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When Life Gives You Lemons... Make a Gin Cocktail With Lemon Garnish

What an honor it was to be 1 of 4 local artists selected to paint a mural for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Each artist was directed to paint an 8' x 4' mural (WOAH!) in response to a poem about a food or beverage by local poet, Derek Berry. The murals were on display in the "Culinary Village" in Marion Square throughout the festival.

My poem was entitled "Gin". And this was my response from A-Z:

When your poem is all about gin you obviously have to start at The Gin Joint.

HUGE SHOUT OUT to Owner and Beverage Director, James Holt, for graciously making a gin cocktail and allowing me behind his bar to waste several lemon slices as I played with a gazillion still life set ups.

At least 30 minutes and 100+ images later, I still had no clue what I was going to do, but I was certain that my time spent there was a GREAT start.


Later that evening, a tad bit intimidated by 8' x 4' board, I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled through the images on my camera waiting for the "ah ha" to come...

Then BOOM! It hit me! For a poem praising gin, shouldn't we give some credit to the maker?

I knew I had to print these 4 images of James in action and display them on my board.

This immediately excited me for 2 reasons:

1) This will help me cover such a large surface without having to use quite so much oil paint. (Call me cheap, but my supply costs are no joke, y'all!)

2) I studied the Reggio Emilia philosophy to education in college and used this very concept on all of my bulletin boards as a former 1st grade teacher in order to not only celebrate the final product, but to celebrate the process.

It's that SPARK... that YEEEEESSSSSSSS... that a creative waits on and then endorphins drive the rest!!

This was literally the last image of the 100+ photographs on my camera and it pretty much yelled out, "paint me". (It is a pretty good photograph I must say.)

The next day I headed to Marion Square with my biggest brushes and palette and got to work on my response...

I love that I get to call letting yellow paint run down in a child-like spirit "work" these days!

And before I knew it, I was viewing my big baby in the "Culinary Village" before standing in every food n bev line anxiously awaiting to challenge another "palate".

Yes, my big baby. I mean, this guy was literally birthed from my innermost being and plopped out on a 8' x 4' board for 40k set of eyes!

Proud Mama right here!

Cheers, y'all!!


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