Flat Creek Baptist Church Winter Watercolor

  10 x 4" watercolor & ink on rice paper
For the first time visitor to this Florida art blog it might seem strange to see such a snowy scene, but it's not Florida at all..My husband and I are wanna-be snow-birds temporarily living in New York in the remote chilly mountain town of Gilboa. I know...it's December and any self respecting snow-bird by now is comfortably settled in his Florida nest! Well we'll leave these single digit temps and get back there eventually I suppose....    Sounds crazy but I love the quiet crisp sparkly days at our little cabin in the hills and for the plein air painter, old snow covered barns, churches, farmhouses and bridges are everywhere, just waiting to be painted! It's been coming down since early November, and each morning brings a new blanket of that white stuff!  
     The church I've painted here has a history dating back to 1831...and although the congregation doesn't date back that far, there are some members who remember when cars, homes and church doors were left unlocked, especially up in the mountains! 
     Well, this is our little church, and it's a wonderful group of people that attend Flat Creek Baptist, and quite a few good cooks too...who bring the most delicious home baked treats to the Fellowship Hour after the service!  Not only is the location perfect, being just minutes from our house, but the Pastor is right on with his sermons! As for the desserts, enjoyable company and friendly conversation, just can't say enough, and so this past Sunday, with a satisfied sweet tooth, and in a forgetful mood, I left my bible behind that day...which was the reason for my visit today...Thank goodness the Pastor lives right past the church, and was gracious enough to give me the key...and as I was unlocking the side door, I thought to myself what a shame it is that even a remote mountain church can't be left open! .Anyway..I did find my bible, just where I left it... and decided to sketch the church as well.It looked so pretty in the snow! 

Safford Hill in Mackey, Gilboa, NY ..Watercolors on rice paper

 Looking around for something to paint, I pulled off to the side of the road opposite a peaceful scene with hay bales scattered around this amazingly green field. The mountains beyond took a dip and seem to disappear off to the left. It's so quiet in these mountains...a different kind of peace..there's just no one around..except for a few cows, roosters, owls, the occasional farmer...someone hanging clothes or gardening, picking blueberries, apples or flowers...and if you look closely, the occasional plein air painter.. I comfortably painted Safford Hill. Not a car went by for the duration.  Finally, in the distance one lonely figure appeared at the bend in the road...it turned out to be our neighbor, who walks up that road every day to meet her husband coming back from work. We said hello and talked for a while, and then another neighbor drove by and stopped to see what was going on. Then her husband came by and stopped...must have looked like a traffic jam at that point I guess!
Safford Hill in October
Safford Hill off Guinea Rd

New Paintings by Dale Petruska

These 2 beautiful paintings were emailed today 
and I just had to post them!
Bouganvilla watercolor by Dale Petruska
Abstract Stream in Oils by Dale Petruska

Watercolor Journal of Gilboa, NY...some Aug & Sept sketches

The miniscule collection so far....we're told we may need at the very least 3 cords!!! that is 4X4X8' multiplied by 3!!!slotta woood!!!
Our wonderful Forester safely parked in our driveway....a few days before the collision..which totaled the car....
The sun rises above the mountain, mist and trees- new every morning!
a suet cage hanging high up off the deck
Leonard Mountain (Hubbard Hill) looking a little blue! 
PG chewing on a choice selection out of her deer bone collection! see a glimpse of Leonard Mountain in the distance!
 a quick sketch of our very neglected bird feeder!

East view from deck-Gilboa, NY ...watercolor on rice paper

 WE found a mountain view behind those trees...and once we removed a few branches.... Voila! a mini vista! Great mountain scenery for plein air!
Before/\ after\/
Our view of Leonard Mtn (originally known as Hubbard Hill)!

Could it be? PG admiring the new mountain scenery? Gotta love that face!

Berry picking with Dakota and PG

You take the high road...and I'll take the low road.no wait..lets stick together!

Soooo much space to run!
My vantage point 

Eddy and one of his famous fires under the stars..


Kayaking and Plein Air - a great combination!

Painting in this heat can be a bit discouraging, and since there was very little positive feedback for this week, I couldn't resist Dale's invitation to take her kayaks out on the Intracoastal! With my sketch pad and bare painting essentials safely zip locked in waterproof plastic, I met her at her home in the C's. We climbed aboard our crafts and effortlessly paddled out thru the canals to the ICW. There was a delightful breeze, and gliding along admiring the beautiful homes and docks restored my faith in Palm Coast again. It's quite a wonderful place really, in spite of its nasty red light cameras, unfair taxes, ridiculously high water bills, fees and fines!  

In the perfect world on Thursdays, artists everywhere should abandon laundry, facebook obligations and Zimmerman episodes and drive or paddle far away from the house to sketch or paintFinding a place this day was no problem since there were unlimited places of interest along either shore. We discovered a heavily wooded spot with shade where the deeply exposed roots of the pines dropped off onto the bank below, creating an interesting subject for our masterpieces! Our kayaks made excellent waterside seats as we sketched away to the sound of birds and dolphins.

I've decided it all makes perfect sense to explore this part of Palm Coast repeatedly, and very often if possible, by kayak!! If anyone else in our group has the same opportunity, I suggest jumping on it!

Not wanting to chance getting my real camera wet, I brought my antiquated cell phone. But since each picture requires clearing the limited memory, it's too time consuming to take each one, time enough for me to drift away in the kayak. Ha! Here's what was supposed to be a nice closeup of Dale paddling! and in this next picture, if you look carefully with a magnifying glass
you can see a carousel horse in the window of that house!  
So, now that it's obvious that kayaking and plein air make a great combination, I'll be taking advantage of ery op from now on!
Dale's vibrant Watercolor and ink

 My 'Florida Roots' in watercolor and ink
a distant shot of the carousel horse

The ICW at Herschel King was Kinda Orange!!

But the view from the dock was magnificent!! 

     .and there were lively schools of fish darting back and forth along the waters edge below. I was so startled by the scene, I just forgot to snap a picture...but the water really was orange...a sort of murky orange, and I assumed it might have been the red tide you hear about from time to time. Not that it bothered the fishing though, according to a couple of locals who were able to catch a few.

      Dale and I set up camp at the dock and focused on the scene to our west. It looked almost prehistoric I thought..with craggy palms reaching up thru the tangle of jungle growth to the clouds, some missing their tops
my pallet knife and brush experiment
probably a result of some past hurricane from years gone by. I had wanted to paint that view in oils for a while now, and this was the day!
Dale's pallet knife sharpened the scene before us!
  Georgia and Audrey painted in the pavilion and produced some nice pieces!

 Georgia's pallet knife cuts thru the woods with style!!

Audrey's enchanting tree study! ...

   Flo came out to check on us, and we before we knew it, we were gabbing away about all sorts of things unrelated to our mission! We also met a fisherman...er fisherwoman, and her husband,..so Alice, we enjoyed your company and hope someday you'll join us!!

Wooden Ships..no-'fiberglass' ships on the water..very free.... . found a very nice dreamy clip of that song below !!
     Also, we wanted to say hi to Mary Lee! We miss you! Have fun over there and keep painting!!

Plein Air at Bing's Landing 2013

  We arrived (no, not by kayak!) at Bings with our painting paraphernalia at around 9:45.  With temps in the 90's all week, we were expecting a brutally hot day, but were surprised by a nice breeze blowing thru the pavilion! We had shade, scenery, cool air, picnic tables and a BBQ Chicken aroma from next door! There were just three of us, but it's always nice to have company when you paint, and that was just fine!
Packing for plein air is always a challenge for me, and it changes with the medium of choice! So today, I decided on oils, as did Dale, and Flo travels light with an enviable small package for her watercolor painting...doesn't even use an easel!! Well, for some reason I remembered most of what I needed that day..water...camera....something to snack on. I remember being so thankful once when Dale had an extra rag on hand..Another time I forgot my brushes!!! Well, I guess it happens to the best of us, and Dale came well prepared with her oil painting luggage, but forgot to pack something to paint on!...so now I don't feel so bad..She did bring her bicycle painting though! and all I can say is...it rocks!!! take a look!
Brush strokes packed with movement! Can you feel the energy?!

Love the subtle water reflections in Flo's WC!

Well no, it wasn't the paint fumes!!

And we weren't giddy from exhaustion!!

Nothing but H2O in this bottle!! Just no explanation!

Inspired by the color in Dale's bicycle painting, I had to add some interest in mine!
Here's one walkway I've yet to explore! Maybe next time! There's just no end to perfect locations! The hidden treasure is in the wooded scenes like this..just waiting for a paintbrush!

Who's that behind those Foster Grants!! 
Flo travels light, with just the bare essentials!  We're thinking Herschel King next time??any other suggestions are welcome.!!!