If you’ve never ventured into Wales from England, Scotland or Ireland, do so, immediately! If you are a fan of natural beauty and our earth’s glory, the gorgeous and rugged terrain is something you won’t want to miss.
My better half and I drove straight through the country from the border of England to the Atlantic Coast, halting in Barmouth to visit family there. Though way too short, the ride was stunning and I took zillions of photos from my passenger’s seat with the intention of doing a series of paintings on this lush countryside one day. Stay tuned for those, but for now, here are a few examples:
It’s the end of summer and after a long walk with my faithful hound, Brody, our four-year-old yellow lab rescue mix, I decided it was time to capture some of the lightness and joy of summer in an easy-breezy work of art.
Behold: Summer Delight. It’s a mixed media piece of acrylic and inks on paper and both the 8 x 9″ original and copies are available through Fine Art America.
If you’ve ever been to Acadia National Park in the early morning, or overlooked the Penobscot Bay at the edge of Bar Harbor, Maine, you’ll know the feeling… unspoiled beauty, nature, serenity. Above all, beauty and clarity. This pristine area, along the New England Coast, is exquisite and breathtaking in its natural, unspoiled beauty.
I was there not long ago, staying at Wave Walker Bed & Breakfast, treated to some of the finest cuisine and lodgings Surry, Maine has to offer. Hosts Donna and Phil were great and, well, I’ve come away with this little beauty of a watercolor painting I call Acadia Morning. The foreground depicts my artist’s take on their property as it overlooks the bay and Cadillac Mountain in the distance.
The 9 inch by 12 inch original on Arches 140 GSM paper is available via Saatchi Art along with a few other high quality giclee options. Alternatively, you may purchase any number of licensed iterations of the painting, from notecards to duvet covers via Fine Art America and Pixels here. They make great gifts for the Acadia fan in your life!
Like my stuff? You can also connect with me on Instagram – @MauraSatchell and Facebook too.
As you might know, I make visual art as well as write. Recently, I’ve noticed an interesting thing. I work by two different mental processes when creating, depending on whether it be by words or pictures. Here’s the scoop:
The other day I was asked about my process in writing my (insert shameless plug here) second novel The Gray Lady of Long Branch (Four Pillars) and in explaining my strong dedication to the organic process, I also mentioned I work in silence. No music, no television, no people (if I can help it, but that depends on how close to deadline). I do this because those external distractions would dim “the voices in my head.”
I know what you’re thinking: Get out the straightjacket. =)
In all seriousness, though, I can only describe it in this way: Thankfully, I type blindingly fast, so, I process my thoughts in my brain and type to follow up. Usually it’s my own thoughts, but sometimes, I get the voice of the character, or a reminder voice of an old professor, or some other voice coming to me. It informs the process of what I’m doing or downright puts the dialogue right into my mind, accent at all.
When creating visual art, I find creating to music pleasant and sometimes very helpful. It seems to free up my work so my strokes are less controlled, more flowing and easy. The most striking marriage between my painting and music came several years ago when I was working on this Druid Tree painting for a solo show at a fabulous restaurant in Nashville years ago. I was painting to Dave Matthews Band and still remember the feeling of that union as I created that work.
How about you? Check in and tell me what type of art you work on and about your music or non-music preferences. OR, take this conversation to your favorite social media channel and carry on the discussion there!
After a couple of years in the country, we relocated back to Nashville where I went through two years of high school before another move to Murfreesboro, an hour south of Nashville. During my high school, I got involved in school programs, ranging from sports – basketball, track and swimming – to acting (yes, acting!) and church (I was secretary of our CYO group) and even earned a 100 hour badge as a candystriper volunteering at the local V.A. hospital.
Despite all these activities, the transition to Murfreesboro was tough since I’d left some close, wonderful friends behind during a crucial time in my teenage years to try to gain acceptance in a school where most everyone had grown up together. I processed my feelings in writing and escaped into books even more. In fact, I often got in trouble for reading off-topic in class — even honors English class.
I absolutely loved writing and felt comfortable doing so. So much so, that in college, I frequently wrote other student’s term papers along with my own. I left school to earn a paycheck, married young and soon had a couple of children and life as a stay at home mom bringing in a little side money as a sportswriter for a local weekly paper and then working as a stringer for another local newspaper.
My tumultuous six-year-marriage ended so I entered the ranks of the 9-5 employed in customer service. A few years later I remarried a wonderful man — my best friend — and continued to work, too busy to write. I returned to school and received a B.A. (cum laude, I might add) in Mass Comm from Middle Tennessee State University. While there, I was writing for the school newspaper and as a stringer with the Tennessean, covering some random stories from a major pollution issue to the cotton crop’s prospects to tragedies such as a young boy dying from diabetes.
After graduating, I moved into a fulltime reporters role with a suburban Nashville daily paper and wrote for a few years longer before deciding a corporate communications job would be more lucrative. I simultaneously joined forces with a friend of my brothers and co-wrote a screenplay and, with my partner’s approval, wrote the subsequent novel based on the story. It gathered dust on a shelf as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raged on but I’m glad to say became my first published novel, Empty Sky, which was finally published in 2014.
The art came into play this way: My two sons joined different branches of the military and served in Iraq. They both served in the infantry and both were embroiled in some of the worst fighting during our years there. My eldest, a Marine, was in Nasariyah in the beginning of the war which was described as “a Turkey Shoot, with our Marines as the targets.” My younger son was in the mechanized infantry in Anbar Province where half-ton IEDs were the widow-makers and son-stealers.
I’ll be honest. It unbalanced me for a few years. Not that I became a raging alcoholic or ended up in an institution. Rather, I let anger and outrage over what I perceived as an egregiously ill-advised course of action eat away at me. I was bitter and intense and outspoken and not a pleasant person to be around.
Then I found art.
My sons were stateside and safe and I was able to let down my guard. With a makeshift studio beckoning, I taught myself some basics and took classes and workshops and found a community of fellow artists to paint with. It was the release I needed and at once my soul felt so much lighter!
Technological advances sent my consulting business the way of travel agencies, and forced me to find steady employment. I did, and have since moved to Florida with my husband. Thankfully, we have a great home with a great studio and separate office where I can paint or write as is my inclination. I decided after finally publishing Empty Sky last year to take a stab at completing the sketch of another story I’d started years ago. Over this past several months I finished it. It is my sweet second novel The Gray Lady of Long Branchand it’s being released August 25. I hope you’ll consider reading it!
Four years ago, Sweden-born painter David Sandum came onto my radar promoting his “Twitter Art Exhibit” (TAE) It was his philanthropic idea to put out a call to artists on Twitter for small postcard-sized works he could sell to raise funds for a local nonprofit based in his hometown of Moss, Norway.
The genius behind the successful TAE was a very simple, resource-light idea: broadcast the call to artists only on Twitter with a link to David’s blog, which offered more details about the charity organization and specs for artists’ entries. That first exhibit garnered works from around the world – a total of 264 postcards were sent from artists in 24 countries. It raised the money to buy 221 new children’s books for the Moss public library.
Cut to March 2014, when his Twitter Art Exhibit took the Orlando art community by storm. This time, there were more than 600 participating artists and the event raised $7,050 for the Center for Contemporary Dance Special Needs Program in Winter Park, Florida. Orlando is a short drive from my home and studio, so I not only contributed a pair of works to the cause, but attended opening night to meet David and his lovely wife, as well as the other directors of the growing organization and TAE fans and fellow artists from around the country and abroad as well.
After connecting my face with my twitter handle (@MoesseArtist), David learned about my first book – Empty Sky – and we discussed writing and publishing. He’s about to launch his own book and I daresay it is one very important work, because of its content and the person he is.
Though born in Sweden, David came to the States to attend college. Upon graduation, he was about to return to Scandinavia, he became deeply depressed. The condition defined his life for many years thereafter and he was hospitalized and institutionalized and spent more than a decade in therapy. David took to art as a form of therapy and in 2002 had his first exhibit.
He tells his story in a gritty memoir written about the healing process, the artists who inspired him and how art ultimately saved him. I am a tightwad but have purchased an advance copy of the book I’ll Run Till the Sun Goes Down: A Memoir About Depression & Discovering Art because I was blown away by the advance chapter I was sent to read and review, and I know that David has jumped through a tremendous number of hoops to gain copyright permission to include 40+ images of the works of some of the artists he references in his tome. We’re talking Van Gogh here, people!
Speaking of Van Gogh, I’m an admitted latecomer to art and may be off base, but I think his brushwork reflects a strong influence from Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. See for yourself by checking out examples of his earlier works at this blog post by James Day. For more information about David’s book and to preorder it, visit his Publisher’s author page.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Leave a comment here or tweet about this post using the hashtag #SandumPreorder will receive a 20% off coupon code for an autographed copy of I’ll Run Till the Sun Goes Down AND all those who preorder a book will be entered into a drawing for a signed, limited-edition etching (below) by the artist/author himself entitled “Writing My Memoir.” A total of 10 will be given away.
In case you haven’t heard, the Tampa Bay area has been overwhelmed by water the past week and a half. We were fortunate and avoided the early onslaught as we escaped to Maine for a beautiful wedding and a fantastic soul-soothing respite at the Wave Walker Bed & Breakfast overlooking Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Ahhh… the fresh sea air, the glorious fields and flowers, the incredible food and hospitality afforded us. Big thanks to Donna and Philip Doyen, our hosts at the B&B, and to our lovely Walsh/Mason and Vickery kinfolk up there and best wishes to the lovely bride and groom.
For the trip, we flew Southwest Airlines into Manchester and drove the coastal interstate route up to Acadia. On the way back, we took Route 1 and fell in love with the adorable towns we meandered through. We did stop in Rockland where the Farnsworth Museum is. It features a couple of Wyeth exhibits right now and many other wonderful works. Since Andrew Wyeth was my first art love, we thought it appropriate to stop in.
It was very hard coming back, believe me! But return we did. To rain and humidity and heat. It’s been okay, though, since I took this opportunity to refine a couple of old paintings in need of more tone and tlc. I also did an abstract that I am proud of and started on a painting of sunflowers.
If you enjoy these, you can purchase copies, notecards and even duvets of them at this site.
The 2015 Twitter Art Exhibit was held in Orlando and opened on a Thursday night during the First Thursdays Art Event in downtown Orlando and I made the trek solo from work in Lakeland. No big deal since it is only a hour or so each way. While there, I allowed fate to step in and made the acquaintance of a lovely visitor from New Hampshire – Kathrine Piper – and her young middle-school-aged daughter. When I discovered they were going to get a cab back to their hotel, naturally I offered them a lift. It was, after all on my way back to Hillsborough County and that first part of the ride would be toughest to navigate.
Kathrine’s lovely, incredibly talented and a dear, sweet, generous soul. And I coveted her submission to the 2015 TAE. I offered to pay for it in advance and have her send it directly to me, but of course, that goes against the spirit of the exhibit and event. So… she offered to paint me one herself. And it came today! Yipee! Isn’t it gorgeous?
It’s all about the Plant City Strawberry Festival these days! The festival starts next week, but art submissions are due in today. So… naturally, I submitted. I am bummed because I was in such a rush I was unable to get good photos of one of them before they were framed, and to me, it’s the most special of all.
So, I started this painting for my very first show in Nashville. It was spring, 2010 and it was to be one of about 25 original paintings for my month-long show at the fine Nashville restaurant The Mad Platter, located in the Germantown section of Music City, across the river from the state capitol.
Nashville at Night, as I’ve always called it, was not the largest painting on display there by any means. That honor went to a 36 x 80 inch work that was (happily for me) acquired within a couple of weeks of the opening by a private collector. NaN did not sell. I’d priced it very high, figuring if someone wanted to acquire it, it would have to be at some cost. While I could paint another similar to keep on hand, it wouldn’t be the same as that very first one, painted just before the traumatic and city-defining 2010 flood. In fact, the show was to open that Sunday, May 2 and had to be postponed by one week’s time.
Nashville at Night has been with me through several other shows since. It now graces a wall in our home in Florida and I’m so very glad I was able to keep it. I’ve recently been commissioned to do a similar painting of New York City for a collector overseas. Looking forward to the opportunity and will present the final product here for your viewing pleasure.
PS: If you like this particular painting, fine art print copies and canvas copies are available through the following online sites: