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Road Trip

May 2, 2018

Eight years after leaving Florida, I decided last week to go back for the very first time, driving the entire 730 miles in one stretch. It was hard on my body, but did wonders for my spirit. I was able to reunite with several close friends — some of whom are artists from our group BRAVA, still meeting and having shows after 20 years — and spend quality time with family members that I don’t get to see often enough.

My first look at what eight years of growth can do to an already-congested area of the country was shocking, but shouldn’t have been surprising. New strip malls and restaurants on almost every corner. A whole new Tampa River Walk has sprung up since I left. Some wonderful lifelong friends and I had lunch outdoors overlooking the river at Ulele.

An important stop was at Michael Murphy Gallery, where they had just finished rearranging the walls and put this one up for my work:

Installation, Michael Murphy Gallery, Tampa, Florida

It was a thrill to see, for the first time, all of these paintings together since they left my studio a few at a time. The gallery looks wonderful. A few new artists, and some of the same ones as before.

The short 6 days made me sure that I will go back again much sooner than another eight  years. A week just isn’t enough time.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2018 10:28 am

    Oh, I love seeing this much of your work all at once! A wonderful display! I was just in Florida on vacation (second time ever, for me) and also appreciated the new river walk!

    • May 2, 2018 10:52 am

      So glad you like them, Cindy. And also very glad you were in Tampa. It’s a great place, and so much art around.

  2. May 2, 2018 11:02 pm

    Nice! Do you work on cradled wood board or canvas??

    • May 3, 2018 8:32 am

      Thank you, Alanna. Those are cradled panels, and the painting surface is hardboard, or Masonite.

  3. patqu permalink
    May 3, 2018 9:36 am

    Not sure if I would have been as brave as you driving all that way by myself. Good for you!
    Glad you were able to see your cart work all on display together.

  4. Annette permalink
    May 3, 2018 12:21 pm

    Martha, what a lovely experience! I could feel it! I am so pleased that the Brava brushes are still pushing paint! And that you work is still filling the walls in that lovely gallery! Yes! I still love my water in Voss bottles (although the Voss water ithat day was the the best ever!

    I can’t wait to see how the trip affects your new work! Hugs

    • May 3, 2018 1:58 pm

      Annette, I’m so thrilled that you saw this about the Florida visit. I think about that Voss water a lot. Still have my bottle! After being here in North Alabama for almost 9 years now, going back and seeing art that is just full of in-your-face, straight-out-of-the-tube color was striking. Things are toned down a bit here in general. I remember looking around the gallery and thinking that I want my next batch of little paintings to have a little more pizzazz.

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