Everglades Adventure

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Everglades Adventure

  My painting buddy's husband, Phil, persuaded us to join him on a walking tour in the everglades this past week.  Eileen and I thought our guides were joking when they told us we would be waist deep in the swamp. Fortunately, we didn't encounter any pythons or alligators, and had brought along a change of clothes.  The tour winds through the swamp behind the Clyde Butcher photography gallery on Tamiami Trail near Ochopee.  I took along my pocket camera and snapped some shots.  After emerging from the swamp, we noticed some alligators sunning themselves near a pond. Yikes!  Later, we headed to Goodland near Naples to scout a painting location.  I was attracted to a lovely flowering bush in front of a run-down home with a lot of old Florida charm.  Another memorable adventure along the painting trail.

Lian Quan Zhen Workshop

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Lian Quan Zhen Workshop

     Last month, my friend, Eileen (in workshop picture on left), and I tried some new techniques at Lian Quan Zhen's workshop in Cape Coral, FL.  We followed along as he painted a shore bird and a coconut palm tree.  You can see the bird painting in my post, and a painting I did a couple weeks later of some coconuts I saw in downtown Fort Myers.

After the workshop, Eileen and I went to the garden shop at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers to practice what we had learned.  I selected a pot full of flowers.  Zhen's technique takes a lot of time, so I finished mine at home.  Later, I pulled out some photos I had taken at the Douglas Valley winery near Manistee, MI., to paint a picture of grapes.  I'll be taking it back north in the spring to add to the other paintings I have for sale at the winery.

Grandkids Paint the Beach

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Grandkids Paint the Beach

    My five grandkids came down for Christmas vacation with their parents, and everyone agreed that we should spend some time on the beach.

    Granddaughter Aria and grandson Lennon both wanted painting sets for their birthdays.  Grandma had obliged with some nice sets by Winsor & Newton which they brought along on their trip to Florida.

    On Sanibel Island, Aria and Lennon worked on paintings in beach chairs, then joined grandson Michael under a large umbrella for another session. I let him use my small paint kit.  Meanwhile, I did  a quick study of Michael and youngest grandson, Oscar, who has not caught the artist bug yet. I did another quick painting of Oscar when we visited Clearwater beach later in the week.

Sandy Acres Ranch

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Sandy Acres Ranch

   This past week, I joined fellow Peace River Painters at Sandy Acres Ranch near Punta Gorda, FL.

   The ranch is owned by artist Laszlo Kohanec, who was born in Yugoslavia and came to the United States in 1970.  I wish he had a web page so I could show you his work.  Guess you will just have to google his name.  He was a very gracious host, bringing us coffee, and allowing us to wander around his property with its barn, ponds, animals and long, Florida vistas.

   I was attracted to a cascade of vines that seemed determined to shroud the side entrance to his barn.  I had to give up when it started to sprinkle.  Watercolors don't do well when they are rained on.  Anyway, it was time for the critique, so we all gathered around the firepit at Laszlo's house to discuss our morning's work.  I finished my painting up later in my studio.

  

 

 

 

Koreshan Park

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Into the Past at Koreshan Park

   In 1894, religious leader Cyrus Reed Teed brought his followers to a tract of land in Estero, Fl., to build a "New Jerusalem" utopia. 

   Members of the Koreshan Unity believed they lived on the inside of the planet, not the outside. Today, you can visit the Koreshan State Historic Site to see a "map" of this most unusual planet as well as the buildings, workshops and homes built by the society.  

   Friday was the third time I've been there to paint.  I picked a favorite spot: an elaborate bridge under a canopy of Spanish moss.  I've taken a lot of photograph there, and used one of them earlier this year to paint an urn in the afternoon sunlight.

 

Bali Hi

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      At the Beach on Captiva Island

   Saturday my painting buddy, Eileen, and I traveled to Captiva Island to paint another beach house on the ocean. What a beautiful spot! The owner has kindly allowed us to paint on his three island properties. How lucky is that?  It's just one of the perquisites of being a plein air painter.

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