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Tales of the Traveling Tote: My Happy Place {Red Dot Gallery}

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


This is not my happy place.
This is a beautiful landscape painted by my teacher, Dori DeCamillis.  She's from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and this is a vista close to her hometown.

Happy March, My Lovelies!  In this edition of the Tales of the Traveling Tote, I'm taking you on a field trip to my happy place:  Red Dot Gallery.  

Red Dot Gallery is located in Edgewood, a neighborhood in Homewood, Alabama.
(Homewood is a suburb of Birmingham.)

My Happy Place
When I'm painting I do not allow La Countess de Monet to attend classes because oil paint would ruin her pretty outfit.  I'm currently taking drawing classes, and my drawing supplies fit nicely inside.

Welcome to Red Dot!

Red Dot is also a gallery showcasing Dori's paintings and her husband Scott Bennett's pottery. 
Dori teaches drawing and painting, and Scott teaches clay classes.

My longtime followers have read about Red Dot before.  I've taken art classes there for over thirteen years;  I've learned so much about art, both oil painting and drawing, from Dori.

Dori in the studio
(my beautiful teacher)

I will show you what the studio looks like from my seat.  I'm facing the other way when I'm working.  I sit in the corner because I'm naughty!  (Just kidding....I don't need as much room as other students.)

My friend K's art in the foreground, and that's my friend C with her giant painting she's working on in the background.

Another student's art

We have so much fun in class that it should be illegal.  I was so grateful that during the COVID crazy we had ZOOM classes.  I also took classes during my treatment when I couldn't go to the studio via ZOOM.  Dori was truly one of the angels in my life during those not very fun times.

Let's take a look at a few of Dori's paintings.  She has been painting a series of animals lately.  

Each animal in this painting represents someone in her family.

I also want to share a couple of photos of Scott's art:

If you look at the top of my blog, you will notice a page entitled Art.  You can read more about my art and link over to my student page at Red Dot and see several of my paintings.  I encourage you to look around the site and check-out other students' paintings as well as Dori's beautiful paintings and projects.

NOTE:  I haven't been able to travel for several months.  We had a couple of trips planned after Christmas, and Mr. Bookish canceled because he thought I needed more time.  We do have some exciting plans for this month.  La Countess cannot wait, and neither can I!

Please visit the other blogs participating this quarter.  Links are below.  Plus, there's a fun giveaway at the Panoply blog.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader (You're here!)
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. Fun times at The Red Dot Gallery. I love the Steamboat Vista and the rabbit painting! I've not traveled anywhere, and no plans in the near future. i know you are eager to get back to some fun times! Happy March!

  2. Ricki Jill, the landscape at the top of your post is beautiful and a location I would visit often if it were near. I remember Edgewood in Homewood from our days of living in Birmingham. I can understand the Red Dot being a happy place for you and it sounds like a place where you have a lot of fun. Your teacher looks like a beautiful angel and I love hearing how much you enjoy your art class. Hopefully you and Skip will enjoy your planned trips soon. Looking forward to our next lunch. Happy March RJ.....

  3. I so enjoyed hearing more about your art class and the Red Dot Gallery, I know how much you enjoy your classes. It was fun to see your teachers paintings, I love the way she captures light. Her husband's pottery is very cool too~ thanks for the link to the gallery paintings and I so enjoyed seeing so many of your beautiful paintings on your Art page! The blue teacups are my very favorite ❤️ You have been so patient and positive throughout your brave battle and it has been such a treat to be able to see you finally and resume our special lunches! I hope you can take your long awaited trip soon~ Happy March!

  4. Wow - beautiful art work and I am glad to hear you are able to pick up your lessons again. Her art work and his pottery is gorgeous. Your art work is amazing, too and you could also be the teacher!!! Looking forward to your future adventures! So happy you are back to good health!

  5. What a fun art class Ricki. The Red Dot Gallery is so beautiful. The paintings are so pretty. Very talented people. The pottery is wonderful. Getting back to fun times again is magic. So glad you have conquered the C word. Happy March Ricki Jill.

  6. Ricki Jill, I love your art. Those still life paintings (the fruit, particularly), the bleeding hearts, and silver point are all favorites. The bee with honey daily painting also. I can certainly see why this gallery and its classes were and are so important to you. It's like any other skill to perfect - 10,000 hours, yes? And continuing.....
    I hope soon you get to travel again. I hope I do too! Happy March on this glorious gift of a day! We currently have 80° and sunshine galore, no humidity.

  7. I can certainly understand why Red Dot is your happy place. Ricki Jill! How wonderful to attend classes with Angel as your teacher and she has a talented hubby besides. Having fun with other friends is just the best medicine! Thank you for sharing all the beautiful pieces of art from your happy place.

  8. What fun and thanks for sharing some of the other students pictures and their artwork. My daughter and son took art lessons from a neighbor and other neighbors got kicked out of the class because they talked and laughed too much! How funny is that?!! Glad you guys can have fun. Continue to get better and hope there are lots of fun adventures in your future.

  9. So happy that you can take your long awaited trip soon. You've probably heard non-artists like myself say that we are blown away with your art. I still remember the dog and the tea cups, and am still wowed. So happy you are back to good health. Enjoy your trip!

  10. Amazing art work. I HAD to sit in the corner in my art class...and it WAS because I was naughty. hahahaha. No surprise there. What a wonderful place and I am so glad. you are part of it! xo Diana

  11. It's so much fun to see other artists' studios and their work and the work of their teachers. I'm inclined to think (just my humble opinion) that you must be star student and surpassing the teacher, given the absolutely stunning work I've seen of yours in the past. It's good to be in a class again, isn't it?

  12. WOW!!! I want to go to a class when I come visit... someday. ;-)
    BEAUTIFUL art work, teacher and friends.
    Thank you for sharing.

  13. What a beautiful place and I love local art. We bought local Florida art when we moved here and love having it on our walls. Take care and enjoy your week!

  14. What a fun gallery! I love the fact that you've made so many friendships there. I'm so impressed with all the talent on display. So much creativity and inspiration! I can see why you love it.

  15. What a great place to go and be creative. I see why you love this place. Kind artful friends and lots of good works. Happy Monday. Have a great week. Hugs. Kris

  16. Thank you for featuring Red Dot, RJ! We are lucky to have had you as a friend and champion for so long. You didn't mention that we've even coined a painting term after you! 😉 You've been one my angels too, dear. I see us growing old together, pushing paint through think and thin.


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Hello, Lovelies!

I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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