How One Beach Trip Inspired an Entire Collection

We've always been "beach people". 

When you grow up just hours away from the white sandy beaches of the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast, “going to the beach” is a regular part of your summers.  

I remember taking vacations to the Gulf Shores, AL with my family as a kid. I'd watch the birds nose dive down into the water, gather all the broken shells I could find, and much to my parents' delight, my brother and I would wear ourselves out in the waves. 

And now, as a father, I enjoy the beach in a completely different way. 

Where I still see designs in the shells and love watching the birds, I enjoy watching my 3 girls discover and experience the beach infinitely more. 

When I was asked to participate in a multi-artist fall collection at the Gail Keenan Art Center in Long Beach, MS, I could not say "YES" fast enough! My wife, Lily, and I had recently taken the girls on a quick trip, and I was bursting with inspiration. 


This trip was a little different. This time we didn't go to Gulf Shores, AL or Destin, FL. 

We went to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

A place much less commercialized with no white sand beaches.

There, you won't find wooden chairs and blue umbrellas or multi-story condominiums lining the beach drive. 

It's much more rough around the edges. 

More natural.  

Less developed.

More wild. 

It was a different beach experience, especially for my girls. 

It was the setting of a fairytale.

And this one trip, to a place we wouldn't usually go, inspired a whole series for the FLORA/FAUNA collection. 

This collection features natural flora and fauna by the magic of the unknown. The Mississippi Sound as seen through the imaginative eyes of my three daughters. 

I spent this summer painting herons, pelicans, and other coastal birds as well as fish, dolphins, and aquatic wildlife - even mermaids, thinking the whole time "what did all of this look like through their young eyes?"


To me, these pieces feel more like memories than paintings. That's just one of the reasons why this collection is so special. 

And maybe you'll see something in these pieces that reminds you of your childhood. Or maybe they will inspire you to go to a new place just to see things you've never seen before. 

The show opens Friday September 8, 2023 at the Gail Keenan Art Center in Long Beach, MS. You are invited to join me and the other artists for a wine and cheese reception from 5:00-7:00pm. Click here to see more details about the event. 

After the initial opening on Friday, September 8, you can make an appointments to view the show by calling 228-452-9442, ext 102 or emailing Amy Egolf at The show will hang through October 6.

We have lots of exciting new things coming to my website, be sure to join my VIP email list to be the first to know! 


Back to blog


Thank you for invoking memories of my childhood growing up in Hot Springs National Park which the city of Hot Springs is surrounded by lakes and mountains and my family had a home on the lake for the summers and your paintings brought back so many beautiful memories that I had stuck away in the back of my mine but your paintings brought them to the forefront!
Art can invoke many feelings and awakenings! And yours do both!
Chas P. Harrington

Chas P Harrington

Just beautiful! I love your work of art. It’s fun and magical. I like to draw a lot when I was little girl and up to my teens and life as an adult was so real and I haven’t drawn much anymore. Anyway, I do enjoy all your art work and I don’t own one but I will when I can buck up some money to buy one. I want a large painting of yours…guess I can start with a small one.
I so love the anything with a water scene or sea, ocean, and streams etc. but I also love the woodland scenery as well. I just enjoy all your art.

Thank you for all the magical work or art.


Star Farinas

Absolutely beautiful and took me immediately back to my own childhood spent at Tybee Island, GA and sharing that same place with my children! Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and your family stories with us all!

ND Woodruff

We live in SC and won’t be able to come to the showing but, love the coastal collection. You will have prints available at some point correct? Please let me know! Thanks so much.

Cindy Abshire

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.