Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back in the day at the Blue Heaven.

I moved to Key West in October of 1985. In November of that year I got a studio in the Blue Heaven Building, $50 a month. If you look at the painting, the window of my studio is the last window in the building on the right hand side. It was a small single story add-on in back. The window faces onto Petronia Street. I lived right around the corner at 810 Whitehead Street. The building had a couple of apartments upstairs and about 4 artists studios throughout the building. Slowly everyone left until I was the only tenant. I was the only tenant for quite a while. Then the downstairs became Ricky's Blue Heaven Restaurant. Ricky is the son of the owners of the restaurant. More artists moved in upstairs, and the restaurant became very popular. I remained in my studio until 1996. By that time the restaurant owners had bought the building and they needed my space for wine storage. C'est la vie.

"Blue Heaven" is 5" x 7" on arches watercolor paper. I have ordered some large format mats. When they arrive I will mat this and it will be 11" x 14".


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Colorful Terry Lane - Key West

Terry Lane is a short lane in Bahama Village (a Key West neighborhood) that is between Whitehead Street and Thomas Street. A few weeks ago I had a couple of hours to idle away so I took my camera and went looking for some Key West charm. What a surprise when I turned into Terry Lane. When I first came to Key West my backyard was behind a derelict house on Terry Lane that was used as a crack house and burned up one night. Now that little lane is delightful and it is obvious that several of the houses have all been rehab-ed by the same person or persons, because they are all brightly painted and have lovely little fences and gates.
I should have been throwing on the potter's wheel yesterday, but it is cold here now and my studio doesn't have heat, and I really didn't want my hands in cold water all day. So I decided to work on some small paintings from my photos. This is acrylic paint used like watercolor on Arches watercolor paper that has been gessoed.
I also worked on paintings from my Blue Heaven photos and a Southernmost House. All of those buildings are brightly colored and cheerful. Perfect subject matter for a cold day.
Terry Lane Original 5" x 7" matted to 8" x 10"
I'll show the other paintings when they are finished. And they should be in the gallery, 7 Artists Key West on Thursday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Adoration of the Magi

The holidays are here and everyone I know has been in a wonderful holiday mood. The parties start tonight and I am looking forward to them. My day tomorrow is filled with friends and fun. I am wishing the same for everyone. But most of all I am wishing for:

Love and peace to all,

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have been spending a lot of time in my studio working on pottery and getting the gallery ready for Christmas. I have a lot of bright colored pottery and I have been working on Christmas ornaments. I have also been making flip flops for the Margaritaville Store. They have added a "made in Key West" section to their web site that has work by local artists. They will be showing flip flops and a palm tray from me. As soon as they take photos my pieces will be on the site.
So, I have not had a chance to do much painting lately. Getting the gallery full of things for the holidays and shopping etc have taken precedence. It was wonderful to go back to painting class. I have been the last two Thursdays and this last session gave me a painting I like. This painting of clouds and marsh is 12 by 22 inches and as yet untitled. But it is varnished and finished with edge pieces and ready to hang. I'll think of a title soon.

New painting $325.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vero Beach and more

Vero Beach is a lovely community and the Riverside Children's Theater is an amazing facility. The atmosphere was very festive. The Christmas trees they had on display were beautiful and I met some wonderful women. Here is a photo of my display. It looks very dramatic with the dark background.

I've spent the last two days bringing work into the gallery and redoing my displays. The shelves are nice and full. But I can't wait to get back into the studio. I would like to get some painting done this next week.
I hope every one has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I have a lot for which to be thankful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Bowls

This large coconut bowl is 14" across and has a blue green back side. It has a star pattern back as do all the bowls. Coconut bowl, $135.

This bowl has a red leaf and flower pattern. I really like the back, that dark red is called "red wagon" and really rich looking. This bowl is 13" across. Red leaf bowl $125.

I call this pattern "wild papaya". I have wild papayas in my yard, the leaves don't look exactly like that, but you get the idea. This bowl is 13" across. All of these bowls are 5 to 6" deep. Wild papaya bowl $125.
As I write this I am waiting to hear from my electrician. My kiln has a problem AGAIN! I pulled the wiring box apart and I can see it won't be a hard repair, but I don't have the skills or tools to do it. So if I can get it repaired today I will almost be on schedule for my Vero Beach show. If not, I'll go to the show with what I have. I do have some metal Christmas ornaments that need painting, so I could do those and take those along.
I want to thank the people who are subscribing to the blog via e-mail.
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Everyone have a great day.

Friday, November 6, 2009


For the last 18 months I have had supply problems getting the clay I like. I was having friends bring it to me from St. Pete and the Jacksonville area. So, I never knew when I would get clay next. Therefore, I was very stingy how I used the clay and was only making smaller items. But recently a new clay supplier appeared in Miami that carries the clay I like and I can get it trucked down to me. It's costly, but not as costly as trucking it from Jacksonville. The day after I got the clay I sat at my wheel and threw 8 large bowls. I am in the process of decorating and firing them now.
Bowl number one is finished in a pineapple - papaya motif.

Here is a side view.
Pineapple - papaya bowl $125.00

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leaf and Berry

In the fall and the winter I usually make platters and serving pieces with a design I call
"Leaf and Berry". I do them in my usual tropical colors, but they seem more "northern". I am getting ready for a show in Vero Beach right before Thanksgiving and I think these might seem festive and Christmas-y. The bowls are $34 and the sets, which include a platter and a dip bowl with the spreader knife, are $74 for the oval ruffle set and $54 for the smaller round ruffle sets.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This new painting is an oil on canvas. I usually paint in acrylics, but sometimes I just like the look and feel of oil paints. I also like some of the colors better. For example, in acrylic paint alizarin crimson is kind of muddy looking (in my opinion), but in oil paints I find it luminous. This painting "Everglades Afternoon" is 12 x 12 inches and framed in a black floater frame. It is hanging in 7 Artists Gallery and is $275.00

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Sorry, no photo today. I am trying out an e-mail subscription service and I have added the gaget to my home page. The preview is not the way I like it. Let's hope this works.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I was experimenting with some Golden products I had received in one of their educational workshops given at the Key West Art Center. I coated the canvas with light molding paste so that there was a texture on the canvas. When that was dry I started my grid based composition in the turquoise and red color scheme I seem to favor these days. I worked the background until I thought it was almost finished. Then I used a stencil to add a thick layer of molding paste in a palm shape. Then that had to dry overnight. Then I started to paint the palms and finish the background work. There are four of these in all and they make a nice grouping. I did a larger one but I forgot to texture the background and it isn't as interesting. I also think painting the edging strips works really well on these pieces.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I don't often paint in oils. It is a "hurry up and wait process" for me. There are some artists who can do it all at once, but not me. If I work too long on an oil painting it just gets muddy looking. This painting was started last October. After the first week of painting sessions I wasn't happy with it so I set it aside. The other day I looked at it and realized that I could probably finish it in one more session. And that is all it took. Now I am waiting for the final coat to dry. I used a lot of white in the last session and white takes a long time to dry. I used two photo references for this piece. One was from my trip to Hilton Head and the other was from a cloud photo I had taken somewhere in the Keys. It will still be awhile before this gets to the gallery. First it is going to the printer to be photographed. I think it will make some lovely prints on paper.

"Sunset Marsh"
16 x 20"

Monday, October 12, 2009


I wish I had taken before and after photos of this painting. This painting was started about 9 months ago. It is oil and I started it in my Jim Salem painting class. In the winter our painting spot has a large dock area that is a haven for Laughing Gulls. They make a lot of noise and demand your attention at times. I chose a composition of three and after the painting session I really wasn't very happy with what I had. So it had to go sit in a corner for awhile. I took a look at it the other day and decided that I just had to freshen some of the colors, change the width of the horizontal bands and add another layer of color to the birds. Now I am happy with the graphic black and white birds against the simple background. For some reason I find it a very calm painting. It has to dry and then I will take it in to the gallery.


11 x 14" unframed


Sunday, October 11, 2009


I am participating in Kate Miller's Snail Mail Project with my friend Pam Hobbs. Art work is sent via US Postal service without an envelope from one artist to another. My work is above. I have taken two pear paintings that I started in my Bob Burridge workshop and re-worked them. After I reworked them I cut them and then re glued them so that each side of the art work has part of two pear paintings. Sounds more complicated than it is. The above photos show each side. Now, I am going to sent them on to Pam Hobbs, who is going to finish them and then send them on to Kate Miller. Kate has a number of artists participating and I think there are plans to show the finished pieces a year from now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I have been having camera software issues lately so getting my photos from my camera to my computer has put me through a "learning a new technique" head ache. I think I have it figured out now, but the new method is very time consuming. No more just push a button. Perhaps I should not have dropped the camera!
Anyway, enough fussing here are some herb pots with little saucers designed to fit on a kitchen window sill. My original intention was for these to be quick, fun items, but no, I had to pick a complicated design. Oh well, they are cute. I have put them in my stock pile of items I am taking to the Vero Beach show in November.
Flower pot and matching saucer $38

Friday, September 25, 2009


" The Adoration of the Magi"
This painting is almost finished. There are only a couple of things that are bothering me. The post on the right is too light in value and there is a strange straight. line coming down off the tail of the dog on the right.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Recently I have found that taking photos of my work while it is in progress helps me critique my work and make corrections. I think seeing the image with out the distractions of the paint covered surfaces is very beneficial. It is like putting a mat around your work to check it but you don't have to stand there with the mat in your hand. This nativity painting is almost finished. But I see things I don't like. The left side is wrong, that fence post thing will probably go away and that house shape. The shepherd boy to the left has problems. The pattern on the collar just looks messy and I either need to darken his face or lighten the figure (one of the Magi) behind him. The lights in the houses are all the same color, not good, and the yellow brick road is too much. So those are my next steps. Too bad, because I was hoping to be finished with this painting today. I've been singing Steve Earle's "Nothing but a child" for days now. And while it is my favorite Christmas song, I'm ready to move on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Here are some of the interesting pieces from yesterday's glaze fire. A pineapple/papaya chip and dip, a colander, and some oval shaped bowls, (just the right size for veggies).

chip and dip $95
colander $74
oval veggie bowls $48

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What did we do before computers?

Well, I might not like the final image so much, but I do like the title.

I'm in the gallery all day today, 10 am to 10 pm and it is very quiet so I am fooling around on the paint program on the computer. I like it, you can do weird and experimental stuff and not worry about wasting your expensive cadmium red. What I do like about this image is that the shirt is off set to one side, not in the middle like my shirt painting, and that it is very loose. Now I am thinking it might be fun to have one of those tricked out computer painting programs.
Well, this does give me something to do while I'm in 7 artists key west for the day. I'm also going to check out Twitter, at the moment I don't tweet, but maybe I should.

Friday, September 11, 2009


On Thursdays I paint in a class instructed by Jim Salem not very far from my house. Our painting spot looks out over the Gulf of Mexico and we frequently paint the water and sky. As many times as I have seen Jim demonstrate clouds you would think that I would "get it", but not quite yet, but they are getting better. This painting is 12 x 12 inches.
Here is one of the views from our painting spot.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


"Antony and Cleopatra" or "Undying Love"?
I like the title "Undying Love", but with that title, I doubt anyone will know that this is a painting about Antony and Cleopatra. Here is my story line. Oops, I think the trendy thing to say these days is, the back story. The columns represent Egypt and Rome and you cannot separate the lovers from their origins. They are "of one heart" and in that heart is the temple of love (corny, but I like the image) that is burning inside. The ghost of Caesar, seen on Antony's shield is always with them. And of course, it is that ghost in the guise of Rome, that destroys them.
This painting is 11"x 14" and is a combined medium on canvas. There are collage elements in it, along with stamping and painting. This isn't going into the gallery until I get more pieces in this series. I now have four, but I would like about eight.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This feathered friend is red-white & blue in honor of our upcoming Labor Day holiday. I had two tall canvases staring at me this weekend. I intended to paint bright abstract palm trees on them, but I wasn't in the mood for palms and a pelican was a perfect fit. I still have one canvas left for a palm if I want.

"Blue Pelican" 22" x 12" $350
7 Artists Key West
604 Duval St. KW FL
305 293-0411

Saturday, August 22, 2009


This painting is one of my abstract narratives. Titled "Channel Markers" in my mind it is about confusing or mixed messages. The overabundance of information and misinformation make it hard to choose a correct path. So sometimes you just have to let your lucky stars guide you. This painting is smaller 11 x 14 inches.

I am also working on a painting of Antony and Cleopatra but that one is fighting me so it had to have a time out.

Friday, August 21, 2009


"Bright Island Day" is the latest painting in my new abstract series. I call them abstract narratives. Short stories unfold for me as I paint them. This painting started out very differently than you see it now. As I added and subtracted images the story started to happen and when the story ended the painting was finished. In my mind this painting tells the story of an idyllic island that has a separate reality from the rest of the world. Because of the blue water and sky all around, everything shimmers. The size of your house doesn't matter and at night you tell you children stories. Of course that is just my story, this painting could be telling you a completely different story and that's okay.

"Bright Island Day" is 30" x 20 inches $750

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My sons sent me two lovely Maine lobsters for my birthday this year, so there I was, having a wonderful Maine lobster on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Ever since, I have been wanting to do a lobster dinner painting, I call it a dinnerscape. It is 16 x 20 inches $425.

I have recently started edging my paintings rather than framing them. I'm not in the framing business and what frame works in one home won't work in another. So I thought I'd give you a look at the edges. You could hang the painting as is. It has a nice clean look, you see the whole painting and it doesn't cast a shadow on the painting like many frames do. Or, you can easily remove the strips and add the frame of your choice. Plus, here is a look at my cute cat, Mango.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well, this painting is finished. I've finished the edges with wood strips and put on the varnish coat, which is why the color looks uneven in the photo. You can see the sheen. And I have sewn on buttons that I made out of clay. The handmade buttons really add a unique touch.
Here is a look at the buttons.

And another look. And I am still struggling with a title. The painting is now hanging in the gallery, 7 Artists Key West. One man walked in last night and said, "Nice Shirt", maybe that should be the title, oh well, it will come to me. Price $1,900 size 40 x 30 inches.  Now  I have decided on a title "RELAXED FIT".

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I have been making some mugs recently, it has been awhile since I've made any. This time I am making them large and in assorted colors. $28 each
It has been years since I've made any mixing bowls so these were very fun to do. So far I've made them in my "sealife" pattern and in the papaya and pineapple pattern. $64. each

Here is a side view.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Well, this piece is nearing completion. As you can see I have added a background. My initial intention was for the background to be the same as the postcard shape with the palm tree. But when that went in it was much too strong, so I kept knocking back the color until I thought it was right. I have also worked on the shirt patterns. What is left to do? I still have to work on the buttons. I am thinking about putting real buttons on it, but I will paint buttons on too. And I have to punch up some highlights. And of course think of a title, sometimes that is the hard part, because titles are very important. I see some sort of "Aloha" in this painting's future. Aloha is one of my favorite words.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I wish I had taken some earlier photos of this painting. It has gone through several incarnations. You can see here that I have completely obliterated the background and now have to start all over on that. The foreground (shirt) is not going to change too much more. It's not finished but the basics are done. I usually like to work on the foreground and the background at the same time in order to get harmony between the two. But my background ideas just weren't working so I decided to let it go for a while. Now I've made a decision about the background and I'll start that today. I'll get it roughed out and then I will continue to work on the background and foreground at the same time until it is finished. By the way, this painting is large 40 x 30 inches.
I really should be glazing pots, but I'll do that tomorrow. I'm in the gallery, 7 Artists Key West, tonight from 4 til 10 pm. Stop on by.
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