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Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists Workshop
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell
Amelia Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)

Amelia Island Artists Workshops is extending the deadline to get the Early Bird Discount for those wanting to take Elizabeth St. Hillaire Nelson's October workshop.  Time slipped upon me and I forgot to announce the deadline.  He work is phenomenal.  She has really been busy since being our very first workshop artist last year.  She won the top award in the Artist's Magazine Online Competition in Mixed Media for one thing.  Those of you who missed her energetic wonderful workshop last year now is a second chance.  The Cost is $325 but if you register by Saturday of this week you can deduct $25.  Those who took this workshop last year thoroughly enjoyed it.  October 8-10 here on Amelia Island.  Call me at the gallery 904-491-8040 to sign up or go to the website to register.


-Elizabeth St. Hillaire Nelson                                                   

With my resident computer guru out of town I am running a bit behind in the stories.  We will play catch up this week.

What seemed ho hum the week before quickly turned into being busier than a one armed paper hanger.  I used to be a paper hanger so I do know something about that.  One of the most exciting art events I have ever attended was held on Wednesday evening, September 1, at Jacksonville's Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was called Imagination Squared.  Early in the year you may have remembered me sending out an invitation to anyone who wanted to paint a square which cost you a dollar.  You were to donate this painted piece of art to be hung all together somewhere as a community art project.
No one ever thought it could grow into the massive outpouring of artist participation that it did.  There were over 900 pieces of art.  The only rules were that you wanted to create something and didn't mind it being shown in public.  There was the right to pull anything too offensive.  You were allowed one and only one piece of art.  This is the crowd at 5:15 PM and the crowd never slowed all night long.   
All the artists had name tags with a photo of their artwork on it.  It was great fun picking out your piece, your favorites, your friends, and just being immersed in the good feeling of such a grassroots thing which grew out of two artists, Dolf James and Christina Foard, sitting in Dolf's studio and Christina remarking that Dolf should have some of the wooden squares on which he makes his art around for visiting artists to paint while they sat and chatted.  They decided it might be a fun project to see if artists might like to all paint a small painting and show them together. 
An idea was hatched.  Why not get their artists friends in the community to all paint a square and from there it grew and grew and grew.  It was amazing how little coverage it had from the press or TV but it was a grand grand event anyway.
Part of the Fernandina Beach Contingent.  There were many more.  One of our workshop groups contributed their work and all were shown.  I am holding one page of several pages of the insert which was in the Arbus Magazine showing each and every piece of work.
By Thursday morning I was back on the beach.  A hurricane was passing way off shore and the surf was up with beautiful waves but the weather was great.
We had a nest to dig up so were very thankful that the tide had not bothered the nest although it had briefly been washed over.  Where Rhonda was standing was the high tide line from the night before.  All but one of our remaining nests were washed over with the storm surf but the next one due to hatch was spared.  The stakes are removed as the countdown continues and the nest sites are returned to nature.  By tomorrow you will never know it had been there as the egg shells are counted, reburied, and smoothed over.
The wind from the night before had sculpted a valentine in the sand where I think the sea foam had caught the blowing sand before it had gone away.  Whatever had caused these patterns was very lacy and delicate looking.
The flock of gulls and terns continues to grow next to the pier.  The wind had calmed to a pleasant breeze and the air was dry after all the rain of the weeks before.
Our little juvies continue to taunt mom and entertain me as I sit and watch their antics.
It was breakfast on the half shell for one as morning rituals take place in the wading pool below.
Not all rangers have beach duties.  Chris is usually found working at the front gate and Rhonda holds down the office.  Rhonda used to do the turtle patrol before my day and loves the chance this year to get to have a day on the beach several times a month to do patrol again.  She brought Chris along, who although a long time ranger, had never dug up a turtle nest.  She coached him in the finer points of the art of turtle nest excavation.  She showed him how to remove just the soft sand left in the nest chamber and to not disturb the hard sides of the nest.  Chris said he learned an awful lot about Sea Turtles that morning. 
The wave action was very powerful with the salt spray topping the crest as it began to turn over.
One group of very happy surfers with their array of colorful surfboards were hitting the beach as we headed back.
On Friday I found quite a large Hermit crab whose house had gone upsidaisy with the waves which were now quite calm.
On closer inspection I found we had lots in common.  Our houses were both too cluttered with pretty shells we have collected along with other odds and ends.  There were pretty pink barnacles and other shellfish clinging outside and inside adding so much extra weight that it was no wonder he had been unable to right himself.  But sometimes home sweet home is what matters.  I tossed it out to deeper water where it could get a better and more bouyant slant on things.
One of the largest of the gulls is this fellow which I think may be a juvenile Black Backed Gull.  It would only be here in a migratory mode, not as a permanent resident.  I had seen and photographed one a couple of summers ago and remember that I had identified it as such back then.  I am not always right and especially with gulls with their continual seasonal and maturing wardrobe changes.
The shrimpboat was heading in after a day or so out in the water catching shrimp. 
As the shrimpers worked culling the by-catch and tossing overboard all they did not want to keep the gulls were enjoying a great feast of sushi for breakfast.  They would then bring them to the beach edge to have an easier time dining on their bounty.
Someone is always ready to take your catch so swallowing it fast is to be desired.  Digestion will follow later.  What was it mom said about talking with your mouth full?
Even the Pelicans had taken advantage of this easy meal.  They flew away as I approached in my noisy beach buggy.
More interesting patterns in the sand left over from the high tides.
What I see when I photograph these is how I would make a composition from them in a painting.  I try for interesting shapes with some calm areas so that it is not just a jumble of same-shape things.  I love photographing what I would find impossible to replicate on paper or canvas.  Nature can be so much more interesting then anything I could do but it is a great idea maker.

(Please take a moment to consider:
These photo-stories have always been offered completely free, to simply share the wonders of nature. Thousands of hours have been poured into them
and it has even become necessary to enlist the services of a paid email service to send out the large numbers who now receive them. So, with the current
economic situation if you are able to make a small donation to help ensure the continuation of the stories it would be greatly appreciated.)

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