Marco Island has a bumper crop of burrowing owl pairs this year. This little guy was sitting on my front porch all alone for a while, then brought his girl friend along to visit. Now they have a burrow across the street, and only come to visit when the construction trucks get too close.
Most burrows are neater, but this pair is big into decoration! They've collected a lot of debris to surround and enhance their new home. Apparently it will attract insects for them to eat. Babies in the nest just yesterday, but too skittish for a photo yet!
My mother assigned the small plot of earth between the front and side doors to me at age 6. I was allowed to pick out a flat or two of small plants at the garden shop and purchase some seeds each year. She must have helped with the weeding the first few years, and I've had a garden ever since.
Painting flowers is a nice change from everglades art. I've never really concentrated on painting flowers, but always have fresh blooms in the house. Sometimes they're purchased from the grocery, but sometimes I'll pick a little something from the yard. The deep magenta center and the yellow-white edges of this hibiscus are showy enough to stand alone.
Busy getting my home studio set up. What a job trying to fit everything in! Still, it will be much easier to have everything in one place.
I was able to donate the rolling walls to the ASCWF's Cooperative Gallery at Coconut Point. What a pleasure to meet the gallery director who was resourceful in finding both a friend and a truck on short notice. I'm delighted they'll be put to good use!
On May 1, 2017, I closed my studio/gallery at the Esplanade, and am choosing to work out of my home studio for a while. This will give me more time to paint, more time to visit the Everglades - the source of my inspiration for painting - and more time to do some artistic exploration..
I'll still be self-representing, but am changing my business model. Blogging will most likely have a place, with the goal of posting a daily painting often. Sometimes I will have something to say, other times you'll just get a painting.
If you are getting this email, you will be getting a new post with a painting in your mail box more frequently. There will be a link to my website where the painting will be for sale.
My blog is independent of my once-a-month newsletter, which will still be my main way of communicating with you. You can reach both the blog and my past newsletters from my website, here.
There is an unsubscribe notice at the end of both the blog and my newsletter in case you no longer wish to receive mail from me.
Please forward to anyone you know who might be interested in having a painting in their mailbox. More to come - later!
If we haven't spoken via newsletter, email, or social media, Happy New Year! I'm going with hope rather than despair, since it's so much more satisfying!
It's been a busy time with the increase in traffic and the studio now open six days a week from New Years to Easter. I've been slow to blog, spending more time on social media. You can read my January newsletter on my website, and sign up to receive it once a month if you want.
I will teach a three day workshop at the Art Center in March and hope to see you there. More information here.
In the meantime, at the request of visiting artists, I've been teaching at the Esplanade studio on Monday mornings. The classes are structured with a single subject each week so you can take just one, or keep coming for as long as you are able. January's subject is the landscape. We'll paint "water" next Monday. Come along! February will be all about color. There's a new "page" at the top of the blog with more information.
You will hear from me from time to time here on this blog, and I may start posting the daily paintings again. We'll see!
I'll be traveling for part of November, so blog entries get a little iffy. Part of my trip will be on a ship crossing the Atlantic from Barcelona to Miami. It's a true get-a-way, and I'm ready for a rest. Meanwhile the studio will be opened from Wed thru Sat as usual for this time of year. It is well stocked and well staffed so you won't miss me! It's not too early to start your holiday shopping--not crowded, and you'll get personal attention.
I've kept the blog since 2007, and am thinking that maybe it's to focus on other social media rather than continuing to journal online. If you receive this blog and enjoy it, please let me know in the comment section below, or if you are more likely to use other social media, let me know that, too. It will help in my decision making and choices for the future. This will not affect my once-a-monthly newsletter.
If you have any interest in my class for the first week in December, sign up here right away. I know it's a busy time of year, but if you can't make it now, perhaps I'll see you in March for Color Confidence.
I've been working on the second book in the Owlivia series. This story is about Bully Billy, and will be out before Christmas if all goes well. In the process of creating the character, I've tried out several different personalities. This chunky little character is cute, but didn't make the cut into the book.
This bloom was left over when the rest of the bouquet had past, so I took it to the studio with me one day. Instead of painting it in the little vase, I set it in a garden, so it will have flower friends surrounding it forever.
People tell me all the time that they wish they could do what I do -- paint. If you are serious about painting, it's never too late to start. You can learn about the principals of painting by listening to other artists, either by taking classes and by watching teaching DVDs and online videos. You can read books and magazines about the "how-to." But to really learn to paint, you must put brush to canvas again, and again, and again. It's only when you have put miles on the brush that with trial and error, that you learn to paint. So go paint...and then paint some more!
Sailing used to be one of my pastimes. I'm reminded of it's pleasure when I see a ship under sail on the horizon. A sailing vessel will suddenly take on a life of its own and rush forward as the wind fills the white sheets, blowing them up against the blue sky. A few nights ago sunset on the beach showed only two ships under sail. For today's painting I added a few more, reminiscent of the Connecticut shore and Long Island Sound. But the clouds are Florida, and the sunset was spectacular!
Original painting of a sabal palm near a waterway in the Everglades.
I've had a visitor the last couple of weeks--my brother from New England. He comes every year at this time and dirties the towels, brings sand from the beach in on his feet, talks a lot and wants dinner every night. Patriots games are required watching. He's house handy, and will help me out doing almost anything I ask, loves to cook on the grill, gives honest, thoughtful opinions on my questions, admires my art and is delightfully easy company.
I'm thankful to have two wonderful siblings. Hey, Judy, it's your turn!
Sunset on the beach a few nights ago inspired this daily painting. I'm making an effort to use more of the warm colors since paintings have been a little on the cool side lately. Funny how the eye --and maybe the spirit, too, hungers for variety.
I was delighted to have artist Richard deHann and his wife stop in for a visit. He's a Canadian artist, staying in Port of the Islands for the express purpose of exploring the Everglades. He's knowledgeable about the area and the Everglades ecosystems. It was a pleasure to visit. You can read his recent blog posts about his trip here.
There's nothing nicer than getting out on the water. A boat trip has been a treat ever since I was a small child. On Marco Island in the summer you have to plan around the almost constant threat of s thunderstorm. Now we're coming into the time of year when you can be almost sure of having a day trip without threat of rain.
There are many small deserted islands. Some of them are made up entirely of mangroves, not easy to get out and explore, Once, Florida was ringed by mangrove islands, protecting the shore from the force and power of strong storms.
Some of these little islands have sandy shores. It's easy to pull a boat up for a shelling walk. In the early morning dawn hours you may feel as if you could be living a thousand years ago or were the last person on earth.
As the world population grows places of beauty and peace and yes, isolation, need to be preserved. The wild places give our souls room to breathe.
There are more people around and the traffic in my studio is beginning to build. Drier days are slowly replacing the wet days of the rainy season. As an artist who gets the inspiration for the paintings outside by looking at my subject matter, the beautiful Everglades, I'm looking forward todays with a little less humidity.
I'll be teaching my Florida Inside and Out workshop in early December at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, and am hoping for good weather. We'll spend half a day inside, learning the craft of painting, and half a day outside observing nature to see for ourselves.
Students really seem to love this class, and there are already some sign-ups. If you are interested in the class, you can sign up online or get more info here, or inquire at the Marco Island Center for the Arts.