Merritt Island, Florida
20.000 x 16.000 x 0.500 inches
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Painting - Acrylic On Canvas
I painted this on location as I was seated in the tailgate of my van, parked it beneath a huge ancient oak. Although it was shady when I began, the sun moved, of course. As I painted, the rain came and went, too. Yes, I actually continued to paint as it rained. My upraised tailgate provided pretty good protection. I actually enjoyed the cooling effect of the rain and the accompanying breeze. It did make the lighting a bit of a challenge from time to time. However, that is always an issue when out painting in location.
I marveled at the notion that nine people lived in the 600 square foot cabin! I bet they spent a fair amount of time outdoors beneath the same oak tree I was beneath. The painting I did of this oak tree is called, “Braided Oak.”
John H. Sams was a former Confederate army officer who moved to Florida from South Carolina after the American Civil War. The family originally settled in Eau Gallie, located approximately 25 miles south of the present location, to take advantage of the1862 Homestead Act. After a failed attempt at farming in Eau Gallie, the Sams family relocated to the Merritt Island location. They brought with them their three room cabin. They floated it up the Indian River. It was reassembled in its present location in 1878. Roman numerals are still evident on the structural parts of the cabin. They detail how the family took the cabin apart for a planned reassembly, according to Education Coordinator Katrina Morrell. The windows, external siding, ceiling and flooring are original. The house originally sat on wooden piers and now rests on blocks. A separate kitchen was once located behind the cabin as well as an outhouse. It has served as a school and as a church, too. It is now a museum.
I did this painting the way it appears now. I did take out a stone path that currently runs beside the cabin. Although, I did paint it in at first, I didn't like what it did to the composition. So, I painted it back out! This painting was done entirely en plein air. The next one I do, might not have the modern stair rails and drain spouts.
August 9th, 2013
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