Sunday, February 10, 2019


                                                            20" x 30" Oil on Canvas

The magnificent flamingo is a favorite bird known for its stilt-like legs and brilliant color.  Here in Florida it's practically an icon.  This is strange as it was declared native to Florida only a few years ago.  Up until then when seen in the wild, flamingos were thought to be escapees from attractions.  Now they are sighted even in our area of Charlotte Harbor.  They wade and feed in shallow water using their upper beaks like shovels to scrape shrimp, crabs, snails, algae, etc. from the bottom.  Yes, they twist their heads upside down to do this!  The lower beaks serve as strainers and the tongues "pump" the sand and debris out of their mouths.  Their nests look like mini-volcanos built of mud and are where the females lay one egg in a shallow hole at the tops of the mounds.  These big birds are able to "run" on water, thanks to their webbed feet, to gain speed before lifting into the air where their wingspan is about five feet.

I'm especially fond of this pretty bird since our son and daughter in law, both avid sailors, were married by the captain onboard a beautiful 42' blue-hulled Ketch named FLAMING JOE.  The boat's emblem? - you guessed it - a flamingo!   A perfect setting for a most romantic wedding and mini-reception! The flamingo appeared again in decorations at a larger reception held later.

This painting was completed barely in time for entry into the juried WILD ABOUT WILDLIFE show presented by The Cape Coral Art League and judged by Sandra Mark.  What a thrill it was when FLAMING JOE took the first place ribbon at Thursday evening's reception and GAME ON won People's Choice (2nd time)!  A grand night of celebration for me!  The show is wild and colorful and may be seen until March 4 at the Cape Coral Art League, 516 Cultural Park Boulevard, Cape Coral 33990, Phone: (239) 772-5657.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Thank You!

                               Desoto Arts and Humanities Council's Annual Member's  Show

Thanks to each and every one of you who voted GAME ON "People's Choice" in this exhibit!  What an honor for this piece to have been chosen among so many amazing creations by a group of really talented artists!  I am humbled and feeling blessed!  Doing my Happy Dance! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Game On

                                               14" x 22" Watermedia on Illustration Board

Coming upon this noisy confrontation between a Royal Tern and a Forster's Tern who could resist a few photos!  I snapped away!

Back in the studio looking at the pictures, I wondered what was making these birds so angry with each other?  I asked my favorite question "what if?" - maybe a tiny mermaid perched on a shell pleading for her life, or a conch peeking out his shell, my imagination was running wild when a glance caught a jar of marbles on the shelf.  Light bulb exploded!  Someone had left marbles on the beach and each bird was staking a claim!  The marbles would provide color and keep the viewer's eye bouncing back and forth between the birds!

While my medium of choice is usually oil, for this one the watercolors and gouache came out.  That went well for a little while, but watercolor lifting drives me crazy.  Fluid acrylic to the rescue.  The painting is now framed and will be shown in the Desoto Arts and Humanities Council's Annual Show opening January 10 at Martin Art Gallery, 207 E. Magnolia Street, Arcadia, Florida with a reception from 5:30 until 7:00.  The public is invited and welcome!  Hope to see you there! 

Monday, December 24, 2018


                                                            12" X 8-1/2" Oil on Board

From our home and my studio to yours MERRY CHRISTMAS and a wonderfully creative 2019!
Wishing you, your families, your pets and your friends good health, blessings, and joy with lots of laughter filled days!

Thanks to all who stop by and especially to you who take time to leave a comment or two!

This painting was created a few years ago inspired by a darling little girl who is now a freshman at Western Carolina University.  How the time flies!  I've always been fond of this small painting so it's making a second appearance.  The doll's name is Bitsy Baby and no doubt she is safely tucked away somewhere.  Merry Christmas, Jordan, to you and to your family!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Drum Roll - Exciting News!  I am so happy to tell you about my new gallery representation!
My paintings are now available at the lovely and unique CRAFTED IN CAROLINA Gallery at 3073 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC.  If you are local to the area or just passing through, please stop in and say hello to owner and jewelry artist extraordinaire,  Beth Craft. Don’t miss her swarovski bead-studded animal skulls! The glowing fire in the fireplace, sunlight streaming through the beautiful stained glass pieces, and friendly atmosphere will keep you lingering.  

Next summer I shall be holding classes and maybe a workshop there - please stay tuned!  

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


                                                     16" x 20" Oil on Stretched Canvas

This portrait was "fun" with a Capital "F"!  Myah is such a delightful little girl!  There is never a
 dull moment when she's around.  The challenge was to capture her glee.  This was done expertly by  Photographer Bill Killillay  Thank you so much, Bill, for sharing your photo!  Having the opportunity to paint Myah meant even more to me since I had painted her lovely mother, Jessica, at approximately the same age Myah is now.
                                                   Jessica (detail)                                                  
HIGH FIVE  was delivered yesterday.  Painted with love for Kim, Glenn, Jessica and Myah.  

Monday, August 13, 2018


15" x 30"
                                                Gouache and acrylic on Illustration Board

While taking a short break from oil painting, I decided maybe it would be fun to create a fantasy beach scene using water media. Our beautiful Gulf beaches are constantly calling and during an outing in the spring these noisy fellows demanded  attention.  Both were interested in the same morsel of food in the sand allowing time to observe and take photos.  Back in the studio it was time to play "what if?"  What if they were vying for something fascinating, i.e., a tiny mermaid washed ashore, or a sparkling piece of lost jewelry, a torn piece of treasure map,  or...what?

 As I sketched while looking at an assortment of photos,  these two birds and others in many poses, finally an idea!  Why not let the gull and the plover argue over a game of colorful glass marbles?

 This one was fun - early sketches included driftwood, more birds, and even an old bleached sea-swept stump and sea grass.  This could be the beginning of a series!  However, the oils are calling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


A spare bedroom studio - that’s where I’ve painted for many years and it was time to make changes.  I had no desire for “off location” - so renting space was out.  We needed a room addition to the house or a SHED!  What?!    A successful artist in the area enjoys a “shed studio” called The Art Shak!  She encouraged and inspired me. 

Long story short - at the end of November Frank and I visited Robin’s Sheds for particulars...Yes, this might work.  When I spelled out to the salesman just what was wanted and expected, he rolled his eyes and said, “You want the Taj Mahal” of storage sheds - and I suppose I did.  So - months  passed, the  16’ x 13’ shed was finally delivered the end of February and interior work was contracted.   After the walls and ceiling were in, Frank and I painted and installed the floor covering.  Finally, it was mid-April and time to move in!

Wishing to wait until it was "just right" before sharing photos with you,  it appears my time has been spent “burying myself” in painting rather than decorating... so before we leave for the mountains, Welcome to My New Studio - The Taj!

Would really appreciate comments and especially suggestions!  We will landscape, install shelving, and hang more paintings when we return in the fall.

Monday, April 23, 2018


12" x 16" Oil on Stretched Canvas

My new free standing studio is almost ready to show you but want to put the finishing touches on the outside before photographing. Maybe next week! MONDAY MORNING MAGNOLIAS is the first painting completed in this special new space!

Do artists ever tire of painting the magnolia tree's bounty? I realize this represents a rather trite still life subject, nevertheless, the enchanting beauty and fragrance is most seductive and I am weak. Thank you French Botanist Pierre Magnol for lending your name to this magnificent tree!

Fun, fun, fun trying the new Richeson colors and brushes mentioned in the last post! Love the new paint. Only turquoise wasn't used for this piece. Will mention the brushes in a later post.

On the subject of tube colors, another exciting new color, at least "new" to me is Williamsburg's Cinnabar Green Light. Perfect for landscapes and portrait mixes. Years ago Grumbacher made a Thalo Yellow Green that was similar to this color. I was brokenhearted when it was discontinued. Today's Grumbacher Thalo Yellow Green is nothing like the original color. Williamsburg's Cinnabar Green Light comes close! It was used very sparingly in the magnolia leaves as they tend to be more blue green than yellow green but wanted to share the find.

Would enjoy hearing about your favorite oil colors.



Friday, March 23, 2018


There is a new painting ready to be photographed and posted but before showing you that one let me  tell you about the "Surprise Package" I received this week.

In the Art of the River post I mentioned the Jack Richeson Art Supply gift certificate award for  $150  for paint or pastels!    Turning me loose in  the oil paint isle of any store is dangerous to the wallet - but RICHESON - Wow!   This required very careful perusing  the on line  catalog of 70 colors - decisions, decisions!!   I knew I wanted to try the Ice Blue as that had been recommended,  I have a passion for Indian Yellows, enjoy using Golden Ochre for portraits and landscapes...well, could do pages  discussing how I finally chose eight colors and submitted my order.  An email from the company acknowledged receipt and mentioned, "Sometimes we are able to include a little something extra with your shipment".  The email also provided information about the company,  supplies, their school and gallery,  international art competitions they sponsor and more!  Who knew?

The package arrived - a large box - for 8 tube of paint?  Well, that must have been some careful packaging.  Then, I opened the box!  Oh my Goodness !!   Did they ever "include something extra"!!  Just had to share!    Note there are six Grey Matters brushes - I'm as excited about trying those as trying the new oil colors!!   You counted nine paint tubes?  Yes - they included their new Transparent Marble White!  Thank you Jack Richeson Art!  I'm a happy painter and will enjoy using all the gifts!

Monday, February 5, 2018


The Rio de la Paz Festival and Art of the River Show, "a celebration of the Peace River, its
life and environs" took place at the lovely South Florida State College DeSoto Campus over
the weekend!  What a showcase of talent and fun for all!

I am humbled and thrilled that my painting BY THE WATER took the First Place Ribbon and
PEEK-a-BOO garnered another Merit Award - it's second this year!  Thank you Judge Brenda
Brunderman for these honors!

Both paintings received red dots and went to new homes after the show closed!

In addition to ribbons and cash awards,  gift certificates for a Jack Richeson & Company art materials shopping spree, and a meal at Beef"O"Brady's put the icing on this delicious cake!  You should see me doing my happy dance!

Sincere thanks to the DeSoto Arts and Humanities Council for making this possible!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

                                                             SUNDAY MORNING                                     
                                         Detail - Oil Painting on stretched canvas  15" x 30                                   

From our home and my studio to yours MERRY CHRISTMAS and a wonderfully creative 2018!
Wishing you, your families, your pets and your friends, good health, blessings and joy with lots of
laughter filled days!

Thanks to all who stop by and especially to you who take time to leave a comment or two!

SUNDAY MORNING was inspired by an adorable little girl who was trying hard to sit still as
her father, the pastor, delivered a lengthy sermon.  THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER was my initial choice of titles - but went with the shorter one.

I shall be moving into a new studio and gallery by the end of January.  Will be eager to take you on a tour so come back soon!

Monday, October 23, 2017


                                                      24" x 12" Oil on Stretched Canvas

How dare I attempt to paint  water lilies after Monet's exquisite  impressionist series of approximately 250 oil paintings!   I suppose  the urge just got the better of me!   Actually this is my third piece in what might become my own humble series...

There is something so tranquil in  looking out over a calm pond or lake surface and admiring the pads and the lotus blossoms these plants produce ranging in color from white to pink, yellow, red or (in some tropical species) even blue or purple.   Lily pads bring color and life to their quiet freshwater homes as they provide hiding places for frogs, which are susceptible to underwater predators such as fish or water snakes, and they  provide shade for fish and other underwater species.  Aquatic dragonflies abound displaying their fairy-like double winged beauty as they glide among the pads where they feed and the female lays her eggs.

For another painting, white or yellow blossoms are calling me and a dragonfly will no doubt be present!  I shall again return to Blackwater Pond.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


                                                          16" x 12" Oil on Canvas

After a month of travel and visits from family and friends, our home is almost back to normal and I'm  finally back at the easel.  Of course a "warm up" piece was needed - a quick one.  My trusty old teapot is always ready to pose one more time, so  grabbed a green bottle, some ageing grapes and lemons and the brushes came alive!  I had a similar sketch in an old sketchbook...and after a few wipe outs,  it began to come together.  Ok, so this "quickie" took a week to complete!   As teapot glazes dried, I did work on other paintings which will be posted soon.

Feels great being back in the studio!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


23" x 47" Acrylic on Gesso Board

                                                              Over the Love Seat

Another one for us - We've had this lovely frame in the attic and, since we needed to change out some paintings upstairs, why not do a "Couch Painting"?

How many times have we had instructors tell us to leave  "Couch Art" to the department stores as it's considered "decorative" and not "fine" art?   I've heard that a few times and always received that tip with a smile.  Of course we want our paintings hung wherever the collector will most enjoy them - over the sofa or in the bathroom - who cares?

Anyway, that said - time to plan (or just start painting).  I do NOT recommend starting a painting journey without a map - but that's pretty much just what I did!  You know by now how much I enjoy painting walking paths - and mountains - and water - so with a piece of charcoal, I  started up the path.  Our neighbor has a lovely terraced area below her cabin and I was much influenced by that.  Our own Balsam Shadows Road is always inspiration and parts of it have shown up before in my work.

I would under paint in acrylic and finish with oil.  I had forgotten how enjoyable acrylic can be - and more and more the results were pleasing.  No oil.

Soon it was clear  the path and the river were going to fight each other for attention (what did I say about a map?)   The goal was a serene scene and I really didn't want to plan a specific focal area.  To solve the path/river dilemma,  the path was developed for your eye to follow - it is blocked but then comes back in two more times leading you into the mountains.  What fun it would have been to develop that river too!  Stones or logs underwater, sparkling  ripples and little waterfalls - how I fought the temptation!

Is it finished?  Are they ever?  But it's over the love seat and we are enjoying it!