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     Sorry for the delay..I had a sudden realization that my deadline for one of the art shows was just 7 days away and I hadn't even started my painting!  Ouch!!  And this one was to be a large painting too.
Well,  lo and behold, I got it done!!  Yea!

     To recap,  this show is the FLORIDA FOREVER Flora and Fauna Show at the St. Augustine Art Association.  There is a limit of two paintings.  My husband and I had noticed that the larger paintings usually won the prizes so he suggested I go big.  Thanks, dear,  I love you too!  Haha.  Well,
I had a large 24 x 30 canvas sitting around and also a frame that size.  Great!  Now for the subject.  I had noticed over the last couple years that flora or flowers will win over animals or fauna.  I wanted to do a close-up of a flower, but no time.  So, I decided to go snap some pics of the San Sebastian River here close to my home.  It has all the elements i was looking for.  Water, trees, cordgrass in water and last but not least, nesting birds!  Cool!  All I had to do was drive out to the SR 16 bridge, park and snap away.  Lots of white Ibis nesting.  Beautiful!

     I looked up some reference materials also on colors of the grass for interest and some water reflections to give sparkle to the water.  I was originally going for the south view with the college spires in the background, but as it turned out, the north view was much more interesting.

     I took out a 12 x 12 canvas and laid out the picture in paint.  Liked it, and went for it.   But it wasn't actually THAT easy as it turns out.  I originally had large cumulus clouds in the background and of course my value system in place, lighter and bluer in back, getting bolder and darker as you move forward, etc.  I was cooking (painting) right along thinking, this is great, I might finish today!
Hold your horses, buster!  It looked good but not good enough.  Then I took a break for a little while came back.. something just didn't look right.  I tried, but couldn't figure out what it was.  Below I have the reference photo, btw. After that is the first shot of the painting.



At this point it looks good.  I liked everything about it.  So I kept going..










     Oops,  I deleted the painting with mistakes.  Sorry.  Just suffice it to say that the area in the left front at the bottom had very tall grass 2/3 of the way across the painting.  As others pointed out, it blocked entrance into the painting.  SO I removed the grass altogether, which was a good thing because I had the water dark from reflections of the island and trees
     When all else fails, I post the painting to an artist's website.  I asked for help.  I got lots of replies. First, I had tall grasses in the very front. They blocked entrance into the painting, DUH! I had two islands of trees, both too long and straight.  Also, everyone said the clouds were too in your face.  So I changed them too!  It was all good advice.  The painting looked much better afterward.  I added more water within the grass too.  Below is the "after all changes" picture.




     Tuesday morning I will take the painting to my art class.  We are having an open "Critic" class. We can bring in any painting we are working on for the others to critic and make suggestions.  I am hoping for the teacher's input and suggestions.  She has her own gallery and is a VERY GOOD ARTIST!   She is also very nice and very helpful!  All the qualities we want in a teacher, right?
Anyway,  the timing is perfect.  the painting has to be submitted to the art association by Wednesday afternoon, giving me just enough time to do any corrections needed.  BTW,  these birds really do nest the way you see in the painting.  FYI.   Thanks for looking!


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IT'S HERE!  THE BIG ART SALE!!

 PLEASE LOOK THROUGH ALL OF THESE AND CHOOSE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE!
Sale prices will be in effect until all these paintings are gone!

        I will accept cash..or a credit card.  If local, pick or or delivery has no shipping charge.  Shipping for 11x14  or smaller should be no more than $8-$15 (USPS priority) depending on where you live. Larger paintings will be more.  I recently shipped an 18 x 24 painting and the shipping (UPS ground) charge was very reasonable ($35) REST ASSURED I WILL SEND THE CHEAPEST ( while still safe) WAY POSSIBLE!

   TO PURCHASE:  TEXT - 904-710-6721 = OR EMAIL : dodsondara@gmail.com


                                   THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL PAINTINGS!





















DESIGNING A SERIES

     So I wanted to come up with a new series that I thought would be popular.  I decided they needed to be large and showy, but not too complicated.  Since we live in a tropical area, I came up with the idea of "Looking Up", literally!

     I took some pictures of palm trees from below and began painting them in a simplified form on canvas that is 36 x 48 ( huge!)  I love it!  I only have one done so far, but I know that they will be popular judging from comments I have received on social media.  Of course I have photos below of the first ones for you to see.

     I am not the first person to try this, but mine are different from other artists.  Mine are just a little bit more realistic, yet still fantastic and fun.  Larger than life, so to speak in a painting.  I focused in on the area at the top of the trunk where the palm fronds branch out making the structure very strong and making it easy to see …
I have just been given the opportunity to display my paintings in Jacksonville, Fl at the most upscale Antique Mall/Interior Design Center in North Florida.  Needless to say, I am thrilled!  I was given a wall on the main aisle to showcase my art.  They were particularly interested in large pieces of art and I was happy to comply.  It works well for me as my small pieces are in demand here in St. Augustine since tourists prefer something that will fit into their luggage.  But for art shows larger pieces are in order.  So this new venue is a great way for me to show and sell them after the art shows!

     I forgot my camera when the art was hung, so I will have to return to get the display on film for the blog.  Hopefully next week I can show it to you.

     I painted another large painting the other day.  I got the bug to start painting later in the evening and ended up going to bed at 4 am!  You ever do that?  Probably most artists do that from time to time.  I was on a roll, …