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.
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 email@example.com. 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!