Painted on a Theme

Painted on a Theme


Each summer the members of Associated Women in the Arts are invited to participate in a group exhibition at the Elizabethan Gallery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The owner of the gallery sets a theme so the show will be cohesive, and the theme is broad enough that all members, regardless of their style and subject preference, can participate. The theme this year is “Hot Southern Summers and Fantasies” which can be interpreted in a lot of ways, not all of them rated “PG.”

So, in my usual fashion, I waited to begin my oil painting about a week before leaving town for a few days. The framed artwork is due the day after my return. And, of course, I had no idea what I could put on canvas that represented a hot southern summer and a fantasy that did not appear risqué or trite.

I went through a backlog of reference photos on my computer and saw the photo I made a few months ago while visiting a little place in Gulf Shores, Alabama called “The Flying Harpoon.” It’s a place where the locals come in for an adult beverage and some good bar food, tourists stop in to check it out, and everybody knows your name, sort of. There is live music a couple of days a week. The staff is very friendly and professional. But the biggest draw for me is the awesome view of the marsh from the deck. I was able to photograph the reflection of the sinking sun just before a rain shower one afternoon and have wanted to paint the view since then.

<View from the Flying HarpoonThe artwork is a vision of my fantasy place…a place where the golden sun sends those pinky-orange rays reflecting in the water broken by the lavender and violet marsh grass. Of course, the painting in my brain looks nothing like the one I created. That is the great thing about being a painter…I made one and I can do it again!

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