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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
http://www.sandrabaker-hinton.com
http://www.ameliasanjongallery.com
Amelia Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)

Pelicans need help.  Most of you are familiar with BEAKS, the bird rehab center on Big Talbot Island.  There is something going on in the St. John's river which is causing the Pelicans to lose their natural ability to repel water.  As a result the birds are dying and becoming sick.  Cindy Moseling who has operated the bird rehab facility for decades says she could use some help.  "There're a lot of birds, and just a few of us," Moseling said. "We're looking for volunteers."
 
To help BEAKS, call 904-251-2473. The sanctuary is located at 10084 Houston Avenue on Big Talbot Island.

Before the this last cold spell, -you know, the one which paralized the whole South including Florida, where cold is immediately followed by the inability to function.  Shopping stops, walking outside stops, eating out stops, as we all huddle indoors waiting for the weather to break.  We are familiar with a couple of days of chill followed by warming, not day after day, and nights on end, uninterrupted, with below freezing temperatures.
Before the cold decended like a plague, clouds moved in, with decent temperatures into the weekend.  Wet we can handle, cold not so well.  I hit the beach to do one last "nest" check for the week on Friday before last.  It was difficult to tell where the water stops and the sky begins.  With the water so calm that no waves were crashing over the jetty, it became a convenient perch for our fishing friends, the Pelicans and Anhingas.  
 
The calmness turns the waves into images in glass.  So slick and shiny that the base of the wave reflects the image of the top in that brief few seconds before it crashes upon itself.
 
I worked hard getting some of my smaller art pieces into frames for showing before Saturday night's Elvis Birthday Art Walk.  With the slow sales of the Fall and disappointing Christmas crowds, I had only experienced two good shopping days which would compare with years gone by.  I have tried to create some more "decorative" type pieces I can sell for a lower price.
 
I think I could have painted another painting in the time it took to get these framed up with the floating look I was going for.  Both were done on foil, the first on gold and the second on copper.
 
Progress is being made on the new turtle painting, a piece commissioned by another Turtle Volunteer down in Jacksonville.  Once a turtle person always a turtle person.  It is contagious and addictive, but a good cause.  With this the best year in recent times we like to think we are making a difference.  It has been 26 years since the beach monitoring began in ernest in Florida and it takes about that long for a turtle to reach the age for reproduction. 
 
My goal in the early stages is to get everything covered with paint.  Then I can build on that by adding color, layer by layer in the traditional watercolor style of painting.  The goal is not getting the painting too dark too fast, because it is possible to make things darker but difficult to lighten them.
 
The colors on the turtles begin to build up giving more and more dimension.
 
This is the end of Sunday, the 16th's work.  I have been so tired of the cold weather that having the temperatures reach about 60 was almost like having a heat wave.
 
As soon as I was able to close the gallery I headed for Fort Clinch.  After a cloudy middle of the day I was ready to enjoy being back on the beach with clear skies after a week of huddling inside.  The moon was high overhead even though the sunlight had not quite left the scene.
 
The low sun was casting long shadows on the beach as the dunes were fast becoming a barrier which would block that wonderful light.
 
For now though, the flat beach was littered with shells; the tide quickly coming in.  With the loss the illumination of the late afternoon sun only moments away I set out to find some pretty beach compositions to record with my trusty, handy-dandy camera.
 
For now it was perfect to cast a beautiful light on the shells, bringing out their colors and textures.
 
They seemed to glow with the late afternoon light that artists have learned to love.
 
Ahhhh, such lovely pastel colors; what a challenge it would be to capture such color with the texture and patterns of this shell.
 
One small white feather catches my eye and I see lavendars and pinks, in thinking what it would take to make this into a painting.
 
I was drawn to one shell cluster after another, being very wary of my back side as I barely avoided wet feet several times with the sneaky tide creeping higher and higher behind me.
 
The light hits the surf and makes it particularily bright as if the light came from within.
 
This has to be the most perfect time of the day at the ocean.  It seems others also like that last walk on the beach.  The colors are a study in soft colors being created by reflections from the opposing sky to the West.
 
With the light already behind the dunes I find my treasure of the day.  I wish the light had not gone so fast because its burnt orange would have been great bathed in that light. 
 
As the sun sinks lower the light creates more change with the pinks and lavenders of the water changing to pale sea green contrasting with the deepening color in the clouds on the eastern horizon.
 
On the West side, the blaze of the sunset is showing off for the final time.
 
The factory adds to the overall drama in the background behind the almost naked Seaoats.
 
One last rush of color as I drive away from the park.  It will get a bit brighter before finally darkening into night but I am tired and I want to try to catch an image of the deer who are usually out this time of day.  For once, when I am prepared, I did not see them.
 
  I headed for home after a long day.  It was nice to actually have people out and about dropping into the gallery today, filling the restaurant behind me to the brim, and actually a sale or two.  Let me see how many days now until rent is due again?


(Please take a moment to consider:
These photo-stories have always been offered completely free, to simply share the wonders of nature, and life on the Island. 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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