a five dollar bill. He refused it. I said, "No.  I want you to have it. Give it to someone if you don't want to keep it." He took it and said, "Ok. I'll give it to Ronald McDonald House."  Then he told me of his 7 year old step son who has a degenerative brain disease, much like Alzheimers disease,  and is under hospice care.  OH MY GOODNESS I was speachless!!!!  He skyped the mom and we met over the phone.  Her son's name is Isaiah. What can I say.....

The treasures of the road.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Falling Palms by Sue Scoggins, North Carolina Painter

So.  With large paintings as my new assignment, I'm going to have to figure out how and where to paint them.  I wasn't about to say "no" to a new gallery.  But, it's not like I have some large warehouse studio.  I wish! At the beach, I have a small 8x16 foot space. Hmmm.  There are stacks of finished paintings for my New Bern show leaned up against the wall.  A desk.  A small loveseat is at the end where I have a little meditation and prayer  before I begin to paint each day. On the other side of the room are unfinished canvases leaning on windows waiting to be painted.  No easel.

I've ordered stretcher bars to clip canvas to.  That way I can paint the painting.  Unclip it.  Let it dry.  Roll it up and mail it.  But...oh no!  My stretcher bars haven't arrived yet. Not until next Friday.  What!!!  Anxious me cannot wait.  Besides.  Deadlines are approaching.

A BRILLIANT idea came while I was sleeping (It's what we painters do in our sleep.  Dream about the next painting.  It's a disease.) (Some women dream about "HOT" guys.  Did I really say that?)  I dreamt  TAPE!  Tape the canvas to the wall!  I used blue painters tape. The kind that won't take the paint off the wall?  Well...not only did it not stick to the wall, it didn't stick to the canvas either. The more I painted, the heavier it became, and the more it began to come off the wall.   I was frantically re-taping! (Is that a word?)  A canvas filled with oil paint was falling off the wall......HELP!  Palm trees coming down like a hurricane.  Almost like wallpaper...but covered with oil paint! Bad idea! Back to the "drawing board."  (That was suppose to be funny)
Maybe floors will work.

PS.  Those small trunks on the lower left look like ladies legs.  : )

The trunks still look like legs.  Hmmmm.

Monday, July 16, 2018

New Gallery in Naples by Susan Scoggins Landscape Painter

Vacation - 48x36 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

So, I'm so excited to have been asked to be represented at a new gallery, GALLERYVIBE, in Naples, Florida.  I immediately jumped at the chance.  A new state.  A new COLORFUL state! A beach state! Yay!

Now, the logistics.  Six to eight large paintings to be ready for their fall season. That means shipping by mid-August. I've already learned so much.  This gallery has their act together. They've given me sizes and popular color palette have briefed me on what sells. How, in today's market, homes don't have a lot of wall space.  Homes have mostly windows.  They want verticals!  Tall verticals.  Yes!  I love vertical!

And how do I ship such large canvas pieces without being eaten up with expenses?  For now, I've decided to ship them rolled up and have them stretched with a framer in Naples. What is so costly is the oversize (dimensions) not the weight. Course, if I rent a van....I could take a little trip!  What fun would that be? I don't know...Florida in August?  Maybe not.

Monday, May 28, 2018

ENERGY TO CREATE HWY 58 by North Carolina Painter Susan Scoggins

Hwy 58

Other than the soul of the human spirit, nothing inspires me like landscape. The little french farmhouse on the road, the cabin in the woods, the barn in a golden field. I suppose after all the experimenting I’ve done, and not being very good at it, I always find myself landing right back outdoors in the midst of the creative masterpieces done by the Master Creator himself. There’s no reproducing it realistically.  Only expressions or impressions of the effect it has on me.

People ask, "How long does it take you to do a painting?" It may look like it's easy.  It takes energy to create. Think calculus exam…problem solving, shapes, formulas, colors, juxtaposition, brilliance, toning down, vibration, impression, intention. Think music…notes, crescendo, staccato, phrases, tone, emotion, expression. All of those components are stuffed down into a neat little intuitive package, until it's about to explode, then carefully allowed to flow.   It’s exhilarating and exhausting. 

For this painter, ME, it takes hours, even days of silence. Silence uninterrupted by texts, pings, dings, idol chatter, 24 hour news..even eating.  Silence.  Yet something has to stimulate the creative flow. The last two weeks have been spent with mind-numbing Netflix binging due to the flu. Not only no physical energy but no mental energy. 

Today was the day. I got up as the sun rose and prepared myself for a day of inspiration. After filling my personal tank with coffee, my little white car with gas, charging my phone for a plethora of images, I set off to the flat farmlands of Eastern North Carolina. Three hours and a thousand sneezes later my mind was completely filled with blue green flatlands, blooming white pear trees and little white barns with shiny sunlit roofs. What some people may see as  torn down sheds in fields of grey nothingness, I see as something to capture. Yes, there was a lot of backing up, u-turns, and photos for reference but now all these visions are jumbling off each other in all the crevices of my mind. They are charging each other up like sparks of electrical current, priming themselves for the perfect time to ignite.  When they ignite, they will explode.  

All of this is BEFORE ever putting a brush to canvas

Friday, May 25, 2018

Preparing for New Bern - by North Carolina Painter Sue Scoggins

Fairfield Harbor

It may be far off, but November is actually just around the corner.  November 9th, 2018, in fact, is the opening.   To prepare for a show takes months. First of all, I have to collect my thoughts which is a huge herding cats. What will be the theme? A theme?  You mean I have to have a theme?  A press release?  You mean I have to write a press release?  Update my mission statement?  What mission statement?  Guest list.  Wall space.  Guest list. The list goes on.

I've painted nature for so many years.  I've tried to deviate but it keeps crawling back. But how do I do this one different than the past.  At first I thought I'd go live on a houseboat in Beaufort, North Carolina for a week.  Collect all the energy from the activities that are going on in that little town.  Paint like a mad dog the entire week and call the show, "HOUSEBOAT".   Long and short's not happening.

So, I thought.  What do I do in this life I've been given?  Where do I spend most of time besides the studio?  Hello!  On my bike, cycling the countryside. Cycling is ingrained.  Painting landscape is ingrained. So, for now, my theme will be sites and sounds of the road.  Roadtrip.  Maybe that will be the name.  Maybe I'm getting somewhere. No pun intended. (or maybe it was intended.  You decide.)

First painting. Fairfield. A ride over the New Bern bridge brought me to a beautiful little riverside boating community and marina.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

FLEXIBILITY by Sue Scoggins North Carolina Painter


Just in case you are the type who has to be in control of everything....guess what...that's not me! You would get so frustrated with this person. (me)  Although there is method in my madness and organization in it's chaos.

Twenty years in the airline industry trained me in one thing.  FLEXIBILITY.  I mean, if you are dependent on the "ontime" machine, you are sunk!  Things happen.  And you have to be prepared to rise above any circumstance. So, with my living in two places, I am prepared.  Sort of.  I have sets of paints and a makeshift studio in each place and a small carryall in my trunk filled with random art supplies. Not only does my "living abode" shift...but my mind has to shift too.

When I am at the coast, my mind is infused with the most indescribable beauty.  There's no reproducing it...only painting the effect it has on me.  When I am in the city, up in my little roof top spot, I am far, far away from raw nature.  I am surrounded by buildings and traffic.  While it takes a day or painting mind shifts. Call me skitso. (is that a word?) I have to shift from the expanse of sweeping skies to blocks of buildings and streets.  Sometimes it throws me into a total expressionist tizzy!

In the meantime, wherever I am, I paint numerous paintings at one time.  At the beach, I have 3 - 4 canvases lined up one my kitchen counter.  I mean...a little pthalo blue here and a little there. In the city, I only have on on my easel but there are 2 or 3 leaned up against the wall that get placed on the easel when the previous one goes off.  They revolve and evolve. All of them.  I paint like a mad dog.  Then I stop cold.

So if you are wondering where in the world the variety comes from.....that is the best I can do to explain it.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Years Oak Tree Challenge - by Susan Scoggins, North Carolina Painter

After seeing a small oak tree painting, a client recently challenged me to 50 days of oak trees, a tree a day for 50 days.  Raleigh, being the City of Oaks. ..why not?  I've never accepted a challenge like that before.

In a way, it's a bit scary. What if I don't make it to 50?  What if I don't post a new "tree" daily? "FEAR NOT! " I say to myself. The worse that can happen is that I am labeled a LOSER!!!!  But "NO!  I am not a loser.  I am a painter!" No one understands us anyway!

This painter goes along, daily, painting what comes to mind. Now, this is going to challenge my brain to stay on task and spark some creative spirit.  So how does one create 50 oak trees?  How boring.  First of all, in my concrete mind, I rounded up a bunch of 12x12 canvases. Sounds pretty easy to me.  Then I painted a painting from my head.  Ok.  That was number ONE.

After that...what?  Before I knew it, I was obsessing over different projects.  Oaks in a boat.  Oaks on a float.  Lots of oaks.  One oak.  Oaks on the water.  Oak in a field. Oaks!  Oaks!  Oaks! That's what happens to us creatives.

In my closet older paintings are stored "resting".  Ah-ha!  One painting had been punctured but the colors were just to beautiful to toss!  Out came Edward scissors hands. Large pieces. Small pieces. Looked like leaves to me. If only I had a shredder!  I began to glue the pieces onto a previously painted canvas. Not just glue...but I literally tossed the pieces onto the canvas, glued each piece where it landed and let it dry over night with a board on top to flatten it.

With the leaves in tact, each leaf was loosely outlined with pthalo blue and raw umber.  Then the underlying painting was washed with titanium white, leaving a hint of the old paint showing.  At least it's a start.

For most of you, I've lost you.  I mean you do have a life!  But, if you don't, you can read this on New Years Eve!  Then have some champagne!!

The final result will be posted eventually.