Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spoonbills, 18x24

Another in my series of birds and mangroves. These were two of an enormous crowd of birds at Mrazek Pond in the Everglades. I saw every bird I could think of except flamingos, plus a flock of photographers with some very serious, large lenses. I suppose some were professional photographers and some were "Birders." Bird is now a verb, you know; I have a theory about that: the term "Birdwatching" brings to mind pith helmets, khaki shorts and binoculars, kind of a goober look, whereas today's Birders are vigorous people with Tilley hats and cameras with gigantic lenses.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cruising, 8x10

This is another Everglades painting. I like looking out over the vast river of grass and imagining all the creatures living there, unseen. The place is teeming with life, and I hope after the oil disaster is over it still will be. And for everyone up north who is afraid to come down because of the oil spill, it isn't here. Maybe it will be eventually, but it won't be sudden, and it's not here now on the East Coast. In fact, it is just gorgeous here right now, even in my own back yard.

Here's a photo I took in the Gumbo Limbo forest, and I have never seen a more human-looking tree. It's a Strangler Fig.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Forest Dweller, Original Oil Painting, 8x10

One of the things I enjoyed while walking through the Mangrove Forest was the beauty of the orchids and air plants attached to mangrove trees. The mangroves were old, and just a tangle that no one could get through without the convenience of the trail made for us tourists. This was so different from the delicate appearance of mangroves beside water. These were substantial trees offering yet another kind of home to wildlife.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where's Alli?

I'm working on two paintings and have none to post right now, but I have to share this Everglades photo. I didn't realize what was in it till I got the print. I was taking pictures of a those pretty flowers and never noticed what was looking at me from beneath the surface of the water. Can you see it? Eek.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Florida Bay, 8x10

This is a little break from mangroves--but be assured, those are mangroves in the background. When you drive the southernmost road across the Everglades, you end up here, at the Flamingo Visitor Center. You can take a pontoon boat on a tour of Florida Bay, or up the river. In both locations you can see lots of (guess what?) mangroves! We went up the river.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guests for Dinner, 18x24

I will be painting a lot of Everglades art, since I have a treasure trove of photos now, most featuring birds and mangroves. In fact, those are mangroves in the background of this one. The Wood Stork is calmly looking over the Spoonbills feeding in Mrazek Pond. Did you know the Wood Stork puts his bill underwater and waits for his prey? Then his beak snaps shut at lightning speed, 25 milliseconds. This is known as grope-feeding (there are so many possible jokes, but I'll let them go by...)The Wood Stork has one of the fastest reflexes of any vertebrate.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I am pleased to announce that my painting, "River of Tears," has been published in the new book Addiction and Art from Johns Hopkins University Press. My painting was an expression of emotion about my father's struggles with alcoholism.

Addiction accounts for one of every five deaths in the United States. This book puts a human face on addiction through the creative work of individuals who have been touched by it. A panel of addiction scientists, artists, and art professionals selected the 61 pieces in the book from more than 1,000 submissions. Each artwork is accompanied by a statement from the artist.

The book may be ordered at When you get there, click on "Books." Be warned, Addiction and Art is not for the faint of heart.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

River of Grass, 8x10

This is the view from the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. A little departure from closeups of mangroves.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Qiang Huang

I am featuring a fabulous painter in my blog today, Qiang Huang, pronounced "Chong Wong." Qiang is from China and now resides in Texas. He is a daily painter, and each painting he produces is like a brilliant jewel. Besides his full-time engineering job and his daily painting, Qiang teaches workshops all over the country, and will be teaching at Melbourne's Art Students Guild in November. I can hardly wait! Check out Qiang's blog and website.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pardon My Back, 18 x 24

This is the first in a series and it's a bigger painting than I have been posting. I didn't pose these birds, they were standing exactly like this, so this was one of those paintings that got named before I started it.

While in the Everglades I got to see plenty of mangroves, mangrove forests and mangrove islands. What fascinating trees they are. They thrive in salty environments because they are able to obtain fresh water from saltwater. Some secrete excess salt through their leaves, and others block absorption of salt at their roots. Some present a beautiful abstract design with their roots...hmmm, that gives me an idea...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thank You, My Pinky Finger

Big thanks to Robin at! Robin was kind enough to feature my work on her website. She is a Reverse Florida Transplant, a Floridian who now lives in Texas, and she has a shop on Etsy, which you can access from her website at Check out her jewelry!

And, here is a departure from wildlife and mangroves. It's an 8x10 oil called Limes in Blue Bowl. What a boring title. If you can think of a clever one, please let me know. The comedic portion of my brain seems to be having a little snooze.

In the Everglades

Here are a couple of photos I took in the Everglades this weekend. I got a lot of inspiration from our trip, so paintings will follow. It was hot, humid and fascinating, and we had a great time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Work in Progress

I'm doing a series of larger paintings and birds and water will be prominently featured. I thought I'd show you a work in progress. I'll post the finished work next week.

Nothing to do with painting, but I have to share profound words my friend said yesterday: "Hating someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die." Good one, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Virgin Gorda, 11x14

I love seeing a rainstorm coming, yet the foreground in the landscape is still bright and sunny. This is a view in the British Virgin Islands, a commission I just completed.