Live Oak in Field One
Carpet of white flowers in Field One.
Notes From My Residency Journal
It has been about 3 weeks since I've been to Fair Oaks, so I was anxious to arrive this morning. A day of sunshine at last!! I decided to bring the custom canvas I've been waiting for to start on a commission. I painted upstairs in the studio of the old house. I have three studios where I paint regularly. My studio at home is a concrete block building with concrete floors and no frills. It is where I do large paintings. My loft studio is small and cozy upstairs over Paddiwhack Gallery in the city. The third studio at Fair Oaks, is one I share with other artists who work there from time to time. It is my favorite of course, because it is special. It has a long history from the 1890's to present. The light is wonderful, streaming in from tall sash windows with slightly wavy glass. Today I borrowed the Boze Radio from another room and listened to Bob Edwards weekend edition on the PBS station while I worked on my commission. I'm hoping the radio can just sort of move in with me if I leave it there long enough ;-). Next fall perhaps the Keurig coffee machine downstairs, will sort of magically move up to the studio ;-) "Gee, I wonder how that happened?" will be my response when no one can find it.
I took a break about lunch time and wandered over to have a wonderful lunch of yummy salad with feta cheese, pecans and blackberries and pizza from Blue Highway Restaurant, one of my favorite places. I am so very spoiled at Fair Oaks, no wonder I don't travel far from it.
I headed back upstairs to paint for another hour after lunch. When the painting got too wet, I packed up, cleaned up the studio and headed out in my favorite blue golf cart for an afternoon of exploration. It is only in summer that you truly realize how wild Florida really is.Florida is a jungle. The fields are knee high with beautiful grasses and the white carpets of wild flowers. The beautifully groomed woods of last fall and winter have been overtaken by shade plants, growing into the paths so carefully tended last year. I don't even think about attempting to drive out on Fish Prairie in the summer, a true swamp and jungle this time of year. The dog fennel and tiny trees are growing up in field three now. Today I saw a magnificent bird in field two. He stayed for a long time swirling and diving into the field with such lovely grace. I believe it was a Kite, the biggest one I have ever seen.
We are well into the summer season now, still pleasant in the shade. Soon the brutal heat of August will arrive, making it difficult to spend much time painting the fields. I will then move to the painting studio in the old house on my days there.
As always, Fair Oaks is the best place to be.