Monday, July 27, 2009

To Condo or not to Condo ?

I really enjoy the beauty of Perdido Key. Back in 1500's the Spanish Explorers call it the Lost Key. The reason why it was lost, was because of the shifting sands made it hard for Spanish sailors to explore. I wish Perdido Key would remain “lost”, but like everything along the Florida coastline, developers have built Condominiums on it. It seems like Perdido would fall into the same building frenzy like other Florida Beaches except for one small native called the Perdido Key Beach Mouse.

The Perdido Key Beach Mouse was listed as an endangered species in 1985. Loss of habitat due to development is considered to be the main factor which led to the decline of the species. Since the mouse was listed, it’s number has been growing back, but it will probably never make it off the endangered species list because of continual habitat loss. So Perdido Key has been saved from over development by this small but mighty mouse.

What we have now in Perdido Key is mixture of natural beach parks, such as Johnson’s Beach, and a selected group of Condos along the beach highway. But unlike South Florida, our builders have gotten the message and have found a way to build structures that can help save the beach as well as to allow us to enjoy its beauty.

When I first started painting Plein Air, I was impressed on the pastel colors of the Perdido Condos along the Intercostal Waterway. Here is a picture that I painted in 2008, looking South, towards the beach. Notice the Condos in the distant left.

A year later, in July 2009, was back again, looking at the wonderful seascape of our Lost Key. This time I was looking South West, watching the Intercostal Waterway work its way back into Orange Beach, which is in Alabama. Now the question?, do I paint what I see, or paint what I would like to see. I guess they call this “Artistic Freedom”. At a sub-conscience level, I really want Perdido Key to be the way it was back, a few decades ago. So, out with the condos and in with the Pine Trees and Scrub Oaks. Here is my impression of my beloved Perdido Key:

I have much more pictures to paint at Perdido. Pensacola is such a beautful place to live!


Marian Fortunati said...

What fun! Sounds like you're really enjoying life AND painting wonderful things!!

Be well!

L.Holm said...

Hi, Jim - thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your paintings are so full of joy. I particularly like the ones of Destin, and the ones from the windy day--I can actually feel the wind in the brush strokes!
I'm and (ex) sailor. Had to sell my Catalina a few years ago. Miss the ocean something fierce. It's been fun visiting your site. Best regards, Liz

Terry Sutherland said...

Jim--I think your strongest characteristic as a plein air artist is your brushwork, strokes without fear executed in the joy of your moment at the easel. Water soluble oils must lead you into that kind of freedom.