This is a Portuguese Man O' War, and it is quite beautiful in a weird way. It has tentacles with a painful sting, and even when it's lying on the beach those tentacles need to be avoided. Now here's the weird part: this is actually four organisms living in cooperation (wish Congress could do that). The sail is a gas-filled bladder (now that sounds like Congress); the tentacles are the killers that deliver prey; then there are two other organisms that do digestion and reproduction. I feel that such a remarkable example of God's handiwork deserves to be painted on gold. I wish you could see the metallic gold background on the computer.
This is the old Strawberry Mansion, a restaurant in a historic building in Melbourne, Florida. The place was sold, remodeled, and is now a restaurant called The Mansion, and all the strawberry colors are gone.
These little girls were intently looking at a turtle in the Silver River at Silver Springs State Park, Florida. With so much of Florida's environment harmed by growth, abuse, and mismanagement, it is very heartening to see pristine beauty well-cared for by the conscientious rangers at this park.
I couldn't resist getting a shot of this little techie guy playing on his phone in a coffee shop. I love the way the sun lights up his red hair. What a cutie!
I wonder what's in that cup? Something tells me he will be very active after he drinks it; however, the amazing thing is his preference for the phone over his sweet and fattening cup of whatever that is!
For some time I have been having an urge to draw the face of Congressman John Lewis, veteran of the fight for Civil Rights. His face reflects many a hardship, many a battle against injustice, and unspeakable sorrow.
While working on this piece I came across the Congressman's memoir trilogy, a graphic novel called March. The story and the art are wonderful, and should be required reading in every school, but since it contains the 'n' word, that won't happen.
I was taking a stroll on Riverview Drive when I saw this lovely view of the Indian River. What a beautiful place I live in. I hope not too many people find out, because it's getting pretty crowded here already.
I'm in my Blue Period, having painted a blue frog, a blue birdie, and
now this. I was in Larry Moore's plein air workshop and we were at
Ballard Park, a gorgeous location on the water in Melbourne,
Florida. Well, what a day! There was a regatta of little sailboats as
well as a pirate ship. Out of the pirate ship came--what else? a pirate,
in full regalia. Larry immediately began painting a portrait of him,
and it was wonderful. Oh, and the pirate had--what else? a parrot. You
never know what you'll see around here.
Larry Paints a Pirate with a Parrot with Painterly Perfection
"He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul."
Happy to report this painting just sold to a lovely lady. This is a scene off Landmark Road in Middleburg, Virginia, near where my sister Genie used to live. She heads up an event called Shakespeare in the Burg every year, which is March 27 to April 2 this year. If you live nearby, check it out. It's always nice to visit Middleburg for any reason.
This is a blast from the past, one of my rare watercolors. I still like it. Working people make wonderful subjects; in fact, I did a whole series of them as a commission once. I think this is my only painting where the rear end of a horse figures prominently, but I hope your eye is drawn to the hardworking farrier.
I have zero time for painting, so I am reaching into the archives for this portrait of my daughter that I painted years ago. I was still working full-time and painted this in my kitchen at night, because that room had the brightest light in the house. I was completely self-taught at that point, just biding my time until I could retire and paint full-time.
I now have a job that's taking 100 percent of my time, and it is art, but not painting. Keeping it under wraps until time for the big reveal.
This is a giclee print of a watercolor that I am particularly fond of. The purple and green complementary colors and the warm sunshine backlighting her hair remind me of the day this child was opening a seed packet to plant flowers in the garden. It's a wonderful age, when you can tell a child what to do, and they actually do it. I miss that!
I need to send out a thank-you to all the Nigerian friends that I didn't know I had, who are just dying to send me millions of dollars. Every day there is a new email from these generous people. For some reason they are just loaded and they can't wait to share their wealth with their special friend, me. It's hard to believe anyone would fall for the scam, but some must or they wouldn't keep sending these things. My last offer was from a woman who wanted to send me exactly $10,500,000 dollars.
Audrey Hepburn was one of the most elegant and appealing women who ever graced the Silver Screen. Much of this collage is made up of torn pages with scenes from her movies. I must say, it's not that easy to make eyes from little pieces of paper--not that I'm complaining. I'm pretty proud of this portrait.
There are so many interesting characters in Alaska. This man was a Llama Keeper, and he had an air of mystery about him. I mean, really? Llama keeper in Alaska?
I took a photo of the man in the year when we drove around the United States. From Seattle we went to Alaska and stayed with my cousins Bill and Louise. It was another world. Visiting glaciers, Iditarod dogs, camping in Seward, picking blueberries in Denali Park. Very different from the Space Coast of Florida. I had to sleep in a sleep mask because it was still daylight at midnight. That will seriously mess you up.
My friend Mary and I braved the heat to paint in plein aire at a favorite park, where signs proclaimed, "Alligators May Be Present." I thought that would be a perfect title. I do think it would be more efficient to just have signs say, "Do Not Feed the Alligators Under Peril of Attack." I say this because so many people who move here seem to leave their brains at the Florida-Georgia Line (and I'm not talking about the country singers), and they think it's cute to feed the gators (and I'm not talking about the football team).
Just because a reptile moves slowly and has a toothy smile does not mean it won't enjoy a big chomp of human, and it can run very fast when motivated.
And don't even get me started on the woman who fed dog food to bears in an Orlando suburb!
We were stuck in traffic on the Seine and I looked out the window and saw this couple kissing. Actually, she was kissing him on the nose. What could be more romantic than a kiss in Paris, even if it's on the nose?
I had Valentine's Day in mind when I painted this. As a gift, may I point out that it's not fattening and it won't wilt.
The same day I was painting this, someone forwarded one of those emails with interesting photos. Included was the picture below, which fit right in with my painting:
It is so hard to get photos of these flowers, because I have to keep an eye out to catch them blooming. The leaves that they spring from look very unsubstantial. They are white so that they can attract the sphinx moth, their pollinator.
Cereus supposedly blooms in the summer, but mine just recently bloomed because Florida's winter is freakishly hot this year. We make lots of jokes about it, but it is not natural and I don't appreciate having to pull weeds in the off-season.
What is it about chickens? We all paint them, and many kitchens are decorated with them. They do have personalities, just look at their confident walks. There was a very funny record years ago with chickens singing "In the Mood." Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck CLUCKKKK...
I know my friend the musical genius Bobby Braddock counted every one of those clucks to be sure I got it right.
is such an amazing place, one forgets that it is inhabited by real
people who have the same mundane chores as everyone else. No matter how
much beauty is in the surroundings, the wash still has to be done.
When we walked down residential streets and noticed the ornate and
ancient doors, we burned with curiosity about what was behind them.
I'm still on a Venice kick. I
copied this Sargent painting because I liked its mysterious air and
because I felt I could learn from it. The two characters on the right
look a bit shifty, if you ask me. Sargent spent a lot of time in Venice,
as any artist should. It is a completely unique place now as it was
then, Old-Worldly beautiful.