JOURNAL Landscape Painting and Photography

April 21,2013 notes  This is after I passed in my final paper to Dr. Din at Univ. of Alaska for my final grade. This documentary touched on everything I had done the past four months in my study of Landscape art in Florida.
"Florida Corridor Expedition" - not the exact title but I'm typing as fast as I can while watching this documentary for the second time.
Tricia Martin, Disney Conservancy    Need to contact

Watching a documentary that began in the Florida Bay and up through the Everglades, visiting CLyde butcher
central florida corrider
landscapes, watersheds, habitats for panthers, black bear, others
We are the stewards; we need to educate the public; appreciating the natural beauty that we have here.
1000 miles   100 days
concerned about animals crossing high spped highways and animal killl: need for wildlife crossingsvery well marked with wooden boardwalks as well as paths.  This is the REAL FLorida

Ocala State forest -  visit!!! National Forest, public land.  Florida trail 

Diversity of birds is internationally known.
Get out and walk in these woods.
Margery Rawlins, Cross Creek, book.

Kayaking on the suawanee river - trees great.  Tannic waters bordered by white sand. Typelo trees, over the   river.
Okeefenokee National wildlife Refuge.   Ends in Georgia.

April 6, 2013  Saturday (this announcement appears out of order as it is the latest activity.)
Starting two new paintings!
Just got some new paints - and new brushes and a new palette knife.
Have also made plans to join an artist friend of mine who also paints. She is in Rhode Island and has been a friend for many years. She encourages me to keep on going!! Good friend to have!

These paintings are completely an opposite approach to what I have done in the past. Typically I would paint large - at least 30x 40. I am an abstract expressionist and this present style of painting (Florida Highwaymen) that  I am attempting, is very much against how I was formally trained in art. My major was painting until I changed it to art education with a minor in painting.

So here I am painting in a folk art manner which is a technique developed by artists who have had NO formal training. Kind of like Grandma Moses stuff.

It's all a challenge for me. I am a traditionalist from the get-go. Time for change...

My paintings are coming along, and my kitchen table becomes a studio duirng the times I want to paint. Fortunately I can eat dinner on the patio. The weather is super right now.  I also paint outside on the little patio when it's nice out. Right now in Florida it is NICE. Give it a couple of weeks and it will be unbearable to be outside in the heat and the humidity. Fortunately I love it.

Soon I will be writing my reflection paper and there is so much I want to put in it. It reminds me of lesson plans when I plan SO much and hope to get it all done and never do. I honestly think that is a GOOD lesson plan. Always have more!  I know the reflection paper is limited so I will have to hone my writing and editing skills too.  This semester just flew by.

March 17, 2013
Link to latest journal entry at Gallery Hopping:

March 17, 2013
Latest press release from Tallahassee about James Gibson, the Florida Highwaymen Artist

Another interesting artist I may want to explore:
Her name is Susan Klein and she has been painting landscape art not just in Florida but other locations as well. I like her style and visual vocabulary as she calls it. She is a prominent artist and has won numerous awards, been in a number of galleries and collections.

This journal begins at this point in January 2013 and will end with a summative reflective paper in April. The most recent entry for journalling will be at the end. I will also put the most recent entry on the page titled GALLERY HOPPING. Just click on the link!

Ongoing journal of activities for FLORIDA LANDSCAPE
1.      BIBLIOGRAPHY  ongoing

January 2013
Sign up for independent course – U. of Alaska Anchorage, Dr. Din, Art Education, Instructor of Record
Study black and white photog.
Start bibliography for reflection paper.    Use APA format


Butcher, Clyde. (2002) Visions for the next Millenium: Wilderness photography  Focus on Preservation. Ochopee, FL: Big Cypress Gallery.
Garrett , J. (2003). The Art of Black and White Photography.New York, NY: Sterling Publishing.    
Schaeffer, John. (1999). The Ansel Adams Guide: Book 1, Basic Techniques of Photography. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company
Frye, Michael. (2010) Digital Landscape Photography.Waltham, MA: Focal Press.
Kelby, Scott. (2011) The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers. San Francisco, CA. New Riders/Peachpit Press.


tutorial using Photoshop, Lightroom, HDR photos,  converting color images into black and white.


You should strive to remember the visualization – what you saw and felt – at the moment of making the exposure.  Ansel Adams. (The Ansel Adams Guide, Book 1)

Books to research:
Extraordinary Interpretations: Florida's Self-Taught Artists

Gary Monroe, Daytona College, Visual arts
Mallory O’Connor

Life in South Beach by Gary Monroe (1988)

Miami Beach by Gary Monroe, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Andy Sweet (Jan 1989)

The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black's Concrete Dreams by Gary Monroe (Apr 26, 2009)

Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman by Gary Monroe (May 27, 2007)


Journal of florida studies
An interdisciplinary journal of the idea and place that is Florida
Journal of Florida Studies is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study and appreciation of Florida. The journal features research articles, but also includes poetry, fiction, photography, and other digital arts. JFS is an outgrowth of the Center for Interdisciplinary Writing and Research (CIWR) at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Journal of Florida Studies is not an official publication of Daytona State College. The views expressed herein are the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of DSC or CIWR.
In the journal:  Environmental writing

Internet readings:

Podcasts :
               Excellent. take vertical shots ; look for texture ; composition is THE thing to go for;   VERSACE -  get book, watch podcasts.
-        Clyde Butcher’s daughter; received permission to use any of clyde’s photos and info in my study.

Good resource for tree and landscape photography techniques

January 12
Went out took photos at Disney to try out some new stuff.

JAN. 14, 2013

Today’s objective:
Learn the Conversion techniques for b&w digital:
Channel Mixer (and try a H/S layer along with it)
Photoshop   Hue and Saturation/ Desaturate
Get Plug in Silver Effects Pro (may have to purchase)
Set directly in camera with saturation to -100 and altering other settings under adjust tab
Looked up an online YOUTUBE with Clyde Butcher showing an appearance at Sarasota, Ringling Museum -
Email to Clyde Butcher/Jackie, daughter   Jan. 14, 2013
                Thank you for sharing the TED clip about Clyde Butcher and how he came to being a photographer of the Everglades. I am presently designing and doing an independent study course through Univ. of Alaska Anchorage:
Proposed Study of Landscape Painters and Photographers in the Southeast US
 Independent study in  art, photography, science, geography
University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Spring semester, 2013. Online independent study.  3 credits.
Dr. Herminia Din, Instructor of Record

Time frame:   January 7, 2013   to    May 1, 2013  

I will be asking for permission from you and your Dad to use information such as the TED clip in my course of study. Is this the email I should use? I am very excited about this whole project and will be including what I am learning about environmental photography in black and white as part of my final project. I don't have the great equipment such as a large format camera, but my little Nikon DSLR will have to do for now. I am learning a lot just by looking at Clyde's photos and hearing him talk about his art. I also hope to visit the Everglades.

I am also working on a website to help document my progress here and again, I may be asking for permission to use photos and quotes.

The Florida Highwaymen were also instrumental in recording the beauty of our state and I felt that using them too would be a great contrast in artistic studies. I will be taking a workshop with Mr. J. Gibson, one of the surviving painters of that group in March.

My final project will be 10 selected black and white photos plus 2 paintings, all of Florida's beautiful environment.
Dolores A. Russo


Jan 15   Searching for info about physical geog. Of Florida. –

The Everglades and other essays relating to southern ... . Gifford, John C. (John Clayton), 1870-1949.
Description of Southern Florida, the Keys, the Everglades as they were in the early 1900’s!
Hammock- scrub trees – possible climax forest
Soil: limestone and sandstone –
Trees: mangroves

good resource for an overview of Florida Geography: physical, human, plants, animals
good descriptions of physical geog. Of the keys and how it came to be.
Areas under control of the National Park Service include:[39]
Areas under the control of the USDA United States Forest Service include:


January 20, 2013
Explored local places to photograph: the beginning of the Everglades headlands: Shingle Creek Management Area, Hunter’s Creek area. Took a few photos of Shingle Creek.
This is the beginning of the Everglades as we know it. The Everglades actually originate or is a tributary of the St. John’s River in the northern part of Florida.
Evaluating this particular place for photos of florida landscape. Took a few shots today but did not want to venture out into the woods alone.

Researched the Everglades online. 
This link describes the geography and land use within the atershed, historical and current.
Florida schools curriculum and lesson plans for watersheds

geography  and land use of the Shingle Creek watershed area

               Description of the Shing Creek Watershed area: history and present state

President Obama recently included Shingle Creek on America’s Great Outdoors list and it was named as the
Shingle Creek National Wildlife Refuge, which will be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
               excellent description of the shingle creek “stream” that begins the journey of tea colored water to the Everglades themselves.  Non profit organization that educates the public on history and nature of the land we called Florida.
January 22, 2013  Tuesday
Morning photoshoot at Lake Toho – part of the Everglades system. Sun was just breaking through the clouds and it was a cool morning but I did make it before the sun rose above the horizon! The lake is currently being dredged for plants that have taken over and threaten the ecology of the lakeside itself. This lake has rivers that continue south towards the Everglades. Lake Toho is considered the headlands of this system.
Will be downloading photos and working on them today.
There is a space here between the last time I wrote and today because I have been very ill. However, I am back on track, feeling terrific and can now continue pursuing my goal for “Landscape Art: Florida.”

February 23, 2013         Saturday    Attended Florida Highwaymen exhibit at Bloomingdales’ sponsored by Downtown Arts District, Orlando, FL.   The press announcement:
On Saturday, February 23, 2013, the Downtown Arts District will present a unique collection of art pieces by The Original Florida Highwaymen at Bloomingdale's Orlando, Level 2.
Come enjoy shopping from 2-7pm, and a special meet & greet with 5 original members of The Florida Highwaymen Group at 5pm, with a champagne toast.

Bloomingdale's Orlando is pleased to donate 10% of the event's tracked sales back to the Florida Highwaymen Foundation, to help continue to fund the outreach efforts and education for their exhibits.

February 23, 2013
I have made my reservations to stay in Tallahassee for the Florida Highwaymen Landscape painting class. On March 14-16. It’s a long ride, but looking forward to being in Tallahassee for a few days.
Hoping to meet Mr. Gibson at today’s exhibit  sponsored by Downtown Arts District where I have exhibited also.

February 23, 2013
Sometimes you just don’t know where certain roads are going to lead you.  After finding the exhibit that was going on at Bloomingdale’s of the Florida Highwaymen/woman.  I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting the only woman artist in the group. Of all the artists – 26 total, she is the one I wanted to meet. She was just delightful:  Pastor MaryAnn Carroll, very friendly and willing to talk about her art. She missed having collard greens, southern fried chicken – and as much as I tried, I couldn’t find any soul food restaurants to get some for her. The young ladies from Bloomie’s who put together this exhibit did not consider Pastor Carroll’s  dietary needs. She is a vivacious lady in her 70’s having raised seven children on her own with her paintings. I’m sure she will tell James Gibson that I will be in his class in a couple of weeks. My adventures never cease to amaze me…

NEXT GOAL: THE EVERGLADES!   Click and it will take you to another site for an Everglades adventure. I hope to make it before the end of this course, health holding out hopefully!



Advice from Clyde Butcher: 

He likes you to experience the landscape that he is photographing.

Influenced by Ansel Adams and to use a large format camera.

Looking at the light: morning has good light.  Will wait for as long as it takes to get the good lighting for his photos.

Light and reflections important

Knowledge of weather -  great weather to CB is tornadoes, big clouds, storms

 Photograph that which you are interested in.  Follow what you love. don't follow what someone else does. Follow your heart.

March 1, 2013

Just finished a booklet about "Beanie" Backus, the Florida artist who is known for his landscape paintings. He is the artist who influenced the Florida Highwaymen/Woman to continue their paintings. It's important to know the social climate that prevailed in the 50's and 60's. Although some progress was made on paper, the segregation concepts were still quite prevalent. Equal did not mean "same."  It looked good in writing but it was not reality here in Florida at that time. The group were determined to do their paintings and drawings despite the hardships.

The FH/W artists were not allowed to participate in galleries or even show their paintings in the St. Lucie area where the prominent  "Beanie" painted, lived and taught. He felt that it would harm his business if the FH/W artists competed with him. So they were relegated to selling their paintings from their cars, outside the city limits of St. Lucie. along the highways and to those businesses that were there. The group sold many of their paintings amazingly, fighting all odds at a time that they had to get themselves out there and be seen. It was not an easy time. However it is estimated that the group itself collectively painted over 200,000 paintings.  Although Backus claimed that these paintings were done solely for money, looking at the beautiful landscapes captured by these self taught artists shows a group that wanted to use their talents and gifts as artists first. But they all had families and of course selling paintings became paramount to their economic survival.

Backus allowed the FH/W artists to watch him paint. He never gave them instructions. But the FH/W artists, being very observant, learned a lot just by watching the academically New York Parsons School trained Mr. Backus as he did his paintings. They used the same colors, the same subjects as he did. They watched how he used his brushes and palette knife. They were avid learners. Backus had become famous in his own right, establishing the "Backus School" that reflected the style and paintings of the Hudson River School.  He admired Monet and used Impressionist techniques with the study of light.

The group used their memories to paint scenes of Florida as they knew it. These were people who were close to the earth, who knew the land, who knew the flora and fauna of southeast Florida. They were born here, they lived here, they worked here. But they didn't want to spend their lives picking oranges and beans and so they struck out and did what their passions told them to do - their art, drawing and painting. I am amazed at how much they accomplished. I asked Maryann Carroll, the only woman artist in the group how she did her paintings - how did she manage to go out and paint "plein aire" - and she replied that she did it all from memory. Amazing.

Gary Monroe, professor at Daytona State College, has researched and written a book about this incredible group of painters. He is one of the instrumental people to have brought the FH/W group to recognition by the art world and by the public in the 1990's. I will be contacting him shortly to discuss the landscape art studies I am pursuing here. Because there is so little published I am finding it difficult to get my information as secondary research and will be doing more of primary research, which I prefer,  to add to my studies. This is getting more and more interesting...and I get to travel too!


So yesterday I went to my local library, the Kissimmee Hart Library. I hadn't realized how long it had been since I actually took out a REAL book. Technology seems to have sucked up our "old" ways of finding knowledge in the printed page. I find that sad. Libraries are my favorite places since I was a child.  But even sadder was that I was not even in the system anymore with a library card!

So I am now re-instated as a library patron and off I went to find some books on the Florida Highwaymen and books by Gary Monroe. He has written two. I really want to meet this guy and talk to him. It's on the agenda. This course is not going to be long enough for me to do all the things I want to include in my studies! It's a big state to travel from one end to the other -  11-12 hrs. driving if you do it all at once.

Not only am I finding out about life in Florida in the 50's and 60.s but also learning the history of the state I have become a resident of for the past 20 yrs.
PLEIN AIRE PAINTING -right here in Florida!

Lots to do today as well - I will be participating in a "plein aire" painting session with a group of artists in Orlando at Lake Eola tomorrow afternoon. I have never painted with an audience, except when I was teaching and even then I was very self conscious about it. I am confident of my skills, having been a painting major anyway, but to have critics watching your every move...

I have 3 small stretched linen canvases, 12x12 inches ea. They are already primed and ready to go. I will  paint in acrylics as that is what I have right now. It's safer to travel with as well. I wanted to do oils (like a purist! - and what I was trained with)  but they take forever to dry and I don't relish having wet paintings in my new car. I am going to try to paint the way Backus did -  using thin ultramarine wash as my base and then sketching with a darker more intense ultramarine. I will also use this same blue as my underpainting, establishing darks and lights. Then I will paint alla prima, using palette knife and brushes.  The area we are painting in is a public park with a lake and fountain. This is all so new to me as a painter as I am an abstract expressionist - painting realistically will be a challenge. But a good one.


More about the week that just passed:
I had committed to teaching a Beginner Photoshop class to lifelong learners at Stetson Univ. for three weeks. My class consisted of people who are my age but technologically challenged. It was quite the project for me to teach my peers in this respect. My background in computers goes way back (my ex was an IBM-er). However, the class was good, and I hope that my students are excited about doing digital darkroom procedures now. It was however, a bit stressful to say the least (doctor visits, meds, bed rest and NO activities for a week) and for this reason I am re-thinking any other teaching in the near future.  That is just today's thought. It might change tomorrow....:)

More about Bean Backus:

My own Observations:
Low horizon line enables a large expanse of sky. Foreground dark, indicative of landscapes and art training by European school of thought. Skies show types of clouds and weather.  Composition according to the "golden mean" which is an asymmetrical design technique.
Colors are earthy greens and blues with some brown.

A Bachus sketch would have been small with indicators along the edges much like a sign painter would do to work on a larger finished product. It's a grid method used by many artists. 

The ground on the substrate - sometimes canvas, sometimes board, would have been done with ultramarine blue wash. Sketching would be with a round (type of brush that is actually round at the tip as opposed to a flat which is cut straight across the tip) and also in ultramarine. The painting would be built up from there using brushwork and palette knife with a medium impasto.
Backus in his art studio in St Lucie, FL



The title is misleading. Actually the plan was to paint outdoors at Lake Eola, smack in the middle of Orlando. Good plan. When I got there it was just myself and one other person. It was supposed to be a big group. It was also cold and windy. Now I know that is all relative to where YOU are. But to Floridians, anything below 60 is cold. Couple it with a strong wind of 20mph across the lake and you have a very unpleasant experience. Granted, my northern friends from New England said to "tough it out" because I am after all from New England - It didn't work. I ended up at Panera's having soup. Then I went out and took a few photos. Even too cold for that. But I attempted it  anyway.

 The skyline with a cloudy sky. No sun means cooler weather too.

 This is Orlando's famous fountain in lake Eola. Very pretty and shoots water high into the air. Today it was very low because of the wind factor.
 The flags were straight out with wind but when I snapped this shot they totally went limp.

 This is a park that is crowded on Saturday. You can see that it is almost deserted. People had heavy jackets on too.

 Yes that is a swan boat, just like they have in Boston. And those are TOURISTS in the swan boat being pushed by the wind across the lake.

A lovely little pagoda where we were going to set up camp for our Plein Aire painting afternoon.

The most I accomplished was meeting a new friend, Regina, and being at lake Eola on a Saturday which is something I hardly ever do.
Just to make it worth my while, going to Orlando that is, as it is a good 20 mi. from my house, I went to the art store - Sam Flax and looked at supplies. Bought a few.

Ended up at the Mall which was another bad decision. The Mall on Saturday afternoon is horrendous. Then it was home -  more aggravation with traffic out to ying yang.

I know this is a journal to document my activities for this course but I have to vent right now. I am home and thankfully I have resources to paint from and have just started my first painting. It's not Plein Aire, but it is as close as I'm going to get today!
The weather has finally become bearable. Today - 73 degrees and sunny. Nice.

Picked up  a book I had reserved at the llbrary last week - The Florida Highwaymen by Gary Monroe.  Leaving the library I headed out to lunch and to plan what to do next in this booming town of Kissimmee. It's a town that is trying to come alive but still a small southern town. After lunch I went for a walk along Main St. and explored Gallery One which is a local artist's gallery. From there I went to an antiques store and found some paintings that looked like Highwaymen style. Come to find out the artist did study with A.E. Backus "Beanie" and still does paintings in that style. The store owners said that his paintings sell quite well. I asked if I could photograph them to include in my study but a phone call to the artist from the antique store owner did not net an answer yet.

My next stop was at the other gallery on Main St. Here in the window were two paintings by Henry Black, an original Highwayman. The rest of the gallery contained a mix of local and amateur style paintings. The owner of the gallery was fun to talk to and quite knowledgeable about art and artists. When I told him what I was doing with the information about the Highwaymen and what I had tried to accomplish last Saturday at the Plein Aire outing at Lake Eola, he said I should not stop painting and to bring in some of my stuff when I'm done. Perhaps.  It was a delightful afternoon and a great day to be out and about.

A few acrylics used in the last painting. it looks rather clean for an artist's paint bin, but trust me, it isn't that neat all the time. This is a new box for storage.

 Books about the Florida Highwaymen:

 Well researched books by Gary Monroe, visual artist at Daytona Beach College. He has been a forerunner in getting the artwork and the information about the Highwaymen in the news and recognized as artists.
Harold Newton: the Original Highwayman
The Highwaymen: Florida's African American Landscape Painters

The Backus School, published by the Martin County Council for the Arts

Other interesting books I have read for background - Gladesmen by Glen Simmons and Laura Ogden, as told by Glen Simmons who actually lived in the Everglades in the 1920's as a gator hunter when Florida was still considered the last Frontier. The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist and advocate for women's rights, racial justice and conservation of nature. An historical background of the state of Florida has been very helpful to understand what the social and economic pressures were in the 1950's when the Highwaymen were painiting and selling their art along the highways.
march 9, 2013
Bought a new book about the Florida Highwaymen! The library didn't have this one yet. it seems to bbe more comprehensive that the others that I've read. But each one has contributed more and more information to complete the picture of this group of Florida Landscape Artists.

March 11, 2013  - another area of the Everglades Headwaters.

A visit to the Shingle Creek Park area this morning after my visit to the dentist.These little parks are supported by the state of Florida and a number of state related environmental agencies.

The lights and darks in this photo makes it a contender for the GALLERY 10.

Copyrighted!   This photo is the basis of some paintings that I will be doing with James Gibson, one of the Florida Highwaymen who is conducting a workshop this week.
March 13, 2013
It has come to my attention that I have not put my actual proposal for this course in my website. 
Here it is...


Proposed Study of Landscape Painters and Photographers in the Southeast US

Independent study in  art, photography, science, geography
University of Alaska, Anchorage. Spring semester, 2013. Online independent study.  3 credits.
Time frame:   January 7, 2013   to    April 26, 2013
Many residents/students who have moved to Florida from other locales, particularly from  cities with large museums, are not aware of the art that exists here and reflects the culture and history of Florida through artistic media.
Clyde Butcher, Florida photographer, creates photos of the Everglades in the manner of Ansel Adams. The Florida Highwaymen who painted plein aire in the 1950’s and Butcher’s photographs, are two of the most prominent artists/styles recording Florida landscapes. Studying and using their techniques, I hope to understand and use this learning in History of Art and Art classes that I teach.
Use my knowledge and skills of photography and art/painting to demonstrate and understand the art of Southeastern USA,  Florida.


  1. Show through landscape/seascape photography and paintings, an artist’s view of Florida.
  2. Understand who the Florida Highwaymen and Clyde Butcher are through exhibits and/or workshops and their influence on Florida art.
  3. Photograph landscapes in Florida and select 10 to upload and  exhibit on website (I typically shoot anywhere from 50-100 photos on any photoshoot).
  4. Observe  the ecology of Florida and use this information to caption related photos.
  5. Design and execute a landscape painting{s} of a Florida habitat in Florida Highwaymen style.
  6. Submit a reflective paper on what and how I created and followed through with this course.


Upload  10 selected and captioned photos and my paintings or artwork in an internet/blog format that will demonstrate the unique landscape of Florida.
Design a website as a venue for a portfolio for the photos and paintings created.

Possible Resources:

Orlando Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art
Clyde Butcher Museum, Everglades
Florida Highwaymen, Mr. Gibson, painting workshop in Tallahassee, March 14-15.
Research in other museums around the state: Tampa, Tallahassee, Gainesville, St. Augustine, Miami, Naple, Jacksonville, Personal collection Clyde Butcher, Sarasota Museum of Art, Florida State Parks, Museum of Science, Orlando.

Timeline: 3 CREDITS

15  hours:   photoshoots (see listing below) – includes travel and post processing time in Photoshop, website design.
10 hours:  Florida Highwaymen hands on Workshop   1 painting
5 hours: Reflection paper, website design, processing photos for internet, uploading
Final:  10+ FINAL photos reflecting Clyde Butcher and other FLorida photographers, uploaded to website which I will design specifically for this course. One photo of painting created at workshop.­­ Alternate: All the above in a Powerpoint presentation.
Photo locations and approximate time distance from prime location/Kissimmee, in Florida:
Lake Tohopekaliga and Disney Nature Preserve,  Kissimmee, 45 mins – 1 hr
Lake Louise,   45 mins
West/East Coast Florida (many to choose from, not sure which ones I’ll go to), 1.5 hrs+
New Smyrna Beach,  1.5 hrs
Port Charlotte.  2.5 hrs
Sarastota,  2 hrs
Venice,  2 hrs
Tallahassee, 5 hrs
Cedar Key, 2.5 hrs
Suawannee,  2.5 hrs
Desoto State Park,  2 hrs
Weedon State Park, 1.5 hrs
Naples, 6 hrs.
Everglades State Park   7 hrs
Key West    8 hrs

Painting Workshop with James Gibson    See next pages as sent to me via email from Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

MARCH 14, 2013: Meet and Greet with the Artist
MARCH 15-16, 2013: Painting Workshop

Artist James Gibson
Brokaw McDougall House
329 North Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Hosted by:
Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc. and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs
Painting Workshop
March 15-16, 2013
10:00 am – 3:00 pm (both days)This exceptional opportunity will allow attendees to learn painting techniques from Florida artist James Gibson. Mr. Gibson is one of the celebrated Florida Highwaymen and is a fourth generation Floridian. His vibrantly colored works depict the natural beauty of Florida’s landscapes in luscious detail. Mr. Gibson has created a flourishing artistic career, and he continues to be a leader in giving back through service, education and sharing his story to inspire the next generation of artists.
This workshop will offer an informal, rare, and intimate opportunity to learn from and paint with a Florida treasure.
For more information on James and his work visit:
Cost: $60 per person. Fee includes materials and canvas.
Space is limited to 12 attendees.
To register for the workshop please visit:
To pay, please use Paypal at this link.
Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first-served basis. You must complete the registration form AND pay the workshop fee with paypal in order to be eligible to attend.
Meet & Greet with the Artist
March 14, 5:00 pm
We invite the public to visit the historic Brokaw McDougall House to meet artist James Gibson and view recent pieces of his work. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information on both events, please visit, or call 850.245.6470.
This event is made possible through generous support from Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc.
Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc. is an organization created to partner with and enhance the efforts of the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, while helping to sustain and foster recognition of the arts in Florida.
This information was shared by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

Mr. James Gibson, Florida Highwayman Artist, instructor for our workshop on Mar. 15, 16, 2013. The class was painting in oils using the techniques of the Highwaymen which is essentially an alla prima approach. Colors were mixed but most were used directly from the tube. The use of palette knife as a painting tool was very common in this technique.

April 9, 2013
Wow, time has flown. I don't want this course to end. I'm having so much fun!
Had the opportunity to go to Rollins College Art Museum and see some American landscape paintings by Bierstadt, Chase, Hassam. These are from the museum's collection and a special exhibit. Bierstadt had painted the West from sketches and photos he had done while out there after being asked to do this by Congress so they could see what the West looked like. He portrayed it as a very majestic and peaceful place, unlike the "images" that the East coast legislators had about wild Indians and a treacherous land.

Because of his oversized paintings and peaceful feel about the environment,  Albert Bierstadt convinced Congress to save these beautiful areas by designating them as National Parks. Ansel Adams, one of our most famous photographers in my present study, did the same with his photography by showing the beauty of Alaska and Denali, which today is also a National Park thanks to him. Clyde Butcher is essentially doing the same thing with the Everglades and his magnificent photos.The Everglades is already a National Park but Butcher's photos are emphasizing the fact that we need to keep this environment and not destroy it for those who think only of the dollar.

It is through our art that we convey our aesthetic persona about our environment and how important it is to not to destroy or  pave over it with asphalt, abolishing  habitats and growing things. This is my connection to my art and my philosophy- both in photography and painting/drawing.


April 15, 2013
Here is something from one of my other websites that I just happened to come across this morning. It was from my trip to Switzerland about a year and a half ago. I took many photos and you can see them here at this link if you so desire
But here is an excerpt from that blog that summarizes rather nicely how I feel about photography and my use of photoshop as well:

So what are Photoshop Eyes?

As a photographer you are seeing the world through the lens of your camera. Whatever you see, or photograph, you are sharing with the world that ONE moment in time that can never be recaptured. It’s an amazing thing actually.

So when you are looking at my photos, you are seeing what I saw, exactly. There may be some corrections (color, white balance, horizon straightening, exposure correction) but you will seldom see change in the photo itself. I stay true to what I am photographing. It is what is in Photoshop to work with that helps to make my photo better, more aesthetic, and more pleasing to the viewer. I do not add things nor move things around. I try to keep to journalistic best practices.

Photos hold different meanings for different people. For instance, when you see the shot of the fork in the lake, your idea of what it is and why it’s there, is a lot different than my idea of photographing it. It’s called interpretation, based on your experiences. 

A Fork in the Lake – for me that is a connection to understanding that we are dependent on the land and the water for our sustenance. Think about it. It's not rocket science...
October, 2011      Lake Geneva or Lac Leman in French.


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