Plein Air Under The Picnic Shelter

July 3, 2013 in Landscape, Plein Air by joanvienot

Oil painting of Western Lake and the Umbrella Trees, at Grayton Beach State Park
Oil painting of Western Lake looking towards 30A, at Grayton Beach State Park


It’s a rainy day in Florida today.  For being the Sunshine State, we certainly have had our share of rain this year, at least in Northwest Florida, where I live.  Our plein air painters group was scheduled to paint at Grayton Beach State Park today.  With 100% chance of rain, and with it already 100-percenting since the wee hours of the morning, accompanied by flash-flood warnings, it is not surprising that only two of us showed up.  I was first to arrive, choosing a pavilion where I could see the distinctive stand of trees across the lake, that everyone here knows as the Umbrella Trees.  The rain had slowed to barely a sprinkle and some little woods rats were squirreling around in the wildflowers beside the pavilion.  I would see something move out of the corner of my eye, and then if I kept looking, I would see the second one follow the first.  They were completely camouflaged when they were still.

Soon after fellow plein air artist Ed Nickerson joined me, the bottom fell out of the sky again.  Colors in the distance muted to grays, and the foreground colors intensified by contrast.  We both had time to paint two small paintings before the mist of heavy raindrops bouncing off the tin roof and blowing onto us chilled me to the bone. I headed over to Grayt Grounds for a cup of good coffee before running an errand and returning to my studio.