Sailing is one of my favorite subjects for paintings~ from my past as a sailor

As a child and into my adulthood, I spent a lot of time with my family, sailing up and down the coast of California. My large family (8 kids) learned to sail, race, explore and play on the various islands off the coast and get very close to nature. We had an old wooden boat that was one of the few 10 meter cutters left in the world. It was built in 1926 in Germany. Teak decks, varnish, a lot of sail area like the 12 meters and very fast. It was a wonderful salty life.

Recently I sketched with scene from memories of the races. “Afternoon Winds” is 30×40″ and most of the  sky and water is several layers of metallic golds. It is quite stunning in person because light makes the golds shine.

Afternoon Winds 30x40

Here are some additional sailing paintings: And a photo of the family yacht.



Sandpiper painting for beach decor

“Little Rebel III” is part of the Little Rebel sandpiper paintings. I have always been independent in nature so I relate to this message of the series.  I remember my mom getting frustrated with me because I wanted to figure things out on my own.

Always one little piper going in the opposite direction. This original is 30×40″ and is available for purchase. It would be perfect in a beach themed home.

Little Rebel III 30x40Little reb detail2

New Mermaid Painting completed

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on this mermaid. I had watched a Pirates of the Caribbean movie (the one with mermaids) and wanted to paint a scene with the mermaid on rocks above the water and the ship in the distance. The end of the day sunset through the clouds made her darker and in the shadows and since I made up the entire scene, I had to figure out where the light would hit her. The blues of the water uplit the shadows of her skin with blue tones. I started with a large canvas 30×48″ and primed it with black gesso. Then slowly worked in the lights.

Sometimes, I take cell photos during the weeks of painting to see where I was going with my original idea. The face is usually the hardest because every brush stroke changes who she looks like. There is always a time where “she” emerges and I say to myself “There you are”!  Below is a link to a slideshow of this mermaid paintings progress.

A Ship in the Distance 30x48

a ship detailA ship face



Paintings shipping out today~ Tips on Shipping Artwork

A collector from Virginia purchased four paintings to be shipped to her vacation home in St. Croix. Since the island had hurricane damage, I held the paintings for her for 3 months in an air conditioned area of my house. She had worked out to use a freight company in South Florida that will ship the crate by boat. So I had a carpenter friend build me a crate to fit all of the paintings. First of all, I had Home Depot cut the underlayment hard wood to the sizes of each painting. To wrap each painting separately and make sure they would be secure took a lot of materials and bubble wrap.

First, wrap each painting with archival brown paper. Then tie the wood underlayment wood onto the front side of the wrapped canvas and tie with string. Making sure that the corners are extra protected, I put extra corner foam pieces or bubble wrap (the large bubbles). Each painting has at least three layers of the heavy bubble wrap secured with packing tape. Sometimes I also add an additional heavy duty plastic to keep it water tight. But since these were going to the freight company and may be stored for a couple weeks, I thought it best to keep a little air circulating in the crate to keep mildew from occurring.

The hardest part was that the largest painting was 60×48″ so the crate became very heavy…over a hundred pounds and 11x52x65″. After putting the paintings into the crate, and packing tons of light weight noodles and popcorn, screwing in the top and trucking it to my garage ready for pick up from the freight company, I am just waiting for the pick up today. I cannot lift it so I hope they bring a lift truck.

Sometimes I use Navis Pack and Ship. They make their own crates from layers of insulated cardboard so its much lighter and still safe for the paintings. I have shipped paintings this way several times. But if paintings are sold through Saatchi, they demand a plywood crate for paintings larger than 48″. Plywood is ridiculously heavy so I think its not the best way to ship at times. This customer also wanted all paintings put into one crate so its very heavy.

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Fun with Friends doing Mosaics

Last Sunday, a group of friends came over to spend the afternoon doing mosaics. I had them bring their own clay pot or stepping stone and what tiles, beads, shells or sea glass they wanted to adhere. I provided the thin set mortar and tools. It happened to be a gorgeous fall day with a cool breeze. Florida is great this time of year so  we all worked outside in the warmth (no bugs this time of year) and enjoyed each other’s company, listening to music and drinking wine. This was a first time project for them and they did amazing mosaics.

Beach Landscape sold to a collector moving to Virginia

“Waves at Dusk” was recently sold through Archway Gallery in Atlantic Beach. The couple will be moving from the beaches to Virginia and are taking a bit of the local beach with them. I usually ask that a collector send me a photo of my work on the wall so I can see how it looks with their furniture and decor but since it was sold through a gallery, I won’t get to see it on their wall. The painting was 36×24″ gallery wrap but they will be framing it.

Waves at Dusk 36x24

Blissful Beach in North Florida

I love Jacksonville beaches and rivers. The intracoastal waterway also runs through this river city. Water Water everywhere. I live on the island which has 4 small townships. Neptune Beach is where I live. we have our own mayor, fire department, utilities, parks and quaint little shops and restaurants. Growing up in California, I find Neptune Beach much nicer because of the low key attitude and lack of traffic.The only thing I do not enjoy is the humidity and bugs. When I travel back to California to visit family (my two kids actually moved there too), I am frustrated by how much traffic and people have changed it. Real estate is still affordable here in the Jacksonville area even though its a huge city. Come visit this gem.

(Prints of my images are available upon demand.)