Landscape painters have a special relationship to land.
Love Land Notes
I’ve had a love for land as long as I can remember. Living in Florida makes that fairly unique. Most artists in Florida focus on coastal, marshes, boats and marinas. Most of our tourist population loves that sort of work. They consider that to be quintessential Florida. They visit Miami, Walt Disney World and coastal resorts like FT Lauderdale, Naples and Sarasota.
Few see the lush pastures and fields of central Florida, the piney woods or the bald and pond cypress groves, ancient and mysterious. The stately , huge live oak trees draped with Spanish moss. Vast cattle ranches with cabbage palms stretch as far as the eye can see. This is my world as an artist.
Each day, I walk Deer Woods Trail, next to my yard. It is quite small but lush with tall pines, water oaks, and knee high grasses. There are tortoise dens along the route, some carefully crafted with many hours of work invested. I name some of my tortoise friends and see them out sunning and grazing occasionally. I find deer tracks, coon tracks, and occasionally fox and bobcat tracks. The raptors fly overhead sizing up the breakfast menu, and crows fly by either cawing or saying un-uh. They usually reserve that speech for my painting days on the trail, expressing their disapproval.
I walk in these woods twice a day, morning and late afternoon just before dusk. They bring back memories of childhood play and drawing out under the trees, making forts and tree house studios. The land of my father is rich with subjects to paint. I could paint in north Florida for a hundred years and never come close to completing what I wish to study. When you love the land, you paint it with great joy. If you love city streets, coastal waves, beaches or still life, study it, become immersed in it, spend time with it without your paint, and you will have a better understanding of being a painter.
More musings for artists and collectors to come……