Southern landscape

Since I live in the South, near Jacksonville Florida, the landscapes are always unique. Southern landscapes are filled with grasslands and salt marsh vegetation with Intracoastal waterways and rivers that run throughout the city. My house in on an island peninsula hitting the Atlantic Ocean so I have the best of both ocean and salt marsh scenes. This 24×30″ painting celebrates the beauty of this serene painting and highlights the reflections of the moon on the Intracoastal.

“Moonlight Over Waterway”.

Moonlight Over Waterway 24x30.jpg

Flamingo Preening

Tonight is the opening but the show will be up all month. Hope to meet you.

poster Olsen.jpg

“Flamingo Preening” was started while teaching seniors to paint. We are working on southern birds as a theme this month.  It is 30 x 24″ standard gallery wrap. It will be in the art show in Atlantic Beach.

Flamingo Preening 30x24

Southern bird with metallic golds

“Preening” was started as a rather small (for me) canvas 24×24″. My senior students wanted to have a class on birds so we all did similar subjects as I painted the tutorial and they followed along with me. Again, I wanted to leave modern, gestural brush strokes and not try to go for realism. Many layers of different gold acrylic paints were used in the background as well as several coats of glazes of transparent colors like red iron oxide. This photo does not reflect the metallic golds…which shine.

Preening 24x24

Southern Landscape with Fisherman

“Highway” is a diptych with each panel 24×36″. Living in the southern part of the country, I have seen this scene many times where the marsh lands and intracoastal waterways meander through the landscape. A lone fisherman stands at the side of the grasslands as pelicans fly over in this peaceful landscape. Roads and railway bridges keep the traffic moving. This painting would take up 36×50″ on a wall.

Paintings that go on a stairwell

This commission was done for a client who wanted some paintings on the wall on their stairwell. I had done this series several years ago but then recently they repainted their home so the colors needed to be updated. Also, since the original paintings were done, they hired me to add 3 additional paintings for the bottom part of the tall staircase. There is a break between the top four paintings and the 3 bottom paintings (underwater scene, see past blog post below). I added a lot more colors to the older four paintings, added clouds and more reflections.

Cummings top of stairsCummings 1Cummings 2Cummings 3Cummings 4Cummings stair paintings

This is the older versions. Making the changes meant that all areas of the painting were affected. Actually nearly painting from scratch…

Cummings wall layout sold

Southern Landscape

“Sunday on the River” is 24×24″

A week ago while teaching seniors to paint, I chose a southern landscape for everyone to paint. I was teaching my students to use their brushes in different ways, scrapping and smooshing at times rather than “brushing” the paint on. Sometimes brushing the paint on with brushstrokes is too harsh so I twist my brush as I am adding the paint on giving a more natural effect. This technique would probably not work at all for portraits or still life paintings. While the paint is wet, try blending and rubbing out any sharp edges.

This painting is available for sale.

Watercolor Workshop in South Carolina

A week ago I returned from a glorious workshop in Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Not only was it absolutely gorgeous staying in a historic plantation home (the Vanderhorst Plantation rebuilt after the Revolutionary War in1802), the 13 women artists made every day warm and happy. Our teacher was Robbie Laird from California who happens to be the President of the prestigious National Watercolor Society. She was such a great teacher and as this was my first time learning about watercolors, she taught techniques that were quite advanced…which I prefer. Some days we tried new effects with hands on guidance. Many of my attempts were fails but I did have a couple paintings that I am proud of. My son came in from California the day I returned so I have not had a chance all week to practice what I learned. However, I took notes and also shot a few videos while Robbie was lecturing.

Classes started at 9:30 am and ended around 4 or 4:30.  Then we enjoyed the comraderie of fellow artists and ate delicious southern foods prepared by Donna Kay from Charelston.


The 4 story manor was so beautiful. It was restored from a haunted house in 1994 by the Darby family. Antiques and lovely southern charm decor graced the home.


Here are some of my watercolors:

Suwannee River Reflectionwc paintings

Camping on Dutton Island

Last weekend we went camping on our local Dutton Island in Atlantic Beach. The weather was perfect and the bugs were only bothersome at dusk (when we were eating of course). We hiked around and some friends kayaked. A big bon fire at night and guitar strumming make the evening more magical.  There were about 7 or 8 tents in our group, same amount of dogs. I had forgotten that we have all this beauty in our back yard.

Prints available on demand.