Friday morning went outside to find it had rained early in the morning, and I do mean a little, just enough to lightly coat the shrubbery and ground and give up that smell of wet greenery. The sky too, a wrapping of gray clouds around the blue sky. 40% chance of rain today. Yesterday when I drove past a bank in Lake Mary at around 3:30pm, the sign read 98 degrees, somehow it didn’t surprise me.  We have been having throbbing heat  for weeks without rain. My lake meter tells the tale, each day the sun absorbs the lake through her vast invisible heated pores, sucking up miniscule amounts of moisture into the atmosphere. Friday morning the clouds look like they have feasted like mosquitos at an outdoor party, the clouds bloated and boasting overhead like a Mardi  Gras parade without throwing the beads!
No rain. But the weather forecasters said we could have some storms later.
I went down to the marina as the clouds were just another form of vaporized wildlife. They proved a beautiful force against that blue palette up there.      It was hot with that broad overhead sun. The gators were in their same spots they seem to have occupied for a few weeks now. They  stay within about a couple hundred feet of each other, sizing the opponent, but don’t move much as if gray concrete statues as the waves washed over them.

Birds and ducks sat a few yards away on the raw sandbars preening as if the gators WERE only concrete.  The River Romance returned from it’s morning outing.  Children fed the ibis and their laughter broke the spell of the heat. Two adorable  girls were so excited to throw bread and look at the gators, they asked if I wanted to throw bread too. I told them I’ll take the pictures of the birds after they threw it.  They happily complied. There was one bird that had no foot, just a stump, and it was not a new wound, maybe it was congenital, or maybe it lost the foot months ago and all was healed. The bird did a good job of keeping up.

I ran to the Historic Welcome Center and gave them calendars, books, and tote bags to sell for me. Then ran up the street to see Herbie, and the place had a new name and was under new ownership.  But Herbie was there as handsome as always! 

Back home, the sky was darkening, I watched the addictive trial that my friend Leon won’t let me say the name of.  He hates it and all involved.
Soon it was time to see what was going on in the art world. When I left it appeared storms were coming from the west, lightening flashed way beyond where I was.  I drove by the marina and took a few pics on my way to downtown, could see more random lightening off in the distance.  Once downtown, the place was packed with many people going to the restaurants and galleries. The Welcome Center is now closed at night  until September. It is still opened daily.
Went to Jeanine’s  Gallery on First which has a few new artists and had the coolest pairs of painted and decorated men’s shoes up front. Oh, go see them!   The doors opened and closed with people coming off the street to look around and hopefully buy!   Sharon Hyder and Lori Anne Harris  were busy as usual, a few new pieces, Lori Anne’s son will have a photograph of an anhinga at the Healing Art Wall at the hospital so I will see them next week for the reception.  Here’s some of their work, that’s Lori Anne with her bright art she’s painting on her lap, the other paintings with palm trees are works of both women.  

Sharon’s son Andrew has his own booth and is working hard on his brand of art that includes these beautifully detailed pieces. He’s working on a very intense piece now on a mirror, ‘The Joker.’   The detailing and depth is much greater than I can show and he has work to do, but one can tell it will be in line with his Roman wrestlers. I also enjoy that smirking camel.

Bob Mier too has his own booth, he is a staple around Sanford with his wildlife art : He does shows all over, his painters eye is well developed,  Here’s a view of Robert’s world: (the many wildlife paintings and yellow hibiscus, osprey and trees).

Nancy Chenet was doing well and she had sold a sepia photograph and had just finished a painting of a banana palm on brick wall:  

The gallery was full of exciting pieces, Suzi Ricker Doss was not there, look forward to her work.

Made my way over to Art Affair and was amazed, Ronda is a chameleon, she is always ‘thinkin’, hopin’, wishin’ prayin’, and then accomplishes it. She has wanted to serve beverages, and now has a bar, and womderful decoupage tables and is waiting for her license. Her work is featured this month in the main gallery,  her love of trees literally is everywhere. She and Tom were all decked out,  they looked like a very classy couple!  ANd here’s more views from the gallery:  

The new bar area and Ronda has a new partner in the gallery, Sherry from Two Blondes and a Shrimp that just sold to Kate O’briens. Now there are two blondes with big exciting ideas. Ronda gets an ‘itch’ and makes it come to fruition!
Love when coming into gallery how Marie DeCosta’ reds and yellows assault the eye and make you look! 

Trish Vivera was busy showing off her new work:  it’s leaning at the bottom of her other work and you will have to go take a look when it’s up.

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Ronda and Sherry were busy designing tables to enjoy wine and beer upon, the tables are works of art and hope she will be selling them too.  Here’s a look at a few of the tables that are seated around the room.

It’s like being seated above a painting and your eyes are fixated on all the pictures within the table top. She needs to get these priced as people will be wanting them, table top art, how perfect!

Another look at Ronda’s work:  and her having a few laughs; hope she’s laughing all the way to the bank!

Had to make a last stop to see Rae Marie and Alfredo over at Framing 508, they were serving sangria and the best dip and chips! Oh that garlic made my mouth sing! Those two have the best dips at these art walks.
Alfredo really has the heart of an old master and the touch too, his work is as articulate as he is!        My camera added the flash on it to his girl with her cat, whoops, otherwise it is perfect!

Rae Marie is so talented and then when her work is through, she knows how to frame a piece so it shows perfectly – she can do matts too if you only need those you artists out there.
She is working on smaller pieces on slate; 

and her stunning nature work too,love her tiger.

    That sexy back is a ‘Fredo’ painting.

As I left the ARt walk after 9pm, the lightening was flashing here and there. The clouds were keeping the night sky well covered making it a deeper black. I took a picture as I left the gallery, obviously on the wrong aperture.  Then headed toward the street where I parked my truck and a huge bolt of lightening flashed as I took another photo and the whole area light up like a blue day for that second.I wondered how many volts were energizing the night!
 

I made my way home and even saw the coolest lightening that split off into forks in two separate directions. I drove by the marina and . I stopped and rolled my passenger window down to take a few photos quickly.  I could hear the clanking of  what sounds like wooden chimes and it is very comforting. 

I still suck at night photography, and  noticed someone coming from a shadow walking toward my vehicle. I rolled up the window as I quickly drove away, he probably thought I had come for a drug deal , (my doors were locked) – the human ‘wildlife’ that hangs around the marina at night is something to be fearful of. Many thugs, Crime is an opportunity up there, the night and shadows are filled with predators far more inhumane to their prey than the actual natural wildlife in the water! I bet that dark water holds many a secret!

When I got home, my son Adam had gone to Imperial Dynasty in Longwood, (his favorite restaurant PLUG PLUG) and had brought me back sesame tofu for dinner, YUM! I watched the distant lightening taper off, there was no rain coming again today. The few drops that fell in downtown Sanford as I walked between shops was not even enough to make me put my camera away. The next few days are supposed to be dry again. In the meantime you look at the midwest and see the flooding and wonder why it can’t be equaled out so that everyone gets a little here and there and not a ‘feast or famine’ situation.
At least the mosquitos have not been able to thrive. Have not fished in two days, moon is miniscule, ummm, let me go take a look at the sky before finishing this at 3:19am — no visible moon, some cloud cover, muggy.
Guess I’ll catch some ZZZzzzz’s before morning, have a great day and appreciate what you have and think positive thoughts. If only we could make the world a nice place for everyone!
Contact Gallery on First for their artists and Art Affair for the names mentioned there. Both have websites with their artists —  http://www.artaffairgallery.com/  &   Jeanine Taylor’s Gallery  http://www.jtfolkart.com/

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