Washington Oaks Third Visit, Or, "Pray for Deet"

     Anxious to revisit the Rose Garden again to see and possibly paint the current blooms, I hurried from the parking area and took the short cut path through the woods to the gardens.... Visions of flowery paintings turned into a fervent prayer for Deet as I was escorted along by a small contingent of relentless mosquitoes!  But God is good and Jean, who I met moments later, kindly offered me her bug spray! God Bless you Jean! She had begun painting a really nice watercolor of the Gazebo and pond which as you can see, will be exquisite! I continued along with my plein aire luggage, crossed the foot bridge and met Georgia, a volunteer from GOLA. She was set up in the sun with her oils painting the view from the other side of the pond. A huge Bird of Paradise behind her offered no shade, but she painted on anyway, producing the beginnings of this very nice oil!I loved the red lit background peaking through!  Crossing over the next bridge I could see Mary Lee scoping and planning her strategy for a complicated watercolor!  And here is the scene as viewed from the footbridge on the other side. We chatted for a few minutes and she mentioned that there was another artist from the St. Augustine group painting down at the beach. Before beginning any painting I decided to visit the Roses with my camera, and maybe go down to the beach as well.  First I have to say, if you have never smelled a John Paul II rose, you need to get there quick while they are still in bloom!
     It was breezy down at the beach where I met John Blankenship, who was well into the final stages of a nice marine scene view of the marshland near Princess Place in the distance. Although he claimed he still had a ways to go, I thought it looked to be almost completed! Very nice John! and we hope to see you again! 
     After returning, I set up on a bench not far from the  Camelia Garden. Intentions are fun, and mine was to capture the reflective quality of this pond. The light was appropriate,  silhouetting a large moss and ivy covered rock sculpture that cast shadowy ripples on water's surface. After loosely applying my very limited watercolor skills, I abandoned my efforts and produced this instead! For some reason unknown to me, probably simply a love for lines, I like to ink everything in afterwards with a Sharpie! 

     After packing up, Mary Lee, Jean and I headed off for the beach to visit John and have some lunch. Another end of a perfect plein air painting day.
The door is always open! Come join us!

Painting the 'Fairchild Oak' at Bulow Creek

Mary Lee and Dale had to sit a good distance away to paint this mammoth!

Dale's exciting rendition in oils form a vibrant mosaic of color!

These parents brought their own photojournalist!
What an adorable photographer!
Working on into the afternoon, Mary Lee's perseverance and good planning rewarded her with the makings of a very nice watercolor!

Unfinished here, but still a delicate interpretation of tree and sky!
Almost menacing in its appearance from this angle, the Fairchild Oak takes on different personality!
 Parked to the left of my car was Mary Lee's cool T-Bird,and to the right was this thing of beauty! Could be a subject for a painting?

At first I thought...It's just a tree...how hard could it be? Now I know!.....Here's my watercolor & marker.

New Painting by Marg'e Drew

 Princess Place-11 X 14 painting 
by Marg'e Drew
Sent in by Charles

European Village Trip

I've always wanted to sketch and paint the beautiful columns, balconies and outdoor cafes' of the European Village! Thank you Dale for these wonderful photographs!! Vaguely reminiscent of some Parisian street scene you could just picture artists like Cezanne or Manet on the cobblestone courtyards of that romantic setting! 
Dale and Mary Lee met there with the tools of their trade early Wednesday morning and set up next under the arches of Diane's Healthfood store. After working for a while on their sketches, they took a brake for lunch but Dale says "the sandwiches they brought for lunch paled in comparison to the smells lofting from Mezzaluna!!!" 
Dale began an oil painting after lunch and Mary sketched and painted a scene with columns.
Just beautiful! This is what makes plein air so rewarding!


Princess Place Plein Air

   It was a beautiful day, a little windy, but nice and cool under the shade of those incredible trees! And I have to say, it'll be a comfortable locale for plein air painting on those hot days coming up!
     Our trip began with an introduction to the park's ranger, George Odell, who escorted us to the famed 9 foot high eagle's nest!  Dale, Mary and I viewed it from a distant vantage point from across a wide field..very large mass high up on the tall pine in the center! George also cautioned us to watch for bobcats, coyotes and other wild animals who take refuge at Princess Place especially during Hunting Season!             After taking a few more pictures, we thanked George for his generous info and resumed our search for the perfect painting spot.    .There is a nice old bridge, along the 'Green Trail' that definitely has possibilities.  But after visiting there and a few other spots we decided to park over by the main house again which was also nice and close to the bathrooms!  I picked up where I left off on an old watercolor of the main porch  but ruined it and decide to just paint sea and sky and a few palms in the wind...much easier!!! Dale tackled the difficult porch scene and turned out the beginnings of a beautiful oil painting! Marge joined us later on and brought a painting she finished of a lamp post at Linear Park and Mary began a complicated watercolor of the porch viewed from behind house with lots of detail! I can't wait to see the final product!
Thank you Dale, once again for your creative photography skills!