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It has been sometime since we’ve talked and I do apologize for that.  Have been in intense study and have created some new pieces, which will be presented weekly, for your enjoyment.

The Courtyard, the first in a series of two, exhibits old Caribbean construction.  Just imagine, walls that are 6 inches thick, made from the sea sand and hand plastered.  In this presentation, “The Courtyard” I have attempted to capture, to the best of my ability, the image in my mind of a 1600 structure.  A large family could live together within this old Caribbean style home.  As you gaze into the arches; which leads into another part where perhaps grandparents may reside and upstairs a newly married son or daughter would enjoy the benefits of being close to family while enjoying private time together.Image

When I sat down and began drawing out this piece I felt a rush of energy and couldn’t wait to get into the actual painting.  I chose a larger canvas in order to be able to display all the details.  My color palette was selected; pinks, yellows, purple, blues, light orange and grays, let’s not forget a beautiful blue for the Caribbean sky.   When all was ready I sat down and began painting “The Courtyard“.   With each brushstroke the picture began developing onto the canvas and I was thrust further to its completion.

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My Island Farm

It has been a while since I’ve chatted with you and wanted to post a photo of my newest piece of artwork done in oil. I usually paint with acrylics and attempted to use oil paint; which was a bit challenging at first, but as I got into it, was the best feeling I’ve had in years.

When I started on this piece, I was hesitant, but decided to go forward and get it done.  It is amazing that we get stuck in “what is familiar” meaning working with my acrylic paints.  Moving to the oil paints was exciting and ultimately a nice medium to work in.  Now oil paints and I are going to become good friends.  I do want to increase my skills and offer a wider variety of paintings.

Am planning another book in 2012 which will feature the new pieces since taking professional art classes.  Would like to share something personal as well.  My instructor, Brent Miller or RemBrent Academy in Plantation, Florida is a good teacher.  Having to sit there and listen to me fuss a bit about my work, then bring me into the piece.  The words I enjoy hearing the most is, “You’d nailed it Dixie”.   Then I know I did it right.    Several of you have written to me and expressed some concern about the change in my artwork.  I am attempting to develop my skills as well as artwork.  I will remain a primitive artist with a few new touches

My Island Farm

This painting, My Island Farm, is a good idea of the direction that I will be taking with my artwork.  I do want to remain brilliant with my color selections and subject matter.

As the sun begins to set over the island farm, the clouds creates a beautiful reflection on the landscape as they slowly sail across the afternoon sky.

My Island Farm, 11 x 14, oil on canvas and is available for sale on my website:  http://dixie-lee-hedrington.artistwebsites.com/

As previously discussed, I have been waiting for the beginning of my summer art project and the day has finally arrived.  I drove into the parking lot of the Margate Elementary School in Margate, Florida, my level of excitement and anticipation grew.  Have always wanted to work on a bird house project and, finally, the opportunity to do it came.

Birdhouses (Traditional, Castle & Pirate Ship)

Would I find that Picasso I’ve been looking for?  Will the students enjoy the bird house project?  How will they approach the designing of the house?  Well, I can report that there are a few Picasso’s among the group; each student had the chance to pick their particular bird house and with that option, they designed each one with “gusto”.  I thought it would have been so nice to give everyone an option of traditional house, pirate ship or castle.  You already know the boys took all the castles and pirate ships, don’t you?  I am indeed proud of the results for the first week.

Julieta working with students

Having the assistance of my good friend and international artist, Julieta Conde Canal, we were able to get to each student in order to direct them carefully with color selection, layout and highlights.  Julieta is currently on exhibit at the Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts in Plantation, Florida.  Her paintings are vibrant and happy.  Each brush stroke takes you in a new direction and leaves you hanging at the end of her paint brush.

The class will meet on Wednesdays for 2 hours and I look forward to touching each student with an appreciation for art.

Group Shot Everyone!

Next week’s project will be picture frames – a frame will be customized by the students using paint, stamping or decoupage techniques.  Of course, I will post a few frames on Facebook.  Please search on A Journey Into My World of Art and click LIKE.    See you next week!

The opportunity to be selected and invited to exhibit my artwork for the City of Miramar, Florida came with great excitement and appreciation. The City of Miramar is located on the dividing line between Broward and Dade County’s in Florida. I was not totally aware of the large Caribbean population, but am extremely pleased to be asked to exhibit my artwork for their upcoming CARIBBEAN HERITAGE MONTH in the month of June, 2011. The exhibit will be available for viewing at City Hall in the lobby from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm daily – Monday through Thursday.

MIDDAY 16x20 Acrylic on Canvas

The address: City of Miramar, City Hall (lobby) 2300 Civic Center Place, Miramar, Florida 33025. For more information about the exhibit, you may contact the Event Coordinator Lolita Dunn (954) 602-3325.

As a self-taught artist, I am indeed pleased to be on exhibit and will be showing new pieces for this event. The opportunity to create and exhibit has become paramount and I have started taking art classes to improve my skills. Anyone interested in taking class with proven results? RemBrent Academy, Instructor Brent Miller, BrentMiller5525@yahoo.com. I am extremely pleased with the level of instruction and attention to each student.

The new painting, “MIDDAY” is a preview of what’s to come for this exhibit – This is my presentation of a day at the day right at noon.  Imagine having the entire beach for yourself as you walk along the shoreline kicking your feet in the sand and water or taking a stroll under the coconut trees.

I look forward to seeing those of you that are visiting Florida for the month of June and for those fans that are too far to attend, do appreciate your following my work over the years.  To book a new exhibit, please contact Dixie @ (305) 469-6009.   See you at the exhibit!

It is a little hard to think about an artist taking art classes, isn’t it? Being a self-taught artist had it’s advantages, but now that I am in the museum and look forward to other opportunities, I’ve decided that being better prepared would be the best way to go.

Imagine walking into the classroom on my first day, taking my seat, greeted my instructor, Brent Miller, of the RemBrent Academy in Plantation, Florida and looked around at my fellow classmates. It was the most exciting day that I have had in a long time. It was also my moment of truth… the chance to finally learn to draw. Of course, publishing my book, A Journey Into My World of Art, was nice; the purchase of my home the following year and the opening of my studio felt great. Let’s not forget the museum exhibit, which is still ongoing: Feb. 5 – March 26, 2011 and now the chance I have dreamt of since leaving high school… being professionally trained as an artist. I am taking the attitude that no matter what he says about my work can hurt my feelings. I really want to be better and must take his critique and instructions in order to become the artist I want to be.

I look forward to producing larger pieces of artwork on canvas, increasing my palette knife collection and working on portraits.  Two special paintings to be created when I have completed my classes will be for the SeaSide Inn on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.  They were commissioned by Celia for her sister Lou’s restaurant.

 

Dixie looking forward

Here’s Looking at my future.

 

What a beautiful event! The opportunity to be on exhibit at the Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts is one that I will remember the rest of my life. I must admit, it was not on the front burner of my Objectives List, but I am so grateful for this chance. I anticipated painting for another decade, a few more gallery showings, submissions to art competitions or even a few private showings, but to be hung in a museum is every artist’s dream and I am living my dream today.

Dixie w/ art exhibit

The exhibition of my artwork will be on display from February 5th through March 26, 2011; visit the website: http://www.smofa.com/ Address: 7080 N.W. 4th Street, Plantation, Florida 33317.

 

I was so happy to see the turn out of guest at the museum, but even happier that my friends and fans came to the opening; one couple drove all the way from West Palm Beach to support my art and that really made me feel good. The response of the guests to my particular art form was uplifting. There were 6 main artist and several students being presented that evening. My work, of course, has a Caribbean flavor and I was the only presenter with that venue. My overall goal is not to paint the Caribbean exclusively, but to incorporate scenes from South Florida and various places that I travel. Alaska and Turkey are on my agenda within the next two years, so look forward to seeing some great paintings from

Featured were the

Broward Women's Chorus

Broward Women’s Chorus with famous Broadway Tunes and my favorite, West Side Story. Their musical presentations were a culinary delight to the ear. I may consider joining their group… just joking! Also featured is Celia Hermon, my biggest fan, who presented congratulatory roses. Thank you Celia for supporting me all the way to the museum.

Celia Hermon

 

Good News! As you know, I am self-taught and have been able to get this far with my art, but have started taking professional art classes… next showing will demonstrate taking my art to the “next” level in deed.

I had several ideas for this week’s discussion and decided to say thank you for following me in the development of my passion… Art.

So many years ago when I knew I wanted to be an artist the only fan I had was my mother, Frances Hedrington. She would look at each drawing I finished with such wonder; the simple expression on her face encouraged me to want to create another. Would you believe each drawing or painting I created, I would get the same response? The pursuit of receiving that expression forced me to work harder to complete another piece faster, one day while sitting on the floor drawing and coloring a new piece, mom looked over my shoulders and said, “You can do better than that, can’t you?” It was the first time I really took a look at what I was drawing and realized all my compositions looked the same. It was my moment of truth! There it was before me – the realization that in order to be better, I would need to develop a wider variety of pieces and hopefully each new piece taking me to another level.

Of course, the fact that I did not have formal training was a factor to consider. How will I be able to create a more realistic composition? I started looking through an old encyclopedia (back then we didn’t have the internet so had to research everything at the library or through books on our shelves.) I also visited the local library and checked out art books – mainly the Masters, relied on the National Geographic magazines each month and not just looked at artwork, but drawings of animals, landscaping and building structure. Two famous Virgin Islands artists that caught my attention, first, were Albert Daniel and world-famous Camille Pissarro. When I read up and viewed their works, my light blub went in the on position. I was, from that day, inspired to do my best at becoming an artist.

THE COTTAGE 20 x 16 acrylic on canvas

Shown here is a favorite painting, “The Cottage” – displaying Caribbean architecture, with our Danish red roofs, French influence on the rod iron gallery (porch), English construction of the structure and beautiful plants and flowers provided by the Caribbean herself.

As the years passed, I worked harder, painted more pieces and with each completed project, I saw the growth I wanted begin to develop. The opportunity to show my artwork came in 2006 – the Bottom’s Up Restaurant in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands where the owner, Tina, glanced at a piece of art I was showing a friend and immediately came over and offered me a show. Since then, several small galleries, art shows, newspaper articles, along with the publishing of my book, “A Journey Into My World of Art” and today in 2011, I am so exciting as I prepare for my upcoming exhibit at the Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts in Plantation, Florida which takes place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 @ 6:30 p.m., and will be on exhibit until March 26, 2011.