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Monday, August 14, 2017

Postcards from the Lake: Art Camp

It happens every summer.


My friend Kate and I head north to the cottage. Our luggage consists of one wailing cat, several bottles of wine, really healthy food like crackers and veggies and cookies, and loads of paint!


It's Art Camp time! It is our own personal retreat to make art, count bunnies, catch up on all things lovely, take walks, and enjoy summer and all things creative.


Both of us had our projects. Kate is working on her third Birdiferous calendar which is sold every fall at galleries and our own Designing Women sale.


I was working on just being better at it all -- and on a few paintings for Jemma, including this one of one of her her wreaths.


It was a most productive time! For Kate, another month completed and more in the making.


For me, more Martha's Vineyard houses...


...a possible holiday card (still needs work)...


...and my cousin's cat, Woody.


Our neighbors had a wonderful arrangement of floaties on the lake. I loved the flamingo the most!


Although the floating tropical island was pretty cool!


For once, Lizzie was just a cat, not a model.


But I did take a crack at my first painting of Stimpy -- my very first cat. It's not quite right yet, but I think pretty close.


We took side trips to the farmer's market to stock up on fruit (and cookies). The last of the cherries and the early peaches which were some of the best Michigan peaches I've ever had!

 

And even diverged from watercolor to finish painting the window trim on the back of the cottage. The yellow is gone! Now I have to finish the rest, but this was a huge help and great cosmetic improvement!


Art camp fell during birthday week so Kate treated me to a wonderful dinner at Bennethums, a restaurant not far from the lake with the best menu in the north. (Certainly the best lemon buerre blanc sole!).


The wine pairing was terrific!. (I don't know if you might remember from this post last year, but I wrote that one of my favorite sites on my lake walks was seeing a dad pushing his stroller, walking with his dad and a their dog. This year, two babies in the strollers. Well, I learned this summer that he's the guy who has the restaurant! We gave them high praise when we saw them this time!)


The waitress heard Kate mention my birthday and brought us a complimentary strawberry shortcake. And it was made the way my grandma would have -- with a real biscuit!


The thing about art camp that really rocks is that there is no schedule. Oh, we might walk in the morning -- or in the early evening when the bunnies are out. On Wednesday or Saturday we'd hit the market. But it's pretty free form. We painted all day and as late as we could, enjoying the neighbor's next door who were great fun and also had the best playlist of music anywhere!


And it was relaxing. I've not been at my best with a nasty summer bug (and as I write this, bad enough laryngitis to sound like a broken squeaky toy.) But you look at the sunset, you feel the sand in your toes, you touch the paint. And all's right with the world.


I mean, with a sky like that, as little national news as possible and a floatie flotilla...


What could possibly be wrong?


Life is good.

43 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, oh yes, life is good. Love all the beautiful artwork. I like the floating flamingo and reflections. The wine and the dessert sound yummy. Beautiful sunset captures. So glad you are having a good time with your friend. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Art camp sounds divine! What fun to have a friend to spend quiet time with and paint!! Love your photos of the lake. You know I'm a big fan of your art and always always love seeing what you are working on. I hope you feel better soon! Hugs!

I need orange said...

What a lovely time. :-) Restful and restorative and productive and delicious.....

Thank you for sharing it with us. :-)

Valerie-Jael said...

It sounds like you're having a wonderful time - art, good company, a lovely cat, wine, great views - what more can one want?! Your art is wonderful! Hugs, Valerie

Joanne Huffman said...

Art camp sounds so nice!

Lynda Shoup said...

Looks like a good time! I especially love your paintings of the wreath and the houses of Martha's Vineyard. So lovely. To be able to spend time this way with a friend is a blessing, indeed.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

This reads like a fairy tale! I can think of nothing better than an art retreat with a friend! The lake photos are marvelous! This is what every end to summer should look like.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

OH, I am so envious of your time at the cottage! It sounds wonderful and that sky at night makes it all worth it. Happy Birthday!!

My name is Erika. said...

I think first float photo really says summer at its best Jeanie. I think your art week sounds fantastic. What a way to spend a week. And HAPPY BELATED birthday. I seem to have gone away for a few days and so many important things have happened to so many people. It sounds like it was perfect for certain!!!Hugs-Erika

Sandra Cox said...

Belated Happy Birthday!
OMG, I'm lusting for your strawberry shortcake.
Love your Martha's Vineyard House.
You certainly know how to have fun:)

Marilyn Miller said...

Oh I just love your art camp idea. What fun that would make summer celebrating. I need to think of doing something like that, if I only had a cabin to travel to. Second best is traveling to my cousins house and laying by the pool with a book and a cold drink or maybe do a bit of crochet. That is my plan this week. I will call it girl's week off.

Joyful said...

Fantastic scenes and happenings at the lake. I love you cat painting. I think they are excellent. The tropical scene on the lake is fun ;-) The shortcake and wine was a real treat and the sunsets over the lake, sigh. Very beautiful. Glad you are enjoying the waning days of summer. After such hot weather here suddenly the temperatures are much cooler where I live. At least for now but we are getting to that point in summer where our weather turns suddenly to Fall crispness. Fires continue burning elsewhere.

Stacey said...

Sounds like a slice of heaven to me!

Pom Pom said...

It looks like you're having a lot of fun! You look happy!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Trying to play catch up here. Sorry I'm so late visiting. Happy, happy belated birthday, too.

LOVE the watercolors and the camaraderie between you two and also between you and Lizzie. What a fun post. LOVED your father Christmas. It was fabulous.

Enjoyed the side trip to the market and thought the fruit looked especially great. What a great time the two of you must have had.

Red Rose Alley said...

Your paintings are sensational, Jeanie. And I love the one of Jemma's wreath. Isn't she so talented with making them? What a fun and relaxing time you're having at the lake. The food sounds wholesome and delicious, and CHERRIES are my all-time favorite fruit. Love that flamingo floatie. Jess saw one just like it this summer. Taking walks, seeing bunnies, sipping on wine, strawberry shortcake, painting, sunsets, Yes, LIFE IS GOOD!

~Sheri

Bella Rum said...

Love the floating floats! And your artwork.
This post sounds so lovely and peaceful. The world can be rocky and jagged at times, but there's so much beauty. I'm glad you're in a good place.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, your postcards make my day so sweet...Happy belated birthday! What a fabulous week for you and Kate. Your art work is beautiful and to just spend time doing what you love is such a gift! I love your painting of the house on Martha's Vineyard! Beautiful post!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

This is soul food, Jeanie. AND, it's fun to find out we are not the only ones who count bunnies! We counted a whopping 78 earlier this summer in just one morning walk!

LOVIN' the lake!

The French Hutch said...

You sure know how to enjoy life to it's fullest Jeanie! This looks like such fun, walks with a bestie, food and drink and art an lots of it! Enjoying your postcards for the lake........

The French Hutch said...

I forgot I wanted to say Happy Birthday!

Danielle L Zecher said...

Happy belated birthday! I hope you feel better soon.

I love all of the painting you've been doing, especially the cat pictures. Your time at the lake sounds just wonderful.

Victoria Zigler said...

I love this: "Our luggage consists of one wailing cat, several bottles of wine, really healthy food like crackers and veggies and cookies, and loads of paint!"

Art camp sounds fun, and I'm glad you were able to take the time to do it.

Feel better soon!

Carolyn Marnon said...

I am so envious! I would love to have a place to escape to where I can just listen to nature and do arts and crafts.

When was your birthday? Mine is August 2

My favorite pieces of art are of the kitty and the Victorian house. I love the colors you used in the house painting. They seemed to go together so well. I think it was the pops of red that drew my eyes to those pictures.

Enjoy the rest of your summer. And I assume the music play list and floaties from the neighbors was on the OTHER/natural side of your cottage.

Carolyn Marnon said...

I also wanted to say that I loved the photo of the wine glasses with the view showing through. I can't recall ever seeing a photo like that and it was very pretty.

La Table De Nana said...


How fortunate you both are to have each other as friends..to have this time..this space..together.
Love your art:) Charming..

You two have such wonderful smiles..and they light up the screen..they must light up the world too:)

Pam Jackson said...

Oh I love the wreath! You are doing such a great job with your watercolors. I Love it. Thanks for sharing the pics. Looks like a great place to visit and do art!

Sandra Cox said...

I like that wreath too......

Rita C. said...

Yes, Life IS good, and you are living it well, my friend!

bj said...

it sure looks like a great time...you are getting really good at this painting..xo

Barbara Fisher said...

Dear Jeanie, life certainly is good and sharing your fun time makes it even better. I just love the floatie flotilla and rather think I would have been tempted to try to paint it (not that I’m any good at painting, but I just might have had a go).
Happy belated birthday and get well soon. Hugs Barbara

BeachGypsy said...

So many pretty pictures!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the one of the toasting glasses, and the ones of the floats, so fun! Oh my---that dinner out looked delicious! Y'all are so very creative and TALENTED! Love seeing your projects, I truly love the martha's vineyard cottage. Hope you're feeling better and your voice returns to normal real soon!

Lynne said...

Now this sounds SIMPLY GRAND . . .
Your talent is inspiring . . . encourages me . . .
I think I need to purchase one of the calendars!
Art Camp sounds like the BEST TIME EVER . . .
Hope the "bug" has flown away . . .
I like you Peaceful Heart Person . . .
Let's invite our land into PEACE . . .
TODAY

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, Great photos and beautiful paintings! I've got all my watercolor supplies at our cottage and I hope to paint this coming weekend.

Polly said...

What a lovely post, art camp looks good, sounds like you had a great time. I've just found your blog via Mike at A Bit About Britain. I love your Martha’s Vineyard house. Lizzie looks lovely. I like the flamingo too:-)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Your art camp sounds AMAZING! What an awesome tradition to establish. I love that you girls don't have a schedule to follow and just see where each day takes you. I dream of doing something like this with my girlfriends during retirement! Also, the painted trim looks wonderful!

I hope you are feeling better by the time you get this comment. Being sick during your birthday week really puts a damper on the celebration. I hope you are on the road to recovery (while you are on the road to rendezvous w/ Rick!).

Tracy said...

Always love your Art Camp posts every summer, Jeanie! Your watercolor painting is growing so beautiful! Lovely to see what you've been working on... And the cottage looks wonderful--the blue and white is so happy, so summer. How CUTE was your first kitty Stimpy!! Peaches & cherries--LOVE those summer tastes! And those floaties are such fun! Good to see YOU! And delicious strawberry shortcake to celebrate YOU! (I'm with on strawberry shortcake--it's gotta be a biscuit! ;) Hope you are feeling better soon... ((BIG HUGS))

Silver Willow said...

what a glorious time! :)

RaeAbigael said...

great photos jeanie! and it sounds like a beautiful place to relax and unwind :)

xoxo, rae
http://www.raellarina.net

Tammie Lee said...

I hope you are feeling better now.
Your art week sounds wonderful! I would enjoy doing something just like that with a friend or friends. Lovely summer memories now.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Loved that, Jeanie - uplifting! Loved the photos, the narrative and, of course, the painting. I think I'd have just slumped somewhere shady, supped some beer (wine, eau de cologne...) and taken in the scenery. Have I missed a birthday? Happy birthday!

JenniferRipplespeak said...

I love your art camp:)
It's exactly the way I'd love to spend a week with friends!
Again, you inspire me to create in life. Again and again.
Thanks for sharing the journey, Jeanie.
Sincerely:)
-Jennifer

Jenny Woolf said...

Well, doesn't that sound nice! Your photos are particularly beautiful in this post.

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