Merritt Island, Florida
18.000 x 14.000 x 1.000 inches
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Old Oak With Vines
Painting - Acrylic On Canvas
It was a busy full day. I got up super early to join some friends. We drove to a pretty place a couple hours south of my home. We photographed a bunch of adolescent roseate spoonbills just learning to fly. It was a lovely, yet comical sight. After lunch, we returned to our respective homes. I only stopped at my own home long enough to gather up my easel, paints and brushes. This time, I headed north. Actually, it was only about five miles north from my house in Central Florida on a coastal island. I set up my painting gear beneath a huge, gnarly oak tree. It was now quite warm at about 80 degrees. Very humid. The mosquitoes were buzzing around. I painted quickly and with total concentration. This is an 18 by 14 stretched canvas. I wasn't terribly concerned about all the details. I wanted to capture the feeling of this old tree. Vines twined around the trunk of the tree. Spanish moss draped from the branches and limbs. I was told that it has been officially dated to be about 300 years old! Imagine the stories that this tree could tell. Just a few hundred yards away is the oldest house in Brevard County. Woodpeckers chortled and drummed in the nearby trees. Mockingbirds sang pretty songs. I saw a black snake slither near my feet. The thunder began to rumble around me. It grew dark. I had only been there a couple hours when I heard the warning that nasty weather was on the way. I barely had time to gather my painting and equipment and put them away in my van, when all hell broke loose. Lightning lit the sky in big flashes. The rain and hail slashed furiously as I drove home. It may have been a violent storm but it was brief. It lasted about half an hour. I hope that this painting shows something of the dappled light coming through the tree's canopy and the relatively growing dark moments before the skies opened with pouring rain. It is a fairly common phenomenon around here. At this time of year, it often grows hot and humid in the afternoon and is relieved by rain. Like it usually is after a rain, the air became pleasant and cool. The world seemed clean and bright. I love it so much right after the rain around here. It always lightens my mood.
May 12th, 2013
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