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.


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.


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.


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!


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. 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Crackers and Oranges, My New Book

 Click on book to go to

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. 


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.


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. 


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 for details.