The Chameleon Effect and My Shifting Color Palettes.


Living in Florida has greatly affected my work as an artist. Years ago my artwork coming from Philadelphia, PA., a blue-collar and gritty Northeast city,  was much darker with a heavy vibe to it. My palette was full and rich with Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Blues, Yellow Ochre, Pthalo Green, all very rich robust oil paints heavily influenced by my city life. Shortly after moving to Florida I noticed “The Chameleon Effect”  influencing my color palette. The chameleon is the artist of the forest. Scientists believe chameleons change color to express their mood as stated in this article from My work began to morph into a vibrant and  lighter color palette as I adjusted to my new coastal life here in Florida. It seemed very sudden that my work began to change color. I guess my mood began to shift quicker than I thought, matching to the new environment I was living in. It was an emotional response to the nature, the unique landscape and the big blue endless sky of Florida. I felt transported to an exotic Island. For me it was an almost surreal experience as I lived my entire life near a big gritty city. At first, I rejected it thinking it was not my style. Above you can see my two paintings juxtaposed to illustrate this. “Cocoon #2” on the left, is an early painting I did in my last year of art school and the oil pastel “Radiance” on the right is my current work.  Nature themes are present in both of these pieces. However, “Cocoon #2” was a very internal response to my yearning for nature and for solitude. Surrounded daily by concrete buildings, crowded streets and dark colors  the city was claustrophobic at times.  Whereas, “Radiance” was an outward response to the nature and bright sunny colors of the Florida landscape. My palettes have shifted, as I have shifted since first arriving here in Florida many years ago. Uniquely expressing my moods through changing colors, I as well have adopted the innate traits of the chameleon.

© [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [], [2018]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Did you visit your local Farmer’s Market this weekend? We did and it was a blast!!

I am coco-nutty!! for the coconut.

ImageWe love getting up early-ish every Saturday morning and heading to our local downtown Farmer’s Market, here in sunny but hot Sarasota, FL. 

Now that I am free on the weekends we have made this our Saturday morning ritual. After hitting the local coffee bus “Java Dawg” for our cappuccino’s, and gobbling down a ham and cheese empanada for breakfast we hit the rest of the fabulous booths!! 

And I ended our excursion today with this chilled coconut, freshly pierced by the pineapple coconut guy. It was a HOT morning!!

On the horizon it rose, the “Java Dawg” a local roasting company whose big red bus is a sure thing at the Sarasota farmer’s market!

This thing is too cool, it has everything a traditional coffee shop would have, but it is mobile!

What is really, really, REALLY cool, is they have tables and chairs with umbrellas, on top of the bus! You enter from behind and inside the bus, then up their spiral staircase and Wa-lla!  you can view the entire market from above, while enjoying your select coffee drink. 

Oh, and no that isn’t coffee coming out of that spigot below, that would be over the top, wouldn’t it?!  They offer free water for hot shoppers and hot doggies. Awesome!!

The empanadas’ were a nice way to start our morning. Below is a ham and cheese, and a spinach empanada.

They have a nice variety of shapes and flavors of empanadas’ available.

If you are a true meat lover The Alpine Steakhouse, a local restaurant, is serving up a BIG supply of various meats.

We always try to buy some artisan bread, this time we chose a Rye bread.

The traditional German pretzels ROCK too!

Alas, there’s Gluten-free for those who can’t have the gluten in the rye bread or pretzels!

Some  yummies for the gluten intolerant…

a local gluten baker always impresses…

Next time I promise to get some of the homemade pasta and/or sauce  from our local pasta connection. They also make homemade focaccia that is VERY popular.

Next we head to our absolute favorite stand!  Locally grown organic produce presented by, Worden’s Organic Farm!! WOOHOO!

I love fresh produce, and especially if it’s good quality, budget friendly, organic produce to boot!

They have a large selection of veg, and they are the most crowded, so get here early! I love the variety they have as well as some of the staples they offer.

They also have a nice choice of organic herbs. We got a slamming deal on a HUGE bunch of fresh basil here, yum Pesto!

Great root veggies!

Organic watermelons!  Super hydrating in hot and humid weather!!

Their produce is amazing AND their prices are very reasonable for organic!

Now, any good local farmer’s market usually has a wide array of non-perishable but complimentary goods for sale as well.

Below is some nice local greenery available for sale.

This Red Ginger plant is impressive!

Perhaps you are looking for Orchids, this stand showcases some gorgeous ones! This large hanging one blew me away!!

Beautiful, don’t know the name of these plants, but someone, somewhere does.

I know it seems like we we’re there all day! But here are just a couple of colorful items made by community folk, enjoy!

Rain buckets!!

Of course I can’t leave the market without getting something yummy for the best dog on the planet!

Khalil went crazy for his poached Goat Horn!! Yep, I said POACHED goat horn.

Now before anybody gets their feathers ruffled, this is not illegal goat poaching happening here. 

This horn is cooked (poached) buy a local holistic pet food company called, “Petmopolitan” .  They also sell other things like poached hoofs, and some pretty awesome antlers; that seem almost petrified. Great for your dog’s teeth!


Ahem….did I mention he’s the best dog on the PLANET!

After playing with the dog for a while, I cracked open that coconut I was drinking in the beginning to show some pretty sweet looking coconut flesh!

Tonight- Coconut rice with garlicky, white asian eggplants for dinner!


YUM Food! YUM art!

© [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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