Saturday, May 29, 2010

fort zachary taylor state park

(6x8)
My best friend from high school, Robin, will be turning fifty next month, on the first day of summer, the happiest day of the year.
Robin lived in Key West for many years and I visited every year. Robin and I are ritualistic sorts and in Key West a never-missed ritual was to ride bikes to the waterfront market, stock up on cheeses, bread, and beer, then spend the day at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, reading, talking, eating and drinking; sitting in the sun or the shade of the cypresses, and swimming.
This is not my first attempt to paint scenes from the park ... I want to give them, when I get some good ones, to Robin as a memento for her birthday. I think I have to try again.
Judging for their website, the fort, like much of the Key West waterfront has suffered from a lot of sprucing up ... I miss dilapidated old Key West! Now that I'm old and dilapidated too it's an especial affront. I'm sure Robin (now living in Wisconsin) would agree.

(6x8)

A frame made from boards from an old Key West house that Robin gave me as a housewarming; it's hanging at the entrance to my art room.
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12 comments:

Watercolorist said...

It's a great idea to give such a meaningful gift. Your work is always good. I've never been to Key West but know what you mean about preserving the old look of places like that.
Jean

debwardart said...

Love the frame - how neat that each time you walk into your room you are reminded of such pleasant memories. I'm sure that whatever you paint, your friend Robin will love.

Charlene Brown said...

If Robin has a couple of those frames herself, they should provide the right degree of dilapidation to turn your beautiful paintings of the spiffed up present day Key West into wonderfully nostalic mementos.

Melanie Rawlings said...

OOOO, what a relaxing place , i can feel the breeze

RHCarpenter said...

Your friend will treasure your gifts and have so many fond memories of your time there - before it was spiffed up so much :) I haven't been to Key West in years but did enjoy my trip there. I think, for me, it's the color of the houses that get my watercolor mind flowing - that says Florida or the Caribbean to me!

Cathy Gatland said...

How nice to have such a ritual with an old friend - she will love to have your painting. Key West is one place I have been to, alas in winter and long ago, but we did enjoy it's slightly shabby, relaxed feel - this is a lovely reminder of a great holiday.

AutumnLeaves said...

Both paintings are just so wonderful, Laura. Being old and dilapidated myself, I am really loving that beachy picture frame Robin gave you. It is quite lovely!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Laura! I share your love of old Florida...

You are invited to help launch

the Spirit of the Gulf Challenge — http://www.suzannemcdermott.com/2010/06/spirit-of-gulf-challenge.html

You're listed with other folks at bottom of post. Hope you can join in...

Mark McC said...

I love the paintings, covet the frame, and enjoyed reading your thoughts on one of my favorite destinations.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laura,

Just beautiful, the paintings and the sentiment.

Take care,

Barbara

Barbara Weeks said...

Excellent! I love the bike and palms.

Maggie Latham said...

Laura, Having lived in KW for seven years myself I know Fort Zac and the Waterfront Market well!!! Yes, we felt it was time to leave in 2008 with all the new construction and changes going on.....that and the stress of hurricanes every year! I love these watercolors....so Key Westy!!
Maggie

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