Monday, April 30, 2012


oil/canvas board

As a claims adjuster, several years ago, my husband travelled to Perry County to handle a farmer's claim. Just as he stepped inside the barn to interview the man, a barn owl swooped down at him. He jumped a mile. Chuckling, the farmer said to him--"You, must be one of them city fellers." 
I recalled my husbands's amusing incident after a paintout to Adam's Cattle Ranch, 65,000 acres of grazing lands and forests in Florida.  I was so anxious to paint there, but became alarmed when I read the cautions involved with the day. They included  a reminder that we would be in the wilds--so beware of"red ants, snakes and alligators [really big ones]".
I arrived, got some brief instructions and a map. I was allowed to drive around, but had to stay on the dirt road and not go beyond any closed gates[ no chance of that]. Heading off, alone, no other cars in sight, on a rutted path toward what looked like Jurassic Park, I drove carefully, not wanting to damage the underbelly of my car--scary thought, getting stuck in the wilds.
I finally stopped near a pasture, where beautiful red brown cattle were grazing,
opened the car door, scoured the landscape, and cautiously stepped out, still looking for snakes, red ants, and alligators. I had decided that I would not use my French easel--difficult to pack up when you are trying to escape from alligators. I had heard once that they move quickly--and I move slowly. So I set up in the front seat of the car, pulled out a tiny canvas, and quickly composed the above painting. At one point I ventured a bit from the parked car to take some photos. When I looked up, a small band of cattle was in front of me, heading toward the car. I scurried back to the car , slightly frightened, but was able to quickly get a picture of them just as they turned to move in a different direction.

There were some artists who stopped to chat on their way to find a paintsite. One of them pointed out a red ant hill near my car--never noticed it.
There were no sightings of snakes or alligators. I discovered, when I returned to sign out, that the weather was too cold and overcast--snakes and alligators don't appear when the weather is too cold and overcast and that small band of cattle was probably more frightened of me than the other way around.
I will return to paint at Adam's Cattle Ranch next winter,  acknowledging  that when it comes to painting in the "wilds", I am definitely "one of them city fellers".

Saturday, April 28, 2012


acrylic/oil/stretched canvas

I love a garden path as a subject for a painting. They can suggest adventure or mystery, as well as a casual stroll or peaceful journey. This path is in Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce, Florida. I went there with other artists to paint, twice this past winter. There wasn't much in bloom, but I did spy this twisty tree with curvy branches and foliage, hanging over a shaded path with some sunlight streaking across it.

An artist tries to move a viewer's eyes all around his painting. He wants them to see everything, starting with the most important and eventually all the details.Paths are such natural/easy way for the artist to lead a viewers eye "into" and around a painting. Also assisting this journey in this painting are the trees trunks, branches , and foliage. They twist, wiggle and move up the side of the canvas, across he path, down the other tree ,and across the path again to the twisty shadowsin the lower right corner and up and around again. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


oil/stretched canvas


I used three different blues, Ultramarine, Prussian,and Manganese, Alizarin Crimson, some dark green, some Cad Yellow Light, some black and lots of white to create the somber look of this land and waterscape on the dark, overcast day we took this cruise in Alaska. Amazing views, but somewhat brooding and many times, oppressive.