Friday, December 18, 2009

Morris Island Lighthouse

Watercolor - 6"x9"

Here's a small painting I did of the Morris island Lighthouse in Charleston Harbor.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CawCaw Botanicals

Watercolor - 22"x15"
Here's another in my "Botanicals" series. This is based on several photos I did at CawCaw Interpretive Center, Ravenel, SC. I plan to hang this at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Springmaid Beach Watermedia Workshop

Here's me and my good friend, artist Carol Simmons of Arlington, Texas. This was the last evening of our busy and intense week at the Springmaid Beach Watermedia Workshop in Myrtle Beach, SC. We met artists from around the US and Canada. Carol and I were both enrolled in John Salminen's workshop, "From Abstraction to Realism Through Design." We both knew that John is a realistic painter, and we were quite surprised and challenged to realize that we would actually be painting abstracts. However, John stressed design concepts and the workshop filled a large void that I have been feeling in my painting. It was wonderful to be able to spend quality, artistic time with my best artistic buddy, Carol.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swamp Grass

Watercolor, Acrylic Inks - 15"x22"

I love the abstract qualities of the outdoors. I came across these grasses in the swamp of the CawCaw Interpretive Center, a place Frank and I frequent. I experimented with acrylic inks for the grass blades, and the painted the water background and foreground in watercolor. This was such a relaxing scene to paint.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Outer Banks Lighthouses

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse - Watercolor and ink- 5"x8"
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - Watercolor and ink- 5"x8"
Currituck Beach Lighthouse - Watercolor and ink - 5"x8"

Aahhh!!! Vacation is behind us and all we have are great memories. Here's a peek inside my Travelogue of the other Outer Banks lighthouses I sketched on-site, then painted later back at our room.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Ink and Watercolor - 5"x8"
We're here at the Outer Banks of North Carolina for our vacation. We're staying in Kitty Hawk, but we've been moving around every day. I did this on-site sketch of the Bodie Island Lighthouse on Tuesday in my travelogue sketchbook, then I took photos with my digital camera so I could get the colors right and painted it later that evening and the next morning back in our room.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Florence Museum

That's Florence, SC, not Florence, Italy! Frank and I attended the opening reception for the South Carolina Watermedia Society Annual Juried Exhibition last Saturday evening. Here I am with my painting "Patience". I received lots on compliments from the other artists. When we entered, there were the dancers around the tall statue, which turned out to be a living person! The show will be up in the museum until November 30.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ribbon Girl

Watercolor - 14"x20"

Any ideas for a title for this painting? What does she say to you?

Friday, October 9, 2009

In Cuba

16"x20" Watercolor

At the outbreak of the Spanish American War, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments consisted of 875 African-American soldiers. The two cavalry regiments also included 42 officers who, by law, had to be white. Buffalo Soldiers were the first to reach the crest of San Juan Hill. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders rushed from adjacent Kettle Hill to join the fighting on San Juan Hill after the Buffalo Soldiers were engaging Spanish forces along the crest.

My grandfather served in the U.S. Army in the Spanish American War in Cuba in 1898, where he contracted malaria and survived. This image was painted in his honor.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Resting in Camp"

16"x20" Watercolor

In the decades following the Civil War, scores of African Americans served in the U.S. Army in the West.

The Plains Indians dubbed them “Buffalo Soldiers”as the texture of their hair resembled buffalo hair. Their
record in the infantry and cavalry, a record full of dignity and pride, provides one of the most fascinating
chapters in the history of the era. This painting is based on a historical photograph.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Marching Into Charleston"

16" x 20" Watercolor

On February 8, 1864, the 1st. SC Volunteer Infantry, Colored U.S., was re-designated the 33rd United States Colored Troops. Combined with two other regiments (one white and one black) the 33rd made their first assault on a fortification at Battery Gregg on James Island, in Charleston. The combined forces began their attack on July 2nd, 1864 and captured the fort that day. In December, 1864, the 33rd participated with the 55th Massachusetts at the Battle of Honey Hill, a costly defeat for federal forces. In the final year of their service, the 1st S.C. was part of the union garrison of in Savannah and Charleston. They were mustered out of service on February 9, 1866 at Fort Wagner, above the graves of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts.

This painting is another in the Moja Visual Arts exhibit, "I, too, America," at Charleston's Gaillard Auditorium through October 30.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Drummer Boy"

16" x 20" Watercolor
This is another painting that is featured in the Moja Visual Arts exhibit, "I, Too, America." The exhibit is a group show featuring five women who offer our visual interpretations of Langston Hughes' 1925 poem entitled "I, Too." The artists are Marty Biernbaum, Arianne King Comer, Jacqueline Johnson, Karole Turner Campbell, the show curator, and myself. The show will run through October 30 at Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Hellfighters Return"

16"x20" Watercolor

The 369th Regiment, or the “Harlem Hellfighters” was the first African American Regiment to fight in World War I. Although General John J. Pershing wished to keep the U.S. Army autonomous, he loaned the 369th to the 16th Division of the French Army. Supposedly, the unreported and unofficial reason why he was willing to detach the 369th from American command was that White American soldiers objected to fighting alongside the Black troops. The French had no such problem and were happy to accept the reinforcements. The African American troops' bravery earned the entire regiment the "Croix de Guerre", the French government's highest military honor. This painting is based on historical images of the return parade in New York City for the Harlem Hellfighters.

"Arriving in France"

16"x20" Watercolor

While the Great War raged in Europe for three long years, America steadfastly clung to neutrality. It was not until April 2, 1917, that President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. "The world," he said, "must be made safe for democracy." Quickly, Americans swung into action to raise, equip, and ship the American Expeditionary Force to the trenches of Europe. Among the first regiments to arrive in France, and among the most highly decorated when it returned, was the 369th Infantry, more gallantly known as the "Harlem Hellfighters." The 369th was an all-black regiment under the command of mostly white officers. This painting is based on a historical photograph.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Standing Proud"

18"x24" Watercolor
Former slaves from South Carolina were among the first Black soldiers to strike a blow for freedom durimg the Civil War. Long before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation ex-slaves from the Sea Islands along the south Atlantic coast were engaged in skirmishes with Confederate forces in the Union occupied area between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. These men eventually became the First South Carolina Volunteers - African Descent (SCV) and is credited as the first regiment of colored soldiers mustered into Federal service. They were known for their forage caps, frock coats and red pants.

This is the center piece of an an exhibit,"I, Too, America," that opens this weekend at Charleston's Gaillard Auditorium as a part of the Moja Arts Festival.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flower Girl

14.5"x 20" Watercolor

I just finished this painting yesterday. I had seen this child at a wedding last summer and I knew then that I had to paint her, so I took loads of photos of her there. This is what I came up with. I just love her hair!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Watercolor 14"x20"

I was ecstatic to learn yesterday that my painting "Patience" has been accepted into the South Carolina Watermedia Society 32nd Annual Exhibition. This is the third or fourth time that I had entered this competition, and the first time selected for this prestigious show! The show will be at the Florence Museum of Art, Science and History, Florence, SC, October 17 through November 29, 2009. Frank and I will travel there on October 17 for the awards luncheon and later that evening the opening reception.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I, too, sing America...I, too, am America

8"x10" - watercolor and India ink

I can't believe it's been almost 6 weeks since my last Blog post. Sorry guys, but I've been busy painting - getting ready for an upcoming show. I am very honored to have been invited to participate with 4 other women artists in the Moja Visual Arts Invitational Exhibit at Gaillard Auditorium in Charleston. The show will be hung September 22, and will be up until October 30.

The theme were given comes from the first and last lines of the Langston Hughes poem "I, too"..."I, too, sing America... I, too, am America". Here is my artist's statement about this show:

“My marriage to Col. Frank Hamilton, US Army (Ret) in 2005 has brought me a much more personal awareness of military traditions and history and the sacrifices of many, particularly black soldiers. My mother had told me that my grandfather served in the U.S. Army in the Spanish American War in Cuba in 1898, where he contracted malaria and survived. Other than that, we know very little about his military service. I have since discovered that he served in what was considered a Buffalo Soldier regiment. I decided to use the theme of this exhibit to honor my grandfather and others of color who also served America in the period from Civil War and through World War I, at a time when just being a man of color in this country was a liability. My pieces will depict soldiers of that era.”

The image above is not a painting from the show, but rather is an entry in the journal that will accompany the show on the same theme. The show artists as well as others will post entries and the journal will be on display at the show. (Though I thought I was finished painting for the show, I am seriously considering doing an entire painting based on this image. Do you think I should?)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Caw Caw Morning

I received notice yesterday that after a 2-year display at the CawCaw Interpretive Center gift shop, my painting CawCaw Morning has SOLD! What a much-needed sale it is, too! I still have another painting of CawCaw in the gift shop. They also carry my notecards and prints of the CawCaw images.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Caribbean Girl #8

3"x4", framed in a 8"x10" frame

Here's the last of my Caribbean Girls for a while. They are also on my online store. I need to be devoting time to an upcoming show that I have been working on. More about that later...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Caribbean Girl #7

Watercolor 3"x4", framed in 8"x10" frame

This is another of my Caribbean Girl miniature original paintings. They go great in a small space, and make great gifts. They are available on my online store.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Caribbean Girl #5

3"x4" - Watercolor

I've been working on my Caribbean Girl miniatures again. This will be framed in a 8"x10" frame. I'll soon have them available on my website and online store if you are interested in an inexpensive original, tiny painting. Look for other new Caribbean Girl miniatures on this blog soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Girlfriends' Book Club

Last night I hosted the Tenth Anniversary Meeting of My Girlfriends' Book Club. We are a group of 8 ladies who meet once every six weeks or so to dine, perhaps sip a glass of wine, discuss a book, laugh a lot, and generally have our "Estrogen Fix" as my husband says. The book I selected for discussion was "The Air Between Us" by Deborah Johnson. I gave everyone their choice of a small framed print, each with the inscription "My Girlfriends Book Club, Tenth Anniversary, 8 Girlfriends, 80 Fun Meetings, 80 Good Books - Let's Read On!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alluette's Jazz Cafe

"Green Spikes"
12"x16" Watercolor

Alluette Jones-Smalls is opening her new place - Alluette's Jazz Cafe, 137 Calhoun St, opposite Marion Square in downtown Charleston this Friday evening. She has invited me to be her first featured artist. I have hung 16 of my paintings including my Dance series, six of the Uptown Charleston paintings and my Shoes series. They will be open 11:00 - 2:00 serving light fare - sandwiches, etc. Hope you get a chance to drop by.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Col. Hamilton's Uniform

18"x24", Charcoal

I didn't post last weekend as I usually do, - caught up in the mundane. I haven't painted in a little while either, but I'm working on that. Here's a drawing I did of Frank's dress uniform. I hung the coat under a spotlight on my easel with a tray table beneath to hold the pants, tie and hat. I covered the paper with compressed charcoal, and then erased out the light areas. It was quite a messy job, (charcoal dust was everywhere!) but fun. I used a little white pencil to enhance some of the highlights. To make a smaller print to frame for him, I added his ribbons taken from this photo I have of him, his uncle, Col. Jimmy Carr, and his cousin Sgt. Maj. Bill Carr in uniform.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Final Day Ink Sketch

8.5"x11" - India Ink of Printmaking paper

This ink sketch was made with a live model on the last day of Drawing I. We used India Ink and a brush. We mixed different strengths of ink with water. I started with a light pencil sketch then I painted on the lighter shadow areas. As it dried I proceeded to the darker shadows.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Final Self Portrait

18"x22" - Charcoal on printmaking paper

This is what I turned in as my final self portrait for critique in my Drawing I class at the College of Charleston. I started this with a pencil sketch, then went over it with charcoal pencil and vine charcoal when I felt like I had the image right. I'm glad the course is over, but I did have a great time in it, and I learned at whole lot of stuff! Now time to get back to some serious painting! Comments welcome!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Self Portrait

18"x24" - pencil and graphite stick

Here's my drawing class hard at work on our self-portraits. We started them in class and we're to finish them at home and turn in tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Unitarian Church Cemetery

18"x24" Charcoal on paper

Our Drawing class spent one afternoon at the Unitarian Church Cemetery on Archdale Street in Charleston. We were to do a landscape of whatever we saw. Many of my classmates plunked down on the ground to draw (we were warned not to sit on gravestones), but I found a lovely bench near this beautiful tree. It was most relaxing to sit there sketching. I now realize that this course has "loosened up" my drawing a bit. Do you see my classmate in this drawing?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Figure Gesture Sketches

16"x22" Charcoal on paper
We're doing the human figure these days in my Drawing class at the College of Charleston. We were given five minutes to do a "gesture sketch" of the female nude model using compressed charcoal. Then the model turned and we did another 5 minute sketch from a different angle. The first few poses were 1 and 2 minute sketches, (and really hard to capture) so by the time we got up to these 5-minute sketches, I had a little more practice.

Friday, April 3, 2009



I finished this earlier this week. I had a great time working on it. Any ideas for a title?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Martha Lou's Kitchen

This is my newest addition to the "Uptown in Downtown Charleston" series. My daughter loves this painting, because this was her late Daddy's "Spot"! In fact, it is featured in the recent Post and Courier 2009 Restaurant Guide as one of the top 3 restaurants for "Lowcountry Comfort Cuisine." They called it Ms. Martha Lou's "pink palace on Morrison Drive." I didn't know about the Restaurant Guide feature when I decided to paint this - I just thought it looked cool and I wanted to paint it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Charcoal Drawing

Charcoal on paper - 18"x24"
This was my Drawing I homework from last week. We were to draw an interior space in correct perspective, determining eye-level and the vanishing point. I drew this while sitting in our den, looking through the kitchen and laundry room into the powder room. I drew with vine charcoal, which is a challenge for me, but I love the effect.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Townes Hamilton Barber

Here's a pencil sketch I did for practice at the hospital the day grandson Townes was born, March 2, 2009. The sketch was done while I looked at the screen of my digital camera at a photo I had just taken. The sketch was done in the maternity waiting room while Townes and Mommy were getting ready to move from delivery to their hospital room.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Prints - "Girl With a Gold Earring"

Prints (unmatted) are now available of "Girl with a Gold Earring" either from my online sales store with credit card on PayPal or by calling me directly at 843-763-5279. The print size is about 12"x16". Cost would be $25 plus SC sales tax in SC and plus shipping. The original painting is up for sale too!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Honorable Mention

I'm pleased to announce that this painting I did for the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens special art exhibit "Girl With A Gold Earring" won an Honorable mention ribbon (and a small cash prize!) It is for sale at my Online Store.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Uptown in Downtown Charleston" PRINTS!

By popular demand, I am finally able to offer unframed poster-style prints from my show for purchase. Check them out at my Online Store. They are available matted and will arrive in a flat shipping carton, ready for a 16"x20" frame with glass or Plexiglass. You can also order one unmatted, 12"x16" and would come to you rolled in a mailing tube. I am completing and uploading new prints for this show everyday, so check back soon if you don't see your choice, or contact me via email at or phone at (843) 763-5279.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Posters Anyone?

My show "Uptown in downtown Charleston" at the Charleston County Library has been going well. Lots of folks have written me wonderful notes in the Comment book at the exhibit. Several folks have even purchased paintings. (All paintings will be on display until February 28.)

A few folks asked about prints. I'm working on developing POSTERS of the images in this show. Would you be interested? The size of these individually signed posters might be about 13"x16", with the wording as shown above. They would be unframed, but I could offer them matted to fit a 16"x20" frame. What do you think?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Uptown in Downtown Charleston

This is my exhibit at the Saul Alexander Gallery in the Charleston County Library, through February 28.