Last week, I taught a three-day workshop at the Art Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and I found it inspiring. Hilton Head is special to me. We have owned timeshares there for years and travel to the island once or twice every year.
|"Island Club Tennis Courts" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
It's amazing how much Hilton Head has changed since we first visited in 1980. At that time, there was one grocery store and not much else. We fell in love with the tennis at Island Club and still believe it's the best place for playing with friends. There are many tennis activities, but fewer these days as interest in the sport has appeared to dwindle everywhere. We loved the Dennis Van Der Meer
Tennis University from the first day we found out about it and took many workshops at the facility. We played with both Dennis and his wife Pat. It was part of the island adventure.
I also fell in love with the art galleries and found my first representation with Red Piano Gallery. The little house in the trees was enchanting, especially with the red piano displayed prominently in the windows of one large gallery room. After ownership there changed hands, I discovered Pink House Gallery which sold my pastel paintings. Later, Wexford Gallery came along and represented and sold my large acrylic works. I was thrilled and excited. Some of my work went into million dollar homes located on the island. Then, spaces and people moved, 9-11 happened, and everything changed in my art world. I also became an author, devoting more time to writing and promoting my books. Ironically, my first book signing for my first book was scheduled for 9/11/2001. Of course, that signing was cancelled. The timing for both my careers was wrong.
Perhaps that is why teaching artists' workshops on Hilton Head Island is so special to me. I feel a connection to the
|"Giving a Demo at the Art Academy"|
island and to the people who find it a special place to live or to visit. This year, my workshop was called, "Painting with Texture and Color". I've discovered that building texture with thick gesso works as well as using the heavy-bodied gel mediums. The students did a beautiful job creating with texture that way. We also worked with the glorious Robert Doak watercolors that become magic when used on Yupo.
It was a beautiful week with perfect weather. I wish we could have stayed longer.