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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)

Upcoming this weekend is the annual Statewide Sea Turtle Training, at Sea World this year.  A great chance to see the new Sea Turtle Exhibit since our first evening is a Social given in the attraction.  I am looking forward to attending.  I'll bring back lots of photos.

The surgery date looms closer and closer.  Appointments with doctors, MRI's, Cardiac doctor visit for clearance (he said the orthopedic guys frown upon having a heart attack on the operating table), meeting with physical therapist, Pre-op at the hospital, and the list goes on.  I am beginning to think this is a big money making machine going on as each visit costs me $21 and yet several of these tests have been duplicated or unneeded when I get to the next phase.  The MRI cost me  $100 out of pocket, and I do not think they ever even looked at it, just went on their own X-rays.  Whatever, they sure have a way of adding up in a hurry.  I cannot not have the surgery so it is a "go" whatever they need, as I can't continue like it is.  They can't repossess the knee once "in" can they?

This month I feel much like squirrels must feel this time of the year with all their supply of nuts dwindling or gone and a while before the next crop.  December was not great, certainly not like the "good old days" with enough left to stash away a reserve to get by until March.  Then came the empty streets of January.  February has been better but mostly snowbirds "just looking" and talking, but we love them, and after a taste of our island they become repeat visitors, even to deciding they want to live here.

Knee problems topped with scarcity of nuts left only a few evenings where I finished work before taking the back and knee home to rest.  No walks on the beach for me this year.  If I happened to get out of the gallery before dark I would check the Western sky just to see if I could get a good sunset.

Some evenings and days off have been spent re-doing a wall mural at the Amelia Hotel at the Beach.  As I left the hotel one evening the sun was making a powerful indication of things to come as it highlighted the clouds in a way I knew would make a great sunset, but it was too late to try to catch it from a better prospective.  The mural has been a interesting project.  An old mural had been very well done years ago, but instead of Amelia Island, it was more a Mediterranean seaside.  My task has been to transform the far away scene into Amelia Island.

The mural as it started out and is put together from two photos.  Lots of changes.  

First of all the big dog had to go.  Using a photograph I had of the Alligator which was in the pond at Fort Clinch the day I released the Diamond Back Terrapin, I redrew it almost life size.  A good hint for you wanna be mural painters and even for use in your own paintings is to go to Lowe's and get color swatches then match them to whatever you need to have, take them back and they will mix you test color jars of paint in those colors for a reasonable price.

Part of changing it was just redoing the colors in the blankets, scarves, and pillows appearing in the mural.  Making things more Florida tropical colors.  

A blonde mermaid instead of a Grecian lady has helped.  It is a project that could go on forever adding things to give it more of our critters instead of fairies and grapes.  The goal is to get it to where it doesn't look unfinished before the knee surgery.  I will post changes as they develop.  The goal of the hotel is to turn the hotel into a "Sea Turtle Center" working alongside the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.  With the new knee I will be doing some "turtle walks" on the beach soon.

So in case you figured I was just sitting with my feet up drinking beer and watching soap operas and wondered why, besides the knee and back, that I have had no time to scout about the island and take photos, that is the reason.  With longer daylight I am getting some photos of the Marina when it is not to cold for my thin Florida blood to get out of the car.

And then there is the excitement of having our little Lacy become a mother.  I have to take time to visit a bit with her each day.  This particular day she was out of the nest, evidently she had the kids down for their afternoon nap, and she wanted to play.  She was full of vim and vigor as she raced around the tree playing our combination game of tag and hide and seek.  Althought these are not great photos technically, they do give you the feeling of what she was up to.

She would grab a nut but not really eat it, but just run and hide it.  I realized she wasn't hungry for food but a break from motherhood for a few minutes.

Her game of tag would have her scampering around, landing on my foot, or jumping on my leg briefly, before madly dashing over to the tree and back up and around.

A climb up my leg gave pause for a second to examine the new addition to my wardrobe.  She only gave the crutch a brief glance then she was off to run around my shoulder a few rounds.

Then quicker than the eye could follow she would run up the tree to a big knot where she would take a quick moment to catch her breath and plot her next move.

Then another dash around the yard.

This is her brief notice that she is getting ready to pounce on your shoulder, as in "ready or not, here I come".  At this moment you are wishing you had worn the turtle neck instead of the t-shirt.

I filled up her water dish with fresh water because all that running around will make a squirrel girl thirsty, especially since a lot of your bodily fluids are being used to feed others.

And another quick pause as she spots her next landing spot on my shoulder...

...and then she is airborne once again.

She proudly poses by her nest.  I usually wear out before she does and leave her to her own life.

One of our rare evenings out as we take a couple of hours to sit and share a pizza with friends on the nearby deck overlooking the river at Ten Acres (officially known as The Kraft Atheletic Club).  One of the prettiest sunsets anywhere on Amelia Island.

Unable to walk to the water I am content to lean over the railing to capture what I can with the view I have.

The colors still maintain their soft evening purples and pinks even after the sun is gone.  One of the nicest times of the day.

Another project has been to "finally" finish this never ending painting.  Three times I have deemed it finished only to take a second glance and rethink my decision.  This time it really is finished and once framed I was no longer led into the valley of temptation of making any more changes.  And it is now hanging on a customer's walls, the same folks who have recently purchased the painting of the more abstract sea turtle a few months back.  This week has been nonstop visiting with my family who gathered for their annual visit.  It was a great time together although hectic.

This weekend will be Sea Turtle training and then the next will be making preparations for surgery on March 4th, the only day with a command and I am going to take it as a good omen, and March fourth into a new world with a brand new knee.  The doctor has promised to do a cut on the knee which will enable me to be able to kneel more easily to dig turtle nests.  I just have to remind him right before surgery.  Think I will write a note with magic marker on the knee "remember to do the turtle lady cut".
...see what else is new at ASJ Gallery...

...also are these beach glass and shell wire wrapped special one of a kind pendants by new artist,  Ann Klumpp.  Two of these are already sold.

(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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