Friday, August 18, 2017



I had the pleasure of taking painting lessons from Johnny Daniels in Fort Pierce, Florida. Johnny Daniels was one of the original “Highwaymen” of the 1960’s era. 

      Under his instruction, I emulated four of Daniel's paintings that he had in his gallery.

The fourth painting is in a private collection.





     Wide expanses of beach, such as those found on our Treasure Coast, Florida,  are prone to intense lightning strikes, which melt the quartz in the sand into a thin tubular or amoeba-like shapes also called fulgurites. We might call these convoluted structures “glass”.

I tried to capture the overwhelming energy of a lightning strike as well as the shapes that that form into fulgurites. 

Just thought you would like to know!

Lightning Strike can be found within my  Abstract Gallery on    http:/

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


It means "I don't know"
Yes, that is the question.
I am reviewing the time I spend on taking photos and writing my blog compared to the stats of the viewers I have.
Next I need to set some on line art goals:

* Drive traffic to my web site: http:/

*Drive traffic to my DailyPaintWorks.http:/

 * Spend more time painting new art work for those two web sites.

* Increase sales on both web sites.

Now you see my dilemma. The ratio of time spent  reaching my goals to writing a blog is disproportionate. Please don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed sharing my art and personal events with you. I have learned to do something that I knew zip about before I tried it but it is time to hit U Tube and learn new skills, like how to use Pinterest, Facebook Business and Google Plus to reach my sales goals. Oh, and throw in learn how to make and post a video to the internet.

Sooo....for now I will blog off and return when I have met at least some of my goals.
Be well.
Mary Ellen

Friday, August 4, 2017


This one pecked me and drew blood.
Off with her head.
     My son has chickens and more eggs than he knows what to do with. I had forgotten how yellow a yolk is on free range chicken! He purchased a real fixer upper with an acre of land in northern Michigan about four years ago which he has improved with each passing season . We flew up to visit him for his 40th birthday and  to spend time with him.
I enjoyed watching the chickens.
Nice little birds.

The weather was perfect Michigan summer weather for the five days we were there. I love the pine trees, the forests along the roads as we drove out of town for the "good" ice cream. It felt good to just remember what I loved about where we used to live but then I remember the cold dark days of winter that lasted the vast majority of the year. My very favorite season was fall. In my life I have seen some of the most colorful spectacular cool crisp autumns.

Tool shed.


A lobster dinner for a brand new 40 year old.            

Now for the rest of the story; we went up to help Matt with some projects around the house. It did not matter what we did with him, just so we were with him!  I painted one intricate spice rack that he build into his wall, two window frames from dark brown wood to shiny white
( that means a primer coat then the semi gloss around all those straight line edges....jeez) , touch up numerous wall patches including the wall below the spice rack. I darned about 100 socks as we all watched videos at night.

Not too shaby for an old lady and I still had a smile on my face when we left at 3am for the airport. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


     In between my goofing off I do really spend time painting. My two storybooks for my grandkids have taken the lion's share of time but that project is almost complete. Right here and now I will committ to learning how to do a video of me reading one of the I really have to do it!

     Many years ago I traveled to our western states but I did not see the high desert or the Georgia O'Keffe territory that so inspired her art work. I want to see the plateaus, mesas and buttes of the Americam southwest but the nearest I can get at the moment is painting them. I think I have captured a little bit of the arid expansive vistas as they are draped in a sunset across the red rocks.

Please join me on to see this and some of my other of my smaller paintings.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Golden metal threads in my hair

     I think I am having a  r- e- a- l- l- y late mid life crisis! I'm doing fun things that do no harm just for the heck of it. In the last two weeks I have had the Glitter Fairy put metalic golden strands into my newly cut and highlighted hair. The picture above doesn't show it at all, I should have had my husband do a close up of the sparkle. I won't waste my money on a second try but it was fun and a check off of my bucket list.  I got a kick out of the reaction to gold strands in my hair.

     Next I had my blonde eye brows dyed with a follow up of micro-blading the eye brows which is actually just a tatoo. All my life my eye brows and eye lashes have been, " I can't see you blonde" which is not a good look young or old. The price surprised me but I did it anyway.

     I love the results and having one less item in my make up routine each morning is great. No regrets with my new eye brows or with the tatoo I got just before my 60th birthday. I designed a rosebud because that was the nick name I was given as a baby.

     I walked into the tatoo parlor where two funky looking girls asked if they could help me. "Yes, I would like this tatoo put on my shoulder." They were so sweet to me and their punk attitude disappeared. One held up a towel to give me privacy ( just a shoulder showing) and asked if it hurt, I said; "after child birth this was nothing". Somehow it was a liberating experience and after I got my Tat, I took myself out to lunch proud as punch.

And yes, I did get some "What were you thinking?" from family and friends but it just didn't matter. Thirteen years later still no regrets.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Naomi and son.
Fish cleaning bench.

Five years ago my sister-in-law Naomi  moved  to Vero Beach  after her husband died.  It was a difficult time for her to say the least. I was touched by why she chose Vero Beach as her home when she said that I had advised her, "Move where you have family". Little did I know that we became that family. In fact Naomi is the closest thing I have to having a sister and I welcomed the sharing of time and events.

About a year ago Dennis came into her life in whom all of her family approve. Naomi just wanted to run off to some government office to get married and I said no way, you have to have a little fluff!
First she set the date 07/11/17, easy to remember for anniversaries, then the where got bounced around from state to state numerous times but she decided to get married near the water which was the boat dock in our back yard.
I was tickled to even be at the wedding so what can I do to help?

A Great Match!
A little someth'in someth'in.
The same day I found out Naomi and Dennis would be married at my house I became her wedding planner. First call and book the cleaning lady, get my camera out, decorate the dock with white crepe paper, a dozen red roses and prepare finger food for everyone.
 My pleasure to do so.

Naomi's only son John was here to give her away which was the icing on the cake. Oh, she didn't want a cake instead she wanted Caramel Sea Salt cookies and for Dennis Black & White cookies. 

As I told Dennis; "There are two happier people in this world today".

Saturday, July 8, 2017

My Granddaughter is Growing Up

It wasn't that long ago when I was painting nursery rhymes on the walls of my only granddaughter's nursery. It was pure joy to paint Brother Rabbit for our dear Laurel.
She is seven now, tall like her mom and beautiful. She is a sensitive child with a good mind and heart. 
I know, I'm bragging. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017


                                I'm really doing this storybook thing.
      This is just a rough draft of the first pages with the narrative lightly penciled in case I change my mind about something. I plan on squaring off the the lettering and do a different color splatter on each page.

Forgive the copyright infringement, no sales are involved.

I discovered that it is next to impossible to keep the pages clean while you are painting so, at the suggestion of one of my artist friends, I made page covers out of waxed paper. The plastic bags were too small.

This is going to take longer than I expected.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Little Luke
     I always wanted to write a children's book but never got around to it but my time has come. After signing up for the on line class Storybooks and Studious Girls I got inspired. After thinking of subjects that I could write about I thought of the adorable things my two grand kids have done, therein lies my inspiration.

     My first attempt is: Never Put M & M's Up Your Nose. Of course my grandson Luke did just that and his mom caught it with her camera. The on line class had a link to a book binder who makes  hand bound watercolor journals with a gold binding just like the golden books we read as kids. As I watched the how to video I said no way am I doing all that so I bought two blank books and off I go.
They finally arrived so now I really have to write a children's book.

Cover page rough draft

                                                                                                                                                                                      While I was waiting for my blank books I collected photos, did some tracing onto vellum and wrote the script for the story, then it dawned on me; how do I do all that lettering? I shortened the narrative quite a bit and will just do the best printing I can and remember that it doesn't have to be perfects.

     I'm proud of me.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


African Mask
Thought I would confess to some of my weird sojourns during my years of artistic ventures.  As  a volunteer for the Heathcote Botanical Gardens I was asked to donate art work done on coconuts which are so plentiful in Florida.  I collected dried out coconuts and began designing. All of them are sold or donated to good causes and I did not want to be labeled the "Coconut Lady" so I stopped producing them.

My Wilson Football coconut I could have sold four times when I participated at Art in the Park, an outdoor tented art show and one of my favorite one is this cupcake coconut. First you look at the shape of the coconut and then let your imagination go. It was fun but on to more serious art.

Later I will tell you about my Calendar Art....Year of the Bugs.

Oh, an update on my two children's books that I am writing for my grandkids. I have ordered the hand bound books, written the rough draft of the script and have started on the illustrations. I'll give you a sneak peek when I can. All of this came about after watching the on line class: Storybooks & Studious Girls.


Friday, June 9, 2017


I am so impressed with the Jeanne Oliver on line class offerings so when I saw the 50% off sale my eyes lit up. What better thing to do when you are staying home due to illness? Oh, by the way, two doctors and meds later I am feeling so much better. Next week I will be back to my normal self.

In the past I signed on for: Gathering Beauty & Painterly Portraits, now I am lined up for a free business video, free art video, Living Studio, Storybook & Studious Girls and a webinar today at 4:00 pm today. Every time I run creatively dry an art DVD or an on line class perks me right up.

Danielle Donaldson, the creator of Storybook & Studious Girls, was easy to listen to and so uplifting. She made me feel that I too could develop a character illustration and a story line. It looked so easy when she drew her whimsical girls. For many years I have thought about writing a children's book so why not now?  For some reason I may be ready for this new adventure.

Now on to create a character or characters with a story line plus paint watercolor illustrations for the book. How hard can it be?  What could possible go wrong with my past history of fleeting focus;  "Oh, bright and shiny..... on to a new project"? 

How many are betting I will accomplish at least one small book and how many are betting, nice idea but it ain't going to happen?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NOT FAIR.....!

     I have been feeling under the weather so I missed our little talk. I seem to have developed asthma which has taken four long months to figure out. You know the routine; doctor after doctor until you end up at a pulmonologist. At least now my emotional self feels better knowing what it is.

    Oh, I'm not done. For a year my eyes have been allergic to something but who knows what. Many visits to three doctors, many prescription tries and nada. One night I desperately go to You Tube ( my head is hung in shame) for help.

     Did you know that you can use: rosewater, cucumber, potato and home made saline solution on your eyes? I had tried tea bags, cucumber so I thought I would give saline solution a try. After watching 4-5 videos I got the recipe and I already had an eye bath cup. Much to my surprise it helped... oh a little relief from the itching. Just to cover my bases I see an allergist this week.

     Needless to say I have been a little cranky and my art work has suffered. I even stopped painting for a week to see if I was allergic to the paints. My retired scientific mind went into over drive so I researched all my cosmetics, shampoo, no nail polish and on and on. Amazon Prime loves me as I order more and more of "no this or that" products. I even researched the ingredients in tissues and cotton swabs which to my surprise do have added ingredients. I resorted to using some of my husband's white cotton hankies when cleaning my eyes.

 I look/feel tired and old. I don't mind the old part but I do mind losing my sparkle which is attached to my smile.

The sun will come out tomorrow.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

A new class Julie Johnson

     Do you think I have a problem painting faces? I have numerous paintings where I am stuck with the face therefore they are never completed.  I know start with the eyes then work from there but you know me; start with the easy and inspiring.

     I signed up for an on line class with Julie Johnson via the Jeanne Oliver web site. It was recommended by Chris in my Monday painting group and she is usually spot on with her recommendations.
 PAINTERLY PORTRAITS is my new class and it is full of information. I know I am learning because I am taking notes and feel out of my comfort zone. I will listen to the numerous videos once all the way through then I will repeat, experiment then repeat again. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the color mixing but I am trying to simplify so it make sense to my style of learning. 
I took a marker to a palette paper that I could place under a glass plate which had the value scale down the left for reference, neutrals on the far right and mixing of warm and cool from a double primary limited palette. After obtaining the mother pile I made three values of each. Julie added colors so easily to make a color warm or cool, change the value that I got a little bit lost.

Wow, one mean looking lady!

I am learning so much that I think I have given myself a headache.  

My best for this lesson.

Friday, May 19, 2017


My Painting Gal Pals

      Every Monday at 9:30 am  8-10 ladies meet at Rita's condo club house to paint together. These  women are true friends with whom you can share you life happenings without judgement and with confidence. If one of us needs something the others will be there to help. At about 11:30 someone will say; "Where are we going to eat", today? We always go to a local restaurant to have lunch, eat half of it and take the rest home for dinner or a treat if there is a husband at home. 

     We were eating at an Italian place one time when a younger man came up to us to say he enjoyed hearing our conversations but mostly our laughter. The stranger said a group of young professional women were in the week before and each one of them was on their phone or I Pad.  To be with people and ignore their presence by being on a phone would not even cross our minds but it was a kind observation from a stranger.

Another time another stranger said to Meave; "I like your hair", she wears it in a lovely white mohawk! White is the preferred hair color for the group but I am thinking of surprising them with a temporary pink tips dye. Why not? That is the same resason I got a tattoo the day before I turned 60.
........"Let's give them something to talk about".......

     We have lost a few precious members over the years; had to move away to be closer to the kids or passed away but each is remembered in our hearts.  This leads me to the most important lesson I have learned from these gals; you alway (no matter your age) must keep meeting new people and share you life with the ones that are worthy. Guess I thought that when one got old life would be static and unchanging....wrong again!  Accepting the changes makes all the difference in the happiness quotient and camaraderie of friendships can be the life jacket to help one keep on keep'in on.

Friday, May 12, 2017


     To keep myself in shape for painting I go to a Silver Sneakers exercise class twice a week, I am going on my sixth year of being pretty faithful. In the past I have pooped out on all attempts to stick with exercising program but this time I have gotten to know the other students and the teacher. It is hard to walk out in the middle of a class with;" Oh I have a pain" or "I'm tired already", so I stay to the end which pleases me.

   One of my fellow students was telling me how he had painted a few rooms in his condo ( the dear is 86), bought a new used couch from Habitat for Humanity and even got new lamps at Home Depot. After class I said I would like to paint him a picture to add to his redecorating, my gift to him. I could tell he was so tickled at the thought as we discussed how big and the subject matter.

     The next class he said; "I love Great Blue Herons" so that was our subject. I started three different designs of herons and settled on this pose. The other two poses are under this painting.

Stage one.
Great Blue in the Mangroves

I hope Mike likes my loose style of painting and I hope it brightens his day each time he looks at it.

Paint it Forward!

Saturday, May 6, 2017


     It won't take many words to walk you through to the final painting. Wendy had us sketch, paint with watercolor, add colored pencil then top it all off with creamy oil pastels.

     You know how much I love painting flowers and I was definitely outside of my comfort zone with the oil pastels. Discomfort is not a good reason not to try new things so I followed Wendy's lead.
Don't write home about this one.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

GATHERING BEAUTY with Wendy Brightbill

     I needed to refill my artistic well so I signed up for an online workshop with Wendy Brightbill; "Gathering Beauty".  A class helps me to rein in my scattered thought of what to paint or experiment with next. I fear I am one of those that abandons a new style half way through the learning process, I see something bright and shiny so off I go in a new direction.

     First Wendy said to gather photos of my own still life set ups: OK done.

Add caption

Add caption

          Next Wendy covered line, value and color. All are important topics and Wendy did a great job for teaching a beginning artist but I must admit that I did do a little fast forwarding until I came to the subject of color.
I used the black and white plus the color still life from Wendy's class, tracing it onto my watercolor paper. Now I am ready to watch the two color videos.

Points observed: * first set out a palette of warm colors plus black and white to paint a variety of warm colors into the flowers, (I normally use a full but limited color palette) * black and orange give a brown,* Wendy adds gray to "dull"a color . ( new to me)
Next she sets up a separate cool palette of greens and blues, the colors are not from a limited palette which I am used to using.
*vary colors with in an object frequently, * finish off with a silver and white metallic pen, (new to me)* complete the painting with colored pencils and oil pastels for more delicate details, * use a dull color for the background ( new to me).

     It was not the most informative on line class for me but I do like her impressionistic style and her enthusiasm for painting. If I only learn one new thing it is worth my time and I did learn. I will now complete the still life using her method so look for the results next week.