My Last Spoonbill

Shall We Dance?

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.      

Of Mysterious Fascinations

Apparently, jellyfish is a misnomer; except for the fact that they live underwater, jellies have no relation to fish at all.  I find them fabulous, strangely beautiful and sensuous. There are so many different species–kaleidoscopically colorful, even bioluminescent and fluorescent, particularly in the deepest and coldest seas.  There are creatures no bigger than my thumbnail and others that grow as large as six feet in diameter with tentacles more than twenty feet long.  What I enjoy most about painting jellies is the challenge of creating transparency and movement on a solid and stationary surface.  And the colors on some of them!

Modern Family

Modern Family

I painted Modern Family a couple of years ago, choosing to group some of my favorite species on one canvas.  As I painted, I started to think of the big guy as the head of the family with the little woman to his right (she’s quite the looker); the twins are on the left with their younger brother, who wants to tag along, and their sister is on the right, swimming off on her own.  Sometimes titles come easy.

Out of Reach

Out of Reach

 

I just finished painting Out of Reach, a portrait of a stinger jellyfish found in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The color of the water is drawn from my memories of the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, a place we visited almost twenty five years ago.  Heaven…