Florida Birds

Florida Limpkin, Florida Pelican, Florida Purple Gallinule, all approximately 10″ x 13″.

One of the good things about signing on to the gallery (even though my paintings are now out of there) was the kick start it gave me to begin a series I had been contemplating since shortly after we moved to Florida. These paintings were done sometime before the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. The fourth one is about 1/3 finished and it be a Roseate Spoonbill. Planning on a Crested Caracara, Sandhill Cranes, a Scrub Jay, Loggerhead Shrike, Swallow Tailed Kite, maybe a wood stork (their heads are just so dang ugly) Purple Martin and whatever else strikes my fancy. Or whatever else will give me some good photo ops.

Trying to keep the background shape of Florida filled with vegetation which supports the birds depicted. It’s been quite odd to have so much white paper in the background. But I feel it works for these pieces.

These paintings, along with six others are currently hanging at Sarasota Audubon’s Nature Center at 999 Center Road, Sarasota, Florida, and will be until the end of May. The center is open daily from 9:00 a.m until 1:00 p.m.

If you have any other suggestions for Florida birds you’d like to see, reach out and I’ll see what I can put together.

“Did You Art Today?”

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Birds Fly

Summer Hummer” Watercolor with some gold medium, 5″ x 5″

“Caracara” Watercolor 5″ x 5″

One of my favorite bird naturalists at Sarasota Audubon, upon hearing of an unusual sighting, rather than discount it, will tilt her head and say, “Well, it could be. Birds fly, you know.”

Such a simple, concise statement. Simple is in my mission statement. With that as a background, I have decided to end my relationship with the gallery.

Frankly, framing and schlepping paintings to the gallery every 4 to 6 weeks is interfering with retirement. Perhaps if I’d sold more, I’d reconsider. But most of the art selling at this particular location is large abstracts. While my colors are bright, and my brush strokes can be bold, that isn’t a direction I plan to go.

Painting what I consider pretty things is my niche. And, quite frankly, I paint for me. If someone else is touched enough to want to purchase my work, I am thrilled, but it’s not necessary. My passion comes from the making of the mark, the physical spread of paint on the paper and the spiritual aspect of being only in the moment as I decide which color to pick up, or where to lay down my next stroke. And if my paintings go unsold, so be it. There will be one hell of a browse box when I pass.

I’ll remove my paintings from the gallery on the 31st. However I will have several paintings at Sarasota Audubon’s Nature Center starting March 31st until they close for the season at the end of May.

So what exactly does this mean for this artist?

Simply put……Freedom. Break out the paper, the supplies that sit waiting to be used. The acrylics, the graphite….and whatever else has found it’s way into my wonderful studio. Or maybe I’ll just keep the watercolors busy. They are my soulmates.

In any case, I’m plan on flying, painting on the wing!

“Did You Art Today?

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Polo Sketches

We’re in the home stretch of Sarasota Polo season. Only three more games. Sold one of my sketches at the match two Sundays ago. We’re going to have to find something else to occupy our Sunday Fundays.

Not that it seemed like a problem last year. Sarasota is full of fairs festivals and there’s always the beach.

“Did You Art Today?”

Tiny But Mighty

So it took less than a week before I couldn’t help but paint.

These are ACEO size paintings. ACEO stands for Artist Cards, Editions and Originals. The only thing standard about an ACEO is their size, 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. For a while, they were all the rage in the art world. Small paintings with mostly small price tags. Gathering a collection was the thing to do. I’m not so sure of the market now, but I found some pieces of paper cut to their size and started thinking about what to do with them. Tiny paper, tiny birds came to mind.

We don’t get to see too many hummingbirds in our neck of the woods now. I saw one last year during migration in the Spring, but nothing so far this year. In NJ, I would put out feeders. In Florida, if you put out feeders, you attract some undesirable rodents, and there aren’t a lot of plants in our neighborhood that are a good food source. So I have to rely on memory and photos provided by the wonderful Paint My Photo Website. Photos used for reference were by Robert Carter and Kathy Paterson.

Tiny, but mighty, it’s said they can travel more than 1,300 miles without a break during migration. Makes me tired just thinking about how many times their little wings must flap to accomplish that goal! Always a delight when you get a glimpse of their jewel toned little souls.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #30 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 30. Leaving the Beach.

The shells are collected, it’s time to head home.

As always this challenge has been an interesting experience. Going to enjoy a couple days out of the studio. But you know it won’t be long before the brushes come off the drying rack.

If you’re interested in any of the paintings, most are still available for sale.

Thanks for following along on my journey to the beach. See you in a bit.

“Did You Art Today?”

Day #29 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 29. Three Dollars.

This is actually the second painting I did for this idea. I like this one much better than the first – see below.

This challenge is about done. I’ve actually finished more than 30 Paintings in 30 Days. This do over makes 31. Then I did a rose for a monthly challenge.

And a Pelican to replace an unexpected sale of a piece I was going to put in the gallery.

If you counted the small polo painting sketches, the number is probably 37.

Every time I undertake the challenge, I swear I won’t do it again.

Then when the announcement shows up in my email, I think, “I should do that again.” Sometimes I try to bargain with myself. Entertaining the thought that no one really needs to finish the challenge. There are no painting police. Even Ms. Saeta says to just do what you can. Have fun, she says. But I know if I sign up, I am going to have 30 paintings at the end of the challenge.

It is an interesting process. Pushing and stretching. Disappointing and exhilarating. Hard to fit into this retired, “vacation all the time” life.

Will I do it again next year? Should I do it again next year?

Right now, I’m inclined to use one of my favorite saying. “We’ll see.”

“Did You Art Today?”