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Sunday, September 18, 2016


"Rusty" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 Just finished "Rusty," tonight.  Client sent me several photos of him and I could tell he is a wonderful family dog.  So that helps build my inspiration to paint him, especially since I haven't even met him in person.  I'm happy with the way it came out, although as of a couple of hours ago he still looked pretty rough.

When uploading Rusty from my computer, I noticed there were several recent paintings that I hadn't posted, and below is one of my mother, from a black-and-white photo that was taken before I was born.  Wasn't she beautiful with all that red hair?  Mom, Dad, and all 5 of us kids all had red hair.  What a sight when we were all together.  Unfortunately we never even got a photo of us all together, and sadly there's only two of us left.  I have hopes to have the time to do individual portraits of everyone at this same age of life.  How interesting that would be.

"Millie" oil painting (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 Painting deceased relatives is almost impossible for me as it is too emotional.  So I thought that since I was to paint a portrait of my mom from a photo taken before I was born, and her looking nothing like I  remembered her, that I would not get emotional.  Well, that was wrong.  Curiously, I felt a certain sadness to never have known this young beautiful woman, who was probably fun to be with, and interesting to talk to in her youth.  Millie, as an older woman, was a good conversationalist, she was funny, and she was a really good and decent person--who did not boast about it.  At her wake, friends and strangers told of her good deeds and her kindness, and brought us stories of her that I treasure.  This painting, and about 60 other portrait paintings are currently on display at the Indian River County Courthouse in Vero Beach, coming down on October 4th, 2016.UPDATE: Date the show comes down has been changed to October 13th!

Of note:  Hands ... I hate to paint them.  Everyone I know hates to paint them.  These took me forever, and I repainted, reshaped, recolored, etc. and was so glad when they were done.  Very proud I am of these lovely hands which rocked me to sleep and wiped the tears from my eyes.  I just had to get them right.  Aren't they lovely and interesting?

Detail from "St. Sebastian River" Acrylic Mural (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
This mural, painted for a client in Micco, is 15' x 4-1/2' and is a fabulous depiction of the flora and fauna that is found along the St. Sebastian River.  Just happens that right around the day I was to paint these beautiful spoonbills I saw a small flock of them at a pond near my home and had my camera ready when they flew away, so got some great shots to use in the mural.   To see more of this mural visit my mural progress blog at

"Sandhill Crane"  Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella 

This simple 11"x14" painting was a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  Several of my students painted it too, and they all came out great!  I have more work to do on it.  I happened to see a wonderful background on another painting in a magazine that has inspired me to make a similar background of nice grasses.

"Zebra" Watercolor (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 Another unfinished painting, which I did quickly to see if I could demo it.  This was much easier than I thought, and I had always admired other artist's rendition of zebras whenever I came across them at fairs or galleries.  So I did a much bigger one as my demo the next day, but that one is not as far along, but it's so beautiful that I have already picked out a frame for it.  

"Flower Vase by a Window" Watercolor by Judy Burgarella
 This lovely little watercolor was created in a class that I took from Bob Virelli in Hobby Lobby in Palm Bay, Florida.  He's a wonderful and entertaining teacher and has a nice healthy following.  However, we all painted the same thing, and also since it is in a classroom I cannot do anything with it, but either give it away or donate it.  It is not my copyright either.  But it was fun to paint and these exercises keep me from getting rusty with watercolor.

"David Leffel, Master Artist" Oil on Palette (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
 David Leffel is an artist I have admired and emulated for years.  A teacher at the Art Students League in New York for years, he now resides in New Mexico where he continues doing what he did in New York.  Another of my dreams is to paint all the artists that I admire on a palette like this.  These are really fun to do, as you have the paint right there and only have to drag it over to paint the subject.  This painting can also be seen at the Indian River Courthouse along with about 60 others through October 4th, 2016.

"Robin" Oil on Stretched Canvas (c)by Judy Burgarella
"Robin" is my daughter, who moved near us here in Florida in 2013 with her husband and 1-year-old daughter, Salem, whom I am crazy about.  This painting is not finished and I don't know when in the heck I'll ever get to it, but I must sometime in this life.  Robin posed for pictures which I painted from, but I only needed to get it looking "OK," not great, as it would only be seen from afar.  She was supposed to sit for me while I painted her portrait in front of an audience at the Vero Beach Musem of Art, for only about 1-1/2 hours worth.  Unfortunately the night of the event Salem was running a high fever and she could not come.  I had planned to paint rough in the portrait which would surely be at a very ugly stage, and then at the end I would unveil the "finished" portrait so that they could see how beautiful it would eventually become.  Best laid plans as they say.  So I asked my buddy Rita Ziegler to sit instead and it was still good.  She's sitting in my studio now in such an ugly stage though, I'd better pretty her up some day for Rita so she won't be mad.

This painting can also be seen at the Indian River Courthouse along with about 60 others through October 4th, 2016.

"At Rest in the Cove" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
This little beauty was painted at the Vero Beach Yacht Club, and was part of a show that night for their members.  The sales have always been great, but this time nobody was buying.  Bummer.  but at least I had a great day painting outdoors with friends.  What could be better?  ... I know what could be better ....  to sell the darned thing!!

This, and many other of my paintings, are being used to stage houses for Robin, who sells real estate for the Dale Sorensen Company in Vero Beach.  It really helps to beautify residences, especially if the owner does not have a flair for decorating.  We spiff the homes up with my art, curtains, silk flowers and plants, baskets, bedspreads, rugs, pottery, etc.  The owners can't believe the transformation.  And, although they don't get much viewing, I am happy that my paintings are out of the house and have a purpose, even if it is only temporary.

"Sailboat at Rest" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
Another little sailboat painting done the same day, so I won't repeat myself.

"Coconut Palm" Acrylic (c)2016 by Judy Burgarella
This quick little painting was a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  Quick and easy, with big brushes.  Typical tropical painting that everybody likes.

"Path to the Beach" Oil (c)2015 by Judy Burgarella
I painted this one twice, a little different the second time, but they are both sold.  It's a lovely painting with an interesting format, the size of which will fit nicely on a tall, narrow wall.  It looked lovely in my house for a short while before it sold.  I must paint another one for myself, as I am redecorating my bedroom to be "beachy."

"Lilypads and Waterlilies" Acrylic (c)2015 by Judy Burgarella
This lovely little painting was a palette knife demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  Most of my students wanted to try it and some found it a bit difficult handling a palette knife.  The knife needs to be just the right size for the canvas, and it can be tricky--but fast!

"Sculpture at the Vero Beach Museum of Art"
As a member of the Faculty at the Vero Beach Museum of Art (I teach acrylic portraiture), I was asked to paint this picture, along with other faculty members, in a style all my own.  So here is the boring painting, looking just like the photo.  I just couldn't come up with anything different.  Others did, and theirs were more interesting I thought.  They displayed all their teachers' work on a big wall for all to see.  So now I'm stuck with it.  Anybody want it?

Well, the time has flown and I've blown the evening posting this blog.  I hope someone sees it.  But blogging is cathartic, and I myself like to read some of the old stuff I've posted, especially if the painting is already gone.  So it's almost midnight and time to call it a day, and a nice day it always is when I've finished a painting.  An artist's life is the best.  Now what shall I do next???

Hope you enjoy checking out my blog, and maybe get inspired to paint!

Judy Burgarella

Monday, June 20, 2016

Just A Little Update

A Forgotten Photograph

This little gem of a painting is from a photograph I took in Sebastian, FL, off one of the docks.  I remember being with my friend, Dorothy Starbuck--who herself is one of the finest Florida landscape artists--and the beautiful white pelicans were all around us.  I just rediscovered the photo as one I had added to a blog years ago, and put it on my list to paint.  And so on my class June 2nd I used it for my quick demo.  It's not finished yet, a bit more tweaking and glazing in the faint green ripples above them, and it's done.

"Two White Pelicans" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
 Next is a photo of my last demo at the Sebastian River Art Club.  This nude was inspired by one seen in a magazine.  I loved the pose, and it had just enough information to enjoy painting it.  I bumped up the values and changed the cloth considerably, and had a wonderful time painting it in acrylics.

"Nude with White Cloth" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
The large painting I am working on is close to being done.  Just have to make my corrections and then continue painting around the sides of its gallery-wrapped edges.  I'll be glad to get this monstrosity out of my living room.  Below is half the 12'x5' painting.

"St. Sebastian River" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
Well, that's all for now.  I hope my work inspires you to be creative ... or take a class with me in Sebastian, Florida!  (Or at the Vero Beach Museum of Art)

Judy Burgarella
Sebastian, Florida

Monday, May 30, 2016

Finally . . . An Unfinished Painting Finished!

Finally ... at least one painting finished!

"David Leffel, Portrait King" from his self-portrait, oil on wood palette

This little beauty was started as a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club (Sebastian, FL), and was about 1/3 finished.  I glue-gun globs around the perimeter at first, then put acrylic colors over the globs, then squeeze small amounts of oil paint on top in my normal color palette order, and create my portrait there in oil on raw wood.  Trouble is, the oils have to be used up before they skin over and get sticky, or it will be difficult to use them for the portrait.  So it was a week before I began playing with it again, and now finally it's done except for painting the black around the outside edges and putting a hanger on the back.  This is a young David Leffel, who now is about 85 years old, and is considered one of the finest portrait artists (great still lifes too!) in the United States.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, he studied and taught at the Art Students League in NYC for 25 years before moving in 1992 to Taos, NM.  I have studied his style for some time, which has made a strong impression on my own painting style.  To read more about David Leffel, visit and see other works of his simply by Googling his name.

 St. Sebastian River Mural

Now, to get back to a mural I am working on for a client who lives along the Sebastian River.  Here is a snippet from it, it's about 80% finished.  Some work to be done on the forebanks, then final tweaking of all and finishing the outside edges--which is a project in itself.  

Detail of St. Sebastian River Painting, Acrylic by Judy Burgarella
It is such a thrill to see bright pink birds in a cerulean blue sky flying overhead like this.  They are seasonal visitors, and I was so happy to have a photo published some months back in the Press Journal as "Picture of the Day" of a spoonbill fishing with an egret on a sandy bar in my canal out back.   I feel so fortunate to be living in an area of the world where I can see this beauty almost whenever I want to.  One can get complacent down here after a while, but I try not to take it for granted and continue to marvel at the exotic plants and animals coming into view as soon as I pull out of my driveway.  Pure paradise, and a feast for the eyes.

Judy Burgarella
in Sebastian, Florida

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Just A Quick Update . . .

Wow, where to begin ...
Lots to catch up on and way too little time to do it but here's some highlights:

Painting Sold!
Did a quick acrylic painting, "Grouper" on a large gallery-wrapped canvas for Gallery 14's annual show "Our Beautiful Waters," (Dec. 1-Dec. 30) and it found a good home by the end of the show.  He's a handsome guy and I had fun painting all those dots.  An abstract water background I think compliments the tedious-looking detail, which wasn't really tedious to me as all painting is fun!
"Grouper" Acrylic by Judy Burgarella

Some of the photos relating to the below will be posted at a later date when time, as I am scurrying to finish up chores for Easter, i.e., gathering candy and trinkets from the Easter Bunny for granddaughter Salem (4-1/2), baking my famous carrot-pineapple cake, cleaning up and preparing for a nice dinner tomorrow with people we love.  Now on to the postings . . . (and come back next week or so for more great pictures of paint on canvas (and some on paper)!

Administration Building
January I brought another Indian painting and forgot to pick up my old one, and so there are two Indians of mine on display there, changeover date for new work has not been decided.

Demonstrations at the Sebastian River Art Club
Did 4 demonstrations pre-class instruction at the Club in oils, acrylics and watercolor, pictures of which I will post later, sorry.

Sebastian Art Studio Tour
My home was one of 10 stops, 16 artists, of this event February 13th, 10-5:00.  Hundred of people showed up, and art was everywhere in my home--my art and my collections.  I really enjoyed telling people of my great art finds, mostly found on Ebay, yard sales and flea markets.  Met lots of new people, saw lots of old friends, and people enjoyed refreshments and video demonstrations.  Wished I could have visited the rest of the artists myself.  Weather was great and all had a good time.

Courthouse Exhibition
Jan 8-April 7 - Part of the Sebastian River Art Club's show.  I received 2nd place from this one for "Young Medicine Crow."
"Young Medicine Crow"  11"x14" oil by Judy Burgarella

January - Art on the Island
Boy did I have fun with this one!  It is called "Laundry Day Wine Bar" and when sitting upright one can enjoy a glass of wine while sitting or standing at the ironing board, gazing at the artwork.  Four wine glasses got with it, each one painted different with clotheslines.  Got lots of accolades from it, but no sale or prize.  But I look forward to showing it at another venue some time.  

Vero Beach Museum of Art
February - Last minute request for Faculty at the Vero Beach Museum of Art to do their rendition of this sculpture on their grounds.  I was not in a creative mood, so just painted what I saw.  Not very interesting and purely representational.

Chairish the Children
February 19th at the Vero Beach Country Club, to benefit the Hibiscus Children's Center, a great charity doing great work for needy children.  Happy to say my chair sold.
"Chair Planter" with bromilead by Judy Burgarella

Vero Beach Yacht Club
Just a nice sunny day painting at the Yacht Club "en plein air" with Friends for the Cultural Council.

Portrait Painting Demonstration
 at the Vero Beach Museum of Art
March 3, 7-8:30 for the Vero Beach Art Club in the Auditorium.  Everything went wrong.  My daughter, Robin, was supposed to be the model, but Salem came down with a 104.2 fever so I had to grab my friend Rita Ziegler to fill in.  I was battling a terrible cold also.  But once upon the stage my automatic pilot took over and I thoroughly enjoyed painting and telling people how much fun it is to paint portraits ... because it is!  Once those eyes look back at you from the canvas, there's nothing like it.  A tree can't do that, a boat can't do that, and certainly a vase can't.  Anyway, below is the painting I did ahead of time of Robin, planning to whip it out last minute to let them know what the end result would be, as I only had an hour and a half to demo.  Such a short period of time puts the painting at the very ugliest stage.  But I will finish Rita's at a later date, when "season" is over and I can come up for air. PS-this portrait still is not finished.
Portrait of Robin, oil by Judy Burgarella

EcoFest at the Environmental Learning Center
March 6th, 11-4 spent a lovely sunny day painting with Christine Thomas and Ann Emery at the ELC, by the Jackson-Riding house.  This painting will be on display during their Poetry Night on April 10th or 11th I believe, if I finish it in time.

Cause for Paws
Donated a custom portrait of a pet for a fundraiser for the Human Society.  I have not heard from them as yet who the winner was and how much was bid on it.  But a here's a sample of my pet portraits.
"Snowball" 5"x5" gallery-wrapped Acrylic by Judy Burgarella

"Rudy" 11" x 14" Pastel by Judy Burgarella
Well, that's all for now folks.  I'll post more when time.  Happy Easter to all, and here's my rendition of what Easter is about:

Best to you all this Easter.
Judy Burgarella

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Holidays over - PHEW!

Tree's down, decorations packed away, and house back in order.  Was a wonderful time this year, filled with friends, parties, and celebrating the holidays this year once again with a piece of family - daughter Robin, Son-in-law Cass, and now 4-year-old Salem--who made our Christmas truly magical.  But now back to the business of art:

Half-way through the season, over a dozen shows are now behind me, with about nine more to go.  Next few shows are:

Jan 8 to April 7 - Indian River Courthouse Exhibition.  Putting in "Young Medicine Crow," an oil painting I did years ago:
"Young Medicine Crow" Oil
Jan 20 for 3 months - Vero Beach Library, theme "The Great Outdoors."  I'll be putting in an oldie but a goodie, watercolor "At the Beach" below:
"At the Beach" Watercolor

Next will be for Art By The Sea, an oil on wood palette which is just off the easel waiting to dry:

"Magnolia" Oil on wood palette

"Magnolia" started out as an acrylic demo at the Sebastian River Art Club, from a picture in an art magazine, which was in the very early stages.  So looking over my collection of unfinished paintings this one caught my eye as being one I could finish in time, and one that had promise.  However, I decided to change everything so it would be original, and dug out a photo of a flower from my own magnolia tree, went out my studio door and picked some leaves off the tree, then took my satin Christmas tablecloth and made a draping for the background.  It was a joy to do, albeit quite a puzzle being that the three elements in the painting were painted from different individual references with different lighting.

Unfinished paintings are like itches that need scratching.  Irritating until it's over with.  And so this one will be kind of small for such a nice show, but perhaps its size and the price tag will get it sold.  Must sell my babies else they take over my house. 

Two more shows have me stressed out with deadlines looming and no paintings in sight: 1) "Art on the Island," February 12th, a 3D show which I have a fantastic idea for if I can ever get it started.  "Chairish the Children," a charity show at the Vero Beach Country Club, which I have to paint a chair for--in a very artsy way.  I've had the bottom of 4 legs painted for 3 months.  Need to get crackin' on that one.

Coming up also is the Vero Beach Museum of Art Faculty Show, in which I will be displaying my painting of the famous Fort Pierce artist A. E. Backus (below).  Since I am a portrait instructor at the Museum, I thought this would be an appropriate one to display, also since it represents another local museum.

A. E. Backus - Oil
 Backus was displayed at the A. E. Backus Gallery show in October-November, and after the show there were two collectors who were interested.  And so it will be on display in the Museum however it is sold to a collector of Backus/Highwaymen works.

But the big one is the Sebastian Art Studio Tour February 13th.  Had a meeting about it just tonight (as I post this it was last night Jan 5th).  It's the biggest show for me this season, as all my art will be on display throughout the house.  There will be videos playing of me painting, breakfast food in the morning, then hors d'ouvres and wine in the afternoon, a raffle, special offers including many of my demo and exercise paintings for sale, unframed in bins, at "move out" prices.  It's a wonderful, hectic day filled with seeing old friends, chatting over artworks, and making new contacts.

If you would like to see my complete schedule as of today, simply visit my previous blog entry.  And if you are a local artist you may want to look into taking advantage of some of the shows listed therein.  Also, if you would like to learn how to paint yourself, contact me (Sebastian Florida) at 772-581-8281 and I will tell you about where I will be teaching or demoing.  Also available for 2-hour Art Parties - You bring the wine and nibblies and supply the venue, and I do all the rest - paints, canvas, palettes, brushes, images, and even the table covers!  Minimum 6 people, $35 includes everything, and everyone goes home with a finished painting.

So it's a very busy art-life for me, and thank goodness Bob doesn't complain that I'm either in the studio, at a meeting or at a show.  And ... he cooks!

Hope you enjoyed this blog.
Judy Burgarella

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Below is where I will be exhibiting, and is a good listing of local shows/events worthy of being in or going to.  If you are an artist you may want to investigate some of these.  As of this posting, some shows are already over, however many will be repeated in 2016, so mark your calendar for next year.  If you want to view my body of work, the best one to go to is the Sebastian Art Studio Tour, February 7th.  My studio and home will be open all day with artworks everywhere, along with 10 other studios in Sebastian.  A must-see!

Judy Burgarella - Exhibit Schedule 2015-2016

Ongoing Classes and Exhibit at the Sebastian River Art Club Art Center

Sept 1-April 30 - Molly's House Art Gallery Exhibit, Stuart
Opening Reception: Dec 3, 5:00-7:30 pm 772-223-6659
Oct 9-Nov 13 - “The Best of the Best” A. E. Backus Gallery, Ft. Pierce
Opening Reception Oct 16, 6:00-8:00 pm 772-465-0630
Oct 9-Jan 7 - Indian River County Courthouse
Oct 19-Nov 30 - VBAC Members Invitational
Vero Beach Museum of Art, 3001 Riverside Park Dr.
Oct 16-17 - “Nature Art Show” Environmental Learning Center, Vero Beach
772-494-6306 Opening Reception Oct 16, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Oct 16 “Fritz & Friends” Laserchrome Technology, Melbourne
321-752-7744 Reception Oct 16, 4:30-7 pm
Oct 24-Nov 29 – VBAC Members Invitational Show
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Nov. 2-Dec. 2 - Solo Show “The Diverse Works of Judy Burgarella
Opening Reception Nov. 12, 6:30-8:00 pm
Christ Church Community Center, Vero Beach
Nov 5, 10:00am-8:00pm - “Art-Tini” - Cocktail Reception 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Springhill Suites, Vero Beach. 772-231-0303
Nov 16-? – County Administration Bldg, Vero Beach
Nov 18-Jan 20 - “My Favorite People” Vero Beach Library
Nov 19, ongoing – “Little Gems” Sebastian River Art Club
Nov. 19, 3-5pm Opening Reception
Dec 1-Dec 30 “Our Beautiful Waters” Gallery 14, Vero Beach
Serving as judge. Reception Friday, December 4, 5-8 p.m.
Jan 8–April 7 - Courthouse Show Vero Beach
Jan 10 – Exhibitor in “Concerts in the Gallery” Sebastian
Jan 16-Feb 11 “Museum Faculty Exhibition” VB Museum of Art
Jan 22, 23, 24 “Art By The Sea” Vero Beach Art Club
Opening Reception Jan 22 4-8:00pm
Feb 12-14 - “Art on the Island” Marsh Island Clubhouse, Vero Beach
772-231-0303 Opening Reception Feb 12, 5:00-8:00 pm
Feb 13, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm “Sebastian Art Studio Tour
JFebruary 19 - “Chairish the Children
Vero Beach Country Club 772-299-6011, ext. 313
March 3, 7:30-8:30 - “Oil Portrait Demonstration
Vero Beach Museum of Art, Auditorium 772-231-0303
March 6 - “EcoFest” Environmental Learning Center, Vero Beach

Plein Air Demonstration 772-584-2167

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Catching up!


 "Gypsy" was my creation to use for an introduction to acrylic portraiture for 5-week course at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.  Other than helping my friend Christine with her "Cork & Canvas" classes at the Museum over the past year, this was my second series of classes on the subject.  I will teach this again during the Winter session at the Museum.  The class was great, filled with enthusiastic painters--beginning and intermediate--who did a fantastic job on the Gypsy, and then on the portrait of their choice.  I start them off with profiles, as that is the easiest to do, no matching symmetry with eyes, elements and shape of face, etc.




Monday, November 2nd, 6:30-9:00 p.m. will be my first Art Party at the Blue Lion Wine Bar, 13401 US Hwy 1 in Sebastian in the Riverview Shopping Center - 772-589-4445.  The above painting will be the subject.  Looks complicated but it really will be fairly easy, even for those who have never painted before.  I was invited to take this on by the new owner, during the opening reception of an artist friend there.  It will be fun, sipping wine and doing my favorite thing to do (other than playing with my granddaughter) teaching people how to paint.  Reservations are needed (though walk-ins will be accepted if there is room).  Price, which includes all supplies: $35.


"Gypsy II" Oil by Judy Burgarella

This handsome man started out as a demonstration at the Sebastian River Art Club for my class on Thursdays.  Finished it up later at home, then entered it into the Vero Beach Art Club's "Member's Invitational," which is installed every year in the classroom wing gallery of the Vero Beach Museum of Art.  I was glad my students got to see it before the end of my Fall classes.


While strolling through the first St. Sebastian Flea Market of the season on October 3rd, I came upon this wonderful gem of an oil painting.  Except it didn't look like this.  The face caught my eye, leaning in front of a bunch of junky trinkets, but the size of it was so big, and falling out of its frame.  The face was superb, however the body--seated with folded hands--was poorly rendered.  So I walked on by, but it haunted me as I rummaged through the sale.  And then I saw this fabulous frame.  Solidly carved with pure wood embellishments and beautiful aged gilding.  The four+ big nail holes through the front of the frame didn't scare me--they're easy to fix.  It's the scrollwork and it was in excellent condition.  Obviously old.  Hm-m-m-m, I wondered how it would look framing that beautiful face?  Nah!  So I walked on.  On my way out I walked by that darned face again and just couldn't resist it.  They wanted $15 for that fantastic painting, and I was almost embarrassed to offer them $10--but they took it!  With frame and all it measured 41" high by 29" wide--Huge!  So off I went to carry it to the car.  Then back I went to get that frame.  Again, they wanted $15 (cheap!) but I offered $10, and Bingo!  When I got back to the car and positioned it on her face it was magic.  They were made for each other as you can see.  The signature was unrecognizable so the pain of cutting it down was not as great as I thought.  They both are obviously very old and I feel honored to have them in my possession.  I have filled in the holes and just have to match the gilding.  Then up on my high shelf in the family room it will go, carefully arranged near baskets, faux plants and jugs.

Collecting art, no matter where you buy it or how much you pay for it, is thrilling and I never tire of looking at these faces every day, with the occasional wonderment of who they were and how they came to have their image captured in oil.  They are the ghosts that live in my house, but good ones.


Finished Painting, A.E. (Beany) Backus, Oil, 16"x20"

Beginnings of A.E. Backus portrait, with reference photo

Progression of Beany Backus painting
Entered the A. E. Backus Gallery's show, "The Best of the Best," where my work has won awards in the past.  It's a good show I'm always proud to be in.  I had a bright idea though to paint the person the gallery is named after: Beany Backus.  What a job I had finding any kind of images of him.  Not many, and I couldn't recall any paintings of the Master himself in the gallery.  So above are pics of the progression of my free-hand painting, and the final subject.  Had a wonderful time painting this man whose work I have admired for years.  Backus Museum is at 500 N Indian River Drive in Ft. Pierce 772-465-0630,  The show closes November 13th.


This cute little oil painting started as a demo at the Sebastian River Art Club in September.  Several of my students started it.  I just love the color red, Cadmium and Alizarin just get my attention!  I finished this up for a show in Melbourne, "Frits & Friends" on October 16th, and it never dried in time in spite of having a fan on it for 5 days.  Same thing with the below.


"Hummingbird" oil, 20" x 16"
This painting has been morphed 4 times.  It started as another painting beneath, which I painted over, to be a blue vase setting on a red drape with gold ribbon.  Acrylic.  Awful.  I never even showed it.  After having it for a few years I finally painted it over last year with oils, same blue vase, but with apples.  Still didn't sell, so I painted a hummingbird on it and waited for it to dry for the Melbourne show.  Didn't.  I touched it so much that the colors are a bit more muted than they were.  Well, now it's dry and ready to be shown.

Well, that's all for today, and next posting will be my agenda--of course I have over-committed myself as usual and my head is spinning, but glad to get my art out to be seen, and, hopefully purchased!

Judy Burgarella