meet the artist








the art life

The first artist sighting

Why so many paintings?

The storm

The secret to becoming an exceptional artist.

What art language do you speak?

The mystery behind a subject

Art as autobiography

The artist in the recession

Come out and play

The nature of creativity

Living the artist's life

Creative block


learn to paint

Rocking chairs progressive

Canning jars progressive video


Chuck Close

Roy McLendon

Agnes Martin

The art of children

personal pieces

St. Patrick's Day


Favorite quotes

Day at the beach

Roy McLendon  


I was leisurely wandering the Sunday street market of historic downtown Brooksville, when I suddenly stumbled upon a part of Florida's art history.

There, in the middle of the food, art, and antique vendors was an artist working quietly among his paintings under a white tent. A common sight at a market like this. Nothing unusual. But, when I spotted the one simple sign with his name, I gasped. It was Roy McLendon, one of the original Highwaymen!

roy mclendon

The story of the Highwaymen is a fascinating one. In the 1950's and 60's, when about the only jobs available to them was picking fruit in the Florida citrus groves, self-taught African American artists from Fort Pierce, Florida set about to market their paintings. During those years, they created about 200,000 tropical landscapes, but could not find interested galleries. So, they sold the art out of their cars and door to door.

Towards the end of the 1960's, the artists seemed to disappear, but were re-discovered around 1995 by museum curator Jim Fitch. It was Fitch who gave them the name "Highwaymen." In 2004, the twenty-six recognized Highwaymen were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. Of these twenty-six, only nine, including McLendon, are considered part of the original group.

Both the older and more recent Highwaymen paintings are highly prized and collectable now. What a wonderful piece of art history, and an inspiring story of determination and perseverance!

roy mclendon