Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Bruce's Onions"

"Bruce's Onions"
Mixed Media with Oils on Canvas
24" x 24"
My friend Bruce paints the most beautiful onions. I have admired his onions for years, often wishing I could do justice to them the way he does. Recently I learned that Bruce and I will be in an exhibit together in the spring, so I decided to try my hand at a portrait of this beautiful root vegetable. I'm pleased with the results, but have to say I still like Bruce's onions better....

Friday, October 29, 2010

3rd Annual ISAP Online International Open Juried Exhibition

Awards Announced:
The awards have been announced for the ISAP online exhibit and I was pleased to learn that my painting "Blues" was awarded an honorable mention. John Salminen, the juror, did an outstanding job of selecting the 53 works for the show. They are all eye-candy! You will not want to miss this exhibit: 3rd Annual ISAP Online Exhibit

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wore Stories

"Casualties of Wore"
Acrylic on 300# Arches
30" x 22"
My mother loved to sew. She made most of her own clothes and some of mine (when I was too young to protest that I wanted 'real' clothes). There were always tins of buttons, baskets of thread and folds of fabric around, along with just about anything necessary to make or mend something on the spot. Even when a garment was truly worn out, she could resurrect it into some other useful thing. 

I inherited Mom's sewing 'works': the old turquoise Singer, the buttons, the threads, the tins of parts collected to make repairs and a few things she had never gotten around to fixing or finishing. So began the task of deciding what to keep and with what to part, combining her treasures with mine, layering the generations in my sewing basket. 

I found similarities in our collections, mine no doubt a mirror of her practices. Lots of buttons. Multiples of our favorite colors of thread. Handy little tools, some I no longer remember how to use. I found we both had saved some things long past their usefulness.  It was those cast-offs I spread out on the table. I wondered why the zipper with the missing teeth, the broken buttons, the faded and threadbare fabric scraps had been kept; what stories were preventing me from sweeping them off the table into the waste basket. 

I inherited my mother's sewing works, but I became aware while sifting and sorting through threads and feelings and those casualties of wore that I had not inherited the same passion she had for the craft. What I had, that kept me collecting buttons, was more an admiration for her talents and a desired commonality. The realization made me feel separated and a little sad, but it was also a bit freeing. It reinforced for me that I have my own passions and my own stories to tell, and gave me permission to get out the paints and tell them. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

5th Annual ISAP-FL Juried Exhibition

"Blues" (Casualties of Wore Series)
I'm pleased to announce that "Blues" has been accepted into the 5th Annual International Society of Acrylic Painters- Florida Exhibition. Judged by renowned artist Gerald Brommer, the exhibit will be at the Carrollwood Cultural Center in Tampa, FL from December 2, 2010 through January 3, 2011. On an added note, it has also been juried into the 3rd Annual ISAP Online International Open Juried Exhibition. Judged by John Salminen, the exhibition opens November 1, 2010 on the ISAP web site. 

39th Annual Florida Watercolor Society Juried Exhibit at Leepa-Rattner Museum

"Tempus Fugit"
Part of the FWS exhibit at Leepa-Rattner Museum
If you haven't yet visited the Leepa-Rattner Museum to see the Florida Watercolor Society's exhibit, there is still time to go. The exhibit, which runs through November 7th, comprises just under 100 stunning works from FWS members throughout the state. 


22" x 30"
These three kids were having a great time when their photo was taken, and the truth is, I had just as much fun painting them!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


When I spotted this egret one crisp morning a few years ago on Captiva Island, I knew I would have to paint it. For me, the scene represented all that I love most about living on the coast of Florida.  Bright, clear sunlight. Big, beautiful birds. The smell of the sand and the sea. The rhythm of waves rolling against the shore, sounding almost like the Gulf is breathing.

I am sick over this boiling, roiling Armageddon building in the Gulf waters. It is gathering strength, preparing to change our world in ways we haven't yet imagined. How long before the sparkle on the water turns ruddy red, coating all in it's wake with proof of our stupidity?

I look at this image now and wonder how many more of these scenes I'll be privileged to see.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Jesters Do Oft Prove Prophets"

Craig Ferguson, comedian, actor, and late, late night talk show host will be performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall on March 17, 2010. Coincidently, the artists of Studio 1212, an art group I belong to, have an exhibit hanging in the West Gallery at Ruth Eckerd Hall during the months of March, April & May.

I painted this portrait of Mr. Ferguson, dressed in his jester's finest, to hang as part of the Studio 1212 exhibit. It began as a 'fun' thing to do - to capture the likeness of a visiting celebrity and to hope that he might actually have an opportunity to see it. As I began to plan the painting, however, it's purpose evolved from whimsy to a chance to make a personal statement about a man I admire for more than his ability to make me laugh.

The decision to dress him in a jester's costume was an easy and obvious one - he is, after all, a comedian. Because he became an American citizen recently and is so tremendously proud of this fact, I decided to dress him in red, white and blue. How better to cloak him than in the American flag to which he has chosen to pledge his allegiance? He may have been born in Scotland and love his heritage, but he's ours now and I, for one, couldn't be more delighted.

As I further developed the painting, a line from Shakespeare's 'King Lear' kept running through my head: "Jesters do oft prove prophets" and I was reminded of the serious and sometimes poignant monologues Ferguson has delivered from his late night stage, and his gift for laying bare the truth. A prophet is 'a person regarded as an inspired teacher'. Anyone who has been privileged to witness one of these heartfelt monologues knows that this probably best describes the man. Whether he makes us laugh or makes us think, he teaches us to look at ourselves from a different perspective.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Tempus Fugit"

This painting represents the passage of time, the passing of loved ones, the passing down of treasures. While we can hold the time pieces of our ancestors in our hands, the time marked by them slips through our fingers in the same way it has slipped through theirs. Time is the sum of all the parts of our lives, what we glean from history and the optimism we have for what lies ahead. This piece pays homage to time lost and is a reminder to make the most of the days we have; to live in the moment.

Time flies... it certainly does. Some might think it ironic that I would create a painting about time.Time, or the lack of it, seems to be a prominent theme in my life. I usually think there is much more room in the time I have, or maybe I have more plans than I have time for. Either way, I am often left taken by surprise and racing with the clock. Time always manages to escape my grasp while I'm busy doing other things.

Time to go.

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