"Winter Garden Camellias I " A painting by Charleston Artist Katherine M Schneider

With the total number of named varieties of camellias as high as 20,000 (and still growing), it's often hard for even seasoned experts to identify individual blooms.

I was told by members of the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society that the larger pink flower in my painting is a Flossie Goodson camellia. The smaller bloom is either a heritage camellia or seedling bloom.

Whatever their names, they're a delight to admire and paint in a winter garden.

With over 200 years of cultivating camellias in the Lowcountry, we have an amazing display of these beautiful flowers in our yards and gardens.

"Winter Garden Camellias I"
oil on canvas
8"x10" image dimension
14.5"x 17.5" dimension with gold frame
Price: Sold

Charleston Artist Guild Holiday Juried Exhibition and Reception 2007

The 2007 Holiday Juried Art Exhibition and Reception was held tonight at the Charleston Visitors Center with over 80 artworks exhibited at the well attended event.

The Charleston Artist Guild (CAG), with more than 500 affiliates, is dedicated to serving the Arts Community of Charleston by providing workshops for the practicing artist, lectures for fine arts collectors, and community outreach to serve the needs of the greater society through art.

Pictured are Norma Morris Ballentine, President and Marcell Easter, Treasurer standing in front of the oil painting "Sweetgrass Market" by Ms. Ballentine.

Debbie Daniels, Director of Publications was seen enjoying the evening with friends and fellow artists. Debbie keeps CAG members informed of many artistic opportunities through her frequent email updates.

All the officers and board members of CAG deserve a big Thank You for the many hours of service they contribute to make this organization such an asset to the Charleston Arts Community.

Plein Air Painting in the Winter Garden at Magnolia Plantation Charleston SC

The unusually warm, sunny weather made my plein air painting today at historic Magnolia Plantation and Gardens a pleasure.

The main house porches are decorated with fresh pine garlands and red bows. I saw a staff member removing the garlands at the end of the day and spraying them with water to keep them fresh throughout the season. No plastic or artificial greens here. Only fresh, natural, decorations typical of the Colonial era.

I enjoy painting en plein air in the winter months when the sun is lower on the horizon. The long golden shadows in the late afternoon this time of year are very beautiful . It's always a challenge to paint fast enough to catch the quickly changing light effects at this time of day.

Today I painted studies of holly bushes with large red berries, sharp shinny leaves and the ever present Spanish moss.

The gardens also have many nandina bushes along the pathways with bright red berries and leaves that turn lovely shades of red and yellow.

Magnolia Gardens is known for it's beautiful reflecting ponds and distinctive bridges that have graced the gardens for decades.

Many visitors to the gardens have had their pictures taken on these bridges spanning the water darkened by the by the tannin from the nearby Cypress and Tupelo trees .

I'm making progress with my plein air paintings but will wait to post them until the opening of the Winter Garden Festival Art Exhibit January 19, 2008. In the mean time I'm posting photo's similar to the paintings I'm working on.

The show will offer creative works exploring the winter blooms, views and vistas of this large and diverse property.

For information about the Winter Gardens and Festival activities contact Magnolia Plantation and Gardens at http://www.magnoliaplantation.com.

For information about artist workshops and plein air painting during the festival, contact the Charleston Artist Guild at http://www.charlestonartistguild.com/calendarofevents.html.

"Camellia in the Rain" A painting by Charleston Artist Katherine M Schneider

"Camellia in the Rain"
5"x 7" mixed media on paper
Price: Sold

Today's painting is of a rain soaked, winter booming camellia. The semi tropical climate in the Lowcountry is great for gardening all year long. Winter gardens in Charleston SC are beautiful.

One of the oldest gardens in America, Magnolia Gardens is in the height of winter bloom now with over 7000 sasanqua bushes (a variety of early blooming camellia) in bloom.

The house and gardens have been decorated for the season with wreaths and red ribbons.

What a nice alternative for anyone trying to avoid the crowds and confusion at the malls. Fresh air, sunshine, endless garden paths under ancient moss covered oaks make an pleasant place to visit and paint.

I've had a great time painting surrounded by the fall colors and winter blooms. Tomorrow the temperature will be 80 and sunny as I head out to paint "en plein air" once again.

Stop by and say "Hi" if you see a painter (that would be me or a friend) up to our elbows in paint enjoying a sunlit garden path or a bright pond reflection.

Artists of the Charleston Artist Guild and the Charleston Outdoor Painters Association have been invited to create original paintings and artwork inspired by the winter gardens. Many of these paintings and fine art photography will be exhibited in the Magnolia Art Gallery during the Winter Garden Festival Jan 19 - Feb 10, 2008.

For more information about activities during the Winter Festival including an artists reception, painting workshops, plein air painting, and camellia walks, contact Magnolia Gardens at www.Magnoliaplantation.com.