Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, "Orange Blossom Special," 8x10

I grew up in Central Florida, where the orange was King. There was nothing like walking through a grove in bloom, with the lovely sweet smell of blossoms filling the air. Most adults in my town worked in the citrus industry, including my grandmother, who would walk the half-block to the packing house every day during the citrus season. She had the world's shortest commute. She also had a small orange grove, and in our yard grew avocados, limes, tangerines, loquats, and cherries. I wish I had those things now, especially our huge avocados. We didn't even know what guacamole was back then.


Friday, October 13, 2017

The Farrier, Watercolor, 20x28

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.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Statue of Liberty, "Mother of Exiles," 9x9 Pencil Drawing

We are all familiar with the words," "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...," but here is the whole poem, identifying the Statue of Liberty and America as Mother of Exiles:


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

--Emma Lazarus 

In view of recent events, this is my interpretation of the Mother of Exiles.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

O My Papaya, 5x7 Oil on Canvas, Landscape Daily Painting


If you want something easy to grow, buy the biggest, nicest papaya you can find and plant the seeds. Just throw them down if you want, some will sprout. I ended up with too many trees, and let them get too tall, and I had fruit I couldn't reach. If only I could grow tomatoes that easily! I am a complete failure with tomatoes.

I like the light in this painting; there was a storm approaching and the sun was shining on the trees, making them a very bright light green. 


Monday, August 7, 2017

Home from Vietnam, 9x12 Graphite Drawing, Portrait of Father and Child

This was absolutely a labor of love. Our dear friend Ben was terminally ill, and his daughter Debbie posted this photo from her childhood, taken when he had just returned from Vietnam. I loved everything about the photo and just had to draw it for her. The week I finished, Ben left us. I'm so glad I could portray this happy moment in the life of this wonderful man.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Small Still Life, "The Last Azalea," 3x4 Oil on Wood, Framed, Floral Painting

 We were at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida as Spring was waning, and this flower was stubbornly hanging on. I painted it as a tiny painting in a dramatic frame. 

Bok Tower is on Iron Mountain in Central Florida. Florida is very flat everywhere but that area, and folks from Tennessee would laugh at Iron Mountain being called a mountain; however, it is an anomaly in such a flat state, so deserves a dramatic name. Bok Tower used to be one of the Big Three tourist attractions; the other two were Silver Springs and Cypress Gardens. Every drugstore had postcards with those three displayed. That was before Disney came and changed everything. Cypress Gardens is now Legoland, Silver Springs is a state park, and Bok Tower is still as beautiful as it ever was. A side attraction near Bok Tower is Spook Hill, where you can put your car in neutral and it rolls uphill.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunrise on the Dunes, 6x8 Original Oil Painting, Seascape with Sunrise

Florida sunrises are amazing, and seem even more so during thunderstorm season. We get all sorts of weather phenomena this time of year, and the rain is a welcome relief from the awful heat. Our pool was 90 degrees the other day, but after the rains it is 80 degrees. A big difference!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Caricature of Dave, 8x10 Pastel Portrait

I've been through all our closets now, so I don't think I'll be finding any more new art forms. This one is Dave Schotter, Air Force NCO from Indiana, who regaled us in the Graphics Shop with stories about the Shoe Tree and the Squirrel Hunting Convention. Those days were my best memories in 31 years of government service.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Caricature of Lamar, Pastel, 8x10

This is another blast from the past, a caricature of Lamar Walker, my friend and coworker at the Air Force Photo Lab in the 80s at Patrick Air Force Base. I really got into caricatures for a while, but I eventually got over it. This was a farewell gift when Lamar was transferred to another base.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Caricature of Suzanne, Pastel, 11x14

Due to our closet remodeling, I recently discovered some caricatures I did years ago. This is my daughter Suzanne in her poofy blue dress in the 80s. I was still working for the Air Force then and I did many caricatures of retiring VIPs. I moved on to oil painting, and now, to book illustration. Since I'm too busy to paint much, I'll be posting more of these "oldies" for a while.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Old Folks, 5x7 Oil Painting on Canvas


These little people were gifts from my son when he was stationed in Okinawa. They are two of my favorite things, and so cleverly done. I really enjoyed painting them. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Storm Watch, 6x8 Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Seascape

One of my favorite dramatic lighting conditions is what we have been having the past few weeks: a dark and threatening sky as a backdrop, with a bright, sunny foreground. In this case, the sailboat might want to get to port as quickly as possible. After our big Florida drought, we should be thankful for all the rainstorms.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Halie and Bunny, 12x16 Oil Painting, Portrait of Child

My granddaughter is an adult now, but I painted this when she was a child and very attached to her bunny. It went everywhere with her. She was so funny and so happy-go-lucky, she kept me laughing. I miss those days.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Natchez Trace, 6x6 Original Oil Painting Landscape

The Natchez Trace is a beautiful highway that once was a trail tracing back through 10,000 years of American history. We discovered Meriweather Lewis's grave on the Trace, at the site of the inn where he died. There is little traffic and no big trucks on this road that stretches from Nashville to Natchez. It is an American gem.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Watermelon and Iced Tea, 14x11, Collage on Canvas Panel Still Life

This collage is made entirely of paper torn from magazines and fixed to a canvas panel with liquid medium. It makes me think of a summertime barbecue. I must thank my friend Fay Picardi for finding all those beautiful pink pictures in a fashion magazine. They were perfect for my watermelon.


Friday, June 2, 2017

The Gondolier, 8x10 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Scene in Venice

One of my favorite places I've ever visited is Venice. Its ancient beauty is the stuff of dreams. The only vehicles are boats, including fire, trash, buses, and commuter vehicles. Where else do you see office workers carrying briefcases and standing in a gondola?


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ready for my Closeup, 24x30 Oil on Canvas, Portrait of Woman

This is my dad's cousin Florence Chumbecos, who was a chorus girl on Broadway. I had a couple of her publicity shots but didn't know her last name. My cousin Vicki, who lives in Virginia, discovered our side of the family a couple years ago. She never knew we existed, and we have been solving genealogical mysteries via emails to each other. Neither of us knew Florence's last name, but Vicki found it through some detective work, and she found an article written by Florence about dancing with Fred Astaire. It was just like the movies: the lead dancer got sick, Florence filled in and danced in the role for a year. Mr. Astaire was just like you'd think--the nicest of men. Here is the article:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Celeste, Graphite Drawing on Paper, 8x10

I've been so busy on a big project with songwriter Bobby Braddock that I have had no time for new items to post. I did manage to find some time to do this drawing and had fun with the hair. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Florida Sunset, 10x8 Original Oil Landscape Painting


Is this too dramatic? I was so excited when I saw those rays and that bright red color that my husband pulled over so I could take a picture. Florida sunsets are amazing. Florida now has more people than New York. Our secret is out. 


Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
 - Voltaire      

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Man O' War, 5x7 Oil on Canvas, Beach Series


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.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Strawberry Mansion, 5x7 Oil on Panel

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. 


Friday, March 17, 2017

Little Hikers, 10x8 Oil on Canvas

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.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cybertot, 8x10 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel

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!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

John Lewis, 8x10 Graphite Drawing

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.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Oil Painting, Indian River Lagoon, 8x10 Daily Painting

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.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Oil Painting, House of Blue, 5x7 Original Daily Painting


Apparently 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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Still Water, 16x20 Oil on Canvas Landscape Painting

"He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul."
--23rd Psalm


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.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Stephanie, 30x40

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.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sunshine Girl, 16x20 Watercolor Print, Giclee of Child in Garden

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.

For a much better deal, check out my Etsy page at


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yellow Roses, 8x6 Oil on Canvas

Wouldn't this be a romantic Valentine's Day gift? Flowers and candy are nice, but they don't last. Diamonds and oil paintings are forever.

I painted this twice. I was not satisfied with it the first time, but I learned a few things from my mistakes. The second time I was able to get what I wanted, and did it much faster.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Audrey Hepburn, 16x20 Collage


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.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Alaskan, 7x5


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.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Alligators May Be Present, 6x8 Oil on Canvas, Ballard Park, Melbourne, Florida, Tropical Scene

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!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Love in Paris, 8x10 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel

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:


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Night Bloomers, Flower Art, 8x10 Original Oil 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. 


Monday, January 9, 2017

Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens, 6x8 Oil on Canvas Board

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.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Washday in Venice, 6x6 Original Oil on Canvas


Venice 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.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Street in Venice, 8x10 Oil on Canvas, after John Singer Sargent


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.