[I had some technical difficulties back on November 6, 2022 and this got posted to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn but not to my own website.]
My first oil painting was a still life of three pears. I followed it up with a painting of a bowl of cherries, then the makings of an egg cream—seltzer bottle and all. I continue to paint a still life now and then, but that series was the start, followed by sandwiches, china cups, and more. My first painting of tango dancers was a happy accident that I continued to paint on sixteen more canvases over the years, sometimes just painting the legs, others up to the dancers’ waists, and a few including more of their torsos. A visit to the New England Aquarium with my granddaughters inspired me to paint my first jellyfish, and I’ve done ten paintings of jellies in all. Nervous at the thought of attempting portraits when I was a novice, I painted a series of pop portraits first, taking inspiration from Andy Warhol and other artists from the 60’s, because I thought it would be easier than capturing all the more realistic details of a face. I segued to realistic portraits and figures soon after and, today, consider myself a portrait painter above all.
So it was no surprise that after I painted In the Pink, my first roseate spoonbill, I wouldn’t be done. I thought I’d do another 36” x 36” canvas, perhaps to hang as a diptych. Commerce intervened, and I found myself with a commission for a small painting of a spoonbill. Ready For My Closeup was the result, and once he was done, I was ready to paint that other large roseate. I’ve worked on him for the last month and couldn’t help thinking that he looked all dressed up and ready to dance in his glorious pink feathers, so I thought I’d call the painting Shall We Dance? I’m not saying I’ll never paint another bird…there are eagles and cranes and blue herons that abound here in Florida…but this spoonbill is it for me for now.
I have a good friend who has had a good friend for many years who is nuts for spoonbills. I don’t think she gets to see too many in the flesh, since she lives in California, and roseate spoonbills are the only spoonbill species found in the Americas, mostly in Florida and parts of Louisiana and Texas. After seeing In the Pink, my friend commissioned a small canvas portrait of a spoonbill for her friend, and Ready for My Closeup is what I came up with. Hope she likes it…