The creative journey of an artist inspired by animals and life by the sea

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Playing with the Fishies

Taking a break from my usual paintings to play with the fishies!  These are opaque watercolor and both matted to fit an 8" x 10" frame.  I really feel like exploring more creative outlets for my new found inspiration in Florida.  Available for sale on my Etsy shop at:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunset Dog

You can't go a day in Florida without seeing a beautiful sky.  From morning till night, the sky is full of beautiful colors and cloud formations that are just amazing.  I had fun painting this little watercolor and thought I would add my dog to this one.  He sort of looks like a Ridgeback from the back!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunflower Dog

I had fun painting this watercolor of a dog with sunflowers.  He looks so relaxed and has that hound stare I know so well from my own dogs.  I am working on some new little pieces to show at the upcoming Vero Beach Dog Park grand opening.  This finished watercolor is 11" x 14".

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Royal Throne

I really had fun with this drawing of Royal Terns which I recently completed in Pastel and Pencil.  The bird is on "A Royal Throne".  As much as I love doing animal portraits, it's always nice to create something for myself and explore a new Florida subject.  The sand and shells were a challenge here and it felt good to get back to the pastels and have fun with the soft colors.  This drawing is heading to the Treasure Coast Bird and Nature Show on October 17th in Vero Beach.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


This is a beautiful redhead named "Scarlet" that I just finished in watercolor.  I met her owner at the local dog park, and instantly developed a friendship with her.  Scarlet is a rescue, as her owner Becky loves to volunteer at the Humane Society and has always adopted dogs.  She loved the portrait of her pretty little girl.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Penelope the Scottish Deerhound

 I also finished this portrait of a wonderful Scottish Deerhound named Penelope.  You don't come across this breed too often, and it is such an amazing experience to be around one of these dogs.  They are so gentle and sweet.  Penelope's owner told me her favorite activity was looking for food on the counter.  They love to play, eat and especially sleep!  I also finished a portrait of her housemate Henry, Angela has her hands and couches full with these two!


I just completed this watercolor portrait of Henry, a sweet and gentle Scottish Deerhound.  I met Angela at a barn where I used to ride in NC, and she has owned Deerhounds for years.  The deerhound was called "the most perfect creature" by Sir Walter Scott and I believe it is true.  I have always been partial to hounds as a Ridgeback owner, but when you meet a Deerhound you feel something special.  Henry loves to sleep on his favorite couch and I was able to capture that moment in my painting.  

Angela loved it, she said..."Fantastic, that is exactly the face I see in my mind when I think of Henry.  You really grasped the essential Henry."


Friday, August 15, 2014

Companions for Life

I just finished this large watercolor for a client in North Carolina of four horses dear to her heart.  Her request was to have them shown according to age.  Billy, a big handsome rescue Belgian is the "matriarch" of the group at age 25.  A retired Appaloosa show horse named Buddy is below him, still gorgeous at 22.  The handsome Bay Quarter horse is Willie who is 7, and finally Frankie at age 6.  It was a challenge but I am really happy with the painting.  I also decided to try some new watercolor paints called QoR produced by Golden.  They were advertised to have a stronger pigment, so I invested in about 28 colors.  I have been using the same Windsor and Newton watercolors for over 35 years, so it was a huge leap for me!  I really loved working with them.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sweltering for Art

I did my first little show since moving here to Florida yesterday.  It just so happens, that the weather pattern changed and what used to be tolerable mornings turned into a sweltering day with 100% humidity.  I don't usually do too many outdoor shows and don't have a tent, so they kindly put me under cover in the mall.  Needless to say, setting up in the sun, rain, heat and humidity took it's toll.  I looked like I had a run a marathon by 10:00!  Thankfully, a good friend came to visit and she bought me a $2.00 t-shirt to change into.  I was also really worried because the sun was beating on my display when I first arrived, but thank god it slowly moved into shade as the sun came up.  Watercolors can develop moisture quickly under the glass, and hours of work could be easily destroyed.

I did have a new client visit me who has commissioned a painting, and a few others inquired about portraits.  I think most people were there at the mall for the "Back to School" event and not really looking at art.  Such is the life of an artist!  You just never know, but you have to get yourself out there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Watercolor of "Charlie"

I finally finished my first painting since moving here to our new home in Vero Beach, Florida.  It is always an adjustment for an artist to move their studio space, especially to a new state!  I chose a bright upstairs room that has a north light window with a beautiful palm tree outside.  I enjoy windows where I can see some activity, whether it is nature or human!  When you spend many hours alone painting, it is nice to have some "contact" with the outside world.  This is a watercolor of a sweet boy named "Charlie" who lives in North Carolina.  He has the unusual striping on his legs typical of dun colored horses.  The owner loved the painting and he is on his way home to North Carolina.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Fresh New Start

Things are finally coming together after our big move to our new home in Vero Beach, Florida.  It seemed we would never get here, then all of a sudden the house sold and we were on our way!  We rented a townhome sight unseen, and the first thing to greet me at the door was a beautiful gardenia bush.  It has to be one of my all time favorite flowers with it's beautiful and heavenly scent.  It felt like a  fresh new start in our tropical home.

My husband and I missed the warm winters here in Florida and so far the summer has proved to be fine and the dogs have settled in.  I am already inspired by the moss laden live oak trees and beautiful tropical plants in abundance here.  Vero Beach is a big art community and I have joined a few groups and looking forward to meeting other artists and enjoying the Vero Beach Art Museum.  The Indian River will also provide many future kayak fishing and photo adventures for us.  The "Treasure Coast" is well known for it's natural beauty and the birds, manatee and dolphins that frequent the waters here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

New Paths

Sunday was such a beautiful day that I had to take a walk on the Tideland Trail in Cedar Point.  It is one of my favorite places and feels almost spiritual to me.  Walking the trails through the marsh really seems to bring me closer to God and my lost loved ones for some reason.  Being so lucky to see and smell the beauty there is more than I can explain.  I always come away so thankful and filled with enthusiasm to create something beautiful.  I will miss this place when we move to Florida, but am looking forward to finding new beautiful paths in my life...


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mr. Pelican is Flying South!

I was taking my morning walk around the block with the dogs and ran into my sweet neighbor.  She stopped me and said she saw my Pelican painting on Facebook and wanted to buy it!  Wouldn't that be great if that happened everyday!  I was up really early working on the computer and trying to educate myself a little better on ebay auctions.  Selling online has so many challenges, but I see so many artists having success with it.  I just keep plugging along here learning as I go.  It makes me so happy to know that my marketing is paying off.  She is planning to take him down to a vacation home in Florida!  What a coincidence...that is where I am headed!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Great Memories

I am in the midst of organizing and packing for a move to Vero Beach,  Florida and came across these old family photographs again.  We often have these great photographs, cards and mementos that we safely pack away, never having the time to enjoy them.  One photo is of my Grandfather Leo, an avid horseman during a time in Philadelphia when you could keep a horse right near your home and ride in Pennypack Park.  I'm sure that is how I got my passion for riding and horses.  I love the old polaroid photos of my I am dating myself!  One shows my Grandmother and Great Aunt with me all dressed up.  They immigrated here from Sweden as children with my Great Grandparents. I remember visiting her at her grandfather had passed away.  I ended up losing both my mother and her before the age of 10.  It is amazing how the brain remembers though.  The other polaroid shows me pondering my future life with horse and aluminum Christmas trees! What fun I had going through these this morning and so lucky to have them.  With all the recent tornados across the country, so many have lost these precious memories...

Grandpop Leo Dolphin
Ester Dolphin, Aunt Judy, and Gail
Gail the horsewoman

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dear Hank...A letter to a dog...

Dear Hank,

I have never written a letter to a dog, but I am filled with sadness and emotion as I hear you are very sick.  I met you when we moved here to NC and we had just toured Fort Macon, and there you were across the parking lot.  I dashed like a crazy nut across the lot to the woman and her husband and said..."I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback too!  He is gorgeous!!".  Your "Mom" is now one of my dearest and closest friends and I would have never met her if it wasn't for you.  With tears in my eyes as I write this, I remember the wonderful beach walk we all took at Cherry Point and how you love running the trails in the Croatan Forest with your buddies "Socks" and "Ty.  I am crying because without meeting you...and my friend Karen, I would never have experienced and cherished those glorious days.  I would never have met the funniest, beautiful, and most supportive friend I am so lucky to have in my life.  You have moved to Florida, and Karen told me yesterday you are very sick.  She is shattered inside because you are her heart and soul.  You are her constant companion and support, as Socks is to me.  I know you can't tell her how sick you feel.  I wish I was there to help comfort you and your family and know that you are loved beyond belief..

Love,  Gail, Socks and Ty
Hank, Socks and Alladin at Cherry Point Beach

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Computer Land" again...

I was really happy to hear I sold my little watercolor painting of a young whitetail buck through my online  Gail Dolphin on Etsy site.  I managed to teach myself the computer after getting my first laptop in 2005 and I am proud of how much I have figured out.  I decided over the weekend that I wanted a more modern look to my website and away I went into the scary land of website design.  After lots of trial and error and of course the usual phone calls for help to some interesting foreign lands...I did it!  The days of cut and paste are so long gone, though it seems like yesterday!  My little deer is heading to California now...on to a happy life!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free Again

I just shipped my latest painting off to Colorado, where it will hang in my Aunt and Uncle's home.  As my father's only sister, she wanted to commission me to do something with horses that she could have to pass on the to the family.  I was honored to do it and had so much fun painting my favorite subject and working in acrylics.  I also recently quit my day job as a bank teller to pursue my art full time again.  I have had so many jobs over the years to supplement my painting, but that job was as far from my true calling as an artist that you could get!  Though I was good at being a bank teller, I was often reluctant to tell customers I did art for fear of scaring them that a "flakey" artist might be handling their money!  I am "free again" to follow my heart as I had lately been feeling like multiple personality Sybil living between the art and banking world.  On to more horse and animal art and the freedom to be an artist!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Memories of Shasta

I recently completed a large Pastel and Pencil montage drawing of a beautiful Appaloosa mare named Shasta.  Her owner lost her due to old age not too long ago, and wanted a picture that would illustrate her most cherished memories spent with her.  I included an image of the owner in her younger days showing Shasta, an image of her son showing as a young boy, and one with her pasture mate grazing on her property.  She was thrilled with the picture and has a place of honor already chosen to hang it.  The finished picture is 22" x 25".

A Quarter Horse named Brutus

I am very happy with my recent watercolor of "Brutus", commissioned by my Aunt in Colorado for her daughter in-law Doreen.  I was able to meet him and take photographs years ago when we travelled there during our full time RV days.  He is a kind horse that has filled Doreen's life with love and memories of trail rides to parades.  She was thrilled to get this special gift of a painting.