Among our lovely wetlands and waterways here in Coastal North Florida, the Intracoastal Waterway provides a variety of views both for the boater and from the land. During an unusual warm spell last week, my friend Dee and I had a pleasant lunch to celebrate her birthday, sitting on the deck of the Ponte Vedra Beach Barbara Jean's Restaurant, situated on this waterway.
Dee had suggested that we lunch there some nice day to enjoy the views from this waterside restaurant. A true friend, she keeps my landscape painting in mind wherever she goes and has guided me to discoveries and scenes I might not have found otherwise.
These photos show the bank across from us (you are looking west at the mainland from the long, narrow off-shore island on which the Jacksonville area Atlantic Ocean beaches lie). The vegetation is so thick here that it is difficult to pick out an ideal painting composition from what naturally presents itself, but every element is good background for inclusion in possible paintings. The bare cypress in the vertical photo (say hello to the osprey perched at the top) could anchor an excellent painting and provide a strong vertical and a perfect contrast to a green expanse.
As we ate and chatted, the tide began to run out (headed north--to our right from here) and revealed a growing beach-like area on the opposite bank that also added variety to our view. And various dead trees, stumps, and angling tree trunks serve as sculptural elements that could enrich a painting composition.
I am grateful to Dee for showing me this area, which is markedly different from some nearby stretches of the intracoastal waterway bordered by flat, wide salt marshes (like the views in the old movie "Prince of Tides"). In other areas, thicker wooded areas include stately, centuries-old live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss. And of course, the stretch of the intracoastal that runs straight through the heart of the city of Jacksonville, following the St. Johns River, provides boaters a completely different kind of view of tall buildings, our symphony hall and live theatre venue, along with riverside restaurants, shops, and entertainment sites.
Just as I did the last time Dee took me on a find-some-paintings tour of some of her favorite spots, I'll let you know when any of these elements--or perhaps, a full scene--appear in a painting.
Question of the day: Aren't observant friends, appreciative of the natural world around us, a treasure to cherish?