I was inspired by artist Jean Thomas for this one, after seeing her drawing of a face in a navigational chart. She gave me a chart and I put it far from me and looked at it until I saw a mermaid. Most of the drawing followed the lines of the map, but I added some flourishes for the tail. Very therapeutic and fun. I think maps of all kinds are just naturally beautiful.
It is mango season and there are so many mangoes right now. For those of us who love them it is a glorious time. I was in Bradenton recently, standing under a tree that had dropped mangoes on the ground. Gorgeous fruit just lying all around. Way, way up in the tree were these beautiful collections of fruit, and I especially liked this one because of the lone ripe mango among the lavender ones. So, the title "Mango High" can be taken two ways.
Here's a tip I learned last week about cutting and peeling mangoes: make a cut around the fruit, all the way to the seed. Use a glass or a cup (easier with a cup, holding it by the handle) and scoop the fruit out of the peeling. Do it firmly and you will have no waste. Then chomp on the seed and get the pulp all over your face like you usually do. Mango high.
We visited family in Bradenton and I recorded my hikes with my
nephew Riley in my sketch journal. Journaling is the best way for me to remember trips I have taken, and I wish I'd done this years ago on trips to Europe. It brings precious memories right back.
It is SO hot on the West coast of Florida, but we managed to hike three different parks in one day. Two had some shade, but Robinson Preserve did not. DeSoto Point is where DeSoto is said to have landed. There are cutouts of the Spaniards and Indians along the trail, and it didn't take Riley long to figure out who the bad guys were. In his world there are always good guys and bad guys. He went along the trail punching the Spaniards.
That last trail was really beautiful, right on the bay, with mangroves growing in white sand. I wish we had had our swimsuits, since there were so many accessible places to swim. It was a fun day with a great little companion.
Flamingos are such funny birds. Not only do they stand on those skinny legs, they can stand on one only! When they are resting, their neck can be twisted around and tucked under their wings; however, their gorgeous color offsets their silly looks. They are magnificent in a goofy way.
I think that's enough flowers for now. I am getting the urge to paint the beach, but who knows what will strike my eye next? These tiny paintings have been fun and I do love my garden, but the Devilweed is about to get me. It creeps under the ground and pops up everywhere. As if it's not hard enough to weed in the hot weather, this stuff has to give me a tug of war to get it out. If anyone has a solution for this heinous weed, please tell me!
I enjoy painting these little paintings of flowers from my garden. This one goes nicely with two of my other paintings, "Blanketflower" and "Golden Daylily." This is a 3x5 original oil painting on wood panel, and it comes with its own little easel.
I've been painting tiny daily paintings lately, inspired by the flowers in my garden. This double daylily is one of my favorites. A little easel comes with it.
Bees are very endangered now, but I have finally seen one buzzing around my flowers. Just one. It is a honeybee, and it's busy doing its work. I don't recall seeing any last year, so I'm happy to see one. Is it the same one every day? Or different ones? I wonder.