Thursday, November 11, 2010

Growing--Cypress Swamp Painting Is Finished

The final version of this painting of a cypress swamp based on photos from our visit to a wildlife preserve in Punta Gorda, Florida may not look dramatically different to you from the "in progress" view in a previous post. However, in "person", the adjustments are quite noticeable. The background was developed more fully, then a wash of greyish blue softened it and pushed it back so that the cypress trunks stood out more. Additional texturing draws attention to the trunk furthest to the right, where the ripples from a critter that briefly surfaced create a subtle center of interest.
Although this 8" x 10" acrylic piece on canvas board started as a study, I have invested a fair amount of effort in its development as it became more interesting to me. I hope that it represents the tranquility and beauty of our precious wetlands for viewers, as it does for me.
Thank you to all of you who continue to check in regularly. It looks as though my postings will continue to be irregular for the next couple of months, but I will post as often as I can.
Question of the day: Why do swamps get such a bad rap in stories and movies, always serving as a setting for sinister activity, when they are actually quite wonderful?


  1. Perhaps because they seem alien to most city dwellers and dry prarie flatlanders. I saw my first cypress swamp this spring I think it was on the Ding Darling refuge near Fort Myer. Fascinating would be an understatement.

  2. Maybe you are right about the alien quality for many, TB--I know that visiting marshes and cypress swamps is relatively new to me as well. The swampy areas in Michigan, where I spent my school years, had few trees and were less picturesque--although they, too, formed the habitat for a fascinating variety of wildlife.

  3. I like the "critter ripples" ! And the reflections came out really well. Great work!

  4. Thank you, Lisa--I appreciate your kind words. Fun to hear that you like the "critter ripples". Hope your creative pursuits are going very well.

  5. I guess I failed to follow directions as my comment from days ago is not here. I guess the possibility is that you hate me and deleted my comment but usually I would expect such a thing was coming becuase of my awarness of the here I will try again.
    I love the ripples the best.
    Beautiful colors. I hope to see the real thing some day.

  6. Hi Mary,

    Some time ago I made a mental note to visit the Mandarin Garden Center after reading about it in your blog. Finally, now mid November, Dawna & I finally got there. The butterflies were gone, of course, but, now we know where it is & we’ll be back. We were delighted to find a tranquil garden setting in the midst of our part of the bustling city. We met an affable club member, Ken Taylor, who escorted us around; all the while three hawks were cavorting overhead.

    Looking through your past blogs, I came across your writings & photos from when you & Mark were in Croatia. I’d just started reading 'Love Thy Neighbor; A Story of War', by Peter Maass, which is about the people, tragedies, & horrors of The Bosnian War. So, it was indeed interesting seeing your excellent photographs. From the photo descriptions I was able to ‘Google Earth’ myself right there. Dawna had visited some of the same sites & I solicited her help sorting it out.

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful posts. Please don’t stop. Hope to see you & Mark around Trends in Jacksonville one of these days.

    Michael Adams

  7. Now Grayquill, you know I would never delete one of your comments--they are always interesting and insightful. Sorry the earlier one did not come through, and thank you very much for coming back and commenting again. I hope you can come on down and see the real thing one of these days.

    Mike, it is super to hear from you! We enjoyed meeting you and your wife and seeing your lovely paintings at your show at Trends. Loved hearing about your visit to the Mandarin Garden Center; it is a special place. The book you are reading sounds fascinating, although the account of that war is horrifying. We were honored to meet the resilient people in the former Yugoslavia and to see and hear about their lands and cultures. BTW, if you are interested, there are earlier posts from Eastern Europe--just type "Eastern Europe" or "travel" in the search box, above left, to see them. Your encouragement means a lot to me--sometimes writing blog posts feels like hard work, but the feedback and conversation with good people makes it worthwhile.