Daddy's Christmas Angel

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflecting on a Year Turned to Art - 2014

When I reflect on 2014, I realize it was a year that began and ended with art. Along the way, some lovely travel was sprinkled in.

Workshop students at GAMi ©Mary Montague Sikes
I love interaction with other artists, so what could be more satisfying than working with a group of adults teaching experimental painting. My workshop at Gloucester Arts on the Main was the first of many I taught or took during the year. I was happy to be part of Mary Anne Beckwith's class in Boone NC in August and, as always, enjoyed Karen Eide's encaustics class at West Point. In December, I taught my experimental painting class for Arts Alive in West Point.

Along came February-March and off we went to Palm Beach FL and Jupiter for St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training. We stayed two weeks and got to watch so many of the young rookies, including Oscar Taveras, the talented superstar of the future who later died in a tragic car accident in October. In the dugout photo below, Taveras is facing first baseman, Matt Adams, 32. Spring training is a special time when everyone is hoping and dreaming of going deep into the post season. The Cardinals came within one game of another trip to the World Series.

St. Louis Cardinals' Dugout Spring Training 2014 ©MMSikes
Late March, I put on my writer's hat and was guest speaker for the York River chapter of King's Daughters in Gloucester. In May, I enjoyed painting en plein air at Rosewell. For the event, I purchased a special French easel that I put to use again in September painting outside at New Town Art Gallery.
Painting at Rosewell ©Olen Sikes

In July and September, I participated in Pastel Society of Virginia art exhibitions. The first was at the Glen Allen Cultural Art Center.

In July we were treated to a trip to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, planned by our daughter, Allison. Our other daughters, Alicia and Amy, participated as well, making this a very special event. Because of their extreme interest in Aviation, we spent one day at the Aviation Museum near Portland.
Olen at Air and Space Museum ©MMSikes

During September, October, and November, I was excited to be a visiting artist at New Town Art Gallery in Williamsburg. It was fun to get to know most of the gallery artists and to participate in gallery events.
New Town Art Gallery at Night ©MMSikes

Enjoying the Tropical Setting ©Olen Sikes

 In September, we spent a week in Hilton Head SC and then a week in Puerto Rico. Those warm weather memories will help us through a cold Virginia winter.

November, we hung a huge art exhibition of 11 of my largest paintings at the new Ward Center for Contemporary Art in Petersburg. The opening night for that show will take place, February 13, 2015. We also flew out to Sedona AZ, landing in Flagstaff for the first time.

Ward Center Exhibition ©MMSikes

Sedona from Hillside restaurant ©MMSikes

In December, my dear friend, Mary Jane Tolley, hosted an art show open house for some of my work in her home. I loved meeting her friends and discussing my work with them.

Much more art than writing provided Notes Along the Way in 2014. Wonder what will happen in 2015 when my new book is released? We will soon see how the story of the artist in Evening of the Dragonfly will frame the new year.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - lots going on .. and I'd forgotten about your daughters vintage plane flight race ... and their major interest in Aviation ... so am pleased you were all able to meet up at the Air and Space Museum ...

Lots to look forward to in 2015 - good luck with all your projects .. Happy New Year too .. Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your life is such an adventure, Mary. I feel like such a stay at home slug now.
Here's to next year and your next book!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Hilary! Happy New Year to you!

Alex, I always longed to travel as a child and never did. Now, I'm trying to make up for that loss again and again! Thank you. Next year holds promise!