Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Art on Vacation

I'm in Myrtle Beach, SC this week with the family, on a well-earned vacation. The change of scenery has done me a world of good. We're in a hotel room right off the beach. The kids have frolicked in the surf. Christina in particular has really enjoyed the water. It doesn't matter if it's the ocean or the pool, she's there. I've spent some time on the balcony overLooking the beach, sketching all I can see. We've driven around towards the Boardwalk on the Beach, and visited the Ripley Aquarium. Sharks, stingrays, fish, coral, sea dragons, horseshoe crabs...talk about inspiration galore. I'm in the process of doing research for fantasy art...and the aquarium visit gave me some ideas. The beach houses here have interesting architecture. Some have sweeping staircases, some have stucco roofs and patios like New Mexico ranch houses. Others are whimsically decorated in nautical themes, others have tall marble columns on the porch, ivy-covered walls, and iron gates. Even the restaurants have kitschy names ("Shiver My Pincers: Crabs and Cold Beer" anyone?) and the ninety million mini putt-putt courses along Kings Highway have a sort of...interesting charm. Aztec temples, pirate ships and misty greens? A jewelry kiosk in the local mall had nice pieces. Handmade necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I found a jade butterfly in a simple silver setting for about $25, with a silver chain included. Opals, jade, amethyst, Swarovski crystals...and designs from Egyptian ankhs to Celtic knots, and I trip ate wirework. It was thrilling to see a master jeweler at work and talk with him about techniques. My hands don't allow me to do a lot of wirework any more, but the designs gave me more ideas for future projects. My favorite vacations always combine family memories and artistic inspiration. This is definitely one of those. Annie

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