Friday, August 16, 2013

A Visit to the Mobile Museum of Art

Recently, I went with my mom to the Mobile Museum of Art to view their current exhibitions.  My mom has a watercolor painting included in the "Shared Expressions 2013" exhibit.  This show includes:

 The broad spectrum of creative talent in the Mobile area including:  the Azalea City Quilters Guild, the Watercolor & Graphics Arts Society of Mobile, the Shibui Chapter of the Sumi-é Society of America, Mobile Art Association, Camera South, Coastal Clay Collective and the Azalea City Woodturners.   As such, the exhibit highlights exceptional works in fine quilting, photography, watercolor and graphic and three dimensional arts. 

It was very eye opening to see the variety of creativity that lies here in our Mobile Area.  Here is my mother's piece that is included under the Mobile Art Association.  This exhibit runs through September 1st, so hurry by if you are interested in seeing it.

"Farmer's Market" by Suzanne H. Fox, Watercolor on Paper. 

Another current exhibit that fascinated me was "The Silent Cities of Peru: Archaeological Photography by Fernando La Rosa".  

Fernando La Rosa has been making photographs of the ancient sites of Perú over a period of 35 years, particularly Cerro Sechin, Chavin de Huantar and Machu Picchu. Of these, Sechin is the oldest, having been built and abandoned over 3,000 years ago. Over the years he has been granted unusual access to the sites, allowing him to record events such as sunlight penetrating temple rooms at dawn, aspects of great importance to the original builders.

So, not only were the black and white photographs stunning, but the story behind each (printed on a card next to every piece) was very interesting.  Glimpsing the architecture and culture of an ancient people will blow your mind!  This exhibit runs through October 27th.

There are many other things to see at MOMA - and the best news yet?  Thursdays in August, MOMA offers FREE ADMISSION!  Depending on the date, they offer kids activities, live demos and refreshments each Thursday night.  Also recently unveiled, a new and improved gift shop and gallery area.  It's a great way to appreciate art and beat the heat this month.

Here's the link to their website for more information:

If you go visit, drop me a line and let me know what you think!
For information on my artwork, visit my Rabbit Creek Studios website or Facebook Page.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I wanted to share a new medium I've been working on.  At the suggestion of my artist friend Amber, I have tried painting oysters on canvas wrapped in burlap.  I think it's a great idea since burlap reminds me of the the sacks in which you purchase fresh oysters.

I have plenty of burlap around, believe it or not, because I use it for table covers when displaying my artwork for outdoor shows.  I cut it and wrapped it around these 6x6 gallery canvases.  Then I painted three different oysters.  In the photo below, you can see that the canvas on the far left is underpainted in gray.  I then applied a gloss gel medium on top of the burlap to give a better painting surface.  I then painted the oyster in acrylic.  For the middle canvas, the underpainting is a light green.  The gel medium is matte and I painted the oyster in acrylic.  On the far right, I painted on raw burlap, and painted the oyster in oil.  My husband likes the raw burlap because it's the most rustic and raw, but it's harder to paint on.  What do you think?  I am also considering the idea of adding a thick, gloss coating on the top.

6x6" Oysters - Oil or Acrylic on Burlap Covered Canvas, by Jennifer F. Allen, $39 each.
I have hung these three pieces at Five Gold Monkeys in Mobile, AL, so if you are in the area, you can check them out for yourself.  I think they are really unique!  Or, if you'd like me to create a custom color combination, I'd love to hear your ideas.

As always, please "Like" my Rabbit Creek Studios Facebook Page to keep up with me and my artwork, and for deals and specials!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

More Oysters!!!!

I've been painting several oysters on canvas lately to get ready for a trip over to Florida to replenish work at a gallery there.  If you are ever in Grayton Beach, go check out Lily Pads - lots of art and great interior decor.

Here is what I believe is my favorite.  It's on a 10x10" gallery wrapped canvas.  I left the paint loose and thick and I love the color combination.  I think I might paint one similar in a much larger size!  I normally coat the canvas in a thick, glossy resin to finish the look, but I think I really just like this one just as it is.
"Oyster on Gray", 10x10" original acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, by Jennifer F. Allen
If you are interested in this piece of artwork or one like it, please visit my website www.  I am in the process of updating the art gallery portion with my newest work.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend - please pause and remember those who have fallen to defend our freedoms.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Almost Summer!

While I've been trying to get my two boys through the last two weeks of school, and also finish up some important formal portraiture work, I did have a chance this past Saturday to work on some large oyster paintings.  When doing inventory for the galleries and shops that carry my artwork, I noticed that just about every time I paint an oyster piece, especially the oversized canvases, that they sell quickly.  So, I decided I'd try to paint a few in the next couple of weeks, especially since some of the shops are running low on my inventory.

I love working in this large size and especially with the heavy texture of the exterior of the shells and the metallic paints that bring out the "pearly-ness" of the oysters.

These are 24x30" gallery wrapped heavy duty canvases (meaning that they have the thick sides and are very sturdy) and would look great framed or unframed (the painting goes around the thick sides of the canvas).

"Oyster on Gray" and "Oyster on Blue" - 24x30" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas by Jennifer F. Allen

These are my questions:

Do you like the gray background or blue better?
Do you like the horizontal or vertical orientation?
Should they be coated with the heavy resin gloss as usual or left more natural and "flat" (not shiny)?

I would truly love your feedback.  I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Mother's Day -- I surely did! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rollin' on the River

As some of you know from Facebook, I was able to take advantage of a warm day here in the Deep South and take a boat ride on Rabbit Creek.  I wanted to try out a new camera I got for Christmas.  I got some neat photos, as the river is always changing.
Water wearing away this stump makes it look like a flower pot.

This log looks like a horse!

I like the bare trees.

Even bridges can make an interesting design element.

My husband has a real interest in trees, especially the cypress trees that grow along the water's edge.  He really loves the cypress "knees" that grow from the roots of the tree.  I was able to zoom in on a few clusters of them and got a good shot of one spot in color and the other, I thought looked good in black and white.

My husband, grew up on the river - boating and fishing from an early age.  He asked me to get a shot of this old sign.

As the sun breaks out, all the pines and cypress are silhouetted.  We are blessed to live in a beautiful area of the country and being on the water cures a lot of "what ails ya".

I pray for a Happy and Healthy New Year for you all!  Bring on 2013!!!  May it be filled with love, laughter and, of course, beautiful things - like art!  :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Painting Boats

I have been in the mood to paint boats lately.  Maybe it's the end of summer.  At any rate, I have three pieces that I've finished and I really like.  The blues are soothing and the paintings make me wish I was "there".

The first two are based off of a photo I've had for a long time.  I've painted something similar before, that sold quickly.  So, I thought I'd revisit these canoes: once larger and another time in a higher "key".  In "Boats on Blue II", notice that there are tiny "pops" of burnt orange in the dark shadows.  It's like the painting isn't finished for me, until I can figure out the "odd man out" color that really sets the work off.  I once took a cooking class in New Orleans where they were talking about using spices in food.  There are flavors that are similar, but for a really phenomenal dish, you need a little bit of an "odd man out" flavor -- a spice that is opposite but complementary at the same time.  This is what I try to accomplish when using color in my work.  I am very happy with the results and will apply a gloss varnish on these for a really nice watery effect.

"Boats on Blue II", 24x24" acrylic on gallery canvas, $350.

"Canoe Trio", 12x12" acrylic on gallery canvas, $95.

Secondly, I have really been wanting to paint some sailboats.  I don't sail, but I have a dear friend and also a neighbor that do.  Something about flying over the water, with no motor noise, has got to be wonderful.  I tried to keep the colors airy and breezy and I think I did well with that.  I still had to pop some tan and darker blue in there to make it interesting.

"Sails on the Bay", 12x24" acrylic on gallery canvas, $200.

Enjoy the last few weeks of warm weather!  Can you believe that Labor Day is next weekend????

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Slumber Party!!!

I first read about Theresa McPherson and her "Lights of Empowerment" ministry in the newspaper.  I felt called to share my artistic talent with these girls.

Theresa and I made several calls back and forth and tried to get something set up for her summer camps.  We could never work out the details and the idea to help began to fade...

Then, last week, I saw Theresa on the evening news.  They were interviewing her in response to a local high school prom video that hit You Tube in which girls were not dancing very nicely, to say the least.  I told my husband that I sure hated that I missed that opportunity to help her and her ministry.  So, guess who calls me the VERY NEXT DAY?  Theresa!  She was having her monthly "BFF" sleepover and had thought of me to come and do some art with the girls.  How weird is that????  Anyway, I told her I was DEFINITELY interested!

I  then enlisted the help of my favorite 10 year old girl artist, Morgan McGehee and her mom Laura.  We decided that the girls could paint a cupcake or a ice cream cone, similar to the ones Morgan paints and sells to raise money for a well in Africa.   (To see Morgan's work, go here:  We gathered supplies and met at Lights of Empowerment behind a local church on Cottage Hill Road last Friday evening.

The girls were just starting to arrive -- in their pj's and with cute sleeping bags and pillows.  They played board games while waiting for all the girls to get there.  Theresa said she expected about 20.  What a fun night she had planned!  Theresa started with a devotional and scripture reading, all designed to encourage the girls that they are all special and beautiful.  The girls then had several activities they rotated in groups to: our painting room, face painting, making bead necklaces, a "spa"/personal hygiene area, Wii games, etc.  All the while, fun music is playing and girls are busy having fun and doing all the activities.  Then, refreshments - nachos, pizza, drinks, cupcakes!  As we were finishing up the art room, they had started a limbo game - cue the music "Hot, Hot, Hot..."!  :)  Wow, what a fun time!!  Miss Theresa sure knows how to throw a fabulous sleepover!  Alas, us art teachers had not brought our pajamas or sleeping bags, so we had to pack up to go home.  As we took this last photo as we left, I had a feeling the party had just begun...

To learn more about Lights of Empowerment, please visit and consider donating your time or talent to this great organization.