Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nautilus II

This view from the side of the Nautilus shows a little more of the creature itself. They really are a remarkable design created by our God to give us something new to look at. I wonder when naming the creatures, how would Adam have looked at this animal and not have shuddered. There would have been no fear at that time though, so I can only imagine what went through his head. I know now that many movies have made these beautiful animals into monsters, seemingly morphing them into gigantic size. I am really glad in reality they are small and capable of being handled in the water.
Our oceans really contain some of the most beautiful creatures on our planet. We really need to pay attention to what we are putting in our waters and ultimately, our own bodies as we eat from the bounty that is the sea. This painting completes todays entry number 58 of the 100 days~100 paintings.
Nautilus II Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 Shadowbox frame

Nautilus I

I love the Nautilus shell and it's appeal seems to be universal. Most people don't ever see the creature that lives inside. It reminds me of a squid or Octopus, only with a hard shell outside. It has multiple arms and really is quite beautiful when swimming in the ocean. My parents never actually caught one while in the Phillipines, but my mother did buy one to add to their collection. Of the many shells in our collection this one is one of my favorites because of it's uniqueness and beauty.
Nautilus I Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 shadowbox frame

Polkadot Starfish

Having snorkled with my parents in the Phillipines, I have seen many starfish. I really enjoy watching them move along the sea floor. I was also fascinated in Biology class to see how they eat. They don't move very quickly though, and frequently become victims of other predators. The unique thing about them is that they can regenerate an arm if it becomes removed due to stress or injury. At one time, I think they were being studied to learn how they can regrow a limb in an effort to help people with spinal cord injuries. I hope that someday we can decipher the code that makes that happen. Our God is an awesome planner and when he made the starfish, he did not spare either color, details, or beauty. This marks day 56 of the 100 days and covers Monday.
Polkadot Starfish Acrylic 12 x 12 Sepia with shadowbox frame.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Catchin a Wave

I have fond memories of surfing as a child, what little bit I got to do as I did not own a board. I loved the way this guy was working so hard to perfect his technique and stay on his board. His board is really a skim board and not a long board. I photographed him early this Spring at the Fairhope Beach. It really was beginning to get warm in the air temperature, but I am certain that the water was still very cold. He just could not wiat for warm weather to try out the skim board.
I enjoy watching others trying out new things. I was really pulling for the kid that was learning to water ski behind our condo recently. The father was yelling directions, but in the long run, the only way you can get better at something is to practice. (It also helps to have someone teaching you with patience!) I felt bad for her because the advice the dad was giving was weird. Somehow, she finally popped up out of the water and I cheered inwardly because I remember the feeling of satisfaction when finally "getting" something. Have you tried something different and out of your comfort zone recently? I find myself challenged on a daily basis, either with something entirely new or a new way to do something I have never done before.
Just Catchin a Wave Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 36

My Fascination

I can't promise that there won't be more Liofish but as you can tell they are one of my fascinations. I love the way they move through the water with grace and quiet. That is, until they see prey then they become the hunter. I sure would not want to be the prey!
This painting gets a number of 54. I really have to get better at posting these things on time! I can get them painted, just the photographing and posting is getting my goat! Thanks to my followers for patience!
My Fascination Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 Shadowbox Frame

Forward Motion

Forward Motion is another in the sepias series of art. The sepias are still a very popular item in my booths at the art shows. Neutral and beautiful, they are in collections all over the United States. People love them because they are able to go on any wall color. I have even had collectors take pictures of them on their walls! I really enjoy doing them and hope you enjoy them as well.
Another Lionfish to be sure, I don't know if I would like this fellow swimming toward my mask underwater!
This completes the 53rd day of paintings with many more to go!
Forward Motion Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12

A Skewed Point of View

If you have not realized it by now, I get on "runs" of certain things! This past week seems to be the infamous Lionfish. They have become quite the problem, from the Florida Keys to the Outer Banks. Just about everywhere they have a bounty on their heads dead or alive. Down in the Keys, they even want to know the GPS location if possible! No doubt a beautiful fish, but also a deadly killer as it eats other fish! They have poisonous barbs and they also encircle their prey with those fins.They seem to take over anywhere they are found and muscle out the native species. Such it is when man steps in, they get too big for the fish tank, they eat the other fish and so man decides to "harmlessly" release him to the ocean. Not so harmlessly it seems!
A Skewed Point of View Acrylic on canvas 12 x 12

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cruise to Nowhere

While Chris and I were in the keys a couple of years ago, we took a "Danger" cruise. This trip promised to have us kayaking, lunch, sailing and snorkling. The cruise itself involved more motoring than sailing. There simply was very little wind to push this rather large sailboat in the water. Being optimistic, the people running the cruise threw all the sheets to the wind, hoping to catch a breeze. We ended up using the motor so we could get in all the activities planned. Once we got to the Island, they gave us a crash course in kayaking before we hit the water. Chris and I were both experienced paddlers, so we were some of the first to get in the water. We paddled through the mangrove area of the island after passing over the seagrass beds complete with sea cucumbers and hundreds of fish.
Our trip ended with us getting in the water to snorkel at the Grecian Rocks. The grecian Rocks were a disappointment compared to the reef off of John Pennecamp. I highly recommend the reef there, it is the largest reef in the United States.
While traveling back, we had a wonderful lunch provided by the crew. I shot multiple pictures while on board and this painting is one of them. I love the feeling you get when looking at this painting hence the name, Cruise to Nowhere. I really enjoy a good hard sail and miss our sailboat Mariah. We have friends willing to take us, but it is never enough!
Cruise to Nowhere, Acrylic on Canvas 18 x 36

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Race to the Sea

Baby turtles will never lose their appeal with me. One of my goals in life is to see a turtle "boil". The hatching of baby turtles is called this because they look like boiling water with turtles forming the boil. Once hatched, they begin the race to the sea trying to beat the predators that wait for the next big meal. Seagulls, raccoons, snd red foxes. All try get to the babies as they run frantically to the tide. Once in the tide, they fall victim to the fish that are waiting off shore. They are also followed by the gulls.
The beaches on our coast have marked off areas that contain turtle eggs. if the nest is near civilization, the nearby residents are advised to sheild their lights from the hatching turtles. The turtles will run toward lights of any type, including cars thinking it is the moon guiding them to the sea. There is a story around here about a woman who after a mass hatching was killed by passing cars, took the skeletons and put them all over her yard as a remembrance.
Hopefully I will get to see this feat of nature in my lifetime.
Race to the Sea 14 x 28 Acrylic on canvas

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jumping for Joy

I photographed this dolphin while on a cruise in Orange Beach. We saw several dolphins on this trip and it really not money wasted. The guide said it was one of the best "shows" the dolphins had put on in a long time. They were so full of life and caused much joy on the boat as well. Their acrobatics started in the early part of the trip almost as soon as they heard the boats. I say boats because there are two of them that run side by side causing the water to churn between them. The children are guided to the rail first, so they can have the best view. I hung onto the railing, wrapping my leg around one of the supports while photographing,
I shot over 100 pictures that afternoon, grateful for a digital camera that my husband bought me 2 years ago for Christmas. I fought digital all the way, loving my 35mm but hating the wait for developing as well as the expense. I was delighted at how the photos turned out, filling my computer screen with lots of happy dolphins and water shots.
The guide explained to all of us that the dolphins were pink because they were happy. I imagine they were rather flushed with the heat as well, with the heat index over 110. I remember our daughter Jessica remarking about the pink blush and the dophins being happy. She said that must be why the animals at Sea World attack their trainers, they are not happy. She then explained that did not ever remember seeing them blush like that in any captive arena. I don't recall seeing them blush either. We really must work harder to make peace with our creatures that God puts in our hands.
Jumping for Joy acrylic on canvas 24 x 24

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spiny Lobster

We got to see one of these beautiful creatures while in the Florida Keys. We were snorkling at John Pennecamp State park. This state park is home to the largest coral reef in the continuous United States. It was hiding beneath a shelf of coral and pulled itself into the cave as we came near. That trip to the reef was Chris's first time on a coral reef, but not the first time snorkling.
We saw several things that day, not the least of which was a Carribean Gray Reef Shark. It came to us out of the gloom of the dusky evening, eyeing us warily and deciding we were too big to eat. I wanted to follow him as he silently swam along the edge of the coral, but my husband of several decades did not wish to pursue this denizen of the deep. He likes to tell people that I tried to feed him to a shark. (never mind that it was only about 3 feet long!)This painting catches me up again! Number 48 in the 100 days~100 paintings
Spiny Lobster 20 x 20 Acrylic on Canvas


Octopus have always held a special place in my mind. They are the most slippery looking creatures, making their way into small nooks and crannies. They love to hide and spring from their lair to catch their prey. I love to watch them move along as well, using their bodies like a torpedo. They open up wide and then shoot forward with their legs snapping together with great force. Always beautiful, sometimes creepy, the octopus is right up there in the sea creatures, at least in my mind.
12 x 12 Octopus! Acrylic on Canvas

Friday, August 19, 2011

Waiting for the right moment

This Great Blue Heron hunts constantly behind the condos in Perdido Key near the Florida line. These birds are surprisingly losing all their sense of fear of man. This happens especially when there is food involved. Food to the Heron means fish. Hence, they hang around anywhere there is a line in the water hoping for a hand out! The fishermen are more than willing to accomodate them, throwing them whole fish that are too small to keep and not a bait fish. I noticed it was not just this heron, but every where there was a hook in the water, there usually was more than one of these large birds waiting.
Until we stop giving these creatures a free meal, we better watch out for the rush of wings at our backs. One of the kids fishing at the dock was quite surprised when ambushed one afternoon. He was fishing with no heron in sight, and as he tossed his fish onto the dock, it was quickly scooped up by the silent bird. The kid told me he nearly fell off the dock, he was so shocked! Fortunately, this one has not decided to attack a human for his meals.
Hopefully, the bird won't be blamed if he accidently pecks someone in the process of snagging his next meal!
Waiting for the right moment 6 x 6 deep edge canvas acrylic


The beauty of the lionfish is undeniable. They have a way about them that makes them seem to float through the water. Their long fins are used when trapping their prey and they are quite the predator. They are not native to our waters and they have a tendency to eat every other fish. This is the reason that people would dump them from their fish tanks into the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic coast as well. Their barbs are filled with poison that is not lethal, but painful.
While visiting in Florida, we saw several signs posted where there is a bounty on their heads. They are wanted dead or alive, and the game people also want to know the gps coordinates as well. Not long after we left Florida, there was a rodeo offering rewards for this unnatural denizen of the deep.
Lionfish 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas shadowbox frame

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sittin on top

This crab is fun to paint and his attitude is a selling point. The mouth is also open and shows a lot of the defensive posture that a crab will get when threatened. My husband, Chris and I caught have crabs before and he told me the trick to pick them up, is to grab them at the rear of the shell. I tried the trick and the crab promptly reached under and pinched me. Needless to say, I threw the crab trying to get it off my finger! It startled both Chris and myself and he had enough presence of mind to catch the critter and throw it into the bucket. I ate the "biter" with a great deal of relish!
Sittin on top acrylic on canvas 12 x 12

Something I love

Scallops! Yum! I love to eat them and wish I lived in Florida for the season where they limit it to buckets of Scallops! Oh well, I will have to be satisfied to get mine at the restaurants! I especially love the ones on the "Yo Mama's Platter" at Ed's Shed on the causeway.
One of the advantages of living on the coast and very near the largest bay in the United States, is the vast quantities of fresh seafood available for eating. Our Mobile Bay is also one of two places in the world that has something called a jubilee. Jubilee's are caused by the lack of oxygen in the water. The lack of oxygen causes the crabs, flounders, eels, and various other sea creatures to rush for the shoreline. If you are lucky enough to be on the call line of a local that knows what is happening, you will get to see it for yourself. This has become one of my goals to see, photograph, and oh maybe pick up some seafood.
Something I Love Acrylic on canvas 12 x 12

Monday, August 15, 2011

My five legged friend

Those of you who have followed for a while may remember I spent a few years in the Phillipines. My father was in the Air Force and we were stationed at Clark AFB. While living there, the parents I knew and loved became quite in taken with Scuba Diving. Fortunately, they would take me along for the adventure. I would stay in the bonka boat with our driver Tony and as long as I stayed in the outrigger arm of the boat, I could swim to my hearts content. Quite frequently, I found myself drifting along playing in the bubble trail my parents made as they swam at the bottom. They also would swim at less than 35 feet so they could stay indefinitely.
One day, while in this state of watery bliss I spied a starfish. I excitedly told Tony about it and he helped me out of the water and safely into the boat. It was then and only then he would free dive to the bottom and retrieve the prize I had spied. This time, he came up with the most beautiful blue starfish I had ever seen! Since my parents were shell collectors, I was allowed to keep some things and I vowed this would be mine forever. I loved the color and could not wait to get it home to the ant bed.
Ant bed? Yes the ant bed. We put all our shells into a very accomodating colony of ants that would eat the live creatures, leaving the shells behind. They were always very clean, and it was a good relationship. The only probelm was, the process my mother had devised involved 2 whole weeks of waiting!
I was about 6 at the time and could hardly wait until I could display the starfish proudly in my "collection". The morning came and mother carefully removed the shells from the pile and very close to the last thing removed, was my precious piece of the Phillipines. It came out the most disappointing shade of pale brown. My mother explained that the starfish, being alive made the bright blue, but now was simply a skeleton of the former beauty. I sadly took my prize into the house vowing still to display my "shell". Suddenly, in my mind hatched a beautiful scheme! I would paint it! I could paint anything I assumed and I told my mother that is what I wanted to do. I can't remember if she bought the paint, or if I took it to school. Afterward, I was quite pleased with the results, putting several coats on my sea creature. It never eally was the right shade, so I never brought home a starfish again.
My five legged friend 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas, shadowbox frame

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blue Beauty

Blue Beauty is another in my series of sepias. The sepias are always a neutral choice for anyone. I started them last year because people would come into my booth and tell me they" loved my work, but they did not know if that color would go on my wall". I painted seven in the original series and sold all of them. I have been fortunate enough to have them travel from Boston, Mass. to the California coast. They do go virtually anywhere and combine well with colored paintings. I even once had no less than 3 people in the space of ten minutes want to buy the same painting!
They are my favorite type of painting, and they have really made me a better painter. Making quick decisions in my colored paintings based on values and not hue. If you don't paint, you can do the same with pencil or ink and do value studies. It will make you a better artist as well!
Blue Beauty 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sittin on the dock in the way

Another sepia, another crab! I hope dear readers you won't get tired of them because I don't think I will tire of them myself. I received a congratulations letter today for the Grand Festival, so...........I am in! I also noticed my check for the booth fee from Peter Anderson has been deposited so I have made it into that show as well. Grand Festival, Fairhope Alabama, October 8th and 9th. Peter Anderson, Ocean Springs Mississippi, November 5th & 6th. I am also in the National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, October 13th~16th. Last but certainly not least, Jubilee Festival Daphne, Alabama September 24th & 25th. Fall promises to be busy with artwalks, shows, commissions and the holidays! Let the madness that is my studio begin! Paintings everywhere, drying, in various stages and me, constantly researching and sifting through my photos for the next new work of art!
Sittin on the Dock in the Way 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas $95.00

Squared up!

This is another new original for Paint and Pals. I love the act of creating and I feel complemented when someone chooses one of my paintings to paint! I am not and abstract painter, but I can do controlled abstracts like the one here. It really is easy to paint. You can probably find it on next month's calendar for Paint and Pals.
Squared up! 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas.

Concentric Fall

I really enjoy my "real job" working for Paint and Pals! This is a warm version of Concentric Blues created for Paint and Pals. Look for it next month on the calendar!
Concentric Fall 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas

Winged Landing

I love this bird! He was quite the camera hog and loved having his picture taken as long as I did not get too close! This Great Blue Heron calls the docks behind Sundown Condos in Pensacola, Florida his home. He appears out of nowhere, swishing in on silent wings, ready for his next free meal and posing for photos!
Winged Landing 6 x 6 Deep edge canvas Acrylic on canvas

Heron taking flight

Another in the sepia series and featuring the Heron at the condo we stayed at. I love the sepia series, and they are all selling almost as fast as I can paint them. They are available at Cathedral Square Gallery, Fairhope Connection in Fairhope and Orange Beach as well as directly from me.
This painting completes number 36 in the 100 days series.
Heron taking Flight 6 x 6 acrylic on canvas

Say it to my Face!

Have you ever said something about someone and then regreted it? I know in my lifetime, I have hurt feelings of others without thinking. I am not a malicious person, but have let my mouth open when it should have stayed shut! We deal with people on a daily basis and now, there is facebook to add fuel to the fire! I have seen arguments played out online, and it is not pretty. Sometimes stupid, petty things turn into huge fights that tear families and friends apart with all sides thinking they are in the right. Holidays become a nightmare. Have you thought out your e-mail, your post, your voice, before you publish it to the world? Have you regretted something you have done or said? We all need to be adults and have a lot more forgiveness and compassion in our lives. Have you asked for forgiveness? Have you forgiven and then forgot? Sometimes it is hard to do any of these things, and yet, we all need to do them!
Say it to my Face! 4 x 12 deep edge canvas, Acrylic.

Monet's Lilies

The children were very pleased with this project we did at the Museum. I painted an 18 x 24 while the kids painted 16 x 20's. The kids were very excited to show their parents all of their hard work for the week. We managed to complete 5 paintings that week, and I varnished them all in time to send them home on Friday. We all should be as loose and carefree as children. They like almost everything they create but much like their adult counterparts, they don't love them all. Some paintings and art projects are really just about learning, not necessarily complete projects we love. Have you created something you love today. This painting helps to catch me up some more! It is number 34! Monet's Lilies 18 x 24 acrylic on canvas panel.

Impressionist Boats

I enjoyed painting with the children at the Mobile Museum of Art. We had an entire week of impressionist painting, making a journal, drawing, and watercolor. I never cease to be amazed at the styles and handling of paint that children possess. I had a younger sibling in the class that did so well she showed up the older kids and surpassed quite a few of them! She jumped right in and followed directions to the letter, carefully studying every move I made. I wish adults would listen so well when I am teaching!
Impressionist Boats 16 x 20 Acrylic on canvas.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rosetta's Jubilee II

This is the second of Rosetta's Jubilee paintings. I really enjoyed painting them and I am now experimenting with a white background at the suggestion of my daughter Jessica. The next time I paint something like this though, I will make them run from one painting to another, so they could be a continuous piece. They still can be hung side by side and i am looking forward to seeing them both in print!
Rosetta's Jubilee II Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 24

Rosetta's Jubilee I

This painting is day 30 August 5th. I have been painting regularly now and it feels like I am in the groove again. I am still playing catch up with the paintings and postings.
This grouping of crabs is only a part of the bucket of seafood brought to me by my wonderful neighbor, Rosetta. She fishes a great deal and this was only part of her catch of the day. She has also supplied us with shrimp as well. Delicious!
I am taking this painting to my giclee' printer to be photographed and put into print. Crabs are always a good seller and this pair of paintings is sure to be a hit! People could use one or the other, or both! I have already had several people inquire as to the price of the pair, while I was painting them!
Rosetta's Jubilee I ~ Acrylic on canvas 12 x 24

Crabby is..............

This painting is to help with my back tracking on catching up from last week. This painting represents August 4th. Our computer crashed while we were at the beach and I had no way of posting until we got home.
I don't know if I will ever tire of painting crabs. Blue crabs are a plentiful bounty on our Gulf Coast no thanks to BP. The Oil Spill from BP threatened our beautiful beaches,way of life and most of all, the food chain. We are really bouncing back as far as people and tourists coming back to the beaches. Our seafood industry has never been safer, with testing going on constantly. I will never tire of crab bisque, crab cakes, and crab claws! Ah, life on the coast, could it taste any better!
Crabby is............ 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas

Great Blue Heron

As I promised last week, there probably will be several paintings of the heron that called our dock home while on vacation. e really was quite the mooch, sometimes not even appearing until someone was on the dock fishing. Actually they did not even have to fish, they could be preparing to fish, coming off a boat, throwing a cast net. This gentlw giant would swoop in with a quietness tht scared one of the fishermen on the dock, as it walked up to him while he was removing a fish. I don't know if anyone refuses to feed this huge bird, especially when he stares down that beak at you. That is the most bizarre view I have ever seen, with him staring down that long bill, golden eyes focused on your hands, or whatever you have in them!
Great Blue Heron 6 x 6 Acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Clown

I have painted this guy before in sepia, but have long awaited doing the color version. I really enjoyed painting this one. He is just so comical looking! I am probably going to put this one into print as well as he is really pretty.

Turtles are really fun for me to paint! I have enjoyed depicting turtles these past few years and I am certain that many more will pass beneath my brush. They have an endearing quality to them that every one seems to enjoy. People also love to collect them. I may have trouble letting this one go out of my studio! "The Clown" acrylic on canvas 12 x 24

Monday, August 1, 2011

Big Blue

This great Blue heron hangs out at a boat dock near the condo in Perdido Key. He waits for the people to start fishing and then shows up for his next free meal. This big bird has scamming to a science, patiently waiting for someone catching a fish they don't want. When they catch the fish, he perks up and jumps down to catch the fish thrown to his waiting beak. I am fascinated by this bird and I am sure there will be lots of photos and paintings inspired by this beautiful creature.