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Feb 7, 2016



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The West Point eVillage
   
 

Member Showcase: February 2016

 

Mary Montague Sikes

Author of

Evening of the Dragonfly

 

Tune in to XTRA 99.1FM to hear the Author interviewed by Neal Steele on CBW's Second Monday monthly broadcast, February 8th at about 8:05AM. If you miss the live broadcast, click the icon below.

 

 

 

 

About the Book

 

Threatening telephone calls and strange cars with dark-tinted windows plague artist/teacher Farrah Ferand. Recovering from the tragic loss of her mother, Farrah is trying to adapt to the life of a small-town art teacher when she encounters Dirk Lawrence, a mysterious stranger. Her attraction to him is immediate and electric until Farrah discovers Dirk is part of the Lawrence and Pendesky investment firm that led to her mother's downfall a few years earlier. Farrah's not too perfect dating relationship with Tom Douglas, the town favorite football coach, worsens.

An unexpected encounter leads to dates with Dirk and his help with the construction of a dream art studio in her rented house. But trouble looms with Tom who believes he and Farrah are engaged, and the entire town appears to be drawn in. Haunting dreams and lost memories overwhelm Farrah as she creates paintings for a one-person art show. Will shadows of the past ruin all hope for Farrah and Dirk?

About the Author

 

Mary Montague Sikes grew up near the bloody Civil War battlefields of Central Virginia where thousands died. Those early years in a landscape where tears still flowed sparked her interest in the psychic and the paranormal that carries over into her writing today.

Sikes loves to travel, especially to the Caribbean and Jamaica where she discovered the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall Great House that inspired her first novel, Hearts Across Forever. More psychic encounters in Sedona, Arizona led to her novel, Eagle Rising. Adventures in Antigua became the book, Secrets by the Sea. Then, an escapade in Trinidad developed into the story of Night Watch. Her love of "Indiana Jones" type quests took her to the Maya Ruins of Palenque and eventually directed her to write Jungle Jeopardy.

She has been told by readers that her novel, Daddy's Christmas Angel, set in a small fictitious American town, is the "best book I've ever read". The romance is a little like "Sleepless in Seattle" and has a happy ending.

An artist before she was an author, Mary Montague Sikes has a scrapbook with drawings she made as a two-year-old. Like Farrah Ferand in Evening of the Dragonfly, she spends many hours each month in a painting studio built over her garage. When she isn't writing or painting, she enjoys travel to exotic destinations that might one day become part of her Passenger to Paradise book series.

Email the Author <-> Visit her Website <-> Buy the Book at Amazon
  
      

Notes Along the Way   

October 2015

 

Creativity and Fitness Can Improve Your Brain

Over the years, I have taught art to students at every age level from pre-school to older adults. I love witnessing their creativity and excitement over their accomplishments. I especially like seeing the joy that art brings into their lives.

For older people, creativity provides a goal, a reason to get up in the morning and go out to an art class or head to an easel or art wall inside their own homes. The creative activity can take the form of painting, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and more. Crocheting and knitting are art-crafting endeavors enjoyed by people of all ages, especially older ones. Some studies show that crafting provides a large benefit but not quite as much as painting.

My mother loved to crochet. She would sit for hours crocheting colorful pieces that she later put together in afghans to give as gifts. Although she did not grow up in a time when physical fitness was stressed as it now is, she kept her brain healthy with the bright strands of yarn dancing on her needle.

A recent article by Leslie Mann, Tribune Newspapers, describes studies that show the value of doing artwork for people in "their middle and old ages". One Mayo Clinic study found that those who created art during those later years were "73 percent less likely to develop MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)". (MCI is a problem that can lead to dementia.)

Because people are living longer, the 85-plus age is a fast-growing population segment. It's a group of people who can be inspired because of creative potential or they can be led into depression by those who do not understand their needs for purpose in life.

Like Georgia workshop, GAMi in March

If people are encouraged to take more art classes and more art workshops, I believe they will be happier. They will have less reason for depression. They will need fewer drugs.

 

My Upcoming Artist Workshops

 

"Painting Like Georgia O'Keeffe – October 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Williamsburg Center for Contemporary Art, 219 North Boundary Street - Williamsburg, VA – (757) 229-4949

 

"Painting with Texture and Design" – October 29 and 30 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Mathews Bay School Community Arts Center - 279 Main St, Mathews, VA 23109 (804) 725-1278

 

monti7olen@verizon.net

http://marymontaguesikes.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes Along the Way

 August 2015

 

 

Ward Center for Contemporary Art

Open House, Friday August 14, 6 to 9 p.m.

"Passenger to Paradise" exhibition by Mary Montague Sikes

 

Ward 300Ward opening 300

Two large seascapes in this show were created from photographs taken by the artist as a hurricane approached a beach in the Bahamas. Other works developed from pictures captured in Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, Barbados, and Hawaii. "Dunn's River Falls" features the water cascading over falls rocks during visits to Jamaica. An earlier painting created of the falls became part of a collection of art purchased by the Marriott Hotel in downtown Richmond when it first opened. Waterfalls in Kauai are the subject of a smaller painting in the show.

 Ward mm

Workshops:

 

Please check with me at monti7olen@verizon.net for information about upcoming workshops I'm teaching in September. I have a three-day workshop, "Painting Like Georgia", at the Art Academy of Hilton Head Island SC. I also have a three-day workshop, "Painting with Texture and Design", in Hilton Head.

 

Farrah's Art Show at Arts Alive in West Point

 

Farrah Ferand, the heroine of my new novel, Evening of the Dragonfly, has come alive in an unusual way. The book character has a series of original paintings in an invitational art exhibition at Arts Alive, opening on September 15.

Among the works is a painting called "Moonshine" relating to tales her mother and her grandfather told Farrah about relatives making and selling moonshine in the back woods of western Virginia. Several paintings in the show evolved from Farrah's dreams that are featured in the novel. "Farrah's Dream" is a painting about one of those dreams.

When Farrah sees a dragonfly or groups of them, she feels optimism. Although the pretty flying insects seem connected to the death of her grandfather and then the death of her mother, she believes sighting the dragonflies is like seeing the spirits of her departed loved ones. These symbols are depicted in the painting, "Optimism".

The opening reception will be Saturday, Sept. 19, 6 to 7 p.m. at the W.T. Robinson/Sture G. Olsson Civic Auditorium and Fine Arts Center in West Point.

 



 

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