Yesterday Don and I drove the coastal route from Vanderbilt Beach and Bonita up through Estero Island to Fort Myers Beach. I love the honky tonk feel of the place and the crowds of tourists and party people from everywhere. Unlike in Bonita there are still little cottages and funky buildings to delight the artist's soul and beach access and parking is readily available. We walked out on the Municipal Pier which is built on the same design as the Naples Pier but with a cluster of restaurants and bars along a cobblestone pedestrian way at the beginning of the Pier. It was a beautiful day with a brisk sea breeze and we had a wonderful time being tourists. Actually, it felt like Mexico to me. Live music and the smells of fried food.
I have lots of photos of this little Roadhouse out in the Everglades. Thirty miles out to be exact. On my joyride out there last Friday I made a note of the mileage. It was the first time I ever saw this place open complete with live music and a buncha Massachusetts license plates out front. Sweet. Tomorrow I am meeting a couple of artists and we're going out there to paint. Every time I drive by this place I think of my friend Joanie.
This is a 6x6 watercolor of the Naples Pier from 16th Ave South which is one of my favorite beach hangouts. Naples creates beach access at the end of each street along Gulf Shore Blvd with parking meters and unmetered spaces for beach sticker parking. There are no arguments here about 'owning' the beach to the low tide mark. The beach front estates share their fabulous beaches with the likes of me :D
The weather is amazingly sunny in the low 80's BUT breezy with little humidity. Normally at this time of year we're hitting the low 90's regularly with humid air. This is really COOL!! Like 'perfect summer' would be at home in Marshfield.
JoAnn Sanborn of Marco Island, a fellow blogger and a former North Shore girl from Gloucester, MA, invited me to a luncheon she organized today at the Marco Island Yacht Club. There were eight other women artists, one of whom was celebrating her 80th birthday. These women hadn't met in some time and the custom at this luncheon is to go around the table and talk about your art and share any 'good' news. It was wonderful to meet these 'girls' and talk art, plus it was in a sweet little private dining room overlooking the Inland Waterway and the Jolley Bridge, and the food was great. We were there for two and a half hours before we even realized it! I made some new friends for next season and will perhaps join the Art League of Marco Island so I can participate in their events. Afterward I took a ride out into the Everglades to do some painting and take some photos. It was a GREAT DAY!
I'm preparing some watercolors of local scenery and Florida subjects for The Art Boutique at Tin City, where I show some of my work. We'll be leaving here in about three weeks and I want to leave them with a full inventory of original matted paintings in cellophane all sized to fit standard frames and a bargain at $75 each.
Last week I went up to Bonita to get my hair cut and came across another item I couldn't resist in a shop called the Mother Load and believe me, it IS! In a tiny building of 5 rooms crammed with memorabelia and anything you can name, I spent an hour and a half looking at everything. In the end I came away with this fabulous teapot in a color I can't resist and two other treasures! I used to work with a woman who went out and bought clothes on her lunch break and hid them in the trunk of her car so the hubby wouldn't know. I won't go that far but Don did ask, "don't you have enough props?" Never ;)
Don'tcha just love these fabulous shoes? I got them at 'the Mart'. Not Wal-Mart, not SteinMart, but K Mart! Of course, they are not meant for walking or wearing for extended periods of time or my feet hurt, but they look sweet and I can always just sit down :D
Be sure to attend the Spring Open House being held by my Homies from4th Floor Artists. See the website for details.
Click to Bid This is my Painting for the Girls Just Wanna PaintChallenge. There's more subtlety in the color than is visible in this photo, and that's almost always the case. I like to say that if you see a painting in a book and you think it's great, you'll be doubly delighted when you see the real thing. I got the Peeps at the half price Easter sell off in the market. I also got some gold plastic eggs :D Stay tuned.
Don and I spent some time down at the docks yesterday checking out the replicas of the Nina and the Pinta. I couldn't get good photos because the sun was overhead. So, I got up way early today and got down there while the early light was on the ships but, as soon as I powered up my camera the flashing battery greeted me :( Oops.
NOT to be hindered I did a small sketch of one of the ships which took about an hour and then headed home to plug in the camera. Since I was on a mission to paint I decided to head down to a very quiet site on the Gordon River where there are a bunch of old cottages that will soon be torn down so the Marina next door can expand. I parked my lawn chair under a shady palm tree and did a pencil sketch and then a little study for color. While I was painting I was visited by a delightful gentleman with his little Dachshund, 'Schnitzle'. He was most interesting having had duel careers as a farrier (horse shoer) and an electrician. We talked about horses and our pets past and present. When I mentioned that today is my Wendell's 14th birthday and he told me about a cat he had who lived to be 22!! Wendell is quite healthy and I hope he'll be with me for a long time.