Its that time of the year where graduation is getting closer, I'm getting more and more excited about my future and I'm applying to grad school. In the 5 years leading up to this Spring 2018, I have walked the distance to get to know myself as an artist, an angler, a friend and an individual. I stumbled into my passion of Florida about a decade ago when I didn't know who I was or where I was going. History books enabled me to get lost in the past and dream about my ancestors and what they did. Now, I was adopted, so my ancestors are relatively unknown to me. I like to pretend they are Florida Pioneers (hence where my passion comes from). Onto the WMAs.
A good friend of mine (and sharer of Florida historical photographs) has been inviting me lately to walk a few local Wildlife Management Areas. On our walks we talk about the cattle drivers, the plantation owners, the pioneers, the settlers and the journey people had to take to make Florida what it is today. If you walked through some of the local sloughs you'd understand what I'm talking about. Two feet deep standing water covering sugar sands surrounded by palmetto thickets and pine trees couldn't have been easy to maneuver in the 1800s. I love this part of our history and its inspired me to paint what I imagine settling Palm Beach county looked like. I haven't done much research (other than asking on facebook and talking to a few people personally) so my ideas on paintings are just that. I placed my friend as a "settler" under a tree with a rifle looking over the pond enjoying the shade from the pine tree he's leaning against.
Last week I got to witness the Battle of the Loxahatchee Preservationists Society put on a battle reenactment. I brought my camera and took photos of soldiers at their camps chatting to the public. But that image brought me back in time to what actually happened before the battle began.
I began a painting yesterday that brought me so much joy because in the hours I was in my studio, I was carried away with thoughts of settlers and indians. My hope for the future is that I can combine my degree from FAU (BFA with a concentration in painting) with a Florida History Masters degree and paint Florida historical scenes. I want to do the research and come up with an organic image in my mind of what I think happened 100 years ago. Then I can put paintbrush to canvas and turn the idea into a reality that hasn't been forgotten in time.