Shelter, egg tempera painting of bird resting in a dune shadow, by Daniel AmbroseShelter, egg tempera painting. Private collection.

A distant train horn penetrates the shelter of predawn silence. A nocturnal bird chirps, chasing the receding echo of the train. Familiar companions passing in the night. Bird and train. Their voices whisk me back to a childhood memory.

When I was eleven I delivered the newspaper, morning and evening. Seven days a week the alarm woke me at 4:30. Pulling on clothes, I’d stumble outside to the front porch where a large bundle of newspapers, dropped off earlier, were waiting for me.

Sitting cross-legged under the front porch light, I would fold each paper, slip a green rubber band over it and stuff it upright in the canvas bag tied to the handlebars of my sting-ray bike.

Sunday’s, the bag was so heavy that it rubbed on my fenderless front tire and wore a hole through the canvas. I had to keep one hand in the bag to stop the papers from falling out and tried not to crash as I weaved and bumped over the washboard dirt roads of my neighborhood.

It was still dark when I pedaled off. The sky lightened halfway through my route after I crossed the wooden bridge over Nova road canal at 3rd street. There I headed north to deliver to three houses on a half mile dirt track that paralleled the canal’s eastern side.

The last house deep in the woods was McGregor’s. A colorful man who dressed as a clown and pedaled a wonky scooter in the annual Christmas parade. A miniature scale train, large enough to ride, circled the family’s front yard.

Between the three houses were a horse pasture and woods.

In early winter, mist rose from the canal, blanketed the road and drifted through the pasture. As I emerged from the woods, the sunrise saturated the mist in an orange-red glow, bathing the pasture and grazing horses in an ethereal light.

I would pause and note the sublime moment. Birds sang in the cathedral-like trees and in the distance rumbled the muffled wail of a southbound freight train.

I was a Catholic kid and Friday afternoons went to Confession and Sunday’s fidgeted through remote Latin masses. But it was only during my dawn ritual watching those horses on that dirt road beside slow moving southern waters that I felt exalted, and the stirrings of a holy presence.

And so began a lifelong spiritual quest, searching for meaning through extremes. I traveled through dark forests, thorough addiction, the death of many loved ones, heartbreak and homelessness.

Gradually, through my art, at the sanctuary of my easel I discovered a threshold to the divine.

I found a sacred place of serenity and beauty to share with you through my paintings.

In my art I found shelter.

Family Renew Fundraiser

Family Renew Fundraiser

Family Renew Fundraiser

Painting of birds flying over Thompsons creek, Ormond Beach

New Beginnings by Daniel Ambrose


My friend and local Ormond Beach artist, Karlene McConnell is coordinating a fundraising event for Family Renew Community. A worthwhile cause that helps families get back on their feet and equip them with skills and resources to stay self-sufficient.

Family Renew Community is a faith-based organization that provides a safe, stable home for homeless families with children. Celebrating 30 years, Family Renew Community has been restoring hope to struggling families throughout Volusia County since 1989. You can learn more on their website Family Renew or visit their Facebook page.

Karlene describes the art event as, “a classy-casual evening with local artists exhibiting and selling their artwork, along with a silent auction, live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages.”

I donated a signed, framed giclee print titled New Beginnings that features egrets flying over Thompson’s Creek in Ormond Beach. The scene was inspired near my home on the Tomoka River where I lived for many years.

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to support many families, educational and environmental institutions with my art. I believe in using my art as a way of serving.

By purchasing a work such as New Beginnings, you support the Family Renew Community and take home art you love, knowing you helped a family in a time of  great need.

Family Renew Community Art Event, Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 5:30 PM–8 PM.

Press Release: Abandoned Beauty to Benefit Crossnore

Press Release: Abandoned Beauty to Benefit Crossnore

Press Release: Abandoned Beauty to Benefit Crossnore

Abandoned Beauty, egg tempera painting of Carolina Wren in broken window of old schoolhouse

Abandoned Beauty, Egg tempera painting by Daniel Ambrose

Florida artist Daniel Ambrose has created a new egg tempera painting, “Abandoned Beauty,” that features a wren resting on the window frame of an old school building in North Carolina to benefit the Crossnore School and Children’s Home.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will benefit the institution’s Stepping Stones program, which transitions students from foster care to successful independent living.

Ambrose has supported the Crossnore School for more than a decade, by offering paintings for sale at the Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery.

Many nonprofits offer paintings, limited edition prints and other works by professional artists to benefit their missions. Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery represents artists who want to take part in benefiting the children of Crossnore School & Children’s Home. By purchasing a painting such as “Abandoned Beauty,” you support the Crossnore School and take home art you love.

The Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery is located at 205 Johnson Lane in Crossnore. With questions or for more information, email Heidi Fisher, gallery manager, at or call (828) 733-3144.