A March of Women Artists

They're all around here - treasured works of art acquired over the years. Since I hadn't given thought to the artist’s gender when acquiring two and three-dimensional works of art, I was startled to realize how many pieces were created by women. 

In this Women's History Month, I draw your eye to the works that grace our lives, some found while living in New York, California and Florida and some in travels. What the artists really have in common is that their works stopped me in my tracks. Seems a common theme is, “I have something to say.” That is how these works speak to me. Women's pursuit of their own styles and voices is nothing short of NASTY. As I present these artists' works to you, where possible, you'll find links to sites that feature their work. I hope the images shown here do them justice.

Anna Lowther : We met in passing at a Westchester County, New York, outdoor art show in the 1980s as I explored her booth full of what for me seemed to be affordable oil paintings. Anyone might say, as a single mom and freelance writer, I should not have bought art that day. But, notice how well she painted the lace. I do every time I look at it.  

 Barbara & Joe Ott pottery

Barbara Ott left the corporate world to focus on her pottery and ceramic wall art in Clearwater, Florida. Her husband, Joel Ott, also discovered his passion for making pottery. They collaborated on the work shown here. Barbara's word has always been "Peace." It comes through in her art.  

Carmen Carmen Cruz teaches watercolor painting at The Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida. We've never met, though I was drawn to this painting in the Morean's Gift Shop.  

Brooke Allison is a Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America and a prime mover and elder stateswoman of the Tampa Bay Pastel Society.  Just knowing she persevered for decades as an artist and promoted the art of pastels is an inspiration. 



 Brooke Allison, still life, pastel


Dorrie Rifkin: Friends with a house on the New Jersey Shore took us to an exhibit in the Victorian mansion that is home to the Orange County Artist Guild. Here I came upon this reproduction of a watercolor of Grand Central Station that simply had to leave the state with me. The work captures the shimmering hustle of the place I’ve rushed many times. 

D.M. Weil:  During a summer stay in the Hudson Valley, we visited the studio and huge gallery of D.M Weil in in New Paltz, New York, and discovered a person who makes abstract paintings that delight my eye. 



Katherine Mathissen "Bliss"

Katherine Mathissen: The artist’s booth at a Gasparilla Festival of Arts is where I both cried when I saw this sublime statue and immediately christened it “Bliss.” She is good to have around as a reminder that a strong woman can go through hell. She does not stop to take pictures.

Kate Carney: Strolling through the historic St. Petersburg Coliseum for a Cool Art Show one July, I discovered Kate Carney, a Florida artist who grew up and studied art in England. Her seascapes and landscapes prompted an immediate internal dialogue, “Which one to buy.” Kate created an array of small paintings, mindful of average-sized wallet and wall space. 

Maggie Thomas, Camarilla, California artist and friend to my late brother Ed Morrisey painted him as he played his recorder. I treasure this reproduction as an example of Maggie’s unique style and testimony to their loving relationship.




M. Christiano,  Still Life in Red


Melissa Christiano: When Melissa had studio space in downtown St. Petersburg, her friendship with my husband, Vincent Mancuso, who also rented space there, led us all to hours of conversation about creativity. Her soft Southern accent, humor and talent endeared her to us. Her death at 42 was a blow to all who knew her. 

Rebecca Skelton is a gifted artist in many mediums. At her studio at ArtLofts over Florida CraftArt Gallery in St. Petersburg,  I was able to see works in progress and to acquire these paintings. Along with her husband photographer, Joe Walles, she is an appreciated artist and friend of the road



L. Schnakenberg oil


Lois Schnakenberg: I came upon this 50-year old oil painting in 2013 at an exhibit at Unframed Gallery in New Paltz, New York, and I spoke to the artist. She had spent her life teaching and creating art. This painting captures the beauty of the Hudson Valley, which draws rock climbers and hikers to venture way beyond the beaten path, just as Lois did.





S. William's original


Sandra Williams: This artist’s Fine Art America page attests to her love of wildlife. I was visiting her former Nature of Art Gallery in gulf-side Pass-a-Grille, Florida, when she hung this plein-air painting of a nearby alleyway where we often biked. It was love at first sight in the gallery and thereafter in our living room.  




S. Schorr pottery


Stephanie Schorr is a potter and owner of Craftsman House Gallery in St. Petersburg, who created one of my most playful works of pottery. The pinched nose of the mustached gent on the side of the piece makes me smile. Seems a good place to put him.

Wende Caporale graciously presented me with this pastel portrait of my eldest daughter whom Wende painted when, as a teenager, my daughter posed for week-long portrait classes led by Wende's husband, Daniel Greene. Both are acclaimed artists. What more can I say?


Martha Kemp's clay studies proved irresistible whenever I entered her studio in the late 1990s at the communal St. Pete Clay Company in the old railroad station on 20th Street South. The pale, saucy woman in the Adirondack chair seems to have stepped out of the water and is about to get a strapless tan. I call her "Girl Friend." The two ladies pictured seem of other eras as they assume a, "Not to be disturbed" pose. 

A popular clutter-freer, Marie Kondo, author of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" suggests, when determining what to keep and what to dispense from our lives, we hold an object in our hands to see if it sparks joy. When I conduct this experiment, all I feel is joy.

Note: Visit the Home page to explore the rest of this site.


 Anna Lowther Still Life, oil

  Carmen Carmen Cruz watercolor

 Dorrie Rifkin watercolor

 D.M. Weil abstract

  Kate Carney seascape, oil

 Maggie Thomas portrait 

Rebecca Skelton watercolor

Two Skelton miniatures

Wende Caporale study


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