It wasn't my first intention to paint seashells on this getaway.  This beautiful island is narrow with very few places to set up an easel (unless you have private property).  It was windy and hot, so I opted to paint from my charming - enclosed - back porch.  

It was my intention to paint "alla prima" landscape studies, but since outdoor studies didn't present themselves, I had to go with the flow.  And as often happens, what I needed appeared - there were a myriad of shells spread like jewels on the beach.  How to paint them?  I wanted to paint them all!  So I just spread them on top of a cooler in interesting patterns, and with a soft pastel palette, let go of preconceived ideas of where it should go and let them unfold.  One of my organic vignettes.

 

"Shell Impression II"

 

Prints are available through Fine Art America.

 


 

By the third day of painting my precious seashell ornaments, I found that it was important for me to simplify my patterns much as my solitude at Sanibel had simplified my existence.  I scattered red-orange shells around the canvas complementing the pattern with shells in blue and green hues.  These colors really set the mood - and movement - for the painting.  As is often wont in my work, I created atmosphere and negative space in my painting by pushing down or blurring the values of the other shells - only minimally suggesting them, really.  For me, this created a piece of visual poetry which mirrored the peace and serenity I experienced on this trip.

Shell Impression III

Prints are available on Fine Art America.

 


 

It was imperative for me to get up and out the door by sunrise on the last day of my vacation at the Castaways, Sanibel Island, Fl.   I had figured out by this time that I could collect the best "fighting conch shells" as the early tide receded.  With as much joy as a child runs to and from waves, I dashed in and out of the water plucking up these beautiful fossils...what was once an organic, living, breathing organism now inert except as it was tossed and tumbled by the tide.

My first morning visitors (not including pelicans and terns) were a woman and her dog.   They paid me no heed  because their daily ritual was their own.  From a distance the dog appeared to me to be a golden retriever with a wonderful caramel coat.  I knew I would paint this dog when I returned home as part of my lingering memory.

"Dog on The Beach"

Prints are available on Fine Art America.