Thursday, October 31, 2013


Porter, acrylic on board, 6 x 6 x 3
Elizabeth W. Seaver

Had he known what a fraught, frightening, freaky Halloween awaited him, Porter would, no doubt, have asked his mother, his father, or even his slightly patronizing, sometimes mean, ten year old sister to accompany him. But he didn't. And even worse, he forgot any kind of candy receptacle. Lucky for him, his "which came first, chicken or egg" costume had capacious pockets. And when those filled, there was plenty of room left between what was Porter and what was stuffing.

But then he thought of something. "I hope I sewed the elastic around my legs tight enough. Hmm. Maybe I should stick my candy all the way into the top of my tights. Yes, that's it." Reassured, he immediately stopped thinking about the time his birthday pinata leaked all that candy--a good thing at a birthday party, but not tonight. Tonight there were ghouls and goblins, princesses and pirates, Captains Underpants and Supermen who would scoop up rogue candy, even if they knew the source of the leak.

Nothing could have made Porter turn his silver bike around and go back home, though he should have, because what happened that Halloween eve changed Porter forever.

 * * * *

Now it's your turn.

What happened to Porter that fateful Halloween night? Leave your creepy, crawly, humorous, spooky, spiteful, monstrous ideas in the comments box.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wilbur and His New Green Trike

Meet Wilbur. He is a new collaboration between sculptor Tex Forrest and me. Tex got excited about my birds on bikes and one day showed up with a gessoed bird and tricycle. He had carved the bird out of foam and found the trike somewhere exotic, I'm sure.

His part was done, and it was left to me to figure out who this fellow was. It had to be a fellow, 'cause of the comb on his head, right? Well it took MONTHS, but finally he popped into my brain and introduced himself. After that it didn't take long to transform the plain white sculpture into Himself.

As you can tell, Wilbur is a happy fellow. Proud of his new green trike, he took it out for a spin in today's lovely fall weather.

Then, he parked himself back on his shelf at Water Street Studio.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'd Rather Be Sleeping

This IS My Happy Face, 4 x 4, acrylic, Elizabeth W. Seaver

Title borrowed from my student's t-shirt yesterday--thanks, J!

We have experienced quite the opposite of the weather in my painting the last few days. Skies have been beautifully sunny, and October breezes blew--kinda chilly for those of us still circulating summer-warmed blood.

Alas, it is time for seasons to change, and yesterday we got the jump on Halloween with a downtown trick or treat event. Ninjas, ghosts, princesses, pirates and their patient parents wandered among store fronts to collect all kinds of things, including oos and ahs from local business owners. We gave the traditional candy, but we saw books and pencils in pumpkin buckets as well.

Let me leave you with one thought: perhaps purple plastic princess shoes are not the best footwear for traipsing city streets.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Here's Something Cool

My poem Loves Me, Loves Me Not was published in the June issue of From the Depths, a publication of Haunted Waters Press.

Today we discovered the page for HWP on the Poets and Writers site where they kindly listed Susan Carter Morgan and me as contributing writers.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

No Fly Zone

No Fly Zone, 4 x 12, acrylic, Elizabeth W. Seaver

I think this one speaks for itself.

* * * *

If you cannot tell, let me say "out loud" that I am having a great time in my studio.

Friends are dropping in to visit and work, the sun has been shining in my window, warming my back as I paint, and my birdie friends are visiting long enough to be captured on canvas.

Life is good.

* * * *

Tonight: Looking forward to hearing Steve Watkins read from his new book, JUVIE, out this month from Candlewick Press. Happening at our new place, Water Street Studio in downtown Fred. Come on by if you're in the area.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Camilla Hates to Fly

Camilla Hates to Fly, 5 x 7, acrylic, Elizabeth W. Seaver
"I won't spend another winter, freezing my tailfeathers off in that strange excuse for a lake in Central Park shopping hell," Camilla muttered to herself as she leaned into the October wind. "Just because I'm afraid of heights...I don't have to miss out on winter in Mexico."

Her breath came in short gasps, and her legs, previously only used to scuttle across Central Park Blvd. to worry the patio diners at Chipotle as she scarfed the chips they dropped, ached with a burning sort of throb.

"What is it with Amtrak that they won't sell a ticket to me, a respectable goose? Next spring, I'm getting into it with Julie!"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beach Bum

Beach Bum, 6 x 6, collage/acrylic, Elizabeth W. Seaver

Beach Bum is not perhaps the most appropriate name for this strangely elegant bird. But if you look closely in the collage, you can see that there is a map fragment of the coast of Texas--Galveston, to be exact--the place I grew up calling beach. Moody Gardens is visible along the curve of its neck. That is where I have seen flamingos close up. Amazing, prehistoric-looking creatures.

I will be entering Beach Bum in LibertyTown's 6 x 6 show next month. If you are in the area, stop by to see the show in the main gallery. It opens First Friday, November 1.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Musing on Stolen Art

Next Year, Florida, 4 x 12, acrylic on canvas
Elizabeth W. Seaver

In the past, I've had a few pieces of artwork disappear off of my work table here and there--pins drying, cards drying--little things, easy to palm, slip into a pocket or under a shirt. I've always thought of it as the price of doing business, especially in a large arts workshop with open studios and wandering visitors. That's how we get folks to look at our work and meet us. We work out in the open and make ourselves available for comments and questions and just plain conversation. I love it.

But yesterday, I went to check my showing space and found four empty nails on my wall. I did not jump right to the happy conclusion that all four paintings had sold. Why is that? After all, they're pretty cute, if I do say so myself. They make people smile, and most of their brothers and sisters from a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge have sold already.

But my stomach got that funny feeling--something wasn't right. For one thing, if I had sold four paintings at once, my behind-the-counter-buddies would have been as happy as I, and before the Square screen was dark, they'd have been on the phone to me.

So--the paintings are gone. And my friends and I all have guesses about what general category of folk have the stones (and the backpacks) to carry away four original artworks measuring just about the size of a box of granola bars.

But, here's the thing I wanted to share: I am hurt and sad and angry. I'm not flattered. In fact, I'm not sure those paintings were even wanted--I expect they were just the object of a momentary thrill.

Those of you in creative pursuits know exactly how much time, effort, money and love goes into doing what you do. And never with enough compensation. I feel assaulted by this event. But, I am trying not to let it weigh too heavily on my spirit. Time will help. And painting.

I got up and painted at 3:30 this morning. Because I will not let the bad guys win.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Sweet Surprise

The wonderful duo of Monica Rondino and Andrea Pucci (The Art of Puro) (2D animators and free lance illustrators) nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. Very few people would accuse me of being super sweet, so kudos to them for being super perceptive.

My job as nominee is to answer the following questions and then pass the honor on other bloggers. I can do the one, but it would cause me no end of anxiety to try to limit my list to only five other bloggers, so let me say that the blogging community is an amazing place to create and meet supportive, talented people. And being surrounded by that encouragement has meant the world to me. So, right back at you, Art of Puro! You guys are super sweet and so much more

Here's the 411 on my sweet tooth:

1. Cookies or Cake? All delicious, but a moist cake--there's no contest.
2. Chocolate or Vanilla? : Chocolate, no doubt.
3. Favorite Sweet Treat? : This time of year, Peppermint Tootsie Pops... 
4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? : After dinner, especially.
5. Sweet Nick Name? : Ok. But don't laugh. Sometimes my mama calls me Sugar Lump.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Suddenly Abner Was Quite Popular, 4 x 4, collage/acrylic
Elizabeth W. Seaver

We see Abner just before his life changes forever.

I leave you with just one question: How many licks does it take to get to the chocolaty center of a Tootsie Pop?

Okay, maybe two: What is your favorite flavor?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Party Underground

Party Underground, acrylic, 24 x 24
Elizabeth W. Seaver

I never blogged about this piece. I created it for the show I had in the spring--all underground veggies.

Now, THIS vegetable is very rare. I have not ever actually seen it in its natural setting.

If you know where it grows, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In the Pipeline

I'm all set to paint commissions and small paintings for the season.

These are cradled boards, collaged with paper "under paintings." As they are finished, I'll be sharing them right here, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Window

I am so happy to have a window in my studio for the first time in five years. I had no idea how much I missed it. I can see and hear the rest of the world all day long as I work. Lovely. Now, if the sun would just show itself again....

Notice my new jade plant brought to me by Aunt Bev and Unc Joe to celebrate the opening of Water Street Studio last week.

I promise, I am trying not to kill it--picture proof.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Still Alive and Very Well

I'm calling these Raw Materials

I took the picture in the only quiet corner my new studio. They look a little lonely, but not for long.
Just to catch you up with a little that has been going on with me--at the end of September, I left my beloved LibertyTown studio to step out in a new venture with my friends Susan and Lynette. We have opened a new business which will have a dual focus, writing and art. It is still in downtown Fredericksburg. We named it Water Street Studio because it is on a street that has been named that in the past and because we sit right on the banks of the Rappahannock River.

Last Friday, we had our grand Grand Opening with lots of friends, old and new. We've already scheduled a reading with Steve Watkins, whose new book Juvie just landed in stores yesterday. It will be held October 26th at Water Street Studio. Refreshments and read-aloud from a wonderful author. What could be better?

Back to art. I have been looking for wooden folding chairs since January when I painted one of a set of three auditorium chairs for a fund raiser. I had so much fun painting Chester, that I immediately wanted another project like it. I looked through antique shops, sent my yard sale spies out to look, asked and asked, but couldn't find any more chairs that suited my purpose.

Then last month I traveled to Texas to see family. Along our way on a birdwatching trip north of Corpus Christi, we passed through the little town of Sinton, Texas.

"My chairs!" I shouted from the back seat. "Stop! There are my chairs!" Sure enough, on the side walk outside an antique store, there sat the perfect raw materials.

Exhibiting fabulous driving skill, my sister did not lay a scratch in the road, but pretty quickly we were piling out of the tiny white mazda and into Kountry Kaboodles. It turned out the folding chairs came from the old theater down the street from the antique store.

What nice folks we met! We stayed and chatted a long time, forgetting about the birds waiting for us at Choke Canyon. In the conversation, Gary offered to mail them to me, as they would be an awkward carry-on back to Virginia.

The chairs blew in just this past Monday along with tropical storm Karen, safe and just as wonderful as I had remembered.

I like the original surface and plan to keep it. (Extra bonus: I found decades old gum on the bottom of the seats, likely put there by movie-goers so they could eat their popcorn.)