Life is full of magic . . . find some

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm trying to use new blog software.  Here's the link to the new blog:

Let me know what you think.

If I switch back I'll let you know.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

From Battery Park

11 x 14

I love NY.  A couple of years ago I would have scoffed if someone said that.  But in the last three years I've been to New York City three times.  It is really a great place.  Always interesting and different.  My last visit was a couple of months ago.  My son, Micah, ran the New York City Marathon.  Julee and I went along to be the cheering squad.  We had a great time.  While there I took some photos with the idea of doing some paintings.  I figured that there were probably a lot of people who would like a painting from New York.  I also figured it would fun to do something different.   This is from a photo taken at Battery Park on the south end of Manhattan.  Trying to do a painting of the Statute of Liberty without beating you over the head.

Thanks for Looking.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

"On 98"

18 x 24

The medical update:  My body has apparently healed itself,  or at least it is giving it a good try.  The mri WAS conclusive (contrary to radiologist's report).  I did have a disc problem and C7 impingement on the on the left side.  The neurosurgeon showed me the mri and spot he found.  He said sometimes the body just absorbs the disc material or the nerve gets use to the pinch.  I never had any neck pain.  It was always numbness in the hand and arm.  Since it's getting better there is no reason for him to do anything.  Hopefully it will continue to improve.

Me:  Can I ride my mountain bike?

Dr.:   You mean you ride a mountain bike on the road around the neighborhood?

Me:  No, I ride through the woods as fast as I can go racing against other 50 year olds who are just as crazy as me.

Dr.:  Do you wear a helmet?

Me:  Oh yeah.

Dr.:  Well I don't think you should live in glass bubble.  [He then said some other stuff, but I don't really remember specifics, kind of blah, blah, blah . . you are an attorney and I didn't tell you to do it]

What did I learn?

1.  An MRI is kind of spooky.  It is just one more reason not to be fat.  I remember walking out of the room and seeing the next patient.  An overweight African-American women with a very big chest and a look of apprehension on her face.  She'd probably been there before.

2.  There are not enough doctors in this world.  Come on.  You shouldn't have to wait so dang long for a receptionist, a phone call, an appointment, a callback, a waiting room, an evaluation, etc. etc. etc.  . . .  

3.  Doctors do good work.  I'll just leave it at that.  They are quirky.  They are all different.  But they all seem to be trying to help people feel better.

4.  It's really hard to say that the doctor never asked you how you got hurt.  You have to answer that question about 20 times.  Bottom line:  If you got hurt on the job and didn't tell the doctor it's not because they didn't ask.  (Well at least at TNC.)

5.  It's hell getting old.

6.  The painting above makes me think I'd rather be riding down 98 to a day at the beach, or fishing, or painting, or taking photos, or sailing, or eating fried shrimp in Apalachicola.  Life is full of magic . . . find some.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

For those of you that don't know this is a photo of the project that I have been working over the last four months.  It's a 1967 International 505 sailboat.  It's a really fast two person sailing dingy.   I guess it was one of the things on my informal bucket list.  "One day I'd like to redo an old boat".  If this is on your bucket list you better call me first.  Well that's not really true.  It was very time consuming (and got in the way of painting time), but in a strange way, it was fun.  

This photo is me and my son, Zack, putting it in for the first sail.  It performed well, and looks like it will be a lot fun.  
My daughter, Kendall, took this photo.  Doesn't she have a nice eye for composition?

Here's Zack single-handing the boat in very light wind.  She is definitely fast.

So, the new year and resolutions?

That's a good question.  I'll have to think about it.

Oh yeah, for those of you who are following this blog.  The MRI was inconclusive and the numbness in the left hand has gotten better but not great.  I'm seeing a specialist next week and we'll see what he says.

In the meantime just following the instructions at the front of this blog.

"Life is full of magic . . . find some."

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Across the Lake"

8 x 10

Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  This is a test.  This is only a test.  This is a test of the emergency broadcasting system.  If this had been an actual emergency. . . .  They still do this don't they? It had a different impact during the cold war.  It always made you think.  

No, it doesn't have anything to do with this painting.  This painting is one of the many Lake-Weir-morning paintings that make me think of a calm and peaceful cup of coffee as the fog burns off the lake and everyone else sleeps.  I guess I'm craving peace and calm because my left hand has been doing one of those emergency broadcasting signals.  For the past couple of weeks I have been having positional numbness in that hand.  "Positional" meaning when I hold it certain ways it goes numb.  It's not like the heart attack numbness.  At least I don't think it is.  And the doctors haven't mentioned that.  It's just some nerve thing.  And I'm writing it here so I can tell someone, but I'm really not telling someone because . . .  well, I mean really,  how many people read this thing?  

The neurologist is going over the MRI tomorrow.  Hopefully there's an easy answer.  I want this over with.  I want to get back on my bike.  I, at least, want to know when I can get back on my bike.  I want to be able to pick up a paint brush without having to hold my left hand over my head.  I'll let you know.  

This is a test.  This has only been a test. . . .  

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Across the Golden Marsh

24 x 30

Subtle complexity.  You heard it first from me.  I wonder if that is true.  [So I just googled "subtle complexity" and I'm not the first.  On the first page there's a woodworker, a new age music group, a book, and a couple of artists.]  Darn it. 
So I'm trying to take a simple scene and emphasize that big blue grey sky against that golden orange marsh.  This one is hanging in my office on the wall across from my desk.  I like it.  Makes me think I smell the salt water.  

Thanks for looking.

Monday, September 19, 2011

48 x 48

The show at the airport gallery is in it's last week.  I have had a great response to the paintings with many people saying many nice things.  I've had a lot of interest in a number of paintings, and I've sold some paintings during the show.  That's always good.   Go check out the work if you haven't had a chance to already.  You can park in the short term lot for free for thirty minutes.  Airports are neat places.  There's a weird feeling in the air when your there from the people who are coming and going.  Some are just tired business travelers.   But some are starting or ending much anticipated trips and there is a nervous excitement in the air.  OR maybe they're just excited about coming to see my show.

Thanks for looking.

Good Place for a Walk  10 x 12

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flight at Dusk

48 x 48

Another large painting from the Artport (airport) Show.  I've had a very good response to the show.  A lot of interest in a number of paintings and a lot of great comments.  I also have talked with a number of people who read the newspaper article and say something like "what the heck, I had no idea!"   Don't know whether that is good or bad.  Anyway this painting is from a photo taken from the area about half way out to the lighthouse at St. Marks.  There is a dike that runs around an enclosed wetland area.  This is looking out towards that dike.  There is a neat path that runs on the top of the dike.  It is an easy hike.  From the dike you will see tons of birds, an occasional raccoon, and likely a few alligators.  If you have a mountain bike it is on my recommended trails.  

Thanks for Looking.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Newspaper story in the Tallahassee Democrat

Morning Glow  20 x 24

This is another painting from the Artport Show.  I have had a great response to the show.  And this weekend I got a nice article in the Tallahassee Democrat.  (Special thanks to Amanda and Randi for their work on the show and the article).   Here's the written part of the article and there is a link below to the newspaper's online version.

Attorney paints with poetry in mind

By Randi Atwood
"About 15 or 16 years ago, my wife gave me a watercolor set for Christmas to get me off the golf course," remembers Tallahassee artist and attorney Steve Andrews. "I'd come home from work, put the kids to bed and then pull my stuff out in the kitchen and start painting. I just loved it. It was an escape. It didn't have a deadline, and it never yelled at me."
An exhibit of Andrews' art is on display through Sept. 26 at the Artport Gallery in Tallahassee Regional Airport.
Andrews grew up in Titusville, and had his first real exposure to painting from some of the original Florida Highwaymen artists, who often stopped by his father's dental office with their work to sell.
"In our living room we had a Samuel Newton painting of a wave breaking on the beach. I would just stare at it for hours," says Andrews. "I can remember sitting on the couch and trying to figure out how he made it look like the water was actually falling over. Looking back, I wonder how much influence that painting had on me."
Andrews took art classes in high school, and had an art history minor at FSU, where he studied history. But law school and his private practice, which primarily takes cases involving workers' compensation and Social Security disability, took priority in his life for many years.
When Andrews got back into painting in the evenings, he became so involved that he had to set an alarm clock to remind him to stop and go to bed.
"I took a couple of lessons with a painter in Havana, and a few classes, but I really just learned by painting and painting and painting," he says. "That's the key to getting better. It's just like hitting a golf ball or tennis ball. You have to know what the paint is going to do, what works for a composition, how to make color work for you — and all those things just come from brush mileage."
He mostly used watercolors during that time, but eventually started working with oils.  "I wanted to be able to paint bigger," Andrews explains. "When you paint with watercolor, it has to go behind glass, so you're limited in how big you can paint. Plus there's so much color and vibrancy that I can't get with watercolor. I paint almost exclusively in oil now."

Andrews' artistic emphasis is on landscape painting and subject matter concentrating on the vanishing landscape of Florida. He spends much of his time examining its natural beauty through plein air painting (painting outdoors).
"I do a lot of paintings at St. Marks and Lake Ella," says Andrews. "You've got the normal challenges of dealing with the weather and bugs, but the biggest thing is that you've got the whole wide world in front of you and you've got to edit it down to a composition that will work. I have to try to communicate that bright sparkle on the water right there."
Andrews says he is drawn to the North Florida and South Georgia landscape. He particularly loves rural farm scenes, and often paints old barns, fields and fences. He says that he learns something every time he paints, and he tries to make every painting better than any one he's ever done before.
"I'll often do photographs and outdoor studies as references. I just don't have the time to work without photographs," he says. "I often get ideas for paintings when I'm driving. I'm literally going down I-10 with the camera out the window, going click, click, click, click, click. I call them my 'car shots.'"
But Andrews does not consider himself a photographer, nor does he want his paintings to be photo-realistic.
"I used to paint tulips, and occasionally people who knew about tulips would try to explain to me that that isn't the way they actually grow," he says. "But that's not really what I'm doing. I'm trying to create mood. I'm not sure who said this originally but I'll paraphrase here: I don't want to be a journalist, I want to be a poet."
— To see more of Steve Andrews' artwork, visit

Here's a link to the actual story.  I am sending you to google because if I give you a direct link it will ask you to sign up for the paper before you can read the story.  Just click on the google link for "attorney paints with poetry in mind"  and it should send you to the article.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=e7a0bbe362cc4009&biw=1111&bih=627

Thanks for looking

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Place in the Marsh

36 x 30

This one is from the show at the airport. I've had some great exposure already as a result of the show and some calls from interested buyers. This morning I opened the newspaper and saw one of my paintings and a story. It's in a section called the Chronicle which carries a bunch of local stories. Here's a link:

Check it out.

I also am part of a show that opens at Lemoyne Art Center on Friday. I paint with a local art group called Alla Prima Painters. We have a group show this month at Lemoyne. I will be there on Friday and hope to see you.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Show at the Airport Gallery

Road to the Light
48 x 60

I have a show at the Tallahassee Airport that starts this week and runs through the end of September. The title of the show is “Vanishing Landscapes” which is kind of a theme for me. That was the title I gave the Cultural Resource Commission back a year and a half ago when I applied for the show. It really turned out to be more about St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. All of the paintings are either painted at St. Marks or are from photographs and studies done at St. Marks. Because the space is in the main concourse I needed big pieces to get the attention of passers-by. So there are a bunch of big pieces. I am also putting together a map of St. Marks with dots that indicate the inspiration for the image. I am putting all of this together and now I have separate section of my website with all of the paintings and prices.

I dropped off the pieces this morning and returned this evening to take at look at the show. Here is a photo. I like it. It's great space.

One of the problems with this venue is that it is logistically almost impossible to set up a traditional ‘opening night’. That’s good and bad. Every artist has dreams of having an opening, (preferably at a famous SoHo Gallery) and every piece is sold that night!! Cha-ching, cha-ching. But really, let’s be realistic that ain’t happening. (Although I will do a super big discount on the lot.) So there won’t be opening. But I’m always available to meet someone out there and talk about my art. So email me, or put comment at the bottom or on the website and we’ll set up a private opening. Bottom line: I paint because I want to paint. I like to create. I like to try to communicate something to someone else through paint -- something of the place, of the time of day, of the experience of being there. One crucial part of that equation is that someone else has to see it besides me. So having a show answers that part of the process. Go take a look. Most of the pieces were created within the last year and half. I love St. Marks. I hope you feel that love.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"End of an Era"

8 x 10

The last shuttle is coming home this week. It is the end of an era. Growing up in Titusville I am very familiar with space exploration and the space industry. As a kid I use to watch the Saturn Five rockets that transported the Apollo program into space and onto the Moon. Now those things were really big fireworks! You could feel them take off. When there was launch during school we would line up on the hill at Whispering Hills Elementary School facing east and watch the rocket head up through the sky. When the Apollo program was really going there would be wall to wall Winnebago’s done at the river waiting for the launch. Our little league fields were right down on the river so after games we would walk around between all the RV’s.

Between undergrad and law school I got a job at the Cape. I actually worked on the first space shuttle. My Uncle worked for NASA and helped me get a job with McDonald Douglass putting tiles on the shuttle. I worked on the rear upper elevon. I was a thermal protection mechanic. It was really interesting work. And it paid a lot more than the average summer job. Plus there was tons of overtime. For a while we were doing twelve hour days. That was tough. I don’t know how you could do that for longer than a couple of weeks.

I remember the Challenger disaster. I was driving home from work for lunch listening to the launch on NPR. My oldest son was only about 10 days old. When a got home my Mom was there with my wife and we turned on the TV and watched the coverage.

This painting is of the shuttle on the number 39 B. That’s the pad that is closest to Playlinda Beach which is the Titusville beach. That’s the south side of Canaveral National Seashore. You have the natural beauty of unspoiled and undeveloped land and the magic of the newest most modern technology. So in this painting I was trying to show the new technology against beauty of the land. Hope I got there.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, July 08, 2011

"Across the East River"

48 x 48

I wrote about the show at the airport later this month. This is another one for the show. It's big. The show is centered around the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge which is on the coast South of Tallahassee. It's a beautiful place. Every one of the paintings is an image of the Refuge or a view from the Refuge. My plan is to put a "you are here" map together to show where each painting was conceived (hhmm . . . not sure that's the right word). Anyway most of them are big and they are St. Marks. The painting above is the view from the road about a quarter mile from the lighthouse. If you stop your car there and look to the west you will see the East River and St. Marks River as they exit into the Gulf. There is a broad sweep of marsh and islands made when they dug the channel for the St. Marks. It's a really good place to pause and look, especially when the sun is setting. Hope you can make plans to go to the airport sometime during the show. I am thinking about designating a certain time when I'll be out there to talk about the work and answer any questions. If there's interest I'll set something up and put it on my website and facebook. Send an email or leave a comment and let me know. Is there a place out there to get a cup of coffee without having to do a strip search?

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Keeping Watch"

9 x 12

I have a show opening at the end of July at the ArtPort Gallery at the Tallahassee Regional Airport. It is a great space that the Cultural Affair Commission has to promote art in Tallahassee. I applied last year for a solo show and they selected me. The work will be up from July until the end of September. I've displayed in the space before with another artist, but this time its just me. That's a big thing in the art world. There is a definite distinction between a solo show and a group show. So I consider it an honor.

Anyway, I had planned all along to do something with the theme of vanishing Florida landscape, but I decided recently to combine all of my St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge stuff together and exhibit those works. I'm trying to come up with a title. Right now I'm thinking . . . Impressions of the Refuge, Refuge in Color, A Refuge from __?___, St. Marks in Color, etc. If you have any good ideas let me know. The pieces are mostly big. I mean by that four 48 x 48s and one 48 x 60. I think this will look good because the space is big and is right on the corner of the main thoroughfare. So, here's your chance to name the show.

The painting above is of the St. Marks Lighthouse. It is on the refuge and sits next to a large live oak tree that makes it difficult to paint. Something about lighthouses though, people love them. Reminds me of the story my old preacher, Peter Lord, used to tell. (This is my version. He does it better.) The aircraft carrier was the largest and most deadly ship on the ocean. It was three football fields long. It had a nuclear engine. It was heading to port in the dead of night at full speed. As it approached it noticed the lights of another ship heading directly towards it. The captain called the messenger and and he signaled to the approaching ship this message: "This is the aircraft carrier approaching, change your course." The reply from the approaching light was "we will not change our course". The captain sent another message. "This is the aircraft carrier. We are the largest ship in the ocean. Change your course." The same reply was received. "We will not change our course." The captain yelled his response to the signaler. "This is the aircraft carrier change your course or we will be forced to run over you." The reply: "This is the lighthouse. We suggest you change your course." I don't know what this has to do with this painting, or remember the point in his message, but I like the story.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Down at Orange Lake"

16 x 20

A scene from the Evinston Paint Out from last year. What is it about flat fields and cows? Probably more than anything I love this view of the water. It's downs there behind that veil of trees and its a beautiful hot still lake. That's what I'm aiming for. Did I get there?

At my last paint out I was told by an artist, who is really good and I respect, that my compositions were . . . something like "different". I can't remember the exact word. But I remember thinking "that's good, right?" And there was no question he meant it as a compliment. As an artist you definitely don't want to look like everyone else, but you also don't want to look like crap. There are certain 'conventions' that are supposed to be followed because if they aren't the painting usually doesn't work. So for instance, don't put the horizon line in the middle of the painting, don't put the center of interest smack dab in the middle. Stuff like that. So, there is this struggle. Make it look like something new and different, but don't do something stupid. Does that apply to this painting? Well yeah, . . . I mean I can hear the critique. You need a path down to the lake to lead the eye. The sky needs a bunch of clouds in an interesting pattern. Too many bands of color. But . . . all those things make a simple serene scene into something else. And . . . its my painting and I don't want to paint it that way. Hope you like it.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sun Going Down, Panacea

11 x 14

Ever felt like a wounded
soldier left in the field?
They're still shooting.
Better keep my head down.
Helps got to be coming.

No, . . . .
I think they're at Disney World.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Shady Spot"

16 x 20

It's been a busy couple of weeks. The last post was days before the Chain of Parks Show in Tallahassee. Total sales were very good. Plus I got to meet a lot of really nice people and talked with a number of people who had purchased my paintings at various places. They all had nice things to say, and thats really neat. And the last blog post painting sold.

The week after that I was in Winter Park for the Winter Park Paint Out at the Polasek Museum. Sales were also good there and although I had some problems getting started, I ended up having a really good week. I got to meet a bunch of really good painters too.

This weekend I taught my first class. A group of painters here in Tallahassee meets once a month and they had asked me to demonstrate/teach. I have been thinking about doing this for a while. With all the kids stuff going on I never could find the time, but now with all the kids in college I decided to give it a try. And . . . I had a great time. The painting above is from the class. I decided to do a larger painting than I should have tried (just because of the time involved in covering a bigger canvas). But I think I was able to work it far enough to give some idea of how I do things. I spent about another hour and a half yesterday fixing things I needed to fix. For those who were there I will let you know what I did:

1. I refined the cows. Just added little things that definitely identify them as cows. Like the faces and the ears and a couple of profiles.
2. I added more definition to the leaves in the tree that are closer to the viewer and softened and cooled the edges of the leaves in the back.
3. I removed one branch that I thought didn't work with the anatomy of the tree. (Scraped it off and painted over with sky color.)
4. I added a cool green in the front of the cows to represent the shade.
5. I redid the cow in the front with the light hitting it to punch it up and capture the shape of the light. (all of the these changes were made either over top of thin paint or by scraping away paint and repainting).

I like it. I said before I started I wanted it to be about the hot ground in front and the cool under the tree, and I think I got close to what I wanted.

There are some really good painters in the group and I hope I didn't mess them up with my suggestions.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


8 x 10

Late last year I rode the Spaghetti 100, a 100 mile bicycle ride through North Florida and South Georgia. Even though it sounds painful, it was really fun and challenging. (I actually let my ego get to me and rode with some youngsters who ended up taking a wrong turn and we ended doing the Spaghetti 118. That last eighteen was tough!) Well, one of the benefits is that you get to see 100 miles of beautiful country. It is mostly farms and fields. I drove the whole 100 again the next morning (in my truck) and took some photographs of the memorable sites. This field was near some cotton. It had been turned and had these neat stripes. It basically painted itself. And it sold this weekend at the Chain of Park Show. The was a great time. Talked with a lot of nice people who said nice things. It's always good to get feedback.
And next week I will be at the Winter Park Paint Out in Winter Park, Florida. It's at the Polasek Museum and is a benefit for the museum. So if you are in the area call me, or email me, and I'll let you know where I am painting that day and you can come and visit. I am looking forward to a great week.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Out for Oysters

8 x 10

This weekend I will be braving the elements at the annual CHAIN OF PARKS ART FESTIVAL in downtown Tallahassee. Its on Park Avenue and I'm in tent number 27. The weather looks great for Sunday and iffy for Saturday, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have a lot of new work including the one above, so come take a look. All else fails there's kettle korn!!!!!

See you there. Thanks for looking.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm going to Disney World!!!

I will be painting Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orlando (March 25-27). I was invited to be part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. You know how Disney is always doing a show. Well, in the spring they bring in tons of different flowers and they have artists doing plein air paintings as part of the presentation. The cool thing is Disney puts the artists up in one their hotels and gives day passes to the artist and a guest. So . . . if you haven't been to Epcot in a while, (or you have one of those year passes that you haven't used enough) head on out to the England section of Epcot and look me up. We'll have some fish and chip together!

"Lake Ella Sky"

11 x 14 (plein air)

Lake Ella is a great place to paint. This was done on a Saturday morning last year. One thing about Lake Ella is there are always a bunch of people. I'll probably paint there this week to get use to being around people while painting. That's always a challenge. Obviously, Disney World will be a different kind of challenge. But I can usually pull off a flower painting without much struggle. (Knock on wood.) Hope to see you at Epcot.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Beach Fun

5 x 7 (plein air)

Just a sketch from the week at Palm Beach. I also did an 11 x 14 with this same composition. I'm just trying to get it right the first time. Quickly. No 'messing with it'. Put down the brush stoke and leave it alone. You wouldn't believe how much discipline that requires. But actually, one thing that you learn after a lot of practice is that it is possible to wipe out a small section, or a person, or a horizon line, and hit it again with that one stroke that works. There you have it. A secret that took me a long time to learn, and you just got it in one paragraph. If it was only that easy!

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Turning Point"

16 x 20

I don't want to be melodramatic, but one of my babies is leaving. Not my real kids. One of my paintings. Sometimes you feel that way as an artist. Getting paintings sold is kind of the point. Most times it's an easy process, but there are some paintings that you really like and when someone expresses interest in one of those paintings you have to pause and think. This paintings is one of those. I have a lot of memories of State Road 46 and the drive from Titusville to Lake Harney. This subject is seemingly a very simple, flat part of Florida, but there is so much there. It's constantly changing based on the water levels. It has distance. Vastness.

This painting is called "Turning Point", not for some deeper meaning. Actually, my Dad use to own and fly a Cessna 182. When he saw this painting, he explained to me that this stand of palms in the middle of the St. Johns River Valley was used by pilots flying a pattern at Dunn Airpark in Titusville. When you got to the palms you turned back to the airport. Turning Point.
How much longer will you be able to look out across this vastness and see nothing but nature?

"Turning Point" is going to a nice home in Jacksonville. A couple who already has a painting of mine wants another, and they love this one. Repeat customers are the best. It has to mean you must be doing something right. So you pack up the painting and ship it off because you realize that if someone else can enjoy something you created, its a good thing to let it go.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Two and a Half

11 x 14

"Two and a Half" because this is at the two and a half mile mark of our local cross country course. My kids ran cross country at their high school. They had a great coach who demanded a lot of commitment to the sport. He was very demanding. Anyway it just so happened that their ages resulted in my involvement with Chiles Cross Country for ten straight years. During that time we won five state championships. It was a blast!!

We had a great cross country course at the Miccosukee Greenway park in Tallahassee. It was picturesque and challenging. Almost every time I went out there I would see a painting. This is just one of those vistas that a normal persons looks at and just passes over. Me, . . . I look at the value changes and the color and try to figure out an interesting composition and a way to get into the painting. (It's a curse sometimes).

Thanks for looking

Friday, February 04, 2011

"Sliver of Morning"

8 x 10 (plein air)

Early morning sunrise, Lake Weir, week after Christmas. Smell the coffee. Feel the warmth of the cup. Hear the muffle of cars behind me rolling down CR 25. A slight layer of fog rolling up off the water. Stillness otherwise. Just stillness.

Thanks for looking

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"One Masterpiece, One Painting"

16 x 20 "Gadsden County Morning"

Here's the painting. Morning shadows fingering across a hay field in Gadsden County. . . . . And below is the masterpiece. My first grandson: Camp Macauley Andrews. Born Sunday January 30 at 12:21pm. 8 lbs 14.4 oz. Mom and Dad and Camp are all doing great. Granddad and Grandma are doing fantastic!

Camp Macauley Andrews

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Heaven's Morning"

11 x 14 (plein air)

Just another day in paradise.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Power Lines"

8 x 10 (Plein Air)

Does every painting have a story? Today is an experiment. I randomly and blindly selected this painting from my computer file of completed paintings from 2010. The reason for this random selection was related the reason for this blog. Believe it or not, this is post number 407 for this blog. That's a lot of paintings and a lot of writing. What do you make a blog about? That's a giant question. It goes to that core issue that is the best explanation for why there are times when I don't post for a while -- who really cares and why are you doing this?

I've had some recent feedback from people (most related to me in some way) who indicate that they like to check out my blog. So I thought I need to be more regular in my posting. But what do you post about? So this was my contention -- every painting has a story. Just tell the simple story of the painting, and testing the proposition I randomly selected this one.

I painted this from Bird Island. The island in the painting is not Bird Island. In fact I can't remember the name but it is privately owned by family members of the owners of Bird Island. I thought the electric lines were interesting, both for their compositional importance and for idea of this isolated island that survives on a lifeline of electric current. The tide was coming in and the islands around the poles were quickly disappearing. Not my favorite painting from Bird Island, but does it have a story. I don't know. Does it?

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beach Daisies and Palm

14 x 11

One of my best trips last year was a weekend trip to Bird Island off Horseshoe Beach on the west coast of Florida. Horseshoe Beach is just north of the where the Suwanee River enters the Gulf and south of Steinhatchee. This is a very isolated area of Florida. It's a lot more of a forgotten coast than the actual "forgotten coast" up here in North Florida. Bird Island is a small island (maybe two arces) which lies about a half mile from Horseshoe Beach. It is privately owned. I was invited to come paint for the weekend during October. It was glorious. The owners have a neat two story home and we threw cast nets for mullet and ate great meals and were treated like royalty. The island was built up by the Indians that inhabited the area. They had a collection of artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery shards and even human bones. When the hurricanes came through in 2005 they had whole skeletons uncovered in the tidal flats. (Makes for an interesting thought as you are nodding off to sleep. Brought to mind the movie "Poltergeist", but I was so tired it didn't matter.)

Looking at the sunset. From the dock you could watch the sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening. I did 5 x 7's of both.

View of the island coming from Horseshoe Beach. Theres's an umbrella there near middle of the photo. If you look close it is one of the artists already painting away. Anyway, it was truly one of those trips I've heard other painters talk about and thought "I wonder when someone is going to invite me to something like that?" So be advised that if you can one-up this trip I am ready and available to accept your challenge. My new slogan: Have pallette, will travel!

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Ahhh . . . Punkie"

11 x 14 (plein air)

This is another from Canaveral Paint Out. This is near Eldora House. As I understand it, when the government bought the owners out to make it a wildlife refuge, one option was to have a life estate to the original owner. This means that the owner could stay in the house but when he or she died it would pass to the government. This was one of the last boat houses standing from the original owners. After letting all of them fall in the water, the park service finally decided to save and restore this one. I painted it from the dock at Eldora House.

One really cool thing happened while painting this one. There was another painter on the dock and at one point she was talking with an elderly man. She mentioned that she was from Orlando and he said that he had grown up in Orlando and even went to the how-closed Orlando High School. I guess this part of the conversation caught my ear and when he walked over to me I told him that my parents had both attended Orlando High School. He asked their names and I said "Dick Andrews and Mary Dettmer". He got a big smile on his face and said "ahhh . . . Punkie". (That was her nickname and her grandmother name for my children.) He had been best friends with my dad's oldest brother. We told some stories and he confirmed most the crazy ones I had heard. He had nothing but good things to say about Punkie and all of the Andrews. It was neat.

You never know what you'll find when your painting. Its a small world.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Canaveral Palms

5 x 7

From Canaveral Paint Out. I'm a sucker for the view across the water. This is a little 5 x 7 sketch. This was done after the quick draw at the Eldora House. Eldora House is a renovated home that is used by the wildlife refuge as a small museum with artifacts from the area. This is a really beautiful area. If you are in the area you should visit it. Canaveral Seashore National Wildlife Refuge was purchased by the federal government when the area was selected to house the space program. If you look at a map of Florida there is cape about half way down the east coast of Florida. That is Cape Canaveral -- now called Cape Kennedy. Because it was taken over by the government it was not developed like the rest of Florida. All of the area has been protected. The part north of the space program is a National Wildlife Refuge. This fact had an enormous economic impact of the town of Titusville where I grew up. Unfortunately, that impact has been negative, at least compared to other similarly situated Florida cities. Economic times are really tough now. The space program is being phased out and jobs are being cut. There is very little tourist industry in Titusville. Thirty of forty years from now the wild refuge will be a major asset for the area, but that doesn't help if you are unemployed. How do you create an industry around viewing wildlife? Maybe thirty or forty years from now people will rather see an unspoiled beach and wetland and wildlife than ride the E ticket rides at DisneyWorld. I guess we'll see. If you take a trip to Florida, go visit and see what you've been missing.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sunrise - New Year

8 x 10

From Lake Weir. Among the best things to happen in our family this year was the purchase of a lake house on Lake Weir in Central Florida. If you've been following this blog for any time, (yes, all three of you) then you know that my wife's family started going to Lake Weir every year for a week of summer vacation when she was just a child. Our family has continued that tradition. We haven't missed a year. About five years ago my wife's sister's family bought a place on the lake. It's was right on the same street we stayed on all these years.

One of the realities of vacationing at the same spot over many years is that you see the area grow and the prices of real estate escalate. Until about two years ago those prices had reached astronomical levels. Last summer after returning from vacation I bookmarked a couple of sites that had listing of Lake Weir real estate. In October, I found a house listed that was three houses down from Aunt Dina. Through a lot of tribulation, things worked out and the deal closed in November. I got to spend the week after Christmas there, and I woke up every morning early watching the sunrise, and drinking coffee, and painting. This one is looking east across the lake. It is a heavenly place. (Is that sacrilegious?) My goal is to make paintings that communicate that heavenliness. (Is that hokey?) It won't be easy. I have my own limitations. It is flat Florida . . . a stripe of water, a stripe of land, and a stripe of sky. But I know I am going to enjoy the challenge. Stay tuned to find out.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Slice of Green

16 x 20

I told you I painted a bunch of paintings this year from State Road 46 near Titusville. It's a lot of open space with all kinds of non-human life for as far as you can see. This is near Hatbill Park (I think thats what they call it). No telling how many alligators there are per square foot. When I was growing up the alligator was an endangered species and was protected. Now there are so many around Lake Harney that I'm not sure its safe to swim anymore. That's a big change. I remember one day my brother Rick took a shot with my bb gun at a small one that had surfaced in front of our cabin. It was a pump bb gun, but you could pump it up pretty good. I guess he hit just right because it went down and about five minute later it surfaced right in front of our beach and walked right up on the shore and just laid there. I remember it being only about three feet long and we turned it over on its back and rubbed its belly and it went to sleep just like they show on TV. After a couple of minutes it regained its sanity and started hissing and walked back in the water. That was the last time we shot at one.

"Slice of Green" is across that marsh grass that holds all those animals. Palm trees claim any area of high ground and the grasses spread out like carpet. There are so many different colors and sometimes the sun hits an area of grass just right. It seems to glow. That's what I'm aiming for here. Dull grayed colors in the trees, grayed almost lavender sky and a slice of screaming yellow green. That's what I saw.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Orange Lake Overlook

16 x 20

One of the events I participated in this year was the Evinston Paint Out. Evinston is just south of Gainesville off of Highway 441. I stayed down on Lake Weir and drove up in the morning using 441. Just south of the town of McIntosh there is spot where the road crests a hill and you get a great view of Orange Lake. This particular morning the sun was rising and the fog lifting. I had to stop and take some photos. This was done in studio right after the paint out. If I do the paint out again next year I will just set up my biggest easel right there on shoulder of 441 and paint a big one. I wonder how that would work out? Anyway the whole area is just beautiful and I had a great time painting and meeting the people. It was one of the best weeks of painting I had all year.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Field Corner

20 x 16

The day after the Blue Line 100 (a bicycle century run through North Florida and South Georgia), I took a ride in my truck along the route and took some photographs of the scenery. Fog was lifting and the land was being turned for the new season. I like the colors, but it's about the light and the quiet.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Fog and Palms"

16 x 20

This one is part of the State Road 46 series. It's a "blue road" that cuts across central Florida. I drove over to Winter Springs from Titusville during the summer to take my daughter to a road race. We took State Road 46 and I took my camera because I knew we would be traveling through the land of palm hammocks and the St. Johns River valley. I have ended up doing a bunch of paintings from photos taken that morning. It's a good rule to paint what you know and what you love. Even if no one else likes it, at least you'll like it.

Thanks for looking.

"Sailboat on Mosquito Lagoon"

5 x 7

From Canaveral Seashore Paint Out. Great time down in the part of Florida where I grew up. This is looking across Mosquito Lagoon from the beach. The lagoon is a very large and very shallow body of water. It is one of the best places to catch Redfish in the world. On the far west side of the lagoon the intercoastal waterway run to Haulover Canal and from there to the Indian River. This sailboat was heading down the intercoastal channel with a stiff breeze. The sun was setting. I was back in my home country. Life is good.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Eastpoint Morning"

30 x 40

Hey. Still here. Still painting. I get a F on the promotion part of art. Just too many other things going on, and I decided painting was more important than showing. One time stealer this year has been exercise, which is good. The form of exercise is almost exclusively biking. Mountain biking and some road rides. At least five days a week. And if you know me, you know that I can't just do something, I've got to really do it. So this year I have participated in four mountian bike races (even winning a couple) and two centuries (100 mile bike rides). Anyway less time for everything else. But with painting I am trying to focus on quality over quantity. I recently took a bunch of photos of the years production so check up on the blog and I promise to post more.

This is from a photo taken during one of my coast trips. Got up early and got the sun rising in Eastpoint. These are oyster boats. Colors are mostly mine. These are commercial boats and the life of an oysterman is tough. These docks aren't made by a carpenter. They are just put up with whatever log is available. I used some artistic license to move the eye around. And played with the sun and the clouds or fog or whatever you want it to be. It's moody, at least that's what I was trying for so I hope it is.

I'm still here and I've had a good year. [Don't tell anyone. I like to keep it quiet.]

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Cattle Guard"

8 x 10

From the Evinston Paint Out. This was done on the last day and was so wet I never even put it up. That is an interesting thing about paint outs. What do you do about the really wet paintings? What do you do about people leaning against them? (Sir I'd like to frame your shirt.) What do you do about paintings sticking in their frames? (Permanent framing solutions.) What do you do about bugs and grass and leaves? ("I've just started experimenting with mixed media").

I like this painting. There is a lot going on, but there was hundreds times more going on in real life. I am finding simplification to be more and more the most important part of good plein air painting.

Thanks for looking.

P.S. Just a reminder that I will be attending the Canaveral Seashore Paint Out next month in New Smyrna Beach. It is the week of November 7 through the 13th. It is a benefit for Canaveral Seashore and here is link to the website: I will be there painting all week long.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Where I Ride"

8 x 10 (plein air)

"Where I Ride" refers to where I ride my mountain bike most of the time. I am very lucky to live in a neighborhood that is next to a state park. That state park had property given to it that is full of singletrack and doubletrack trails. I can leave my house after work and ride through miles and miles of trails without repeating anything. It's great exercise for me because it doesn't beat up my knees like running does. (Although crashing on a mountain bike (which is not an unusual occurrence), can certainly make sore knees look inviting). I have stuck to this form of exercise, at least 5 times a week, for going on two years. I felt in good enough shape earlier this month to enter a mountain bike race over at Tom Brown Park. The race was part of the Florida State Championship Series with racer from all around the state participating. There were numerous categories, and the one I fit in was the 50 plus grand masters in the "base" level. (Three levels: Expert, Sport, Base) I was lucky to win my race against 16 other similarly categorized riders. Yeahhhh!

So this painting is from a field at Phipps Park near the Red Bug trail. I painted it earlier this year standing out in the field on a Sunday afternoon. If you head over this hill and follow this path it spits you into the woods with a nice descent through a couple of rough trails. The key is to get some speed and then get up on the petals for balance and hold on (but don't grip the handlebars too tight or you will be wondering whether its better to have sore knees or numb hands).

Thanks for looking.

Friday, September 17, 2010


11 x 14

I keep painting this stuff. I guess I was always fascinated watching rows go by as I drove in the back seat of the car. Rows of orange trees, rows of planted pine trees, rows of nursery plants, rows of crops. I am easily amused. Does anyone else do this?

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


8 x 10 (plein air)

Painted at Lake Ella which is small park in downtown Tallahassee. There is a loop around the lake that is slightly more than a half mile. Almost any time of day there are tons of walkers exercising or cruising around the lake. I like to paint there. It's always challenging and there are lots of friendly onlookers. Perhaps the biggest issue in plein air painting is editing. When you paint outdoors you have to simplify. Everything is right in front of you. The whole wide panorama. What do paint and what do you leave out. Here, in reality, there are multiple bushes, walkers, ducks, and trees. In the background there is a four lane road, cars, a restaurant, and a helicopter. (Yes, no kidding -- a helicopter). So you change things around and keep the central idea of a path around a lake with a couple walking. As I was finishing this a white duck swam up and I added the ducks as a balance for the composition. KISS. Keep is simple stupid. I like it.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


14 x 11 (plein air)

This was painted under the bridge to Singer Island while on vacation last month. The bridge is one of my favorite places to paint. One thing you must consider when painting outdoors is trying to figure out how to get your canvas and palette out of the direct sun. Being in the sun makes it really hard to judge values and colors. It is also really hot in the sun. So there is this great little park under the bridge with sailboats anchored close by and lots of people swimming and enjoying the gentle ocean breezes. My wife calls these paintings “boat butt” genre. I can’t help it that the tide flows the way it flows. Here I’m trying to concentrate on the color of the water and the sparkle of the light in the reflections. Hope it worked.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

"Palm Beach Pumphouse"

11 x 14 (plein air)

I did this one during the annual family vacation to Palm Beach. I write "Palm Beach", but I should actually write Singer Island. It is Palm Beach Gardens and it is really nice. This is what we call "the pumphouse". It is at the jetty on the Singer Island side. The pipes that run into the wall of the jetty actually go all the way across the channel to the other side and move sand from Singer Island to Palm Beach. It has something to do with the jetty messing up the natural flow of the current and the sand. Anyway, it is a giant "thing" and it is not easy to paint. Its like a big cube that doesn't belong in the picture. I decided to tackle it this year and I like how this came out. I also decided to work on putting more figures in my landscapes and I was able to do that here and also in some other pieces I did during the week. Here, I think the figures are essential. The two guys on the catwalk were workers from the county. After I started they turned the pumphouse on and opened the doors. They stood up there talking about something. (I'm sure it was work related.) One of the gentlemen was retiring from the county and had been in charge of the pumphouse for a number of years. He asked about the painting, but I forgot to get his name and number before I left. This would make a nice retirement gift. Maybe I should do some research.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Office Conference"

48 x 48

Yeah, I know its been a while. You know summer. Hard to find time for anything but play. One of the least productive times for me is around sporting events. I don't need much of an excuse to watch a game. The last couple of months have had a bunch of games. The NBA playoffs, College World Series, Wimbledon, and the Tour de France. And have you been keeping up with "Deadliest Catch"? I am a sucker for that show.

So anyway, I have been painting, though not as much as my usual output. I have kind of been stuck. Sometimes stuck can be good. Means you might come up with something better.

This one is from last year. It is big. From St. Marks. I added the birds later. I thought the composition needed something extra. I love those crows. I think they run the world.
The title is a reference to their office. Nice place.

Thanks for looking.