Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tides Inn Makes an Inspiring Setting for Art and Writing

Monti painting at Tides Inn
The setting at Tides Inn on the Chesapeake Bay is serene, scenic, and inspiring for both artists and writers. Throughout the year, the Inn has Art Shows three different times--Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Christmas season (usually the first Saturday of December). The Memorial Day and Labor Day events are two days each--the Saturday and Sunday preceding the Monday holiday.

During this year's Memorial Day event, I watched the many jewelry-makers who participate put their time to good use by creating bracelets and necklaces during times when few people were inside browsing. I was envious and considered becoming a jewelry-maker, not that I need something else to do.

When I got the invitation to participate in the Labor Day Art Show, I considered not going. After all I wasn't ready to make jewelry and I wanted to do something productive while I was there. Then, it struck me. I did some plein air painting in Williamsburg one day last September, enjoyed it, and produced two paintings that I really like. So I suggested painting at Tides Inn. However, they were concerned that I wanted to use water media including acrylic paints. Then I thought about my pastels, a dry medium I love and have used for years. To my delight, pastel painting met with approval.

Since I like to stand and work on an easel, I gessoed two canvas panels ahead of time and experimented from there. Over the weekend, people stopped to watch me work. Some of the jewelry-makers and other artisans watched, too. It was fun and productive. I wound up with two virtually completed paintings.

Boats at Tides Inn - MMSikes
As a writer and photographer as well as an artist, two days at Tides Inn is time well spent. People come in from their boats. I love to chat with them and tell them about my books, many of which are set on islands they may have visited. Although I hoped for some book sales, I didn't make many. I was encouraged when I learned from a manager that jewelry sales were the first to go down when the recession hit. Now those sales have been the first to come back. The jewelry-makers did well at the show. I learned a lot, enjoyed the delicious free ice cream on Sunday afternoon, and I created two new works of art.

As an added bonus, I used a photograph I took at Tides Inn on Memorial Day weekend as the source material for one of the paintings. The dramatic setting on the Chesapeake Bay is indeed inspiring for both art and writing.

Mary Montague Sikes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You are just such a creative person, Monti. Glad it was a successful show for you!

Monti said...

Thanks, Alex! Tides Inn is a beautiful place to visit. That's inspiration enough!

Lorna Collins - said...

Sounds like a perfect match!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Jewelry is big everywhere I go. I do think that any different place is probably better than a bookstore.

Monti said...

Thanks, Lorna, for visiting. It's a perfect match for me!

Monti said...

Jewelry is big here, for sure. Thanks, Marilyn, for commenting.

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