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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Check it off the Bucket List

While I have spent my life in Florida I had never seen the Everglades...(how can I even call myself a Florida Cracker?)  It's been on my 'bucket list' for a long time so when a friend mentioned she would go I jumped at the chance. I'll cut a long story short to: three ladies packed up with paints and cameras, loaded down with a tent and air mattresses set off on a grand venture to Florida's most famous National Park.  And it was an adventure!  Being the resourceful type we did not let the (unanticipated) fact of no water nor electric at our campsite deter us.  We covered the landscape, learned a lot and painted as well.  I'll be sharing lots of painting from that escapade in later posts.  But I will start with my favorite: "River of Grass."
After sunburning our necks and hands the day before we elected to find a covered post from which to paint.  There is a lovely boardwalk, the PaHayOkee Trail, which basically juts out onto the sawgrass prairie.  I set up here for a long view of the miles and miles of grasses which filter the waters that run south from the Kissimmee area in central Florida.
Here's my beginning sketch.  It was really pretty dry this time of year but there was a little bit of water flowing just close to the boardwalk area.
This canvas is only 12" x 6".  I really enjoy that shape in either direction.  It was actually fun when a few visitors stopped to chat.  Many were foreign tourists but we had a lovely conversation with some retired Natl Park Rangers....

River of Grass
oil, 12 x 6
PaHayOkee, Everglades Natl Park, FL
Here's my final piece....keep in mind that the term "plein aire" implies that you are painting a size that can be done outside and then transported back to the studio.  I really want to review my photos and use this piece as a start for one done similarly but much larger.  While there are many different types of hammocks in the Everglades, the river of grass is the image that stands out in my mind.
I now feel like a real Floridian!
p.s. I will be activating my shop again soon...all of my plein air work will be available at very reasonable prices for those who like to have reminders of places seen.  I'll give you a heads up!!

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