Member Showcase: February 2016
Mary Montague Sikes
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
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,
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
About the Author
Email the Author <-> Visit her Website <-> Buy the Book at Amazon
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.
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.
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.
Notes Along the Way
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.
workshop, GAMi in March
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
Georgia O'Keeffe – October 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. –
Williamsburg Center for Contemporary Art, 219 North Boundary Street - Williamsburg, VA –
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
Notes Along the Way
Ward Center for
Open House, Friday
August 14, 6 to 9 p.m.
Paradise" exhibition by Mary Montague Sikes
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.
with me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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,
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.