Merritt Island, Florida
30.000 x 24.000 x 1.750 inches
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Painting - Acrylic On Gallery Wrapped Canvas
This was the second of three paintings I did of this little sunken sail boat. I set up my easel on the beach of the Banana River in a little cove near the Canaveral Lock. I found a nice little out of the way spot between some mangrove trees. It took me several days to paint this. It was a peaceful time. As I concentrated on my work, fishermen waded out into the water to seine bait fish. This gave me the idea to wade out in the knee deep water from time to time to better study up close the details of the boat. It also was a nice way to cool off.
One day, the master of the Lock a few hundred yards away, asked to see my painting. He gasped in horror as I told him that I had been wading out to the boat. He told me that was the home of “Big Bertha.” He further explained that I had been sitting in her nesting site. Big Bertha is the largest alligator that he has ever seen. She sometimes swims through the Lock. She hung out in and around the boat. The very same spot I had my easel was where she usually had a nest.
There are lots and lots of alligators in the area and he assured me that she was by far the largest. Plein air painting can be dangerous, I suppose! Fortunately, I was never bothered by her but as I worked on the next painting, I did see her swim up close to me every once in a while. She never actually “hauled out” near me when I was there.
You can see Merritt Island in the background. You can also see the bridge crossing the Banana River from Cape Canaveral to Merritt Island. Another sailboat sits at anchor behind the sunken one.
The Canaveral Lock, is the largest navigation lock in Florida. It is located between Port Canaveral's West turning basin and the Banana River, Canaveral Lock was constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1965 to secure safe passage of vessels from the Banana River to Port Canaveral and the Atlantic Ocean. The lock reduces tidal-current velocities in Canaveral Harbor, prevents entry of hurricane tides into the Banana River and prevents salt water intrusion. This lock was built larger than originally planned to allow passage of the Saturn rocket's first stage, used to put Apollo rockets into space.
February 11th, 2013
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