Southern Colours Mountain Retreat near Ellijay, GA

The retreat was planned for the full, or nearly full, Hunter Moon. The moon wanted to be very elusive, so elusive that the only person who saw it was Joan, who got up during the night or early morning. We'll just have to try again some other time to paint the evening by moonlight.

We started Thursday morning all of us making the two hour journey from Atlanta. Once there, we all walked around the property picking out places that we might want to paint. Everyone scattered out to paint all over and tried to hide from the raindrops. We were pretty successful at that and produced some great paintings. There will be a slideshow of them for you to see the finished works.

Dinner brought out the food and it was wonderful. Diana had planned chili which was perfect for the cool fall evening. We had a great time telling stories before settling in for the evening. The moon just didn't cooperate!

Everyone made concrete leaves as a special event and they turned out great. They were especially neat because Sallie had brought some pigments that she had gotten on a painting trip to France. We put the pigments on the leaves before putting the concrete on them to make them look like fall had just been dusted into them. We had angel trumpet leaves, napa cabbage and ornamental cabbage leaves, but you can use any heavily veined leaves. Once you see them you'll get even more ideas of things that you can do with this process.

Friday morning we were a little late getting up... thought we'd be up alot earlier than 7:30. The coffee and smell of Sallie's breakfast casserole and other goodies gradually got the sleepy heads up. While we were getting things together to paint the new arrivals started coming in.

We began setting up our easels where we wanted to paint and got started. Some of them chose to paint in the studio with setups they had made from all over the house. We overcame a rainy day on Friday and produced wonderful paintings from the front porch, the back porch, under the porch, the bedroom windows, and the shed beside the storage barn.

Tracie and Judy were studio painters...

Rena and Diana were back porch painters ...

Sallie and Sally were painting outside under cover

We all had a wonderful dinner Friday evening and toasted those that couldn't come.

Sally did an encaustic demo; showing them the various tools, waxes and substrates.

Well, couldn't resist these candid shots.... check out those red house slippers!

We all had a great time!

Sunflower Farm near Rutledge, GA

We arrived early morning at the Sunflower Farm to catch the light. The "field trip" was pre-arranged about a week before the festival. The site was great for an artist, we painted plein air and also took lots of pictures for future paintings.

The old farm house, that is one of the farm's features, has loads of interesting artifacts that are paintings everywhere you look. We all wandered around looking for spots taking in the beautiful country scenery. They have a big garden area where they have planted vegetables along with a variety of different kinds of sunflowers. This area has planting beds with themes done in so many interesting settings from iron beds with flowers to whirly-gigs with bluebirds. Alot of garden whimsy and some great looking vegetables.

The property had vistas of the sunflowers. Donna chose to paint in a spot looking out towards the fields. Sallie chose a shady spot but got a great view of the fields of flowers. Arleen was getting pictures of the locals in this picture of her and Sally was out in the garden in this picture.

The old well was a perfect picture with the well bucket full of bright red geraniums. You'll see old farm implements surrounded by flowers just everywhere.

The next week there will be loads of people getting sunflowers. So as you can see Arleen and Sallie are selecting prime specimens for their bouquets.

We had a great day of painting and enjoyed the rewards of bouquets of sunflowers to take home for still lifes.