Friday, December 6, 2013

Lake Dora Sunset

Lake Dora provides a great opportunity to watch the sunset in Florida. This view is at the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora. I was invited to participate in a plein air paintout event in November to paint the town of Mount Dora. I usually paint the sunset in at least two sessions. I paint the sunset and the reflection in the water on the first session. Then I go back to paint the silhouette in another session. This way I can make sure the colors of the sunset are completely dry before painting the foreground. The sky is always magnificent in Florida, and even more so if you can catch the sunset after a cold front passes through.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bar at Wekiva Island

The Bar at Wekiva Island in Florida burned down on Oct 7, 2013. The fire that destroyed this popular Longwood bar may have been caused by a malfunctioning power strip. The owners asked if I would do a painting of the bar for them. I had taken some photos of the bar on previous years when I participated in the Wekiva Paint Out. The bar was always a popular spot for artists to go to as well as patrons during the paint out. I don't know why I didn't paint the bar before. Probably because of the canoes that were stacked on the top of the building. I was afraid that it would be hard to understand what they were if you had never been there before. I worked from my reference material to rebuild the bar in the painting. I changes some architectural angles and added people to add life to the scene. The bar may be gone but the canoe rental, chairs and a view of the Wekiva River are still there. What more do you need? Yes, you can still buy beer there too.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lake Maitland Sunrise

I enjoyed getting an early start this morning on Lake Maitland. August is typically a hot month and I sometimes get up early, run the boat for a few minutes, do a quick painting and head back home well before the mid day sun burns through the clouds. As I was painting the sunrise; a scull rowing boat passed by. A scull is a rowing boat used in the sport of competitive rowing.  It is designed for a single person who propels the boat with two oars, one in each hand. This rower was out enjoying the early morning as was I. Nothing is more spectacular than watching the sunrise. Painting the sky and the reflections in the water is a challenge I like to give myself often. I really liked the way the sunlight created a sparkle on the water this morning. Don't you think the scull and rower created a dramatic focal point to the composition?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another Day At The Beach

I love to paint beaches. Better yet, I love to go to the beach and paint the dunes. The beach is always changing. You never know what to expect of the ocean. Some days the waves will be small and calm and the water will be blue. Other days the waves will be choppy and full of fight. The blue turns to green and sometimes brown if the water is stirred up by recent storms. There are always a variety of birds, shells and other animals around. Sometimes you see them and sometimes you see where they were the night before. Like turtle tracks in the sand leading up to the shore where she laid her eggs. Then there is the sunrise and the sunset, always waiting for me the capture that moment in time with my paintbrush. Don't you wish you were at the beach now?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bald Cypress

I enjoy painting the bald cypress trees of Florida. They have their unique knees that come up from the earth. Some of the knees of this tree were mostly covered by water but a few protruded above the waterline around the base. The wide base made it a perfect perch for this Anhinga or; or Snake-Bird, to dry out its wings. This tree sits out in the open in Lake Maitland. I have passed by it, painted it and photographed it many times. I find it a tempting subject to paint because it is out in the open rather than crowded by other trees. The trunk is twisted and gnarled rather than straight like most other cypress trees. During the holidays there are actually Christmas ornaments hanging from this tree.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Egret Colony

Every April you can find a colony of egrets raising their young in the trees at Kraft Azalea Gardens in Winter Park. It is an amazing sight to see so many egrets in one area. There could be a dozen nests in just one tree. I decided to watch the birds while creating a painting of this experience during the Winter Park Paint Out. It took me a couple of days to finish this piece. I let the watercolor and the masking fluid dry overnight before I removed the masking fluid and continued working on the Spanish moss, the birds and their nests the next day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Moon Over The Wekiva

I just returned from a week of painting along the Wekiva River in Central Florida. Over twenty-four artists painted for a week in Wekiwa State Park and the Wekiva River. It is quite an amazing place to hike, relax and enjoy wildlife. We were fortunate to stay in cabins in the State Park and able to wake up to deer and other animals roaming around the park. The springs were serene in the cool mornings with the mist rising over the water. The trips down the river were bountiful with birds, turtles and a couple of alligators. One evening all the artists participated in a sunset paintout at Wekiva Island. As the sun goes down I created this painting of the moon rising over the Wekiva. The darkness of the evening is just as enjoyable as light of the day. Wouldn't you enjoy a canoe ride down this river?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Path To The River

I found a new park recently that is near my home in Florida. A path leads you through the park to the Econlockhatchee River near UCF. "River of Mounds" is the English translation for this Indian name. I heard about a wonderful view of the River that was accessible from this park. I didn't realize it was a mile long walk to get there. I put my backpack on with my painting supplies and headed off to the river. I got about half way there and decided it might be too late to hike all the way to the river and do a painting. I pulled out my paints and did this painting of the "Path to the River." I was intrigued by the palmetto plants along the path and the pine trees reaching into the sky. I finished the painting and then completed my hike. It was another half mile or so down to the river bank. It was an amazing site with the hugh cypress trees and the tea colored stream. The sun was starting to go below the trees so I took a few photos and hurried back to my car. I know the river will be there another day. I'll get an earlier start next time and do a painting of the Econlockhatchee River. Want to join me?