Monday, March 20, 2017


                                                 18" x 24" Oil on Stretched Canvas
Finished for posting by the first day of spring - seems fitting.  

The 200 acre manmade lake In Haywood County, North Carolina is surrounded by private residences and the United Methodist Conference and Retreat Center.  Recreation on the lake includes canoes, kayaks, fishing and swimming.  Only electric trolling motors are permitted to maintain a quiet environment.  The 3.5 mile paved walking trail is extremely popular for residents and visitors alike and is  a wonderful path for exercising leashed dogs. 

I have painted this path from many vantage points but always in the spring.  Will be sure to do an autumn view this fall!  The Blue Ridge Parkway is nearby as well as Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We are so blessed that our summer home is also close by.  

The trail was paved a few years ago but in my paintings the path will always be natural with sticks, stones and  fallen leaves all along the way.   

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Wow!  I did it!

First, many thanks to Leslie Saeta for hosting this challenge.  She really is an Artist Helping Artists! 

My approach to the Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge was a personal one - mainly just wanted to see if I could do it.  Having a theme was helpful and trying to keep a day ahead proved to be a good thing. I feel strides were made in self -discipline.  Looking at it as play kept most of the stress out of the studio. Other goals were to speed up, concentrate more on brushstrokes, and  get bolder with color. 

Designing this collage is the perfect finale for the challenge!  I can hardly believe all this was accomplished in Thirty Days by the self-proclaimed slowest painter in South Florida!  I'm giving myself a "Wow"! 

A  note of thanks to those who regularly visited my blog and Face Book and left encouraging and supportive comments.  Your positive energy really did  keep me going!

Stop by Leslie's 30 in 30 blog to see more of the artists collages.

Monday, January 30, 2017


                                   10" x 8" Oil on Canvas

Day THIRTY - 30 in 30 Challenge

This really is a red letter day for me!  I did it!!  Went to the studio every day for 30 days and finished (or nearly finished) a painting!  The slowest painter in the state of Florida certainly sped up!  This has been fun and at times stressful, but when I look around me at the paintings, I'm smiling!  Thanks to Leslie Saeta for once again hosting this challenge.  Over 1,000 artists signed on  all over the world, and it will be interesting to see how many made it to the end!  Leslie painted very large  beautiful abstract pieces  every day and  If you haven't checked out her paintings and  that of the  others participating in the challenge, please do so!  This is where our paintings have been posted at the end of every day.

Day 30 has another meaning for me.  Our wedding anniversary is  April 30 - so  "Day 30" is certainly a RED LETTER DAY. 

 My sincere thanks to all of you who took time to read my musings on the blog each day and often left comments on the blog and on Face book.  I appreciate all of you so very much.  Beginning tomorrow, I shall have time to visit your blogs and see what each of you are posting.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


                                6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel

Day Twenty Nine - 30 in 30 Challenge

Kayaking is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle.  A kayak is a low-to-the-water canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation.  This sport is very popular here in Port Charlotte.

This painting started out as another misty swampscape but lacked interest.  Hopefully by darkening the lower portion of the canvas and placing a lone kayaker paddling toward the light, it now has the spark it needed.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


                              12" x 16" Oil on Canvas Panel

Day Twenty-Eight, 30 in 30 Challenge

Day thirty is growing near and I haven't toyed nearly as much with color as intended.   Knowing this would be a short studio day, I set my palette last night with hues I thought would vibrate in a seascape.  Starting with pinks at the top and working down from there, was easy going until  I reached the water. Oh My!    The  "vision" was  a heavy background mist and birds diving  for food  making delightful splashes doing so.  No time for birds, but I shall add them later after the paint has dried. Will post sometime next month.   Didn't leave much room for the foreground sand so had to keep it fairly simple.   Just couldn't handle those small brushes again today! Was liberating getting back to larger brushes on a slightly bigger surface  and actually "playing" with color!

Friday, January 27, 2017


                                  6" x 6" Oil on Canvas

Day Twenty-Seven, 30 in 30 Challenge

The Conch Republic (Rep├║blica de la Concha) is a micro-nation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West, Florida, from the United States on April 23, 1982. It has been maintained as a tourism booster for the city since.   Now the term "Conch Republic" has been expanded to refer to "all of the Florida Keys.  Key West is the nation's capital and all territories north of Key West are referred to as 'The Northern Territories'."

If you are not familiar with the history as to how the Conch Republic came to be, please take time to look into it.  The republic celebrates its own independence day and maintains its own army, navy and air force.  Check it out!  Will put a smile on your face.

One of my first workshop instructors told me when I could paint a conch shell, I would be ready to do a portrait since the colors and tones in this magnificent shell are the same as those  found in Caucasian skin.  So,  to paint this shell, Gamblin's Caucasian Flesh color was used as were the John Howard Sanden Series II Flesh Colors.  Sure made it go faster as a one day project!

Thursday, January 26, 2017


                                  6" x 6" Oil on Canvas

Day Twenty Six, 30 in 30 Challenge

One more day at the beach!  I chose the Florida theme because water and sand are favorite subjects.  Seems maybe I'm carrying it a bit far!

This was a short studio day.  LET'S BOOGIE was started before and reworked for this challenge.  Still needed more time  but I'm pleased with the message it conveys in so small a space.

  Only four more days  and I still haven't painted a boat, shells, a pink flamingo or flip-flops!  Will get an early start tomorrow...but don't be surprised if I'm still at the beach and don't expect a flamingo!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


                                   7" x 5" Oil on Canvas

Day Twenty-Five, 30 in 30 Challenge
 In professional sports, Florida has three National Football League teams and two Major League Baseball teams.   Florida is the traditional home for Major League Baseball spring training with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League."  Here in Port Charlotte, we proudly host the Tampa Bay Rays.

With our never ending enjoyment of the sport, one can hardly mention our state this time of year without thinking "baseball" (and clogged highways)!  Therefore, in keeping with my theme, here is my baseball post.  Meet Jake, my model and an outstanding  athlete regardless of the sport. Way to go, Jake!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


                                   6" x 6" Oil on Canvas

Day Twenty-Four, 30 in 30 Challenge

Hibiscus flowers are grown for their showy flowers and used as landscape shrubs where they attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.  These  hardy perennials bloom throughout the year in a variety of colors.   This lovely flower is traditionally worn by Tahitian and Hawaiian girls.  If worn behind the left ear the woman is married or in a relationship.  If the flower is worn on the right, she is single or openly available for a relationship.  The hibiscus is Hawaii's state flower, and is the national flower of Haiti.

I doubt there is a single home in our neighborhood without at least one hibiscus shrub  or mini-tree somewhere on their lawn or in their lanai.

This red subject was chosen as a personal challenge as reds are difficult hues for me.  I would have liked the mid tones to have been brighter and the highlights lighter, but for a one day project, I'm satisfied.

Monday, January 23, 2017


                               7" x 5" Oil on Wood Panel

Day 23- 30 in 30 Challenge
The Great Blue Heron  is a majestic sight whether cruising the coastline with slow wing beats or standing motionless scanning for prey.  Sometimes it  will wade belly deep making long, deliberate steps.  When in flight, the heron tucks in its neck and the long legs trail out behind.  A beautiful bird to behold and fortunately here in South Florida there is no shortage of them.

This bird was a joy to paint in 2014 - as a 36" x 24" oil.  SILENT SENTINEL was then shown and sold immediately which was bittersweet.  It's posted on the blog dated March 18, 2014.    One of my all time favorite paintings.  This is a small reproduction with a changed background and few details.  There is no question, the larger version was more fun to paint (and took weeks)  but I'm getting more confident with these little brushes and this one took only one day!

Sunday, January 22, 2017


                              5" x 5" Oil on Canvas board

Day Twenty-Two - 30 in 30 Challenge
Yesterday's painting was relaxing and went much faster than so many of the all-day previous ones.   So - couldn't resist one more cat!  Thought a white one would be more challenging while offering   opportunities  to play with subtle colors and tones.  Went really fast - three hours tops!  (Remember, I'm the slowest painter in Florida!)

 Grumbacher MG Underpainting Titanium White oil paint,  fast drying and  opaque, was  introduced to me by Johannes Vloothuis via his on-line workshops (Northlight).   It has proven invaluable for painting backgrounds the day or night before for this daily challenge.  While acrylic underpaintings speed up the process, with this fast drying alternative I can stay with oil.

So far as keeping with my theme,  there are lots and lots of cats in Florida!

Saturday, January 21, 2017


                               5" x 5" Oil on Canvas Board

Day Twenty-one - 30 in 30 Challenge
After allowing myself to become  so intimidated by yesterday's "big cat",  I decided  today's choice would be less stressful.  I  would use a smaller canvas and larger brushes and move away from the beach and palm trees!

Last week we dropped off a donation at the local animal welfare league and I just had to spend a few minutes enjoying the cats on the Kitty Porch.  That was all the inspiration needed to plan a few cat paintings.  I have many photos on file since I'm constantly shooting pics with my phone.

Not sure if this kitty is realistic or whimsical but he  makes me smile!  

Friday, January 20, 2017



                                  6" x 6" Oil on Canvas

Day Twenty - 30 in 30 Challenge (2/3 of the way there!)

Knowing today would be a short one in the studio, I should have known better than to take on a panther!  Ok,  so another palm tree and more water  then started on the cat.  Oh My Goodness - it did not go well - details this small  need a smooth surface - not duck canvas especially working wet into wet!

I am eager to paint a panther on a large canvas - these little ones are making me crazy!

The Florida panther is an endangered subspecies of cougar that lives in forests and swamps of southern Florida.  Only 80 to 100 panthers still remain in Florida, making this one of the most rare and endangered mammals in the world.  We humans are the their biggest threat.  It's sad to say Florida panthers are killed by cars and trucks, and although it's against the law - hunters also still shoot panthers occasionally.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


                                    6" x 6" Oil on Canvas

Day Nineteen - 30 in 30 Challenge

When we think of Florida, images of blue ocean, white sand, and swaying palm trees come to mind.  Our warm tropical climate makes it one of the best places in the world for growing palm trees.  The selection of palms one can use in landscaping is almost unlimited with about 2500 species from which to choose.  Our state tree is the sabal palm (Sabal palmetto)  commonly referred to as cabbage palm.  If you live in Florida, you have enjoyed "swamp cabbage" but that's another subject for another painting and blog post.

For artists the trunks and  fronds are never ending sources for paintings - in different lighting conditions, colors change with the brown  fronds picking up hot oranges and soft magentas.  Greens vary from blue greens to yellow greens, and purples and lavenders are always there in shadows.   Trunk textures and colors vary greatly.

Today was a short studio day  and the perfect chance to study yet another palm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


                                12" x 8" Oil on Canvas

Day Eighteen - 30 in 30 Challenge
The deepest marsh habitats within the Everglades are freshwater sloughs (pronounced SLOOs). Slough waters support many fish and aquatic invertebrates making them important watercourses in South Florida.

The Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest  near Felda features native wildlife, hiking & biking trails, campsites & many fishing areas.  This makes for a perfect adventure to observe nature and take lots and lots of reference photos.  Don't forget to take along a sketchbook!

Today I enjoyed the luxury of uninterrupted hours in the studio so took advantage using  a larger canvas.  This was started before as a 12" x  12" and just wasn't working.  So - Cropped and feel it's a better fit.  I work on loose canvas taped to hardboard so cropping isn't a big deal.  The canvas is glued to a hardboard support after it's dry.    The next two days will be shorter ones - so back to 6" x 6".