When I first began painting for “Florida Blues” we were about a year and a half into the pandemic and I had been living back in Florida for the entirety of the shutdown.
My inspiration well was running dry since most of my works the last few years have been inspired by my trips abroad and were mostly mountainscapes. Considering all things “travel” were paused for the unforeseeable future, I decided to tackle my love/hate relationship with this swamp land we call Florida in the best way I knew how—paint it out.
Having lived in Central Florida and South Florida almost all of my life, I had an endless supply of photo references and memories tied to the locations I chose to paint.
Once started, the myriad of colors, especially the blues, captured my imagination, and that was my driving force behind these works. My goal was to capture this seemingly simple subject matter and portray the ever changing shades of Florida blues.
When you live in an area for so long, you sometimes stop seeing the beauty in your everyday surroundings, the views outside your window. You begin to take those views for granted.
Most of the pieces I created depict the beautiful waterways and wildlife refuges. As I finished each painting, I began to, once again, appreciate Florida and the natural beauty it has to offer: The 4:00 Summer storms and the strong contrast between the bright sun and the looming black clouds. The marshes with tiny wild flowers and towering palms. The breathtaking moment when you witness bioluminescence, whether it is for the first or the one-hundredth time.
Creating this series helped me to appreciate Florida’s beauty again. I may still have a tiff with her lack of seasons, but now I can open my eyes to this tropical landscape with a fresh point of view. Those scenic drives inland to the coast are now just a little more special.