The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
It was a sunny and cool day – perfect day for painting and exploring DeLeon Springs State Park! We explored the park a bit and looked around the Old Spanish Sugar Mill. Around the building there are some remnants of a fountain that was promoted as the Fountain of Youth years ago. It was just a pipe that let spring water trickle down a man-made stone wall into a small bowl. I think if I drove hundreds of miles, I’d be pretty disappointed! Now the main attraction at the park is the Old Spanish SugarMill pancake restaurant. Famous for griddles on each table, which diners use to make their own pancakes. When we arrived there was an hour wait for a table, I wanted to get a good start on my painting, so we thought we would wait a bit to add our names to the list. The spring itself is surrounded by a concrete pool, so it isn’t very natural looking – very much like a swimming pool. Which even on this cool day, many swimmers were enjoying. The big pool trickled over the some rocks along the edge to form a small waterfall and start the river. Looking down, some rocks moved! The rocks were manatees getting as close to the wall as they could for the warm spring water. I decided to paint the view of the SugarMill and waterfall from across the river. It seemed a nice quiet spot in the shade, but little did I know it was the drop off point for the river boat ride! Every hour a boatload of people stopped to look and chat. I don’t mind talking to people while painting but it did get a bit distracting, especially while drawing the architecture of the building. After painting awhile, Rick went to put our names on the list for a table – by this time the wait was 3 hours and it was close to noon already! We were too hungry to wait that long, so decided to have lunch at Twin Brothers Cafe next to the Karlings Inn down the road (the same owner). We both had the pork schnitzel panini with a sundried tomato topping- it was deeeelicious!
For more information on this park, click to visit their website