Notes Along the Way
June 2011 Newsletter, Mary Montague Sikes
"Monti Just for Fun" Art Show
Several years ago, I started taking photographs of drink glasses. It all started when we were on vacation in Key West, Florida where I saw many unique and interesting drinks served in the restaurants as we dined. Those that had a lemon slice on the rim and cherries or olives inside were especially appealing to me as an artist. I even discovered that sometimes ordinary water glasses sitting on a tiled table top with light filtering through created an alluring image. You can imagine how surprised complete strangers were when I visited their tables with a request to photograph drinks.

Back home, I found myself placing wine glasses and bottles on our brick patio and back deck to photograph them during different times of day. Eventually I wound up with a pile of pictures to use as working drawing for exciting little acrylic paintings filled with bright colors. The playful art that resulted was exhilarating and much different from the more realistic pastel landscapes and acrylic flowers that I also love to paint. Because the art was less serious than my other work, I called the series "Monti Just for Fun."

Many of my little paintings featuring vivid primary colors and a variety of patterns are in a new one-person exhibition in the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. The show begins July 1 and will continue until August 1 in the Slantwall Gallery at the Center. The Glen Allen show is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at other times during special events at the Center.

The Cultural Arts Center web site states: "This series of light- hearted paintings are a departure from artist Mary Montague Sikes' more intense and powerful art. They explore pattern and design on canvas with a carefree delight and without concern for realism."

On July 14, "The Colors of Haiti" featuring work by Haitians artists, will open in the Gumenick Family Gallery at the Cultural Arts Center with a reception from 7 to 9. The "Just for Fun" work very much relates to Haitian art which I discovered and loved on a 1986 visit to the Iron Market in Haiti.
Loving Sunsets
Recently in my blog (, I have posted several photographs of sunsets taken at Lake Tahoe and from the window of an airplane. I love sunsets, and although I've tried painting them from time to time, nothing compares to the real thing. Do you love sunsets? Do you photograph them often?
Jungle Jeopardy
My new adventure novel Jungle Jeopardy will be available later this summer. I've spent the last few months researching the Maya and the amazing ruins from their advanced civilization that are found in several Central American countries. The subject has long fascinated me. In the early 1990s I painted a series of very large paintings from photographs I took at Palenque, Cozumel, and Chichen Itza. Writing this book took me back there. This is a sequel to Secrets by the Sea, available from Amazon

Have a lovely summer!


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