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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Preview of our Art for upcoming shows

We thought we would give you a sneak peak at some of the images we'll be offering for sale at our upcoming shows. Bob's digiital photography and limited edition prints from my watercolors will be available in different sizes. Originals are available as well for many of my images – some of the Italian paintings have already been sold! Send us a comment with your email if you want more information about anything you see.

Rosemary's Giclée Prints

Ristorante Fontanella di Porta Sole, Via delle Prome, Perugia

Via Carmelo, Acate, Sicily

Bob's Digital Photographic Prints

Little Saint, Good Friday, Enna, Sicily

The Screamer, Scicli, Sicily

Friday, January 25, 2008

Art Shows coming up!

We're been really busy here since Barbara and Art's visit at the beginning of January. We heard from them that their flight went well and they even got upgraded to first class. Very cool. We wish them well in the coming year and success in finding a buyer for their home in San Venanzo, Italy (http://www.expatsinitaly.com/blog/barb/)

We are preparing for a couple of art shows that we are participating in. The first one, an Artists Reception, along with the other members of the Milton Arts Guild (http://www.miltonartsguild.com/) is on February 9 from 4-8pm at the Milton Fire Hall, 116 North Front Street in Milton, Delaware for anyone reading this who lives in the area. The second is on the 7th of March at the Mispillion Art League (http://www.mispillionarts.org/), our local arts organization. The Mispillion group has a permanent gallery space, located at 127 N.W. Front Street in Milford in the recently rehabilitated Governor Tharp Building, a lovely old house in the downtown area. This is a Photography, Prints and Student Members' Show and another opportunity to exhibit our work. We've been busy having giclee prints made, building up an inventory, matting and framing and preparing to show our stuff for the first time since we've been home from Italy. It has consumed most of our time and we're excited to see how it will be received.

We've been doing our research and are targeting a few Art Fairs in the coming year, hoping to be juried in to some of the more exclusive ones and looking for other opportunities to show and sell our paintings, prints and photographs. We decided to focus on Delaware shows for the time being.

The weather turned much colder after the unseasonably warm days when Art & Barbara were here and we actually had a few days in the 20s. There has also been a lot of rain and some grey-flannel sky days. And more snow yesterday - just a couple of inches, enough to cover the ground and the roof tops. It really feels like winter should feel and aside from those very cold days, I'm enjoying it. The snowfall yesterday was lovely and the little ponds here in our neighborhood froze over. I saw a great blue Heron visiting our ponds and watched and listened to the sound of geese in formation flying over. One day I sat in the sun on the bench by the pond and watched them cavorting in the water there until the sun dipped down behind the houses and I got too cold. This morning I woke up early enough to watch the sky turning pink at the horizon. It looks clear and the forecast calls for sunshine. At 7am, few hardy souls were out taking an early morning walk, some with their dogs, others jogging by as I sit in my perch here surveying my winter world.

I forgot to include these few photos from New Year's Day in Cape Henlopen State Park. They show another side of the Park and I wanted to share that with you -- the Pineland's trail through the wooded areas. It is still amazing to me that these heavily wooded areas are so close to the beach.

Reflections of the sky in a pond

A bridge along the Pinelands Trail

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Art and Barbara in Delaware 1/6/08

Our friends Art & Barbara (of the blog "Art and Barb Live in Italy" http://www.expatsinitaly.com/blog/barb/ came for a visit about a week or so ago. They own a house in a sweet little town called San Venanzo, in Umbria where they have lived for the past 5 years. Originally from Kentucky, the fell in love with Italy, retired, sold everything they owned, bought a house, restored it and have been living happy as clams. That is until the dollar starting nosediving against the euro, making living on a fixed income more challenging. They have decided to return to the states and their house is for sale, if you are interested, check out their blog, with photos of the house and Barbara's wit and wisdom (not to mention some really killer recipes). They were home for the holidays visiting their kids and grandkids and took the time for a detour to visit with us. Art and Barbara are like the unofficial welcoming committee for American expats (or perhaps I should say english speaking folks moving over there). They are chock full of good advice and willing to help out wherever help is needed. We learned a great deal from them about how to be good hosts, to be available to people, without being pushy or intrusive. We enjoyed showing them around our little town of Milford and the surrounding beach towns and even took a spin around Dover, so they could see the state capitol. We wish them well on their future journeys and hope we can take them up on their offer of a place to stay while they are still in Italy!

Art & Barbara at Rehoboth Beach

Cape Henlopen State Park, New Year's Day 2008

We've been pretty busy since the start of the new year - only 17 days ago! After First Night in Dover we wanted to do something to start the year off right and took at hike in Cape Henlopen State Park, not far from where we live. My mother used to say that whatever you do New Year's Day is what you will be doing for the rest of the year. Or something like that! So I always try to do something positive, hoping it will stick. To say "hike" in this part of the world is kind of a misnomer because truth be told, it is pretty flat here. No majestic mountains to be climbed. But we did discover that the Great Dune, at 80 feet above sea level at Cape Henlopen, is the highest sand dune along the eastern shore from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina!

Cape Henlopen State Park encompasses nearly 4,000 acres. The Pinelands Trail winds through wooded areas and a side trail lead us out onto the beach where we walked all the way around the Cape from the bay to the Atlantic Ocean. It was very cool! We could see the lighthouse at Lewes and large numbers of shorebirds hanging out. There are campsites, picnic areas and biking trails as well as a Nature Center and small aquarium with local sea life. Since arriving in Delaware we've been fascinated by the series of World War II towers that dot the coastal areas. These Observations Towers were used to keep an eye on German submarine activity off the coast (who knew the Germans got that close???). We walked around the remains of Fort Miles, where lucky soldiers got to spend their war service at the beach in cushier accommodations that most G.I.s, protecting the beaches of Delaware from invasion.

The weather was pretty nice that day and we wore ourselves out exploring this lovely place. Here's a website with information about all the Delaware State Parks and Cape Henlopen in particular: http://www.destateparks.com/greenway/trailguides/autotour/sc/cape.htm . As you can tell, there's a lot here for us to explore and we've only just begun!

There was a bunker buried in the dunes

The dune grasses along the shore

A small side trail through the pine woods lead us to the bay

Sand dunes with the Cape in the distance

One of the WWII Observation Towers in the park

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!!

Dover's First Night, December 31, 2007

The city of Dover is about 20 miles north of us and we read about this New Year's Eve street festival with entertainment throughout the downtown and fireworks so we decided to check it out. There were musicians, dog acts, street games for kids, commedians and at least 40 different family-oriented events, scattered in buildings, churches, banks and storefronts in the state capitol to entertain and delight, from 3 in the afternoon until the stroke of midnight. It was really fun. The night was cold but calm and we had a good time.

An artist named Dan Dunn does this "Paint Jam" performance art. He creates what look like abstract paintings using big brushes and his hands to create portraits that are instantly recognizable once he puts the finishing touches on them. The music he paints to gives a hint as to whose portrait he is painting!

Fireworks at midnight lit up the 2008 as the lighted ball fell, we hugged and kissed and then made our way home.

George Washington's birthplace

George Washington Birthplace National Monument, part of the National Park Service is located in northern Virginia, 38 miles east of Fredericksburg and every time we go back and forth to Richmond, as we did for Christmas, we see a small sign indicating the turn off. On our way home this time we decided to take the detour and see what it was all about. We discovered an interesting visitor center with exhibits and a bookstore, the Washington Family Burial Ground (while he was born here, George is not buried here -- and he was 3 years old when his family moved), a living Colonial Farm with heritage livestock and tobacco, a Memorial House that was built in the 1930s that was supposed to represent what the house might have been like for prosperous folks in colonial times - although it was later determined that his house would have been much more modest and the outline of it was unearthed years later. It was a very interesting visit and we learned some things we didn't know about George Washington's early years. The site is lovely with views of the Potomac River.

Here's the offical site if you are interested: www.nps.gov/gewa/

One of the windows inside the reconstructed Memorial House we toured

Old red barn on the property

The birthplace homesite, the brick Memorial House on the right and Colonial Kitchen on the left

The joys of Christmas with a 3-year old

Chris reading Kyla one of her new books

Enjoying the heck out of a "Thank you Daddy" hug

Our little mermaid princess

"Can I open this one now?"

Raggedy Ann still brings a smile

Christmas in Richmond, Virginia

We spent Christmas in Richmond with our son Chris and granddaughter Kyla and Chris's girlfriend Lisa; Jessica and Nick were with us also and it was so great to be all together for the holiday. We arrived a few days before Christmas and did our share of cooking, baking, going out to see the Christmas lights and just hanging out together. Here are a few of the sights of our Christmas.

Going out to see the Christmas lights has always been a family tradition. Chris knew just where to go to see the best one in town. The cars were lined up around the block for this spectacular array.

Oh Christmas Tree, in the early morning light

Kyla had so much fun jumping into piles of autumn leaves on our night out seeing the lights.