Quick oil sketch of the convent in Izamel, Mexico from my trip to the Yucatan. I did this in preparation for a larger, more detailed painting that I have yet to get around to starting, lol. Too many ideas to pursue, and I have the attention span of a squirrel! #izamel #mexicotravel #oilpaintings #pleinairpainting #yucatan
This is the first portrait I ever did in charcoal. It won Best in Show at the St Petersburg College Spring Charette and hung in the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, where it sold to a collector. #portrait #charcoaldrawing #charcoalportrait #figuredrawing #artistsoninstagram
"Friesian" charcoal on paper. I did a lot of graphite portraits of horses when I was first starting out...Working as a horse trainer, I received a lot of commissions from clients to draw their horses. While I liked graphite for the detail I could get, charcoal seemed appropriate for this guy...A little less detail, a little more drama. #equineart #horsedrawing #friesian #charcoaldrawing #animalartist
"Darryl" charcoal and white chalk on toned paper. I don't usually enjoy doing portraits, but every now and then I see someone with a really interesting face and feel inspired to do them. Darryl was one of my employees at the restaurant, and one day I finally worked up the nerve to ask him if he would model for me...That feels really awkward for me to do, lol. He was happy to, and we were both pleased with the result 😊. #portrait #charcoalportrait #figuredrawing #charcoaldrawing #charcoalportrait
Graphite drawing of a worker on the sponge docks at Tarpon Springs sorting the mornings catch. Tarpon was established by Greek immigrants who developed a thriving sponge industry, and it's still going strong today. If you get down there early in the morning before the shops open and the tourists start flooding the streets, you can see these guys just doing what they do. #tarponsprings #pencilart #pencilartist #spongedocks #pencildrawing
This is a quick oil study I did at the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs. This old sailboat, with it's wooden deck and railings, really stands out amongst all the generic fiberglass boats that surround it. I'd been wanting to paint it forever, and when I finally got around to it, a storm was rolling in. It didn't make for very good lighting, but I liked the drama of the storm clouds in the background. I'll probably do a few more before doing a studio painting.. I really am obsessed with this boat! #sailboat #maritime #maritimeart #pleinair #pleinairpainting
Master copy I did of Diego Velazquez' "Waterseller of Seville". The practice of copying paintings from master artists goes back centuries...Before printed art books and the internet, it was the only way for aspiring artists to study and practice the techniques of the master's. They would sit in museums for hours, painstakingly copying paintings or portions of them. Many museums today still allow this. I have always loved this painting, and when I was assigned a master copy, I knew right away that it was the one I wanted to do. I learned so much about how to approach different surfaces just by this one exercise...From drapery to pottery to glass to different skin tones, this painting had it all, and I was really proud of how it came out.
This is the one and only still life I've ever done... They're not really my thing. It's a 24×30 acrylic on board, completed as an assignment for my college painting class a few semester's ago, where it won me Best in Show in the Student Charrette, then later took first place at the Crossroads Gallery juried show. It's now entered in The Artist's Magazine annual competition, and will be on display for sale at this year's Cool Art juried show on July 14 & 15 at the St Petersburg Coliseum, booth 39. #stilllife #fineart #coolart #painting #acrylicpainting
Another old graphite drawing, this time of mountain gorillas. Found only in a limited area of Central Africa, they are listed as critically endangered. In late 2016, there were only an estimated 880 individuals left in the wild. The biggest threats are poaching and habitat loss. Gorillas are injured and killed in traps set for other animals, infants are stolen for illegal sale to zoos and the pet trade, which usually results in the murder of adults attempting to protect the baby, and body parts are sold as novelties. Armed guards risk their own lives patrolling the parks to protect against poachers and destroy snare traps. Habitats are destroyed for human settlement and agriculture, separating populations and reducing genetic diversity. Disease resulting from contact with humans and livestock also plays a role in their decline. In addition to active protection by rangers, community education efforts and ecotourism seek to bolster conservation efforts. #gorillas #africanwildlife #endangeredspecies #wildlifeart #drawings #pencilart #pencilartist
Throwback to a series of drawings I started years ago on endangered species, which we're done from artist reference photos... I've since made it my mission not to draw or paint any species that I haven't observed and learned about directly. Elephants, both African and Asian, are endangered as a result of habitat loss and poaching, fueled by the demand for ivory. In several African countries, elephant hunting is still legal. This has ramifications that reach far beyond the killing of individuals...Baby elephants depend on adults not only for survival but also for learning social skills and migration routes. Without this, the entire social structure of the herd collapses. Elephants are a keystone species in Africa, meaning other species depend on their activities for survival. They dig waterholes, pull down trees, which provides food, and forge trails through the bush. Their droppings fertilize soil and disperse seeds, which also provide food for smaller creatures. Captive elephants endure a whole other spectrum of cruelty in circuses, sub-par zoos, and elephant rides for tourists. These magnificent creatures deserve respect and help, not exploitation. #elephants #endangeredspecies #endangered #drawing #wildlifeart
I just finished this 8×10 acrylic painting, 'Woodstork'. This particular bird used to fly in every day and hang out with me for hours when I lived on a lake, and he let me take hundreds of reference photos of him... He'd even share my lunch from time to time, lol. No, I'm not in the habit of feeding wildlife, but he was more like a buddy. Woodstock's were removed from the endangered species list in 2014 but are still classified as threatened. Their feeding and nesting habits depend on the seasonal flooding and subsequent water level decline to provide and concentrate prey in their natural habitat, the marshes, sloughs, and other wetlands. Agricultural expansion and changes in hydrology threaten these habitats, and as a result, these birds. They are an indicator species as to the health of the Florida Everglades...The health of it's wetlands can be directly assessed by the health of it's Woodstock population. #birdart #woodstork #everglades #wildlifeart #endangered
"Be brave enough to travel the unknown path, and learn what you are capable of.". At the end of 2017, I was working 50+ hours a week at a job that wasn't fulfilling, full of hopes and dreams but afraid to step out of my safe place and reach for them. When I got demoted and lost a significant part of my income, I made the decision to forgo getting a second job and instead focus on the things I wanted to do. I made a list and got busy. I'm now building my art business with sales, lessons, and shows. I'm learning about working remotely from my laptop with the help of a mentor. I'm traveling to China in November, and Israel, Egypt, and Jordan next summer. And I'm going on for my bachelor's degree, which was not in the plans! I don't know where this path will lead, but I know I could no longer tolerate the one I was on, and I know I'm headed in the right direction because I'm excited about my life every day, even when the fear creeps in. I'm loving the journey! What actions are you taking to follow your dreams? #journey#goals
I got to take one of the show horses on a trail ride through the forested hills at the horse park....So peaceful! It was good to be on a horse again 😊
Ready for the ring! I'm having fun, but I kinda forgot how much work this all was, lol. I'm ready to get my own business going and start working for myself!
Noel's first horseback ride!
Noel is making a new friend... We're in Georgia this week, taking a break from real life to work a horse show for a friend. I left the horse business four years ago to go to school and focus on my art, but it's nice to dip my toes back in the water every now and then... I sure do miss the horse's!
8×10 acrylic on canvas panel I just finished. This old boat has been sitting in dry dock in Tarpon Springs for years now and I've always wanted to paint it. I'm not sure what to name it... I'm horrible at picking names for paintings, lol. Ideas anyone?