Barbara A. Lewis - Artist/Naturalist

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Stubby and other friends

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 4:10 PM

My husband and I are both avid nature watchers and photographers so we could not wait to visit our favorite local county park: Lake Seminole Park. The park features: a two-miled paved walking/biking trail, boat ramps and access to Lake Seminole, playground and lots of beautiful trees ranging from cypress to live oak draped with Spanish moss and wildlife ranging from small children and their parents to yellow crowned night herons, great blue herons, mallards, moorhens, egrets, osprey, red shouldered hawks, various songbirds and the occasional roseate spoonbill.Numerous squirrels chatter at you from every direction and entertain you with their antics as well.

We have a particular spot we like and sometimes during the week we will head there after work for relaxation and a picnic supper. This spot features a small bridge over a creek that feeds into a larger lake. Shore birds like to wade in the creek after minnows, crabs, etc. and since they are used to park visitors, they do not mind being watched and filmed. One bird in particular is a buddy of mine: a little yellow crowned night heron that I affectionately named “Stubby” due to his short legs and sturdy little body. He loves to catch small crabs next to the bridge and has a particular rock that he steps out onto to set up on his next meal. I have sat on the bank next to him on numerous occasions and sketched him, photographed him and watched him for hours. So yesterday my husband decided to take his new video camera out to capture Stubby doing what comes natural - catching crabs! He seemed to know that he was the star of our video and hammed it up for us!!

We not only got some great footage of Stubby, but his pals: a small snowy egret still in breeding plumage, a larger white egret, a second yellow crowned night heron, and a small 3 foot alligator resting in the lake nearby with dragonflies hovering and landing on his head. Late evening treats were catching sight of a plunging osprey and a single black skimmer flying in circles above the lake. It always amazes me how adaptable wildlife becomes to their city surroundings, and the furry and feathered residents of Lake Seminole Park are no exception. If you walk quietly through the woods and trails you can see an amazing eco-system in the middle of a very busy Florida city, teeming with wildlife!

So thanks Stubby… we will be filming a sequel shortly - preen your feathers and get ready!

Saturday Mornings and PPAS

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 2:52 AM

I have been a member of the Pinellas Park Art Society for just over a year and I cannot tell you how much that has meant to me. I spent the largest portion of my career in commercial art while thinking that someday I would pursue fine art “when I have time”. Most of the past twenty years on my full time graphics job was spent working long hours at night which did not allow me much time to participate in any local art groups or shows. But year before last I began working days and thought I would see what was available locally in fine art classes and groups.

I found the Pinellas Park Art Society (PPAS) literally just down the boulevard from my home - and what a difference that has made! I joined the group and was so excited to be surrounded by a large group of multi-talented artists in every medium. They host monthly shows, offer classes by extremely talented instructors, demos, workshops all in a beautifully designed railroad depot style building that houses not only our art galleries, but features an incredible deli/catering service and the Pinellas Park Historical Society. Every Saturday artists meet in the gallery rooms and work on current projects, feature their art for sale and offer critiques and encouragement to one another.

I became membership chairman for the group this year and I have already seen our membership increase dramatically. If you live in the area, I would highly encourage you to visit us!

Welcome to my website!

Posted on April 29, 2010 at 7:19 PM

I am so excited to finally have a place to share my art and art-related ideas! And like all of my art projects, it is a work in progress too! I will be loading up new pics as I get them processed, so please check back often. I will also be discussing my works in progress, as well as letting you know what events I plan to attend in addition to any workshops I am involved in.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my work or art in general. I enjoy meeting people with an interest in art, and in nature conservation. My goal as an artist is to bring awareness of how fragile our natural environment is and to hopefully not only educate, but encourage people to join in the conservation efforts that are ongoing.