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Naturally Volusia- July 2021 through April 2022

Five painters employ divergent approaches and themes toward prompting appreciation for the complexity of Volusia County’s natural offerings.

Contact the Ocean Center at 800-858-6444 to schedule your gallery visit.

About the Artists and their work

Trish Beckham, Ormond Beach

Trish Beckham, Ormond Beach artwork on display. Description below.

Trish Beckham paints her experiences of Volusia waters as observed through her lifelong adventures with fishing, boating and other outdoor activities. Working from photographs, her deviations from pure photorealism derive primarily through her tool choice—the palette knife, with which she deftly manipulates oil paint’s inherent viscosity.

Beckham attended Old Dominion University, earning both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Her work is included in the Shands Collection, Gainesville, and is represented by Thornebrook Gallery, Gainesville; Mary Woerner Fine Art, Palm Beach; and Lost Art Gallery, St Augustine. Learn more about Beckham at

From left to right:

  • Summer Sea 48 x 60” oil on canvas, gallery wrapped canvas 
  • The Sea 48 x 60” oil on canvas, gallery wrapped canvas 
  • Daytona Beach 48 x 36”, gallery wrapped canvas

Cathy Berse, New Smyrna Beach

Cathy Berse, New Smyrna Beach artwork on display. Descriptions below.

Since 2009, New Smyrna Beach resident Cathy Berse has concentrated on plein-air painting with the aim of capturing the true light and feel for the beauty that surrounds her daily. Her paintings are an invitation for viewers to step into the images; to enjoy being there as much as she enjoyed them while painting.

Berse attended the University of Wisconsin, University of Tennessee and Milwaukee Area Technical College, later working as a graphic designer, teacher and muralist. She has taught art at Daytona Beach Community College, Artists’ Workshop, Inc. and Atlantic Center for the Arts, and also ran an Art Outreach Program for New Smyrna Beach Middle School for 14 years. Numerous public and private collections contain her works, including: the Bush Library, Dallas; Advent Hospital; and the City of New Smyrna Beach. Learn more about Berse at

From left to right:

  • Down River 18 x 22” oil on canvas, framed 
  • Row Row Row! 20 x 26” oil on canvas, framed 
  • What a View! 18 x 22” oil on canvas, framed 

Elisabeth Ferber, Mt Dora

Elisabeth Ferber, Mt Dora artwork on display. Descriptions below.

Elisabeth Ferber strives to create paintings that show viewers the beauty and character of a landscape and the life that inhabits it. Her plein-air based works capture locations in specific moments, since what she observes changes not only with the movement of sun and clouds, but over seasonal time, and from year to year as a location’s vegetation ages, increases or disappears.

A regular participant in the New Smyrna Beach Paint Out, locations like NSB Dunes Park and the Ormond Loop repeatedly draw her in, painting after painting. A certified Liliedahl School of Classical Oil Painting Instructor, Ferber enjoys teaching and painting across the US and beyond. Several galleries throughout Florida represent her work including The Market, Micanopy and Bokeelia Art Gallery on Florida’s southwest Coast. Learn more about Ferber at

From left to right:

  • Golden Hour - Sandhills 26” x 32” oil on canvas, framed 
  • Ormond Loop 29” x 41” oil on canvas, framed
  • New Smyrna Dunes 28” x 29” oil on canvas, framed 

Diane Martens, Orlando

Diane Martens, Orlando artwork on display. Descriptions below.

Diane Martens paints the skies and landscapes of Volusia County toward capturing the landscape’s beauty and strength. Smaller works are likely painted plein-air, but those of the size presented here are produced in her Orlando studio where she works from sense memory, studies and photos. Largely her compositions pair the luminescence of the skies with the more solid, varied greens of the land, but in newer works cloud-laden skies and their watery reflections predominate.

Martens earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and also pursued post-graduate studies at Kent State University. Among the public and private collections that hold her works is the Tupperware Corporation, Orlando. Learn more about Martens at

From left to right:

  • Sky and Water 24 x 20” oil on canvas, framed 
  • Florida Water Flats 20 x 24” oil on canvas, framed 
  • Wondrous Lake Woodruff 20 x 24” oil on canvas

Nevin Mercede, New Smyrna Beach

Nevin Mercede, New Smyrna Beach Artwork. Description Below.

Nevin Mercede merges a descriptive visual vocabulary with the compositional syntax of visual abstraction to form unique visual worlds. She works from the inhabitants of her gardens where native wildflowers predominate. Diminutive floral elements are enlarged to dance among palm fronds, oak and banana leaves, while an unexplained pale and shadowed swath bisects the spatial plane. Mercede seeks to draw attention to often overlooked natural elements that, like ourselves, are simultaneously delicate and hardy, and which often persist, and even thrive, despite human indifference.

Mercede earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Montana. She taught college level art and art history for many years, including at the University of South Florida, Tampa and Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota. Contact Mercede at

From left to right:

  • Banner Flowerscape 20 x 76” acrylic on canvas over, cradled board, furring strip wrap 
  • Walking Iris Triptych 24 x 57” acrylic on cradled board, sides painted grey 
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