Lunch on Park Ave

18×24, Acrylic on Canvas

I’ve started a series of paintings inspired by Winter Park, FL. Each painting reminds me of different things. The first painting, Hope Renewed, reminds me to have hope. This second painting is of the Briarpatch Restaurant along Park Ave. It reminds me to have perseverance.

I was in the area a few different times and it was always overcast. One day it looked like it was going to storm and a waiter was pulling in the chairs and tables for the day. But finally I was there when the sun was shining and people were enjoying a late lunch in the mild spring weather of Florida. I can compare the shots with direct sun and overcast and the shadows add much interest to the composition.

I tried something different for this one. Usually, If people are in my photographs I don’t paint them. Yet I took a chance and kept most of the people in this painting. (Shoutout to artist Margaret Baker whose paintings inspired me to keep the people.)

The start of the piece went quickly filling in trees, sky, and umbrellas, then it slowed way down with the people. I wanted to keep it simple, yet needed proportions to be believable. I was often zooming in to make sense of what I was seeing.

The Briarpatch will always remind me of the day I became a mother. It was the last meal I had before my daughter was born. A day that was long and trying, and yet knowing we’d soon meet her allowed me to persevere through the minutes and hours of contractions. And in the end, joy, meeting my daughter. The sunny yellow umbrellas reminding me of that day.


Yellow Canna Lilies- Celebration

Acrylic on Canvas


Mild weather, the clouds were dramatic, the water was still. As we walked around Lake Rianhard in Celebration we found these Yellow King Humbert Canna Lilies. The sun was causing the petals to glow.They were so vibrant.

Returning to this area less then a month later it’s a different story. It’s breezy, the wind obscures reflections, the clouds are all but blocking out the sun. A hard freeze came for a few nights. The lilies are gone, a few shriveled brown leaves remain.

I was saddened by the change. It reminds me that sometimes the passage of time feels unkind. Your childhood house belongs to another family or sits neglected. No more gatherings at grandmas as she’s passed away. Moved away from childhood friends, grown up and grown apart.

These Canna Lilies are a bulb plant. The season has ended but give it a few months and a new group will grow up to glow in the sun. New memories can also replace the old. A new home, new holiday gathering tradition, new friends in your stage of life. Not the same, but still good.