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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Breakfast Club, 20x16 Original Oil Seascape on Canvas


I had the urge to paint something bigger than my usual daily paintings, so I spent several days on this. I love the ocean. I love swimming in it, looking at it, floating on it, and painting it. I'm awed by its power and fascinated by its beauty. I like to look at it and imagine what's on the other side. When I was a kid living in Central Florida, we would come to the beach, and I could smell it before I saw it. I have lived in Bermuda and the Azores Islands, surrounded by water. In Bermuda it was turquoise with pink sand beaches; in the Azores it was deep teal or blue or stormy gray, with a black lava beach. I'd like to be back in those places, knowing what I know now about painting them.

Carmen

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feed Me, 6x6 Oil Painting on Canvas



I did this a while back after reading about Daily Painter Carol Marine challenging herself by doing a painting using a different mix of color for each stroke. Even the reds, though they may look similar, are different mixes. Not only was this difficult, it was time-consuming and messy; however, I really like the end result. By painting this way, I was bolder with my strokes and used more of a variety of colors to create the image. I made surer strokes by putting them down and leaving them alone. No blending. No niggling. 

Speaking of niggling, I have come to realize that my husband and I have become directors. He gives me directions, I give him directions, then we turn around and give our children and grandchildren directions. We're like those actors who say, "...but I've always wanted to direct." Well, someone has to do it.

Carmen


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Everglades Bird, 10x8 Oil on Canvas Landscape



Painting the Everglades brings back such a happy memory of a fun camping trip with my friends Cindy and Kathy. We learned that the yellow stuff the bird is standing on is called Periphyton, and it is an important part of the food chain. It forms when many algae plants grow together, and provides a habitat for insects, snails, and other aquatic creatures. Phosphorus is damaging to the health of the Everglades, and Periphyton mats remove phosphorus from the water. If humans don't interfere with Nature, things work out pretty well.

That concludes my science lesson for today.

Carmen

Friday, December 19, 2014

Salt Spray, 10x8 Original Oil Painting Seascape



"The sea was angry that day, my friends." - George Costanza 

On a bright sunny day I saw these huge waves breaking on Satellite Beach. I don't think I've ever seen bigger ones there. Of course, it was creating the annual Fall beach erosion. No matter how much sand they dump there, Nature takes it away annually.

The water was churning so much that it threw salt spray up into the air, which I have tried to capture here. I love painting the ocean in all its shapes, movements and colors!

Carmen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mary's Roses, 7x5 Oil on Canvas Panel



These roses were in celebration of my friend Mary's birthday, and I have wanted to paint them ever since; however, roses are a daunting subject. These were white, but had a surprising amount of green in them. I was going to paint the other day and got as far as putting the canvas on the easel, but had so many interruptions that I didn't get back to it until today, two days later. It gave me a long time to think about whether I was doing the right thing in painting on a black canvas. Today I plunged right in, and I am really happy with the result. 

Carmen

Friday, December 12, 2014

Crackers and Oranges, My New Book

 Click on book to go to Amazon.com

This is the cover of my new book, a memoir about my childhood in Dundee, a small Central Florida town. I wanted to write about all the characters who influenced me, especially my very tough grandmothers who survived the Depression and the stress of their sons going off to war. Don't get the idea that it's a downer, though. There were a lot of funny things to tell, too. My book is illustrated throughout with photos, paintings and quirky drawings. You can peek inside on Amazon by clicking the book above or here. 

Carmen

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bok Tower, 5x7 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel



Back in the old days in Florida, before Disney came to Orlando, the big attractions were Silver Springs, Cypress Gardens, and this one, Bok Tower. Bok Tower is a National Historic Landmark in Lake Wales, Florida, built on Iron Mountain, a whopping 295 feet above sea level. Pretty high for Florida.

The gardens were built in 1921 by Edward Bok, editor of Ladies Home Journal. The Singing Tower, above, plays carillon bells daily. Frederick Olmstead, architect of Central Park, designed the beautiful landscape.

Anyone visiting Bok Tower should also stop by Spook Hill in Lake Wales, where you can put your car in neutral and roll uphill. Honest. Go try it.

Carmen

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Praia Beach, 10x8 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel


I painted this from a very old black-and-white photograph. This was actually right at our back yard when we lived in the Azores, Portugal and this was my son having a great time. The town was called Praia da Vitoria. The Portuguese people were friendly, hospitable, and hard-working. 

My son was two years old when we got there, and he spent the whole first month standing on a little stool looking out the window in amazement as farmers drove their cows and pigs down the street, with an occasional oxcart with its squeaking wooden wheels laboring by. Ever heard an axle that is wood on wood? Very noisy! I have to say, a litter of piglets trotting down the street is a very cute sight. Their little ears flop up and down in the most adorable way, while the farmer walks along behind them with a long stick to keep everything orderly.

How I wish I'd been a serious painter then! The landscape looked like Ireland, green with stone fences; the ocean was gorgeous, and there were cliffs and mountains, as well as picturesque villages with cobblestone streets. The faces of the people were wonderful, too. I need to go back there sometime and do better.

My good news this week is that I won First Place in the Contemporary Fine Art International Juried Fall Show, called "The World Outdoors," for my painting of Cathedral Rock outside Sedona, Arizona. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and I poured myself into the painting. 

Carmen

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fugitive Sea, 6x8 Oil on Canvas Panel



There was a bird in this painting, but I scraped him away. He was so cute in my photo, seen from behind dipping his toe in the water (if he had a toe), but he just didn't work in paint. He was so plain that it was cartoonish and I just could not overcome that.

I'm so looking forward to our big Pieces of 8 sale next Friday and Saturday in Eau Gallie at Ralph's Art Supply! See http://www.piecesof8art.blogspot.com/ for details. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Birdie Coiffure, 6x6 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel



I always enjoy these birds, especially this one with his hair sticking up like he's in a boy band. 

This is Thanksgiving Day, and I am very thankful to live in Florida, looking out my window at the beautiful sunny day we are having. My new knee is not healed enough to permit me to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but we are invited to the home of a really good cook, so I am also thankful for that!

Carmen

Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Palms, 6x8 Oil Painting on Panel



Well, I will soon be building my brand-new, luxurious studio because James Comey of the FBI emailed me that for only $750 and my personal information I will receive over 10 million dollars from lottery/gambling/inheritance money due me from "overseas."

I keep wondering how many people fall for this, just another version of the Nigerian scam. Someone must, or they wouldn't keep doing it. The letters are always poorly written and don't even come close to being believable, yet someone must be sending them money.

This has nothing to do with my painting above, I just need to sound off now and then. I once had a friend who would say, "There are eight million people in New York City. If I could just get each one to send me a penny..."

Carmen

Thursday, November 20, 2014

By the Sea, Seascape,Oil on Canvas panel,10x8



I feel such sympathy for the people up north (and by "up north" I mean anything above the Florida-Georgia line). I don't think I'd survive in places with eight feet of snow. No wonder my grandmother came to Florida from Missouri in the 1900s. 

This painting is what Fall looks like here. We usually get a big November storm, which for us means rain, wind, beach erosion, and the leaves blowing off the plumeria tree. I have no complaints!

Carmen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red Roof Cottage, 10x8 Original Acrylic on Panel



I know, I know. This is an abrupt change from my previous post. Members of my painting group, Pieces of 8, present challenges each week to get us out of our comfort zone. This one was from Cindy Michaud. It is fun to do something so completely different from my usual. It is influenced by Clarice Cliff, an important ceramic artist in the 1920s. Below is an example of her work, which is highly valued today. 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sunshine and Shadow, 24x20 Oil on Canvas, after Homer



My painting group did copies of masters as an educational exercise. I did this one as an homage to two of my favorite things, reading in a hammock and paintings by Winslow Homer. I was lucky enough to walk the cliff walk near Homer's home, imagining him there, painting those rocky shores. There is speculation that the girl is Helena de Kay, with whom Homer was in love for many years. It was an unrequited love, and he lost her to another man. Homer never married. 

One of my favorite stories about Homer is that he would sit outside sketching away, and unless a drawing really pleased him, he crumpled it up and threw it on the ground. He would pay local boys to pick up the mess he made, and some of their parents were smart enough to keep those rejected sketches. Wonder what they are worth today?

Carmen

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Three Pelicans, 8x6 Oil on Panel



I painted these birds for my November 1st post, and the colors were more realistic. I decided to do them again, but get more free with colors that I enjoy. Seems to me there is a lot more to look at in this one.

Which one do you like best?

Carmen

Saturday, November 8, 2014

English Roses, 6x6 Oil Painting on Panel




This is a repeat of an earlier post. I struggled with the photo of this garden painting, because it had a pinkish hue for some reason. It has bothered me ever since, so I took the photo again and finally got a better reproduction of the painting. I don't know why color in some images is harder to capture.

One of the problems with selling paintings online is that not every monitor shows colors the same way. I had a customer complain that her painting had some orange touches in it and she doesn't like orange; however, on my computer the orange is very apparent.  One customer out of hundreds can adversely affect a seller's rating, as this one buyer did for mine, and her comments didn't even match her rating. The lesson I learned from that is that when I am trying to decide between two sellers and one of them has four stars and the other five stars, it doesn't mean a thing. 

Carmen

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Little Bridge, 5x7 Pen and Ink Drawing



Every time I draw one of these cottages it takes me back to my childhood, reading Grimm Fairy Tales. Those were my favorites The ones that were really grim were the ones by Hans Christian Anderson. They used to scare me to death. He was Stephen King for children. One title I still remember: The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf. Terrifying.

The brothers Grimm had some scary ones too, but fortunately my book had such winners as Cinderella and Rapunzel. There's nothing wrong with a happy ending.

Carmen


Saturday, November 1, 2014

White Pelicans, 8x6 Oil on Panel



I separated these three pelicans from the flock that was floating in a pond in the Everglades. There were too many to paint them all, and amazingly, there was an alligator cruising quietly right down the middle of the crowd. I don't know how the birds know when it's time to take flight, but they did seem to have eyes on the alligator, and he never attacked them.

My posts have been few and far between since I had surgery, but I am trying to do better. I'm not as dopey or as apathetic as I was at first, but I still am not myself. I want to be healthy for the big Pieces of 8 Holiday Sale on December 5 and 6 at Ralph's Art Supply in Eau Gallie Arts District. Save the date and a generous block of time, because there will be a lot to look at, not only fine art but affordable gift items as well. 

Carmen

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hot Cubans, 6x9 Oil on Panel Figurative Painting



This place serves excellent Cuban sandwiches, hence the title...what did you think I meant? 

Okay, I confess: this title was stuck in my head before I painted the first stroke, and nothing else worked. These guys were waiters in a South Beach Cuban restaurant and I loved their casual pose as they were awaiting the dinner crowd. 

Carmen

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

House on the Beach, 8x6 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel



This is a red-letter day. I finally painted a painting, after three weeks of being unable to do so. Oh, Happy Day! I painted this from an iPhone photo my husband took while we were out for my therapeutic walk. The sun was setting behind us, giving the house an interesting color and tinting the clouds a bit. I've been thinking about that light for days, and finally felt up to painting it.

I got my copy of Carol Marine's book about Daily Painting, and it is even better than I expected. It is full of info about how to be a Daily Painter, and she includes her materials, tools, habits, and so much more. You can just feel her energy coming through the pages. It's beautifully written and beautifully printed, and I am so happy to have my little zentangle in it! Check it out at Amazon by clicking here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paintangle, 5x7 Pen and Ink Zentangle-Inspired Drawing


Since my surgery I have been trying to be inspired to do something artistic, yet nothing came to me. Then I realized that most thoughts have been about pain, so I decided to draw my perception of pain. It's jagged, it has little bursts now and then, it's sharp and pointy, and it's not pretty. I am not whining, because I feel I am doing very well and getting better each day. Over and over in my head Carly Simon is singing, "I Haven't Got Time for the Pain..."

I haven't put a price on my pain drawing, because who would want it? I don't even want it. Perhaps we shall have a ceremonial burning when the pain wears itself out.

Carmen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Island Dream, 7x5 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Tropical Beach


Well, here's my idea of torture. I am laid up while healing from knee surgery, and when the TV is on, I hear the same political ads every few minutes. Here in Florida we have newsmen who do fact checks, and they report on the ads that are outright lies or smarmy half-truths. Even after the ads are shown to be untrue, they continue to play, over and over and over. This is how elections are won. Tells the same lies enough, until people believe them. If other products make false claims they can get yanked off the air. If those to whom we entrust leadership make false claims, we elect them. What kind of stupid system is that?

Okay, enough of a rant. My leg looks less and less like a zombie leg and my progress is good. I hope my brain comes back to life soon. Is it a contradiction to say I am concerned about my state of apathy? The only thing I'm not apathetic about is political ads.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Daily Painting Book by Carol Marine


I am so happy to report that my zentangle drawing above is included in Carol Marine's soon-to-be-released book Daily Painting. Some of the most amazing artists are in the book, and I am so honored to be included! Release date is November 4th on Amazon, or you may pre-order now for a discount of about $8. Here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Painting-Creative-Productive-Successful/dp/0770435335/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412907428&sr=8-1&keywords=daily+painting

This is a really bright spot for me during what I call the Month of Worries. My loved ones have experienced eye surgery, knee surgery, bypass surgery, pneumonia, and blood clots. I myself am still recovering from my knee replacement and it is going well, so I have no complaints. The meds make me really stupid but that too shall pass. I hope.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Breakfast Table, after John Singer Sargent


NFS

When our painting group, Pieces of 8, first began painting together, we agreed to hone our skills by copying the masters. I love the work of John Singer Sargent, I so I copied this rather complex piece. I am digging into my archives to schedule posts so that you won't forget about me while I recover from getting my bionic knee (heh heh).

Here is my favorite copy I did of a Sargent painting. 


Carmen

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Satellite Beach, 8x6 Oil on Canvas


This is an original oil painting of Satellite Beach, Florida, 8x6, signed and ready to frame. The clouds have been so interesting here lately, because almost every day we get a big rainstorm. Prior to that we have beautiful cloud formations, and at sunset they are tinted with color. Even though the sun sets in the west, the clouds over our beach on the east coast are sometimes painted lightly with very beautiful pinks.

Carmen

Friday, October 3, 2014

Surf Spray, 8x6 Original Oil on Canvas



Every day I look at the news to see where the tornadoes, hail, flood and fire were yesterday. This has been an amazingly violent summer. Yet here in Satellite Beach, Florida, all is well. It's sunny in the morning and very rainy in the afternoon. I cannot complain, especially when I see scenes like this at the beach.

Carmen 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Green Swamp, 6x8 Oil Painting



This primeval swamp is in Silver Springs State Park, Florida. If you ever go camping at Silver Springs, or stay in one of the comfy cabins for rent, be sure to find the Swamp Trail, because you will walk through this swamp (on a boardwalk), then see the beautiful Silver River at the end. That view is depicted in my previous blog on September 17th. Scroll down to see that one.

See those cypress knees that are kind of bent? I have a knee like that, and I am getting it replaced in October. I will be out of commission for a while, so my posts may be few and far between. I hope I will at least be up to Zentangling, but I'm not promising anything. 

Carmen 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Datura, 6x9 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel



This beautiful flower was blooming in Silver Springs State Park. I was peacefully painting the river while the glass bottom boat floated by, as well as the occasional kayaker. We artists took many pictures of the huge Angel Trumpet (otherwise known as Datura) plant. 
Glass Bottom Boat

Swamp
Silver Springs is a beautifully maintained state park now, and well worth visiting.

Carmen


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Silver River, 10x8 Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel



Our artists group, Pieces of 8, went on a retreat to Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida. I first went there as a six-year-old with my parents and watched Ross Allen milk rattlesnakes. Though he is gone, the glass bottom boats are still there, and we enjoyed looking down into the depths of the river, where the springs produce 55 million gallons of water per day. 

Silver Springs had gotten a bit shabby after Disney got all the attention as a major attraction in Florida, but the state has taken it over and made it into a lovely place to visit. The cabins are wonderful. They are air-conditioned and have big porches. There are hiking trails and a surprisingly good museum in the campground area. The above painting is at the end of the Swamp Trail.

As an added bonus, the Appleton Art Museum is five minutes away, and it is fabulous. We were very surprised at the quality of art it contains. 

Below are a couple of photos from our trip.
On the Porch at Our Cabin

View of a Spring

Monday, September 15, 2014

Journalling at Silver Springs


Computers are so mysterious. In the words "stabilize" and "small" above, the letter "l" is missing. It's not missing in the journal. That is just weird. 


Above, looking down into a spring; below, a very interesting palm tree that loops out over the water.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

White Sail, 7x5 Oil on Canvas Panel



This is a breezy painting and I breezed right through it. It just gave me a good feeling, maybe because I was painting with my favorite artists. I am enjoying looking at it because outside the window I see gloom and rain. 

Please explore my Etsy shop at www.carmensart.etsy.com to see a variety of weather-on-the-beach paintings.

Carmen

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sky Blue Pink, 6x6 Oil Painting on Canvas



My aunt used to describe a certain color as "sky blue pink," then laugh. I was never sure what that meant, but I believe it was something like this picture. 

By the time you read this I'll be at Silver Springs State Park (Florida) with my painting group. It's supposed to rain, but I hope we get enough sunny days to paint en plein air. Ohboyohboyohboy, I can't wait!

Carmen

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Butterfly Tree, 5x7 Pen and Ink Zentangle-Inspired Drawing

SOLD

I went off on a flight of fancy with this one. It's not exactly a Zentangle, but it is a fantasy drawing. I just never get tired of drawing trees.

It's been a little crazy here lately. I started a collage, painted an oil painting, did a couple Zentangles, and today I'm going back to the collage. Sometimes I wonder why I can't just relax and retire. What is wrong with me? Maybe it's because I waited so long to do art full-time. Or maybe it's just because I love doing it.

Carmen 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Cotswolds, 12x9 Oil on Canvas


NFS

I must be something of an Anglophile, because I love little English villages, magnificent English cathedrals, and I am just awed by thatched roofs. I wish there were some in this painting. Those things are works of art.

I also love books by Kate Atkinson, Alexander McCall Smith, Charles Dickens and many others. I love Beatles music and the beautiful ancient sculptured hedges. I love London. I especially love the sweet Ricky Gervais TV show on Netflix, "Derek." Yep, I think maybe I'm an Anglophile.

Carmen



Monday, September 1, 2014

Reflections of Venice, 14x11, Oil on Canvas

NFS

As I was reflecting on my trip to Venice, I realized that I had never published this painting on my blog. Venice is a city I would love to revisit. I certainly understand why John Singer Sargent spent so much time in this beautiful and unique city. There is a painting around each corner.

Carmen

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sun on the Beach, 7x5 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Seascape



This painting was easy to name. This beach is behind a local restaurant called Sun on the Beach. Erosion is a problem here, so those sea oats you see are protected because they help anchor the dunes. We also are a Sea Turtle Preservation area, where sea turtles come out of the ocean at night and lay their eggs and bury them. When they hatch, the little hatchlings hurry to the sea. It's a hazardous beginning; if they don't escape the notice of birds they are goners.  

Mama Turtles continue to reproduce until they are 80. If they had to rear all those children, they would soon curtail this behavior!

Carmen

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tomatoes and Garlic, 5x7 Oil on Canvas Original Still Life Painting




Here are two staples of life, tomatoes and garlic. I had an Italian grandmother but she didn't like to cook. She was more of a career woman, darn my bad luck.

I have a new web page that is very user-friendly. Below is a screen shot of my home page. I highly recommend my designer, FileFish Web Design --very affordable and easy to work with.


Carmen

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Grape Picker, 20x16, Oil Painting on Canvas of Portuguese Woman in the Azores



I did this painting years ago when I lived in the Azores Islands, which are Portuguese Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The people were very hard-working, and this woman was typical of our industrious Portuguese acquaintances. Life was not easy for them, but they were lovely, hospitable people. Our maid was like part of our family and it was heartbreaking when we left, although we never lost touch.

Carmen

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zen Lizard, Pen and Ink Drawing, 8x10 Matted Zentangle-Inspired, Black and White




Why didn't I think of this before? Reptiles are great for zentangling, and I really enjoyed doing this one. Can you see what he's looking at? That ladybug is doomed. She'd better fly away home, and be quick about it.

Carmen

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Zen Pineapple, Pen and Ink Drawing, Zentangle-Inspired 8x10 Matted



SOLD

Our friend Dave has a green thumb. He grows very healthy pineapples, and when I saw this one with the jaunty top of gorgeous leaves I started drawing patterns in my mind. One of these days maybe I'll do a big drawing like this, and the more complicated the better. It's my moment of Zen.



Carmen