When the Going Gets Tough

And the waiting for Irma gets rough, creativity doesn’t stop.

My favorite brushes are packed in my “go” bag, my studio is buttoned up…but watching the Weather Channel is getting old.  Grabbing some scraps of paper and whatever brushes that are around (and believe me, there are plenty), I popped out some small paintings, that will probably be made into cards. 

Painting the angel was particularly calming.
“Did You Art Today?”


Dancing Pineapples



When we first pulled up to this Florida home during our home search, I was immediately taken by the two pineapple lamps on either side of the garage doors.  It was, indeed, an omen.

In our former living room in New Jersey we displayed a lovely appliquéd Hawaiian pineapple quilt done by a dear friend.  It was prominently hung on the wall above the sofa.

When we entered this home for the first time, I was taken by the view, the spaciousness, the Florida feel.  As we turned around to inspect the rest of the house carefully, I noticed the pineapple lamp in the entryway.   By this time, we were smitten, and the house had given me notice.

Having several other pineapple pieces, and a painting I did earlier, has cemented the feel of our home.   It’s my goal to eventually have a pineapple something in every room.  Not overwhelming, but ever-present.

My Florida guest room is done in yellow, orange and green.  Light and airy, I had painted some citrus fruit paintings for over the bed, it lacked it’s pineapple.  The large empty wall on the right of the bed needed something fun and bright.  The perfect place for some welcome.

Done in acrylics, my “Dancing Pineapples” just needs to be sealed and framed.  Not sure if we’ll go with orange, yellow or green for the frame.  But it will be one more room with  a welcome we always hope to impart on our guests.

“Did You Art Today?”






Bye Bye Smokies

The week started with a personal tour and much graciousness from friends that made our visit to the Smokies special.   Lots of hiking, mountains, flowing streams, beautiful views in between raindrops, eating, a visit to some beautiful enamelware art at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, shopping and lots of driving of twisty roads, giving me a new appreciation for an area much loved by many.

While, despite the rain, I didn’t paint or sketch as much as you’d think I might, I still “arted” a bit.

We’re headed south today.  See Y’all next time.

“Did You Art Today?”

Smoky Mountains

While the weather wasn’t clear, we did get a few glimpses of the beautiful Smoky Mountains on our visit to Clingman’s Dome.  Enough for a quick watercolor sketch in my sketchbook (not the best watercolor support…but it works.). 

“Did You Art Today?”

A Sign?

A friend posted a lovely photo of a blue jay feather lying on the sidewalk, asking if it was a sign.  It looked so peaceful, I asked her if I could paint it and send the painting along if she wanted it.  She happily agreed, and after two attempts this morning it dawned on me that I had never painted a feather before.  Lots of birds, but not a single feather.

Struggled a bit to get the amount of soft and hard edges I wanted.  It took a few tries, but I finally got one I like (the top one). Got me to thinking about all the things I still haven’t painted.  Guess it’s a sign, I need to keep looking and painting.

“Did You Art Today?”

Painting without drawing #3

“Bayfront Park Sarasota” 14″ x 11″

The dolphin fountain in Bayfront Park frames one of the prettiest views of Sarasota Bay and the high rise luxury residences in Sarasota.  The park itself draws an interesting mix of families, boaters, dog walkers tourists and homeless.  Complete with a marina, restaurants, a tiki bar, kiddie splash park and a lovely paved walk around the bay, you can always count on some interesting encounters.

Choosing to take this picture of a very happy family enjoying what Bayfront Park has to offer, I wanted to keep the painting light and bright…again, my interpretation of the day, not just the photo.
‘Did You Art Today?”

Painting Without Drawing – #2

From photo, to sketch, to painting.

So while I didn’t do any sketching on this painting, I had done this sketch previously, and worked from the sketch to do the watercolor.

This is the son of a friend who performs regularly at JDubs, a local brew pub.  We enjoy going to see him play and often meet up with his Mom and other members of his family.  I gave the original sketch to his Mom.  Next time we saw her, she said he was so excited, he had taken it and posted it on his Facebook page.  She wasn’t sure she would ever see it again, so I’ll pass this painting along to her so maybe she gets to keep it this time.

The drawing itself was done while attending a local, long, drawn out planning board session at which time they were deciding if a construction recycling plant would be a good idea to put next to the wonderful natural area called The Celery Fields.   Trying to keep myself out of trouble, I had taken a sketchbook and did three or four sketches while listening to testimony and the developers defense of his grand plan.  

Remembering why I took the picture, I reflected on how I probably wouldn’t have gone to this particular brewery (not a big beer drinker) had it not been for the connection, and yet the atmosphere is fun and laid back.  Stepping out of the routine can always produce some fun memories if you let it. Just like stepping outside of the box when creating can produce unexpected results.

“Did You Art Today?”

Another Quartet

Of paintings in class on Monday.

Our assignment again brought a little stretch to my practice of art.  We were painting without drawing.  I had taken some reference photos of statues and plants to work from, but when our teacher started a painting with people, I knew I’d have to give it a go.  People are not so easy for me.  One year, my New Year’s goal was to work on drawing and painting people.  That didn’t happen, so I thought this was a sign to give it a go again.

While not quite as fearless as my instructor, I scanned through my phone for reference pictures to use.  Again, taking a moment to remember the scene and what made me what to photograph it.  On this day we were having lunch at a new to us restaurant called The Sandbar….overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, everyone relaxed and enjoying their meal in the paradise that is Sarasota.
Above is the painting and reference photo used.  All four paintings sparked an adventurous feel, and I enjoyed painting them immensely.  This is my last class for a bit, as we have a lot of travel plans in the Fall.  I will miss it, but plan on dedicating an afternoon a week to continue my education.

“Did You Art Today?”

Fourth and Last Painting

From my class on Monday.  Rushed this one a bit, but I thought I would give you an example of how I translate  a photo into a painting.   My reason for photographing this arrangement was that I loved the unusual shape of the glass vase and the light and airy arrangement of the flowers. Certainly not an accurate rendition, but more my interpretation of what I see and feel. 

“Did You Art Today?’