It took leaving home for me to appreciate the beauty that is my own backyard.

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When my husband and I decided to separate from the Navy and put down roots in Jacksonville, FL, we craved a long-term investment in the local people and places. I’m a Jacksonville native, and didn’t appreciate this place until I left home. Granted, the Navy has its own one of a kind community, and it’s one that travels with you, but there is something special about the interesting tangle of relationships that are inevitable when one stays in a single place for a long time.

"Roots" (in the traditional sense) were something I always pictured providing for my family, mostly because I was so blessed to be raised with them. However, the Navy presented some tempting alternatives, and up until my first child was about 6 weeks old, it was our intention to continue in that lifestyle and enjoy a different kind of community than we always assumed we would create for ourselves. As children do, however, our daughter changed everything, and ultimately my husband and I realized "roots" was the right choice for us, which brings us here today.

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click to view art prints

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Original available at North Florida Art Services, J. Gregory Fine Art:  (904) 305-9979

Original available at North Florida Art Services, J. Gregory Fine Art: (904) 305-9979

As I paint the beautiful foliage I see every day, I realize how much I take for granted the beauty of the backyard I returned to. I am so romanced by the novelty of what is unfamiliar: Those spindly trees of Tuscany, the arid vineyards of California, the farms of Georgia, and, well, seasons other than "summer." However, if I lived among the gorgeous landscapes I drool over and came to visit the backroads of Florida, I don't think I would find the wise canopy of oak trees or the mysterious salt marshes bland. It wasn't until I took a closer look at these roots that I remembered why I chose them in the first place.

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original available, contact me

original available, contact me

click to view art prints

click to view art prints

click to view art prints

click to view art prints

click to view art prints

click to view art prints