Sunday, September 30, 2012


     Conch came about as result of a visit to the Conch Republic located in the Florida Keys. Key West to be exact. On April 23, 1982, two days after our son was born, this "Tongue in Cheek" secession of the city of Key West occured. It came about as a result of frustration over a roadblock and checkpoint by the U.S Border patrol which greatly inconvenienced residents and was detrimental to tourism in the area. After much frustration, the mayor of Key West decided that since they were being treated as a foreign country, why not be one? It has been a boon to tourism ever since with celebrations of Independence day that lasts for a week in April of each year.(Wikipedia) Check it out, it's fun to see the history of this funny happening in our country.

Conch~Acrylic on Canvas~10 x 10


     I really wanted a starfish on our trip to Sanibel Island off the coast of Florida. We were on the island of Coya Costa and were walking along the shoreline, looking for Queen Scallop shells and whatever else we could find. I saw a starfish in the surf and delightedly picked it up as it was rolling in the surf and I thought it was dead. You are not supposed to pick up shells that are live so I was so excited to find this one. I carefully put it in our pile by my snorkel and fins so I could return to the sea for more treasures. Chris was picking up shells as well, and our paths crossed often, excitedly showing each other the various pieces we had found. On one of our trips to our pile, Chris noticed the starfish moving an arm ever so slowly. We carefully returned it to the sea past the wave line, hopefully to survive to another day.

This reminded me of a story I found years ago~The Starfish Story

     A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
     She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, "Little girl why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can't save all these starfish, You can't begin to make a difference!"
     The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, "Well I made a difference to that one!"
     The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
     Adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C Eiseley

Starfish~Acrylic on canvas~10 x 10 day 87 of the 100 days


     There are many things I love to paint, but one of the most fun to paint are the shells. I really enjoy the warm colors and the chance to try new strokes with the brushes. I am learning constantly, even from the very students I teach. When one of them asks a new question, it forces me to find the answer either on the spot, or in the week before the next class. I will never tire of painting them!

Nautilus Acrylic on canvas 10 x 10 deep edge~day 86 of the 100 days

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peaceful Waves

     Peaceful Waves was  part of a demonstration during the Painting a Day class at the Eastern Shore Art Center. The classes are in their third week, and I am still pushing this group to their limits. They are learning a great deal during class, but are struggling with the concept and execution. Some are not putting enough paint on the canvas, some too much, some are lifting paint off the canvas when they add another layer. There is lots of gnashing and whining going on during the class, but all are saying they are having fun and learning.

     Most of all, I have to keep telling them that I can give them everything I know, every brush I use, the paints, the mediums etc, but I cannot give them one thing. paint. Time..............making mistakes. Time........figuring out the mistakes and fixing them. Time.................behind their brush. The only thing that will make you a better painter is time behind a brush! Go home after your class you paid for and paint the same thing again! You may make mistakes, but you will learn how to figure them out. Dig yourself into a hole, then fill it back up and just plain PAINT, PAINT, PAINT! Only then will you improve and make yourself proud!

"Peaceful Waves" 24 x 24 Acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


     There are numerous things I adore about the water, but without a doubt sailing is high on the list. That first beautiful peace and quiet that occurs when the sails are unfurled and the wind catches the boat is so zen. The sound is even cleaner after the motor is turned off and the only noise you hear is the wind rushing by your ears. It is a sight to behold the first time someone is on a sailboat and realizes the quiet power of the wind. We had a guy holding the tiller one time while we set up and when the motor was turned off and the wind caught us his face broke out in the most incredible grin I have ever seen. He was impressed with the power and speed acheived only by the wind. I think he was hooked!
        I was introduced to sailing by my father, so I learned the names of a lot of things on a sailboat. I can name more things about a sailboat than most women can even begin to think about. Consequently, when I am teaching about painting a boat, I am naming things that confuse most people (including the husband).
       Fortunately or unfortunately (however you look at it) I can also name more tools, parts of houses, painting terms, etc......... I have to back up quite frequently to explain what I have already explained in my mind or teach others while I am teaching the terms I use. It makes for a rather comical class at times with students sometimes requesting the "Barney" explanation.
      I love this part of teaching painting as it means people are learning!
Bay Boat I ~ 10 x 10 Acrylic on canvas

     This little boat  is another part of the series of "Bay Boats" Perfect for a little boys room or office.
Bay Boat II ~ 10 x 10 Acrylic on canvas

     Boat three in the Bay Boats series~ while they don't look like it here, the backgrounds are all the same color, so they could be hung together as a set.
Bay Boats III ~ 10 x 10 Acrylic on Canvas

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Silent Sentinel

     This turtle is another of the sepia series that is very popular with collectors. The paintings are all neutral in tone, on white backgrounds. Some of them are framed, but the majority are not giving you freedom to decorate as you please. Most people that come into my booths at the various festivals that I participate in don't want the piece framed. It either does not match their decor, their couch, or the size is all wrong. So I now choose to paint on primarily deep edge canvases. This way, there is nothing between you and the art. It also makes my life as an artist much easier and the art more affordable.

     There may be some changes coming soon to the blog as well. I am evolving as an artist and learning from a group I have joined. My head is positively swimming with the possibilities that could come from these changes in presentation. The presentation change will not be very noticeable, but hopefully I can become easier to find on the Internet. Those of you that have followed me for a few years, know that I have worked diligently to have a better presense on the web. These "changes" are going to be painless for you my followers, (and may actually make it easier to locate a particular piece of art!). However, I may have a permanent headache before it is all over!

    Silent Sentinel 6 x 12 Acrylic on canvas

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weeks Worth of Paintings!

     Needless to say, this week has been a busy one! I am still painting in the studio with a passion to create strong within me! The problem is getting to the blog and posting! Anyway, I am now teaching three, and possibly four days a week now in various venues. I am having a great time, with my favorite being the  Painting a day class at the Eastern Shore Art Center. I am surprised that the class has actually grown from 6 to 9 students! I am so honored that though they are struggling to keep up with my frantic pace, the women joining me in this class are having a good time. All are saying this is what I need, to quit fiddling around!
"Sepia Pelican" 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas day 74 of the 100 days

     This painting was started in the paintinga day class and finished that afternoon in my studio. I will be happy to see what my students came up with during their "homework"
"Beach Pathway" 24 x 30 (the students painted a 16 x 20) Acrylic on canvas. Day 75

     Heron my Heron is another one of  the paintings based on photographs taken while on vacation in Perdido key, Fl. This guy is definitely the king of the pilings at the pier!
"Heron my Heron" 12 x 24 Acrylic on Canvas Day 76 of the 100 days

     This little guy is from Coya Costa and is one of my most popular sepias as well!
"Sepia Ruddy" 12 x 12 acrylic on canvas Day 77 of the 100 days

     The Big Beautiful Blue is just that, a Blue Heron. These birds are so interesting to paint!
"Big Beautiful Blue" 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas day 78 of the 100 days

     This blue crab is one of many to leave my easel over the past few weeks and months. I am so grateful that people are still purchasing my works, while allowing me to call myself a professional artist!
"She Crab" 13 x 20 deep edge custom canvas, acrylic day 79 of the 100 days

     Last but not least, a miniature! This nautilus is more green in the background than it looks!
"Nautilus" 4 x 4 deep edge, acrylic on canvas day 80 of the 100 days

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Beautiful" & "Majestic"

Beautiful is another in a series of bird paintings. I will never get tired of painting birds or photographing them. They have a seemingly endless array of poses and some of them really ham it up for the camera. This is another of the photos I took while in Perdido Key last year. It was a lovely vacation, spent chasing and walking the four legged children (dachshunds) from our condo on the Pass. It was unbearably hot when we went and we have vowed to never again vacation in the month of August. The pavement was so hot we could not walk the dogs on it unless it was early morning or late in the evening. We spent many a happy hour throwing a tennis ball for Frida while trapped in the tennis court fence. It helped to get out some of her energy so she would settle for the evening. The other two would chase her as she chased the ball, so everyone was worn out by the time we went back to the condo.
     Early evenings was when this big guy would show up. There was a dock behind the condos and people would fish. The hooks no sooner hit the water than our rather large begger would swoop in for the taking of fish. He was a beautiful sight, close up and personal, though wary of humans.
"Beautiful" Acrylic on canvas 20 x 20 day 72 of the 100 days~100 paintings

     Yet another pose by this imposing animal. I would sit in the evenings and watch as he flew in as soon as people started fishing off the dock. He would wander off during the day, but the evenings were when he would get an ample supply of fish that he promptly gobbled up. I also photographed this big guy catching and swallowing a snake. Interesting to say the least!

"Majestic" Acrylic on canvas 20 x 20 day 73 of the 100 days~100 paintings

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just playing catch up! Days 69,70, and 71 of the 100 days


       "Jeremiah 29:10-13 " is a painting based on scripture of course! I am leading a small group at Celebration Church and this is the piece we painted on Monday night. I believe every one had a good time and there was much laughter, groaning, giggles, and just plain fun! I am really looking forward to being with this lovely group of women and children. (Don't worry guys! You could come too!) Each week we will be doing a painting inspired by scripture. The scripture that this one is based on is also it's name!

     Jeremiah 29:10-13 I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you HOME again. For I know the plans I have for you says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE." In those days when you pray, I will LISTEN. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you WILL find me.

   We found a lot of God in that room Monday evening. I can't wait for the next week!
Jeremiah 29:10-13 Acrylic on canvas 20 x 20 day 69 of the 100 days~100 paintings

     "Ask the Animals" is another painting based on scripture for the small group at Celebration Church~we will be painting this one Monday the 24th of September. Next week, we have one based on Trust. This one is a lot of fun to paint with plenty of color and opportunities to personalize. I am looking forward to painting it with the Scripts and Strokes Group!

      Based on Job 12:7-10, Just ask the animals and they will teach you, Ask the birds of the sky and they will tell you. SPEAK to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you.
For they all know my disaster has come from the hand of the LORD. For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.

     As to the part about "For they all know my disaster has come from the hand of the LORD." Keep in mind this is from Job and GOD was severely testing him at the time. You see there was this little test he went through so that GOD could show he indeed was a believer and would not curse the Lord no matter what! This is one of his "Lamentations" he never cursed the Lord, but he did  complain a little! I think I might too!

     "Ask the Animals" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas Day 70 of the 100 days-100 paintings

     "Heron My Heron" was the first of the paintings done at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, Alabama. I am teaching a painting a day class and we all created this beauty. Everyone did quite well, despite the fact that I was pushing them so hard! There was lots of giggles, smirks and concentration going on in this class. I even reminded them that they signed up for this torture! Despite the speed and rapidity, I think all had a good time and everyone completed their masterpieces.

     Speaking of completions, i really will need to complete lots of works in the next few weeks. Fairhope Connections is opening another location in Gulf Shores in October, hopefully operating during the National Shrimp Festival! It will be near the Oyster House, one of my favorite places to eat and apparently everyone else too! The wait averages an hour or more. The food is well worth it, and while you wait, now you will be able to see new works by several artists including me! We may also offer workshops and classes during the winter for the snowbirds. Southern Art and Framing also took all 13 pieces I brought to the gallery the other day, and asked for an expanded show in November and December. Add all this to my Outdoor show schedule, teaching, the 100 days and fall is proving to be a busy season! I would not have it any other way!

Heron My Heron 12 x 12 Acrylic on canvas day 71 of the 100 days

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blue Crab Beauty

     I absolutely love painting blue crabs! My mother asked me if I would ever tire of them and I told her probably not. I have so many lovely photos of so many different crabs, I could never paint them all! Add to that different sizes of paintings, different points of view, different colors. The possiblities are endless! Beyond that, I love to eat them as well!
I will never tire of painting them................I hope!

Blue Crab Beauty~acrylic on canvas~5 x 7

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ruddy! and Piper!

Ruddy! Is the little bird that came to our beach at Cayo Costa last year. This is a much smaller version of the larger painting completed several days ago. It also has less sand and background. I try to have a variety of pieces and prices to offer at the shows, so my work is more affordable. I have collectors that range from waitresses and car mechanics to doctors and lawyers. I love to keep my work at a price point that allows me to create and still make a living doing this really fun thing called ART!
Ruddy! Acrylic on canvas 5 x 7~available at Southern Art & Framing in Mobile, Alabama

Piper! Is another of my smaller affordable pieces available for sale at Southern Art & Framing in Mobile, Alabama. I am so incredibly happy to be able to do something I love to do for a living! God has been very kind to me and I try to give back to the church whenever I can. This past week found me making no less than 4 almost life sized Football players and Cheerleaders for our kickoff for small groups on Sunday. I have become a rapid enough painter now that I can do large scale projects for others and still have time for my works for sale. I will also be teaching paintings based on scriptures starting next week on Monday. I am really looking forward to the class and seeing who shows up!
Piper! Acrylic on canvas 5 x 7~Day 67 of the 100 days

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm ready for my close up!

    I am so humbled and honored when people purchase one of my pieces. Recently Fairhope Connections, the gallery that represents me in Fairhope and Orange beach sold several of my pieces in one day and in both stores! Two of the pieces purchased, (one a turtle and the other a grouper, both Sepias) are making their way to Boston, Massachusetts to live with a fellow artist. I was really surprised to have her purchase, because surely she could paint her own. I would love to think she is like me, I can paint my own pieces, but I collect others works. My husbands favorite pastime at the festivals is to pick out the trade pieces we swap at the shows. We have several lovely works of art that I would not otherwise have gracing my walls.

     This heron is one of many to leave my easel as of late. I love painting herons and for the time being, I seem to be on a color kick! I am sure that the sepias will come back soon though, they still are my best sellers!

I'm ready for my close up!~5 x 7~Framed Acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pier Pressure

     Looking a lot like he is holding down the piling. this fellow was keeping the fort on his own personal perch. Pelicans are a  frequent sight now, but not so much in 1976 when we came home to Alabama. At that time, DDT was a pesticide that was in wide use in the agricultural industry. Runoff watershed that we are a lot of the water brought high amounts of pesticide with it. It entered the food chain and consequently, the Pelicans were affected. The poison caused them to have shells so thin when they laid their eggs, that they could not even sit on their nests without breaking them. As a result, the population of Brown Pelicans was nearly killed off. Fortunately, the environmentalists were able to prove the problem was the pesticide and it was removed from the market.

     When we came home from the Air Force in 1976 Brown Pelicans were  not a common sight. Now, we get the opportunity on a daily basis to see these birds in action. Weeks Bay is the best spot to see them diving for fish in the evenings, looking a lot like an arrow shot from a bow in their frantic rush to the sea. They have a special closure in their throats that prevents the rush of water from drowning them as they hit the water at terrific speeds. They almost immediately pop back up, swallowing their catch and floating on the surface. Sometimes you can find them drying themselves out by holding their wings a lot like an Ahingha (gotta check the spelling on this one!) They hold their wings out looking like they are going to take off, but they are just drying their wings so they can get to the next dive and fresh fish meal.

Pier Pressure 5 x 7 Acrylic on canvas

"Just Watching" and "Magnificent"

     "Just watching" is from a photo taken of a blue heron. This bird was intently studying the water as it passed, waiting patiently for a meal to come to him. The current was rather swift, but he had his large feet planted carefully on the bottom. He was also quite healthy despite his lack of exercise, (most herons walk quietly along the waters edge, looking for the next meal.) Playing a game he had played many times before, peering into the depths, looking for the flash of fin or scale that would indicate a perfect snack. These creatures are always entertaining to watch, depending on their own personal style of hunting to fill their belly. Look carefully and you too may be enticed to spend a quiet morning or evening seeing these birds honing their skills.

     This painting is one of several birds to be coming off my easel in the next few days. My gallery, Fairhope Connections is encouraging the Participating artists to create works of art depicting birds for the month of October. We will be having the Birdfest yet again in our fair city the first weekend of October. It will be held in conjunction with the Grand Festival in downtown Fairhope, October being held on the 5th and 6th this year. The grand festival has been going on for years and is put on by the Eastern Shore Art Center. I have been juried in to this show and look forward to the new Friday and Saturday dates instead of Saturday and Sunday. We will also be open during Artwalk Friday night. This presents new challenges as artwalk is held in the evening and the booths have no electricity. I will be investing in some battery powered lights for the show, so come out and enjoy the evening!

"Just Watching" 16 x 16 Acrylic on canvas

     Magnificent is the perfect word to describe these beautiful creatures. Those of you that are familiar with my story know that I have a special connection with turtles. I was encouraged a few years back by a fellow artist friend, Tut Riddick to "Paint more Turtles" after she had seen one of my paintings in a show at the Mobile Museum of Art. That painting also spoke volumes to a collector that wanted it as soon as I placed it on the wall at a gallery I was in at the time. she asked me to remove it from my space and hold it. Her daughter had just gotten married and she really wanted the piece. She worked out a payment plan that very evening with me. She wanted it for her office, but he instead he graces her bedroom wall. This little guy is hardly what you call big enough to be considered a "sofa" painting. He is quite small compared to the majority of pieces I complete for the 100 days. It really does not lessen his impact as he stares intently from the canvas.

Magnificent Acrylic on canvas~5 x 7

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sailing Along

    Sailing along is todays offering for the 100 days. Turtles are one of my best sellers and this year proves no different. A lot of people seem to have a turtle story or a collection of these beautiful creatures. They are a constant source of delight to me as a painter with their patterns and spots. I will always love painting them! I am teaching at the Eastern Shore Art center a painting a day class during the fall session. I hope they do not mind if we delve into turtles, especially if they want paintings that sell!

Sailing Along 6 x 12 Acrylic on Canvas

Saturday, September 1, 2012


     Glider came into being after seeing a photo I took while in the Tampa Aquarium. This turtle was gorgeous and a permanent resident.  It apparently was the victim of a shark attack as it had a large bite taken out of his side. It was not a killing blow, just a massive amount of damage. I don't know where this turtle recovered, possibly at the turtle hospital in Marathon, Florida. All I know, is it now calls home an aquarium that take very good care of it. This beauty swam beautifully despite the damage to it's shell. It loved to come close to the window of the tank, peering at the visitors apparently looking for a hand out.

Glider~Acrylic on Canvas~6 x 12