Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Soulful Song in the Sea Fog

This is my first blog. It's not easy for me to begin, with so many other things to get accomplished in producing and promoting my art. So, here goes. Thanks for your patience as I learn the fine art of blogging from the little reading I've managed to fit in with Google and two books I found helpful to the blog-challengend among us; Darren Rowse and Chris Garret, ProBlogger, and Mark Bell, Build a Website for Free. These will help if you're considering a blog for your art. I'm still working on that personal website idea I started months ago. You know how it goes. I've always had a techie guru to do that stuff in the professional business world. This website is probably a beginner for me, but as it develops feel free to follow at I suspect that when I learn the ropes, I'll move to a host rather than a Google site.
The purpose of my blog is to network with other visual artists to share resources and information. We can also share our art, that's the fun part. I post my art at and at I find that most of my networking comes from fellow painters with etsy shops--I know, surprised me, too. I've met the most interesting painters and I've learned that each of us must constantly promote. No one is going to do it for you unless your rich uncle owns a gallery. We'll explore various promotion ideas in future blogs. Just having your work on websites will not sell your artworks.

My day began with a trip to "my island" to paint. It's really a combination estuary restoration with a marvelously restored park for the community of Tampa Bay. I frequent the park to paint on the shore with the shore birds, surfers, fishermen, boaters, ships, and hikers to keep me company. I often see dolphins swimming up the channel, playing in the water, jumping in and out as they breakfast along the way. I meet interesting people (wink-wink; nod-nod) and fun people that I enjoy chatting with and they enjoy my art.

Early morning sea fog blanketed the island yesterday and today and was slow to burn off. I had a chance to relax with my coffee, see where the tide was since I hadn't checked the high and low times, and survey birds on the shore and in the water. I used this time to take photos of seasonal blooms and a just off shore fisherman until the fog cleared. This venue is so inspiring to the visual artist.

This morning was just a whole 'nother experience on the inspirational level. I was so moved by the unexpected and highly unusual, that I produced five original paintings, small paintings. After unpacking my canvases and paint boxes, I sat watching the fisherman out in the bay and savoring my Mickey D's coffee. Suddenly the silence of the still morning was broken by a distant sound other than waves lapping at the shoreline. I turned in the direction of the sound, not sure what to make of it since the fisherman and I seemed to be the only two people on the island. After a few minutes I realized someone was singing.

Too far away for me to see from my painting perch, there is an observation deck recently built in the estuary that extends out onto the beach. A soft alto voice came from the deck. The song seemed to be a doleful dirge at first, then I realized that it must be a Christian song, sung in a very old mountain acappella style that I may have heard in my childhood. As the singer moved deeper into her song, the voice became louder and clearer filling the island with it's soulful message of indecipherable words. I don't know what she sang, but her soul reached out for all to hear and it was beautiful and touching. It was a movie scene, I tell you. The fog on the bay, the fisherman, me, and the voice in the estuary.

Such is the life of an artist, whether visual or performing, we gladly take any inspiration that is offered and paint or perform when we can. It was a great day thanks to a soulful song in the sea fog.

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