Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coastal Cottage Art Inspirations

Welcome.  I am so happy that you stopped by. My garden gate is always open for you to come in and sit and relax with a cup of tea while I share with you the inspirations for my art.  I have been busy finishing up new Coastal Cottage paintings for the Heart of the Island Gallery and painting some old favorites for new customers before I take a break to have my 2nd total knee replacement surgery next week and wanted to share a few of them with you as well as answer the many questions I receive asking "where do you get the inspirations for your coastal art"?

I grew up spending summers with my family at my Grandparents' beach cottage at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  They built the cottage on the sound side of the island rather than the ocean side  so their grandchildren would be able to swim, fish, crab, boat, front of the house and my Grandmother would have a yard where she could plant her beloved flowers.The house had rambling porches over looking the sound with rockers on the porch and wicker furniture on the grassy lawn.The cottage was filled with mismatched blue and white china, jelly glasses filled with flowers,  baskets of sea shells, stacks of books, blue painted furniture, and a charming cottage style garden. It was a glorious old cottage and had a lasting influence on me in decorating my home and garden in the colorful Southern cottage style and later in my art.

                     Bentley, my Studio Assistant, is waiting patiently to assist with our tour.

As a child I spent hours picking flowers and arranging them at the old cottage. I still love to pick flowers from my own garden and arrange them in simple containers to paint.

                    The seashells I began collecting as a child and books I have collected over the years now end up in my art!

I collect  vintage wicker furniture that reminds me of those lovely Summer days spent at the old beach cottage. The older pieces go outside in the garden and the better ones go inside.  It is no surprise that they end up in my art as I love to paint the simple - everyday things that I live with and love.

This chair was the inspiration for the painting above it!

I love to group containers filled with flowers in primary colors around the outdoor wicker and then paint the grouping.

I no longer have this wicker set however, I still use the photo of the settee in some of my paintings (it was a freebie and finally  gave out after a long life ).

My blue and white china ends up in lots of my paintings - it has almost become my "signature".

The yellow umbrella paintings are very popular and I repainted two with Catalina Island in the background for customers. Catalina Island is located 27 miles out from Newport Beach and is an iconic destination with buildings built in the 1930's.  It has the feel of going back in time and is a place that my family and I spent have spent lots of enjoyable times since moving to Southern California many years ago.  All my life has been spent near the water and ocean and it has definitely had a big influence in my art.

Our son grew up in Southern California and spent his summers  with us on our sailboat at Catalina Island and those are his coastal memories.  He now has his own boat and spends lots of time at Catalina.  I painted this porch overlooking the ocean with Catalina Island in the background for his birthday.  I added the vintage orange Vespa to make it more masculine as he is looking for a vintage  orange one to buy and he also plays the guitar.

The little chair paintings were inspired by my flag  and primary color pillows.  This chair in my living room was the inspiration for them!

Now that I live in Southern California just a few miles from Balboa Island I find similar inspirations for my coastal art on the island as the Southern coastal inspirations I grew up with as a child.   The Balboa Pavilion is an iconic 100 year old historic landmark on the Newport Bay and is located across the bay from Balboa Island.  My clients on the island love for me to paint it in the background of my coastal porch paintings.

Flags fly all over the island and I love adding them to my coastal paintings.

This is a popular painting of the Thursday afternoon races on the Newport Bay and I have painted it several times.

This painting was inspired by the cottage shown below on Balboa Island with the model sailboat in the window overlooking the Balboa Pavilion.

I am so lucky that I can  spend lots of time on the island walking Bentley, my Studio and Garden Assistant, painting and soaking up the charm.  The gallery that carries my Coastal Cottage Art (The Heart of the Island) is located on the island and I feel so fortunate to have my art on sale in such a charming and delightful gallery that supports local artists.

                                             Inspirational Cottages and porches  on Balboa Island 

Thank you for stopping by.  I sincerely appreciate you visits, e-mails, comments and those who follow my blog.  I will be back in a few weeks after my surgery and will post some photos of my Summer garden.

Have a lovely week.   Blessings,  Erin

                             The meditation of my heart shall be understanding."  Psalm  49:3

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fourth of July In My Garden

Welcome. I am so glad that you stopped by. My garden gate is always open for you to come in, sit and relax and have a cold glass of lemonade. Can you believe that the Fourth of July is almost here? Seems like I just finished my Spring planting and now I am in my garden adding festive touches to celebrate our Nation's Birth Day!  I have been running round getting all of my pre-ops done in preparation for my 2nd knee replacement surgery in 3 week and have not had time to write a new post. I decided to share with you this blog post from 2010 as it is one of my most viewed posts - my blue vintage bicycle with the American flags  seems to be very popular on Pinterest and I have added a few new photos. 

Let's join my helpful studio assistant, Bentley, and I will share with you some of my festive touches and a few more new flea market and "thrifty" finds.

The old wicker shopping cart gets moved around a lot with seasonal items - flags for memorial Day and Fourth of July.

 The large red tray cost $2.00 and set on top of the old red wagon makes a great little serving table

Another old tool box in my favorite color - blue - makes a darling little planter.

The adorable little blue bird house with painted flags is  another flea market find. Anything old and weathered has a special place in my heart and in my garden.

I bought the paper umbrellas last year at the end of the season for a few dollars - opps - turns out the were on sale for a reason as they do not open all the way. They were so cute I opened them as much as I could and used them anyway.

I thought the funny one that did not open looked like the perfect fit for the little girl to sit under - the shape reminds me of a fairy house.
I bought the red, white and blue bucket from Wallmart for $9.95 and it is just the right size to fill with ice and cold drinks or beer. The red and white check chair covers ( I showed them to you a few posts back) were 2 for $10.00 and they are made from outdoor fabric The are also from Wallmart.

The white wicker vase is actually a candle holder and is perfect for flowers when not being used for a candle.

The vintage picnic basket was a "free to you" find.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I love hearing from you and sincerely appreciate your visits, comments and those who are following my blog. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see me paint something special.  I will share some of my new coastal art with you before I take a blog break for surgery.

"How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity."   Psalm 133:1

Sending you and your family Blessings and Best Wishes for a lovely Fourth of July.

Thank you to our Service Men and Women and their Families on this special holiday for giving up so much to protect our freedoms both here and abroad. God Bless you.