Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Reflections of Venice, 11x14, Original Oil on Canvas


I've been reflecting (pardon the pun) on my trip to Venice with my sister. It is a different world, and looks much as it did when John Singer Sargent visited. I certainly understand why Sargent spent so much time in this beautiful and unique city. There is a painting around each corner.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rain's Coming, 30x40 Oil Painting on Canvas, Seascape

These are two of the paintings I will be exhibiting at my show on Anna Maria Island, at Paradise Found AMI, this Friday, the 16th of December. The address is 505 Pine Avenue. If you are in the area, please stop by.

I love painting weather. You can look out over the ocean and see all sorts of weather phenomena. Between the sky and the surf, there is always something to paint, even on a sunny day.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Apple on Pink, 6x8 Original Oil Painting Still Life

The Pieces of 8 painting group was practicing painting different objects on different-colored surfaces, and I like this apple enough to finish it; however, I didn't like the background color at all. Since I am busy with my current job, I haven't had time to paint, so I took the above picture, then used Photoshop to try out different background colors. I like this one (below) a lot better than that background color above.


Friday, December 2, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

White Pitcher, 11x14 Still Life Oil on Canvas Panel

I'm trying to be more colorful with still life painting, especially when there is a subject with a lot of one color, as in this white pitcher. I had to depend on shadows and reflections for added interest.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Peonies, 11x14 Still Life on Canvas

Although I haven't been painting still lifes for a long time, I'm pretty happy with this one. Today Donna, Carol and I are going to do a lot of loosey-goosey quick still life paintings using the vast amount of information Elio Camacho tried to cram into our heads in five days.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Blue Pitcher, 11x14 Oil on Canvas Panel Still Life

Donna, Carol and I just returned from the Elio Camacho workshop on Amelia Island, and it was exhausting and fulfilling. Elio is a master of color and kind critiques. We had five days of demos, lectures, intense painting, and shrimp. This was my first effort:

Once again, we ate shrimp at every meal. Fried shrimp, shrimp salad, shrimp chowder, shrimp tacos...I sound like Bubba in "Forrest Gump." Our favorite place was Timoti's, where they displayed this sign:

Now it's time to start preparing for Thanksgiving. Back to the real world!


Friday, November 18, 2016

At the Movies, 30x40 Oil Painting on Canvas, Transformations Exhibit

Several years ago I participated in an art show called Transformations, in which each team consisted of an artist and a poet who collaborated to produce a painting and a poem. It's amazing how well-paired each team was, because many never met before this project.

My poet partner, Jean Shepard, lives in Jacksonville, so we met in Ormond Beach to toss around ideas for our collaboration.  When I was born, we lived in an apartment inside a movie theater, and my father managed the theater. She was fascinated by the idea of living inside a movie theater. She wrote her poem from my father's perspective and also made interesting observations on time and motion. All of this gave me the idea for a painting with my mother in the center, sitting on a crescent moon, surrounded by movie stars.
Here is Jean's poem, "At the Movies."

Being two with the hope of three,
it was all they could afford,
an apartment above the cinema
where for hours each day he was a god
at work, turning day into night,
night into day with a flipped switch.
Where he revealed moments
snatched out of time
and run through a light
for believers who sat in silence below.
When two became three,
they ascended the narrow stairs
carried a pink bundle to an empty crib
watched with fascination
the arms waving, the legs kicking,
the unknowing, introverted face.
But others waited below.
He descended to darkness and the machine,
the sour smell of celluloid,
its tiny pieces of the past
curled on themselves like a  shell.
As he turned the switch on
and watched the relentless streaming
he suddenly saw how we move in the world,
how we run forward while
looking back over our shoulders
caught up in continuous flight.
Then he thought of the pink bundle above him,
the new skin, curled fingers,
the tiny feet that had not touched earth
and he was afraid.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Everglades Spoonbills, 24x20 Oil on Canvas Wildlife Painting


Thanks to our dynamic Brevard Cultural Alliance for exhibiting my Spoonbill painting at the Titusville Airport, where it recently sold. These beautiful birds were at Mrazek Pond in the Everglades; there were many species of birds there, including white pelicans. I realize now how lucky I was to get this shot, because I went back to Mrazek Pond on another trip to the Glades and saw no birds at all.

Spoonbills are unique. They have exquisite plumage and a face like a spoon.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Mermaids, 36x22 Pen and Ink Drawing on Nautical Map

This map is different from the nautical charts to which I've added sea creatures (see my posts on July 25th and August 27th), but I think it works. I especially like the colors. Click on it to see more detail.

Three of us Pieces of Eight painters will be taking the Elio Camacho workshop again on Amelia Island. That is always an adventure in colorful painting and also an adventure in shrimp. The area is known for the very best shrimp, and it is hard to resist eating it every day. It's just like the scene in Forest Gump where Bubba is describing all the different ways of cooking shrimp. So many little time.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Autumn Tree, Landscape Original Painting, 6x8 Oil on Canvas Panel

Since I live by the beach, I get very excited when I see Fall colors. This tree just seemed to glow. We were in upstate Pennsylvania, staying on a farm. What a different way of life from flip-flop-wearing, easygoing Florida. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Hill, Sketch Journal in Watercolor

We recently visited our family in Pennsylvania and it was just beautiful there with all the Fall colors. They live right on top of a hill which slopes down to cow pastures. See the little fat cow? That is not even exaggerated. 
A lot of cooking went on and we enjoyed it immensely. We hiked through the woods and found the mushrooms depicted above right. The big one was huge and very hard. Fungi can be quite peculiar.

I once had a high school biology teacher who had this question on a test: _______have no ________.

He offered not a clue. Worms have no feet? Fish have no pockets?

The actual answer: Fungi have no Chlorophyll.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Beach Birds, 11x14 Oil on Canvas Panel, Seascape

This has been an interesting project because I used cold wax as my medium. I painted much of it before going on vacation, then added the foreground birds when I returned. Cold wax is very interesting to use and I am still experimenting with it. It has a soft look, and when painting over a layer that has dried it is very easy to wipe away any mistakes. Wax on, wax off. 

It also makes a nice final varnish and you don't have to wait months to do it. It is not recommended for stretched canvas, though. A rigid support is necessary to prevent cracking.

I realize if you're not an artist this is about as interesting as reading the Tax Code.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Gaze, 6x6 Acrylic

I've been painting a large floral painting that is quite detailed, so to loosen up a bit I did this little experiment. I used black and white acrylic over poured acrylic to get this effect. The poured acrylic was completely dry (which takes days) before I painted over it.

Today I got an email requesting the following custom order:  "A hand painting of steve Jobs that shows the white apple logo and says think different, and also it has to say in memory of Steve Jobs February 24, 1955- October 5 2011, I want the painting to be no more than $50, size 6x6."
Say WHAT? All that, in miniature, for $50? With lettering, yet! Wow. How insulting. 

Coincidentally, this morning I ran across this quote by an artist:

"I always wanted to live in poverty and be maligned and devalued by society and the business world. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams." 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sketch Journal Entry: Paradise Found

This is my journal entry of my sister and niece's new bookstore, Paradise Found, on Pine Avenue, Anna Maria Island. My husband and I were working on the store the whole time Hurricane Matthew was aiming at our home on the other coast of Florida. I painted murals for the children's section and Hap painted the entire inside of the store.

Located between the General Store and a bakery, we wanted for nothing. Can you imagine Coconut Key Lime cake?

It was nerve-wracking watching the predictions of the "Cone of Uncertainty," and we were relieved to find our house relatively undamaged in spite of the large tree down in the front yard. A group from a Mormon church in our town stopped by and helped cut the tree up and pile it by the road. They were wonderful! They saved hours of work for us. Thank you, lovely people in the yellow shirts!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Simonetta, 16x20 Collage on Canvas, Botticelli's Venus

This collage is made entirely of paper torn from fashion magazines. It is a partial view of Sandro Botticelli's famous painting, Birth of Venus. What a challenge! The fun part was her hair. Much of it is from Charlene Theron's "J'Adore" perfume ad. Collage, especially in color, takes me twice as long as oil painting--sometimes three times as long. I do love the result, though.

Simonetta was the woman believed to be the model for Birth of Venus. Read all about her life in our Pieces of 8 member Fay Picardi's book Simonetta.


P.S. The painting Hot Cubans has been reinstated on Etsy, with no explanation about why it was taken down in the first place.

Still Life, Radish Bouquet, 8x6 Oil on Canvas Panel

This would be such a nice picture in a kitchen. Radishes are such colorful vegetables, they beg to be painted. 


Friday, October 7, 2016

Murals, Past and Future

I am painting murals in a new bookstore, Paradise Found, opening November 1st on Anna Maria Island off Bradenton, Florida. In these photos I am revisiting past murals I did for the children's room in a previous bookstore.

I think I need to use some of these again, especially Winnie and Tigger, below.

I love doing these characters. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Paradise Found will have exotic plants for sale also. Books and plants--two of my favorite things!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Landscape Oil Painting, Carolina Barn, 8x6 Original Art

Three of our painting group went on a quest near Waynesville, North Carolina to find picturesque barns to paint. We encountered cows and a gunshot, which added to the country flavor. 

The area around Waynesville is so beautiful, and I loved visiting the waterfalls and Sliding Rock, a huge rock that people slide down into shockingly cold river water. Very entertaining to watch. That water is too cold for my thin Florida blood!


Friday, September 30, 2016

Everglades Bird, Giclee Print, Various Sizes

I've seen these birds just casually stand there while an alligator cruises by. I guess they know they can take off quickly if necessary.

This painting is available as a giclee print on stretched canvas, in various sizes and prices.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sketch Journal: Savannah, Georgia

My sister and I just had the most fun a book lover can have; we attended the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Discovery Show. That's a long way of saying booksellers, authors, publishers and associated others getting together and networking about books. I did more writing in my journal than usual, because I wanted to remember the authors I heard; the occasional little caricature helped.

The first thing we did was visit the Bonaventure Cemetery, where the Bird Girl on the cover of the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" used to reside. Because of tourists making a nuisance of themselves, some even defacing objects in the cemetery, the statue was moved to a museum in the historic district.

The Lady Chablis, also notable in the book and movie, died September 8th.


Monday, September 26, 2016

So What's the Problem?

 "Hot Cubans"

Etsy deactivated this painting titled Hot Cubans from my Etsy Shop and they are, quote, "making sure it meets their policies." I wish they'd tell me what the problem is, because I don't get it. Since it was a Cuban restaurant in South Beach, I thought the title was funny. Every Floridian knows about hot Cuban sandwiches, but maybe someone in the Midwest doesn't. There could even be a triple meaning. There they are, dressed in black, on a hot Miami street. And yes, they were nice-looking guys!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cleared for Takeoff, 10x10 Collage on Canvas

I like painting spoonbills, and when I really want to challenge myself I do a collage spoonbill. I think just picking out the pieces in magazines and figuring out how to use them effectively is a lot more work than laying down oil paint.

This is on gallery wrap canvas and needs no frame.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Sketch Journal: North Carolina

These are scenes from my journal of the recent Pieces of 8 artists' retreat to North Carolina. We happily sat on rocks and sketched a waterfall, and we didn't mention to Donna that we passed a large example of bear scat on the trail. Ignorance is bliss.


Storm's Coming, 30x40 Oil Painting on Canvas, Seascape

This painting will be on display in October-November with the Pieces of Eight art exhibit at the Fountains of Melbourne.

I love painting weather. The skies here are just amazing, no matter what the weather, and if you live in Florida and run out of things to paint, just look up!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Last Azalea, 3x4 Oil on Panel, Small Floral Painting

The reason for the name of this painting: we toured Bok Tower Gardens and the camellias and azaleas had finished blooming; however, in my wanderings I found this late bloomer. I have always thought of myself as a late bloomer. I started my government career a bit late, and upon retirement I threw myself into my art career full-time, but very late. I can relate to this flower, the last azalea.

I did this one backwards; I had a beautiful gold frame and wanted something dramatic to go in it. That's not how it usually works, but I like the result.

The little squiggly things at the bottom of the painting are Spanish moss. That's how it looks up close.  My teacher Elio Camacho would call that "licking the painting." I like it though--it looks a bit fancy, as befits such a fancy flower.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Little Birds, 6x8 Original Oil on Canvas Panel, Seascape Daily Painting


This is a very typical scene on the Space Coast of Florida. Before I cross over the dunes I never know what color the water will be, what size the waves will be, or how many birds there will be. I only know that a peaceful feeling comes over me--unless it's stormy, and I like that too. Clouds and waves do all kinds of interesting things when it's stormy.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stepping Stones, 5x7 Oil on Canvas Panel, Smoky Mountain Scene

I enjoy the play of light and shadow on the stepping stones in this brook. What a pleasant place this was! 

Five of the Pieces of 8, our artists' group, were just in Waynesville, North Carolina for an artists' retreat, and we were reunited with our member emeritus, Cindy Michaud. A wonderful time was had by all, and we came home inspired to try some new things with our art. My cold wax medium has already arrived.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Oconee Sunset, 8x6 Oil on Canvas

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This was pure luck. I saw a good sunset coming on and rushed to the shore of Lake Oconee, Georgia. This heron posed for me so nicely amid the pink and purple water. This particular sunset went through many stages of unrealistic brilliant colors and reflections.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Beachscape, 14x11 Oil on Canvas, Florida Beach Scene

I usually paint from the beach looking at the ocean, so this is a departure. I am looking from the ocean to the shore. I like the palms standing like sentinels over the beach.

By the time this post is online, I'll be hiking in the Smokies, one of my favorite places in the world, with some of my favorite people in the world. Heaven!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rainier Meadow, 10x8 Oil Landscape Painting on Canvas Panel

The Pacific Northwest is so beautiful, and so different from my home state of Florida, which is flat as a flitter and doesn't have gigantic trees. Our country has as diverse a landscape as could be imagined, and it's one of the things I love about it.

Below is the original and my painting.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Little Foxes, 6x6 Original Oil Painting on Stretched Canvas, Wildlife Painting

This picture was taken in Alaska, and these cute little guys were so sleepy they barely reacted to me taking their picture. I like the way they appear to be smiling and have such contented looks on their faces.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mermaids and Sea Serpent, 14x11 Graphite and Watercolor on Nautical Chart

This started as a graphite drawing on a nautical chart, like my last mermaid. My process is: I study the chart from a distance until I see something in it. In this case I saw the sea serpent first, and lo and behold, there was a stingray right in front of him. Then I noticed the possibility of mermaids toward the top. 

The sea creatures are actually made up of bodies of water, and I ignore that the chart is upside down; the aspect is determined by what the sea creatures dictate. After I did the drawing I thought I'd try some color, so I used watercolor. This is so different from my usual work, and I'm really enjoying creating these little fantasies.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sunset Palms, Seascape, 8x6 Oil on Canvas Panel

I have gone from soft in my previous post to intense in this one. Florida's sunsets can be so unbelievable, and I never tire of painting them. I got more loosey-goosey in this one.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Palma Sola, Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Landscape

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This is a scene from Palm Sola Botanical Garden in Bradenton, Florida, and was the first of three hikes with my nephew that hot sizzling day. The only moments we were cool were in the car between parks. 

I painted this after reading a challenge from Becky Joy to paint with three colors: yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, and white. It was a good lesson and the painting was very interesting, but dull. It couldn't be brightened with those colors only, so I used cadmium yellow to finish it. I like it better now.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

River of Grass II, 8x6 Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Everglades Landscape

I have painted this scene before, but this one is a bit more loosey-goosey, which I am happy about. This is the Royal Palm Visitor Center in the Everglades, and two of the best trails are here: the Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo-Limbo Trail. There are also more alligators than I've ever seen in one place, which are, thankfully, viewed from the safety of the boardwalk. 

The Everglades are in a battle to the death with big-money interests, so I hope Florida voters will figure that out in the next election. But don't get me started...


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Flower Girls, 11x14 Original Oil on Canvas


Sometimes a photo just cries out to be painted. What is sweeter than flower girls at a wedding, waiting in anticipation to play their part? 


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bermuda Scene, 8x6 Original Oil on Canvas Panel, Seascape

I used to live in this beautiful place, and I appreciated every moment there, even the rainy winters. I lived in Diamond Cottage on Suffering Lane; that was my actual address, no house numbers. Bermuda has the legendary pink sand beaches, and if you have seen the Photoshopped version on Facebook with the Pepto-Bismol pink beach, you have not seen Bermuda. It looks exactly as I have painted it. Yes, it does have pink sand, tiny bits of coral among the whiter grains, and you can see that when you are closer up. I have a bottle of it, pictured below:

Just because it's on Facebook doesn't make it so. I could make myself look 27 with my handy dandy Photoshop program. 
A friend of mine was a taxi driver in Bermuda, and he once had a woman ask him to stop so she could get a bottle of turquoise water to take home. Wow.