By Mary Karr

“We need art, imagination, inspiration, and creative thinking to make life bearable, to make it beautiful and memorable.”     Debbie Sehramer

A few weeks ago we visited the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem where, indeed, American art truly lives.  Here one can discover masterpieces of American art spanning three centuries. Also there is the Reynolda House itself in which to enjoy viewing the original furnishings of the R. J. Reynolds estate.  We were particularly pleased to see the Ansel Adams Eloquent Light Exhibit in the museum.  These breathtaking photographs by the renowned artist-photographer have never been on view together before.  Ansel Adams (1902-1984) belonged to a romantic tradition of American landscape that dates back to the 19th century Hudson River School painters.  Inspiring beauty was the Adams ideal and light was his means of attaining it.  This extraordinary exhibit will be shown until July 17th.

These are some of the ladies in their fancy hats at the Lake Lure Artists garden party at the home of Mary Karr.  Mary Karr Williams (L), Joselyn Watkins, Carlann Sherping, Julie Maziarka, Verlynn Cox, Joanne Ellingson, and Linda White

These are some of the ladies in their fancy hats at the Lake Lure Artists garden party at the home of Mary Karr. Mary Karr Williams (L), Joselyn Watkins, Carlann Sherping, Julie Maziarka, Verlynn Cox, Joanne Ellingson, and Linda White

“Summer afternoon, to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”    Henry James

Summertime is surely the best time to enjoy the outdoors and the Lake Lure Artists came for their annual visit to my house and gardens recently.  This is the time we photograph, sketch, paint and enjoy each other’s company while discussing art news and making plans for the summer.  It is a busy time, but we accept nature’s invitation by slipping into a more comfortable state of mind with treasures that celebrate the romance of the season.  We look forward to a special art show we are sponsoring at the Lake Lure Inn and Spa on Saturday, August 20th.  Please stop by and enjoy our show.

“Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”       Mark Twain

This is just what we will be doing soon on an exciting adventure aboard a small ship cruising the coast of Maine.  This is fondly called “The Lobster Cruise”.  From the time our plane touches down at Portland, Maine, and we board the ship, fun and adventure begin.  With its array of charming fishing villages, protected coves, and secluded inlets, the coast of Maine unfolds with fresh picturesque beauty everywhere you look.  There are many winding water passages, hundreds of sparkling bays and scenic shores.  There are charming seaport villages like Bar Harbor, Camden, and Boothbay Harbor.  Rockland’s historic harbor has made it an area favored by artists over the centuries.  We will be visiting the famous Farnsworth Art Museum there which gives homage to artists of Maine.  We will especially enjoy the Andrew Wyeth center there.  Needless to say we will be taking many photographs and sketches of this trip, and I look forward to many hours of painting pictures of this beautiful part of the country.