"Beach Life," Quick Draw Mexico Beach, Honorable Mention, 9x14. Sold.
I have just returned from the Florida's Forgotten Coast Invitational Plein Air event located between Mexico Beach and Aligator Point. The towns and areas of Port St. Joe, Carrabelle, St. George Island, Summer Camp, Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, Eastpoint, Mexico Beach, and Windmark were hosts to some of the best painters I've ever had the privilege of knowing. It is a 10-day event, and the subject matter is so vast that I always wish I had longer.
photo by Sandie Yarbrough
"In for a Tune-up," Port St. Joe, 14x18. Sold
The town of Port St. Joe was this year's location for the "wetroom," Patron's Party, and all the big "to do." I wish I had a final headcount for the opening. It was packed, and the organizers had done a tremendous job of renovating the building with pristine walls and great lighting. The volunteers were really on top of things, making sales, and offering wonderful food and wine. Jim Richards took the one and only award given each year which is determined by vote from the artists. Truly an honor to win an artists' vote!
"Busy Day," 16x20 Apalachicola, FL
Apalachicola hosted the T.G.I.F. party, the full-moon paintout complete with bon fire. A few of the large shrimp boats captains were kind enough to leave their lights on which added even more choice for our late-night painting party. Apalach, as the locals call it, also exhibited works that artists brought with them from previous years' trips, or studio works derived from those pieces. If you've never visited historic Apalachicola, you really must go some time. It's an extraordinary, old Florida town with just something extra.
The Quick Draw was held at Mexico Beach (as the image at the top shows). We awoke to gale force winds and thunderstorms. But Mexico Beach must have some great connection upstairs because about an hour before the competition, the clouds parted and we had the most beautiful sunshine. We could literally watch the thunderstorms avoid us off in the distance. Ken Dewaard painted Toucan's restaurant and took first place. I was extremely happy to receive Honorable Mention.
Every year we are given the chance to sign up for a couple of specific locations to paint at predetermined times so that we can be "found" by people wanting to watch artists. There are usually 1 or 2 demos every day. The organizers print an Event Guide which includes all the major happenings and lists these demonstrations. Click here to see images of these demos and other event photos. This year I participated in the moonlight paint and in the demo at Eastpoint. I love painting Eastpoint. It is slowly coming back to life after Hurricane Dennis in 2005, but the beauty of the abandoned buildings along with the oyster boats makes it a favorite for me.
"Fixer Upper," Eastpoint, 12x16
There is so much more to share, but you get the general idea. I love this place. From the bay waters to the marshlands, to the powder white sand... I'm at home when I am there, eating my weight in shrimp. That's likely why I'm very excited to be offering a workshop there in October and there are a few spots remaining. Maybe you will decide to come along. To see more paintings from my trip, visit this direct link.
Be sure to save the date for next year's event, May 3-13.