Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review of New Art Retreat from Women Artists

Artist, Michele Lee review:

I have recently had the opportunity, along with another artist and friend of mine, to be the first guests at the Art for Art Lovers Retreat. Let me tell you, it is a dream come true. I am going to try and write a review on it, but keep in mind…I am NOT in any way a writer.

The retreat is situated in the historic part of Ft. Payne, Al. The house built in the 1890’s, was true to its character. Sitting atop a hill, the teal green home with white trim almost called to us. As we pulled in to the circle drive we could almost feel ourselves opening up. The large trees and the view of the mountains close by, were all we needed for inspiration. Once we stepped into the back door, we knew we had arrived at the home of a true artist. There were paintings everywhere, soft comfortable furniture and a wonderful eclectic feel from the décor. We felt that we had come to visit family.

We arrived at the art retreat on Saturday and were given the day to ourselves to become acquainted with our surroundings, unpack and get settled in. Our host Ann Hamilton was nothing short of amazing. She gave us the space we needed for that first day. Soon our right brains would be thrown into the art. Taking one day to settle into the home and the slow pace helped us to unwind and let go of the busy world we had come from. We do suggest that you schedule enough time at the retreat to do this.

The retreat is not a place to be pampered and catered to but yet a place to snuggle into for a time of healing. A place to submerge oneself into the creative surroundings and the ability to paint at whim any time of day or night. We made sure that we had gotten enough groceries (lots of healthy food) for the week. There was going to be no stopping us once we got started.

For the next week we spent our time painting, napping, talking, eating and generally enjoying the right side of our minds. Ann provided us with a space to spread our creative wings. She also was able to teach several classes according to our different skill levels and requests. I had taken classes before but was pleasantly surprised at the amount of art that was produced this past week. The ability to learn a new technique and then apply it to a canvas for as little or as long of a time period as I like, was a gift.

Every day at the retreat was a new adventure. A new lesson learned. And a connection with God and art that was almost overwhelming. We visited the nearby Desoto Falls and had lunch at the Wildflower Café. We spend time getting to know our host and letting her know us. Ann Hamilton is a woman who is filled with an abundance of art and spirituality. And we left this retreat with much much more than we bargained for….something I cannot even put into words.
If you would like to read more about the retreat you can visit Ann’s website at

Or you can get a little closer look into our time there by visiting or

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chattanooga Miniature Society Workshop with Kathie Depew

Chattanooga Miniature Society
Fun Day 2009 "In The Conservatory"
Chattanooga, TN

What: Kathie Depew of Cotton Ridge Designs, LLC will be teaching a
One Inch Scale Garden Accessories class on Saturday morning at the
Chattanooga Fun Day 2009

When: Friday, April 24 & Saturday, April 25th. A variety of classes
will be held all day Friday and Saturday. The Sales Room will be
open free to the public on Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00.

Where: Comfort Inn Conference Center, 6710 Ringgold Rd., East Ridge,
TN. Phone direct (423) 893-7979 and mention the Chattanooga
Miniature Society for special room rates.

Description: Chattanooga Miniature Society has held a "Fun Day"
weekend at this location annually for several years. A variety of
classes are offered every year. A registration fee applies. This
year the classes include: a Vineyard Cellar Room Box, Gardener Doll,
Dish Garden in 1" Scale, 1" Scale Garden Accessories and more. A
Sales Room holding 8 - 12 vendors is open Friday evening and Saturday
morning to registered participants, and Saturday afternoon free to
the public from 1:00 to 4:00.

Contact: For more information contact Becky Wheeler at or Winifred Holloway at 423-629-2742.

For more information about Kathie Depew visit her website at:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Featured Artist: Betty Burchfield

"Midge" by sculptor Betty Ruth, copyright

"Judith" by sculptor Betty Burchfield, copyright

"Cathie" by sculptor Betty Burchfield, copyright

"Betty Ruth, self portrait" by sculptor Betty Ruth Burchfield, copyright

Betty Burchfield AKA "Little Reb". I am an artist and also sculpt porcelain dolls. My Biography and dolls are on my website at and my oil painting website is

God gives us all a gift and what we do with that gift is our gift to God. He has opened many doors for me in both my businesses and has blessed me so much.

"Create today the dream that you dreamed yesterday"

Betty Ruth, began the endeavor of Doll Making when her Granddaughter Jessie, wanted her to make a "real Cinderella dress" for her Barbie Doll. Betty could not find a "real" Cinderella pattern so decided to design this doll costume herself. Before she had finished the outfit, she had orders for more Cinderella dresses and for other costumes.

Betty had always had the desire to be a fashion designer, but never dreamed it would be for dolls. This talent and her background in art has resulted in her own line of patterns.

For years, Betty was a portrait artist and attended Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Mo. Now, she says she doesn't paint "Dolls"....she paints "people". She gives each a name and "personality". Thus, a hobby has become a career with Jessie, of course, as Betty's "partner"...continued

To read a wonderful story about how God helped Betty sculpt and create "Debbie" below please visit: "The Miracle of Debbie"

"Debbie", by sculptor Betty Burchfield, copyright

Vicki Garner: Marguerite Rose Burton Art Show

Hey everyone,

Just wanted you all to know that I will be competing in the Marguerite Rose Burton Art Award Show from April 19th to April 30th. You are all invited to the "Meet the Artists Reception" to be held Sunday, April 19th from 1 pm to 3 pm at the MRB Gallery next door to the historic Crockett Theatre in Lawrenceburg, TN. There is no charge to attend the reception. Light refreshments will be served.

In conjunction with the show is a themed art contest in which the public will vote for their favorite painting so I hope that many of you will be able to attend and hopefully vote for my painting, lol. The theme this year is "Coffee, Tea & Me". The painting that I did for this theme is attached below.

This is a wonderful opportunity to view some beautiful art work and meet the artists who created it.

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Huntsville, AL: Monte Sano Art Show accepting applications

The Monte Sano Art Show is taking applications for their 2009 show now. The show this year is September 19th. 

Featured Artist: Hugh Banks

Various Gourds by Hugh Banks, copyright

"Gourdeo Lamp and Gourdtrola" by Hugh Banks, copyright

"The GitGourd" by Hugh Banks, copyright

"The Dulcigourd" by Hugh Banks, copyright

Gourdin’s Story

Spring. Soil. Dark. Rain. Sunshine. Sprout. Blue. Photosynthesis. Roots. Taller. Trellis. Bloom. Tiny . Bigger. Bigger. Tougher. Dry. Cloudy. Cooler. Mold. Cure. Hard. Rattle. Craftsman. Artist!

That’s my story. As one of many gourd seeds sittin in a Wal-Mart display, I never even dreamed of what I might become.. Perfectly happy where I was, I dreaded the thoughts of lying in the mud in a pouring rain. “Sprouting” sounded painful…..too much “unknown” in this growin’ thing !

But, thanks to the mighty hand of God….things went well. And after all the growing and drying (and some adjustments made by my ole buddy Hugh) I hope you’ll like what I turned out to be!

Gourdin A Long

About the artist:

I believe that the ability to create art and music is profound evidence for the existence, majesty and generosity of God. What a blessing for Him to bestow on humans a measure of His creativity!

As I have observed our terrestrial orb, I have determined that what we see in the natural world is definitive evidence of a Creator….just as art is evidence of an artist. I have never seen a blank canvas turn into a beautiful painting without the application of intelligence, energy, skill and design.

One of God’s myriad of gifts to mankind is the gourd. I find them so very intriguing…..never knowing what they might turn out to be! So very practical to our forefathers….and so predisposed to beauty and creativity in the art and music realm!

Long before Tupperware and glass,….mankind used gourds in the fundamentals of survival. They were also used in some of the earliest musical instruments.

Gourds and I started getting together about 8 years ago. I had been painting oil portraits and various other more "mainstream" works for a while……but also became interested in the "natural canvas" of the gourd.

It seemed that God had provided a natural "craft store" right there in the garden!

As a musician, I am drawn to their natural utility as the basis for stringed instruments. Here you can see two of the instruments. One is a dulcimer. (the "dulcigourd" …….a friend says it looks like a Viking aircraft carrier!) The other I call the "GitGourd"….It is a guitar made from two large gourds. (The fretboards were crafted by my wonderfully skilled friend Jim.)
You can also see other various creations made into whatever the gourd "suggested ".

Thank you so much for viewing my work! At present, several of my pieces are on display for sale at the …Legacy Gallery….2801 Mall Drive Florence AL

Hugh Banks

Friday, April 3, 2009

Calling all artists who wish to give the Lord praise for their talent and artwork.

The Ascribing Artists Blog is a creative ministry bringing together visual artists who wish to "Ascribe to the Lord the Glory due His name." Ascribing Artists recognize that anything they do pales in comparison to the Glory of the Lord. Artist are welcome to share their artwork, techniques, stories, praises, encouragements and advice.

The Ascribing Artists ministry is inspired by Psalm 29:1,2 we are to be "A Reflection of His Glory" in all that we do.

1 ASCRIBE TO the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Give to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness or in holy array. Psalm 29: 1,2

As a part of this creative ministry, Ascribing Artists will be an avenue to bring together other artists with this same belief and offer a creative outlet for artists who "Ascribe to the LORD."

Submit bio, articles and info to Currently, we are looking for Featured Artists to showcase. If you are interested, please e-mail 3 or 4 low resolution images, artist statement or bio to include website or contact info. All info included on the Ascribing Artists blog will be reviewed to keep the spirit of the ministry.

Sponsored by Paul LaBathe (Empty Tomb Graphics) and Gina Hurst (Art Consultant)