| 08 March, 2016 16:27
To understand the science of the universe, you must know the language in which it is written....and that is mathematics. The universe is made of precise patterns and proportions, and these patterns are hidden in plain sight. You just have to know where to look! What appears to be chaos actually follows subtle laws. Have you ever noticed a spiral....like the curve of a wave, the spiral of seashells like the nautilus? What about fingerprints, pine cones, sunflowers, DNA, embryos, a sea horse, hurricanes, unfurling roses, swirling galaxies and more? Yes, they are all a precise mathematical pattern! And this is where art and science collide! They collide in the Fibonnaci spiral!
The brilliant Italian mathematician Fibonnaci brought the Arabic numeral system to Europe in 1202 with his Book of Calculations. Graphing the ratio of numbers in his series forms a spiral. This also forms the Golden Ratio of perfect proportions which is found in everything in nature and the universe. Now this is exciting to an artist because it's the blueprint of Creation. As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Everything is connected!"
God the artist left His fingerprints in our world for us to discover. Once you see the spiral pattern from the microscopic to the universe, you see the building block of life. This mathematical curve of a logarithmic spiral gives us a sense of stability. And this helps the artist to create using the Golden Ratio (Golden Mean) with an end result that is pleasing to the eye. The next time you see the Milky Way or a fern frond unfurling, you will see the pattern that relates to all of us. This has given me a new way of seeing what's in front of me, hidden in plain sight!
| 15 May, 2015 17:45
Once in a whlle, the inspiration for a painting occurs backwards! Usually, I hear about tropical vistas and visit these places around Florida to sketch, paint and photograph beautiful scenery. People tell me about lovely Old Florida areas that i should capture on canvas. So usually, the word descriptions come first, then the visit, and then the final painting. However, I had the unusual spiritual experience of having a vision of a final painting come to me first! It captivated my mind! A few days later, words were given to me to go with the vision..."And the leaves on the tree are for the healing of the nations." I knew those words but had to find them. And I did find them in Revelation 22:2 in the Bible. Then I remembered a beautiful old oak tree in downtown Orlando in an area called Constitution Green and took pictures of that oak. And waited. And waited. I felt like I had to paint this vision, but wondered why was this motivation so intense. Then a call came from the Ronald McDonald House asking me to be one of the 12 artists for the new house being built next to the Nemours Children's Hospital in the Medical City Lake Nona area of Orlando. The director told me that the painting had to be one of healing! I then told her my vision. We both celebrated how their plans and my vision of this painting came together! Now I have met with the other artists, the Nemours staff, the Ronald McDonald staff, and the interior designer. Each artist will be paired with a corporate sponsor for a specific room of the house. We will work together to bring a loving place of healing for sick children and their families. This speaks to the heart of every parent. And this makes an exciting art journey! As I view the beautiful live oaks around Central Florida, I remember the verse, "The leaves on the tree are for the healng of the nations". May it be so!
| 23 August, 2014 18:19
Have you ever looked up at the sky to watch the clouds move into different shapes? What about when you were a child and tried to name the shapes? Living in Florida, clouds are part of our environment.
i think we have the most wonderful cloud formations in the world. And I guess I'm not alone! I joined the Florida Cloud Appreciation Society with hundreds of others who love Florida skies. Each day people post photos of sunrises, sunsets, storms, and every type of cloud formation there is. And these photos are breathtakingly beautiful!
Look up, for your salvation draws near! (Luke 21:28). Look up and see the Creator in the clouds! The Florida sky is like a moving palette of colors painted by a Creator who dazzles us. Our weather is constantly changing....sunny billowy clouds, then dark thunderstorms followed by dancing white clouds.
Painting in the field requires a great sensitivity to choosing which cloud formation to paint. The wild thunderstorm with flashing lightning has to be captured quickly while white fluffy clouds caressing the sky make a good background to paint slowly. Sunrise and sunset colors bring out the best in a palette.
All of the clouds speak deeply to my spirit! Clouds reveal the majesty of the Creator and make my heart leap in response. I'm grateful for the beauty found in the Florida skies.
| 29 January, 2014 16:37
Having been inspired by the Spanish explorers, it has been an adventure traveling around Florida for a year exploring where they explored 500 years ago. And to my great surprise, El Galeon, the replica tall sailing ship of Ponce de Leon, returned from Spain to dock in St. Augustine. The current Spanish sailors from Sevilla had sailed around the state during 2013 so Floridians could board the ship to see what it was like. Popular with everyone, especially children who dressed in pirate costumes for fun, the ship sailed back for more!
I wanted to capture all of this excitement in paintings which I named "I Believe in Discovery I & II". They formed a diptych to make a large seascape/landscape of Ponce de Leon's landing on the east coast of Florida. Sand dunes, palms, blowing sea grasses, the ocean and the ship at anchor formed the composition in oil against an orange sky. A poet, Carla Santa Morales, wrote a poem about this painting:
"We are born for this... At 9 months the world erupts into... A vast universe...Farther than even our mother's hands...Can reach to the ends of...Darkness is suddenly painted every possibility...We find our smiles soon after....those glorious trophies adorning each conquest...I believe in revelation...In surprise...In revamping and unveiling...I believe in miracles big and small...That keep us in awe of what's around us...I believe we are....eternal discoveries...We are energy that hasn't found out how to die...only how to transform...I believe being humble enough to see things....for the first time more than once is its own form of beauty...I believe in learning what we thought we already knew...In realistic innocence, the breath of curiosity and the phrase...The world is yours...I believe in Discovery."
As C.S. Lewis said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." Keep exploring! Keep discovering! Studying history propels us to discover the future.
These paintings sold as soon as they were hung in the gallery!
| 05 June, 2013 17:29
Viva Florida 500! To fully understand the impact of Spanish explorers in Florida, I read a wonderful book titled Juan Ponce de Leon and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida by Robert Fuson. Not only was Ponce the first European to lay claim to La Florida, he also discovered the Gulf Stream. He made two voyages around the peninsula, naming coastal islands and coastal shores. I was inspired to follow his route!
Ponce left Puerto Rico and headed north. Carried by the Gulf Stream, he first landed somewhere north of Ponce Inlet between Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, possibly even near Flagler Beach. Geographical historians calculated this from the ship's log. Every city in the area claims Ponce! From St. Augustine to Brevard County, each have spots saying: "Ponce de Leon slept here"! He did land, named the land La Florida and gave thanks for the discovery with his crew.
Turning south, he viewed every aspect of the coastline. A beautiful replica of his galleon was made in Spain and sailed to Florida for the 2013 celebration. "El Galeon" sailed across the Atlantic and docked at Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral and St. Augustine. El Galeon is a beautiful ship, reflecting the sun in its polished wood, sails billowing with ropes making patterns. Floridians have toured the ship at every port. I followed Ponce's route down the Atlantic coast and toured "El Galeon" in Cape Canaveral, after viewing the coastal areas in St. Augustine southward.
Ponce explored the Miami area, and then cruised past the Keys, naming the Dry Tortugas. Following the coastline northward, he sailed in the Gulf of Mexico and headed into the Naples-Ft. Myers-Sanibel-Captiva-Pine Island areas. So did I! From there, he sailed by Sarasota and Tampa Bay and most likely into the Tarpon Springs-Anclote Island area. So did I! Some historians think he even made it to Apalachee Bay. My visits combined both cars and boats, and I developed a deep respect for this explorer who sailed in a galleon around our state for the first time! At least I had maps, GPS, and an iphone!
So now I have a 1,000 or more sketches and photos of Florida in its natural state, the way Ponce de Leon found it. His journey ended, but my painting journey has just begun! Thank you, Ponce, for the inspiration! Viva Florida 500! Viva Paintings to honor the celebration!
| 21 January, 2013 14:44
Time to celebrate the state I love the most - Florida! As a multi-generational native, I am part of this land with all its beauty and its heat. And it is this year 2013 that Florida has reached a major historic milestone: The 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon's landing on Florida's east coast. Florida has the longest recorded history of any other state because it was the first place that Europeans landed in what is now the U.S.
The exact landing spot is believed to have been at Ponce Inlet, hence the name, in Volusia County. (This happens to be one of my favorite places.) Coming ashore during the Easter season, known as Pascua Florida, Spanish for "feast of flowers", Ponce de Leon named the land "Florida". The Spanish brought sweet Valencia oranges, which later became the official state fruit. They started St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S. And thus began the foundation of Florida's rich heritage and diverse culture. This state has been under many flags, each adding to the land's rich history.
What I love about this state is exactly what Ponce de Leon saw here. The east coast beaches are beautiful with hard packed sand, palms and flowers, barrier islands, rivers that open to the Atlantic Ocean and magnificent sunrises. The west coast offers sugary sand, calmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico, and sunsets that are breathtaking. The interior of the state with pines, palms, oaks as well as lakes, springs, and rivers provide adventure in every direction.
As an artist, I want to capture this natural part of Florida on canvas. Oh how I want to spread the joy of this environment to others in paintings: the linear rows of palms, the deep shadows in the mangroves, the bright reflection of the sun on sand. The ever changing clouds make dramatic images in a sky that goes on forever. Florida can be an entirely cool palette with blues and greens, and then it can turn to a vivid warm palette in brilliant reds and yellows at sunrise and sunset. There is always something that takes my breath away that I want to capture!
So, Viva Florida! As a Florida painter, I feel this connection with the sun, sky and water. My greatest joy is painting it! Celebrate with me!
| 14 August, 2012 17:07
To gain perspective on the value of art, I decided to go right to the source and interview parents, adults and educators. I have always been a great cheerleader for creativity, but I wanted to hear insight from others on how they view the importance of art in life.
A principal of a middle school said that a strong art department is very important because of fostering creative thinking. She said that sometimes it is a problem to convince students that art is worthwhile. One way to do this is by a continuous display of art work around the school. This shows the students that their work is important, and the time spent achieving a creative result was well worth it.
Carol, former teacher and mother of three, has campaigned at her children's school for exposure to all of the arts through classes and an arts fair, emphasizing music, art and theater. She wants her children to develop an inner sense to appreciate the beauty of creativity and historical works of art.
Linda, mother of four, said that all of her children have won awards at the Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival. Her children are both athletic and artistic, and she would hate to think that they were not offered any options to expand their talents.
Paula, mother of two and foster mother to 29 children, believes that art appreciation should be emphasized starting at a young age. She grew up thinking that only snobby people could have an understanding of the arts.
Traffic engineer Bruce said that the more he is exposed to art, the more he appreciates it. Craig, a civil engineer, whose only experience with drawing skills has been with a straight edge, said that children with no aptitude for studio skills should take art appreciation. That way they would still have a basic understanding of the skills required for creativity.
Real Estate agent Robert said that he still regrets the fact that he didn't have enough exposure to the humanities in school. His creative needs are now being met by taking piano lessons for the first time at age 38. He will make sure his three children's creative needs are met.
Elizabeth, mother of three, thought that there are too many adults today who are culturally illiterate. They had no exposure to the arts growing up, and it shows. She laughed as she said the game of Trivial Pursuit shows how few adults can answer the arts and humanities questions! Life is creative, and she wants her children to think creatively. The arts along with the 3 Rs should give them creative problem solving experience.
Punky, a community arts volunteer, summed up the need for continued support of the arts. When a city is growing economically and in size, big corporations look for a strong cultural infrastructure before setting up business. Therefore, it is essential to educate young people who will one day be making the choice to support the arts.
I was very happy to hear these honest insights. Is art important? Yes! We must continually reaffirm the value of art and its contribution to our society now and in the future. Arts round out education and enrich life. I'll do my part and keep painting!
| 10 February, 2012 10:54
I am often asked, "How did you know that you wanted to be an artist?" My mom always says that she knew when I was two years old and painted a "mural" with fingerpaints on her newly painted wall! And she tells of when my kindergarten teacher told her that she must frame my tempera paint work of art. When I was ten, my parents bought a huge amount of gently used art supplies from an artist who was moving. I thought each day was Christmas from then on! Every school project where I could figure out a way to draw it or paint it, I would turn into a work of art. My physics and biology teachers finally suggested that maybe I should be a medical illustrator. With that in mind, at first I double majored in art and biology in college. But the Fine Arts degree called my name! I soaked in the creativity, took every fine arts studio class and relished art history. To share this passion, I added art education classes so I could teach art. I had found my joyful calling in life as an artist!
With the personal experience of being "born to create", I have observed similar traits in children who are "born this way". A child who looks out the window in a classroom so he can study the way the sun and shadows shape the world, might be drawn toward art. If a child notices funny lines in a cracked sidewalk and wants to draw them later, she may be intuitive to the fundamentals of art. I watched my young nephew carry around his tiny sketchbook during family gatherings so he could draw what was going on. When the desire to create is there, a child will find a way to do it, even if it's origami paper folding with a napkin from McDonalds! I truly believe that artists are born with a different way of seeing the world. To encourage this in a child is to open up the world for him.
So, if you doodle on paper all the time or have a child who would rather do a "project" than write a paper, you could be seeing potential creativity bottled up inside just waiting to come out. Let it flow! If you find great joy in creating, then you could be an artist, too!