Photos by Paul Fredrickson.
On the one hand, I’ve been an artist all my life. Always the kid who drew and made pictures--I was a U.S. Navy kid, so there has been plenty of fodder for drawing. I was formed living in the tropics, where lush foliage, teeming ocean life, the gorgeous skies over salty beaches got into my blood.
I did not study art as an undergraduate, but studied a lot of other interesting things. Still, art and design pulled me hard, and I eventually went back to school to get my MFA at the University of Michigan Art School (Go Cobalt Blue!).
I lived in the world of exhibit design for a good long time, all the while painting, sketching, and designing spaces and things. But nothing has ever quite grabbed my heart, my brushes, or my stylus, like painting the iconic places, people, and scenes of Key West.
I’ve been getting to know the lower keys since the early 1980s, when my family began spending winters here. It became my mission to live here some day. And several years ago, it happened. I’m now a devoted fresh-water Conch, living aboard an iconic Key West houseboat, in a community of amazing and loving people, and painting the places I’ve adored for decades.
Now, houseboat living is tight quarters, no matter what. So how to make art on a boat? Sometimes I work on a large-format sketchbook, making mixed-media images. The media I use have to be safe for the environment. I’m careful about that. I often work en pleine aire (that is, outside, looking at the place I’m painting).
I’m a devoted fan of David Hockney, and his latest art gave me permission to make pictures using iPad painting programs. So at times I work in that medium too. Painting on the screen is incredibly easy to clean up!
From these images, I take high-resolution scans and send them to a special printer who creates giclée prints on lovely, 100% cotton, archival paper. Click on my store to see what’s available and in what sizes.
I do have a regular job, so my pictures don’t come as fast as I wish they could! But they do keep coming. If you sign up for blog post updates at my blog, I will let you know when new images become available. Or better yet, leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite Key West place--I might be inspired to do a painting of it!