Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holy Ground.....a Terrible Beauty - (sold)

14"x18" oil on canvas.

"Hope and Memory have one daughter and her name is Art, and she has built her dwelling far from the desperate field where men hang out their garments upon forked boughs to be banners of battle. O beloved daughter of Hope and Memory, be with me for a little."
- W.B. Yeats

This has been one of the most delightful challenges I've taken on! This is a commission from a collector who already owns one of my Irish landscapes. This location is one of his favorite places - Old Head Golf Links, with a few artistic liberties taken to include favorite memories of the place all in one scene (such as the weather, the Stone of Accord, the light-house, etc.). The rugged coastline is what always fascinates me - Old Head is a diamond shaped 'island' connected by a land-bridge in the Kinsale area of Ireland. It is a magnificent place.

In collaborating on a painting such as this, I always encourage the collector to 'name the painting' they have chosen to commission. I knew there was a story behind this when this collector chose: "Holy Ground...a terrible beauty".

"The Holy Ground, the euphemistic and inaccurate name for a rather bawdy section of the docks in Cobh, County Cork, is also a traditional Cork ballad...allegorically thought to refer to Ireland, the refrain:
You're the girl that I do adore
And still I live in hopes to see
The Holy Ground once more

There's more .....the song was played by a lone piper upon the arrival of Tiger Woods et al at Old Head the first time he played there (July 1999)......quite a gala......

A "terrible beauty" is of course stolen .........

All changed, changed utterly
A terrible beauty is born

Easter 1916, W.B.Yeats"

Ah, there's not much I love better than a good story...but a wonderful scene to go with it!


I do regret the lack of blogging lately- so much has been going on, and I'm still in the thick of it. The shows and events in Norfolk, VA last weekend were wonderful! I did sell the 'pink house' - "New York Lady" - right away. And it seems I may have a new place to show my work in Norfolk!. More about that in a following entry!

My regular blog followers know that I've recently moved one daughter down to Fairfax, VA, from up here in CT. Now her sister is on her way down there as I write this. I'll follow on in the van tomorrow. Yes, it's just a family mini-van - but it certainly feels like a moving van!

Friday, October 23, 2009

New York 'Lady' - sold

10"x8" oil on Belgian linen on board (Raymar)

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”
- anonymous

This is a private home on New York Avenue in Norfolk. Beautiful fuchsia in color with such interesting trim, I found it quite interesting as it was backlit, and deep in shadow - so it was in contrast to the sky. As the afternoon wore on the sky grey a bit more cloudy & overcast - so I'm glad I indicated those contrasts right away (& stayed with it). I'm looking forward to our 2 events Saturday evening -
"Out & About Norfolk Plein Air show from 6 to 8pm at the Monticello Arcade, 208 East Plume Street. Park in the South parking lot of the MacArthur Mall, it's a block over. Then from 7-10pm is the juried art show "Artists Supporting the Arts Gala" at the Ballet Virginia International on 700 21st Street in Norfolk. I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Window to Rowena's Tea Room

12"x9" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar)

“Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.”

- Jean Houston

From the time we are children and are just tall enough to see into the windows of another place, we begin to open our eyes to rich possibilities. As we grow, we still love to go "window-shopping"...not to buy a window -mind you...but to fill our senses with new possibilities. It is a continual 'feeding' through out our lives. As artists, we see not only items in a window, but reflections on the glass, shadows cast by the morning sun, and reflections of color on painted surfaces. This morning I painted at Rowena's Tea Room in Norfolk, and was treated to the most wonderful sensory experience. They are one of the 'Adopt-an-Artist' locations in this weeks Out & About Plein Air Paintout in Norfolk. I felt like a princess this morning, and was treated so wonderfully...and the gorgeous weather was certainly a bonus! I am one tired person this evening as I write this blog entry. More for tomorrow!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Coming Events!!

Exciting news!!! These three paintings have been juried in to the upcoming "Artists Supporting the Arts Gala" sponsored by the Ballet Virginia International and London Square Gallery of Norfolk, VA. Jurors for the show selection are Ann Dearsley-Vernon, Director of Education, Retired, The Chrysler Museum and Mr. Ed Gibbs, Former Director of Visual Arts Department, Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth. It will take place at the magnificent new Ballet Virginia International Norfolk studio, showcasing 80 pieces of visual art in all mediums. For more information, check out this link, the event takes place this Saturday- October 24, 2009; 7-10pm. This is a ONE NIGHT ONLY event, be there in all your glam!

****The fun never stops in Norfolk!!! There's also an amazing Plein Air Event going on this week in Norfolk as well. Artists from the region and beyond (yeah, I'm one of those beyonders!!) will be "Out & About" all over the city painting some of these places close to your heart. As a former resident of the city, I'm looking forward to getting back into town for a double-dipper of fabulous painting events. Early Thursday morning, WTKR - new Channel 3 will provide coverage of the morning of the Artist's Breakfast! Blaine Stewart & Barbara Ciara will be joining us (at 5am!) Hello Morning Show!!! Thursday I'll be painting at Rowena's (gourmet food store-need I say more??), 758 West 22nd Street. Friday, I'll be painting at the Earnhart's pink house on 511 New York Avenue. There were so many interesting sites to choose from - I'm really excited about this opportunity! Saturday we take our framed wet paintings (fresh off the easel) to the Studios At Monticello/Monticello Arcade, 208 East Plume Street & 211 East City Hall Avenue in Norfolk. Parking in the south lot of Macarthur Mall. The show event is Saturday evening 6-8pm!
Please visit this link for more information! - or this one:http://www.studiosatmonticello.com/schedule.html for more information!

***Finally, lest you think I've been goofing off, basking in the warm glow of show planning happiness; I've been completing a commission of another wonderful place in Ireland. I think I've got the finishing touches on it last night! I'm so excited!!! More to come about that in the next few days!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Deep Secretive Sea- Irish Fishing Boat, Portmagee Pier, Ireland

8"x8" oil on cradled hardboard panel

"Deep secretive sea,
Tell me
A little something
Of a boat,
A sail,
Even an oar.
A coil of rope,
A sailor boy,
A ship full of joy,
A breeze on the bay,
Sun stricken waves,
Dolphins at play,
A sea-raking prow,
Green hills on the bow."

- from Sea Secrets, a poem by Michael Kirby in the book, "Skelligs Sunset"- 2006.

I've been wanting to paint this colorful boat from the moment I saw it. Some of these scenes I paint from this area of Ireland remind me of some of Michael Kirby's poetry. His last book of stories and poems, "Skelligs Sunset" contains this poem, "Sea Secrets". I've included just a portion of it with this blog entry (above).

For purchase information, email me: roxannesteed@gmail.com

Exciting news - I'll be participating in "Out & About Norfolk" on the dates of October 22-24th. It's a plein air paint-out & show. Please visit this link for more information! - or this one:http://www.studiosatmonticello.com/schedule.html for more information! I'll be packing up my gear to head down there next week for the event!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sheep on a Misty Morning, St. Finian's Bay - sold

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel (Raymar)

I really enjoyed this commission - the antics of sheep (especially the babies) are so funny to me. They always make me smile. This collector wanted to commemorate her travels to Ireland with her favorite memories!

It was quite a productive day on Friday, framed up some of my newest paintings to show at Total Design Source in Old Saybrook, CT. If you've never had the pleasure of a visit, it's such a beautiful place! The rest of the late afternoon was spent on framing other pieces & completing some show entries.

Exciting news - I'll be participating in "Out & About Norfolk" on the dates of October 22-24th. It's a plein air paint-out & show. Please visit this link for more information!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Punt By Portmagee Pier; Ireland Series

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

"Be like a postage stamp - stick to one thing until you get there."
- Josh Billings

This certainly looks like a handy little boat! It's from my trip this past summer over to Ireland. Portmagee is such a pretty fishing village. It's a real treat to walk down by the pier and see the different boats there. It's also cool to see what gets brought in from sea! (and if it will be on the Bridge Bar menu pretty soon!-yum!).

For purchase information, email me: roxannesteed@gmail.com

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Quiet Cove, Calm Morning- Long Island Sound- sold

5"x7" oil on gessoed masonite panel

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
- Charles Dickens

I used to walk by this place every morning for three years. This past year we've moved a bit further inland, not far, but just enough that I have a five minute drive to the Sound. I can hear the fog-horns sometimes, the hoot of the warning-horn of the draw-bridge from 'down-town' Mystic. But I do miss being closer to the water. I just love the sound of waves crashing & rolling, the smell of salt water, the varied sights near our coast-line....near any coast-line.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mystic Seaport and the Charles W. Morgan Ship

9"x12" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."
- Twila Tharp

I'm re-posting this one from early summer, in case you missed it! Yesterday I took the long drive up to Providence, RI to go get some more art supplies; paint, panels and canvas. Art supply stores are such a delight! Saturday, I'll be applying gesso to my panels to prepare them for painting(trying out some new panels), continuing one commission, and beginning another! Looks like I have a fun day ahead!

For more information about this painting, please email me: