Janice Nagel found herself, like many folks, picking up the pieces of her life in the post-Irma days. Yet among the scattered ruins, she came upon a small treasure: her grandmother’s art box, filled with tubes of half-dried paint and old art brushes. It prompted her to give painting a whirl. With her camera phone she snapped photos and began painting her subjects from there. From that day on, she just never looked back. 

Although her grandmother shared cooking lessons, knitting, arts and crafts and more with her when she was young, Nagle doesn’t have any formal training in art. “I have not taken any art classes,” she said, “except for a paint and sip class.” 

Nagel and her husband moved to White Marlin Beach in Islamorada in 2015. 

“We have been married 10 years now and the day I met him, he said he wouldn’t date me unless I would move to the Keys with him, so here we are,” Nagel said. “When we moved here the local colors of the island inspired me to capture images.”

Nagel started with somewhat structured acrylic painting. Later she graduated to watercolor, the medium she now prefers. Her subjects range from stunning botanicals and landscapes to captivating depictions of birds and sea life. Her prices for originals and prints fit even the most modest budget. 

She sells her work at Shady Palm Gallery in Marathon, and mingles with the Upper Keys locals at art shows including Morada Bay Art Walk in Islamorada and the Under the Oaks art show. She often markets her originals and prints through Facebook. 

Beyond her art career, Nagel works as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Schmitt while also helping  her husband (and charter captain) with Singing Reel Charters — ”I don’t like to just sit around and watch the grass grow,” she said. She is a mother of one son and has two beautiful grandchildren. 

“I love livin’ in local color and the colors are what inspire me the most,” Nagel said.  To learn more, visit www.livininlocalcolor.com.

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Shannon Wiley is a native Floridian born in Hialeah, Florida. He's an artist, muralist, graphic designer, teacher and coach. He currently lives in Marathon with his two children. Besides painting, he enjoys all the wonders of the Florida Keys. HIs work is for sale at Guild Hall Gallery in Key West and at Shady Palm Gallery in Marathon.