Florida Scenics Blog- The art of Sharon Osterholt

The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location

Park #93 – Oleta River State Park

On the north end of Biscayne Bay sits this oasis of mangroves and turquoise waters surrounded by condos and shopping centers. When I first drove in the sun was shining bright and the waters looked so inviting! I grabbed my gear out of the car and started walking when the park ranger came by and offered to give me a tour on his 4 wheeler. It was super hot out and the breeze as we drove along felt awfully good! As we drove he told me about the history of the park and the restoration that is taking place. He pointed out some newly planted mangroves that were really taking root and growing fast. Then we stopped and checked out the Coontie plants. There we saw many caterpillars and adult Florida Atala butterflies! The butterflies are a striking color of intense black with spots of iridescent blue and a bright red abdomen. Sensitive to cold temperatures, these butterflies are only found in a few counties in southeast Florida.

After our tour, I set up to paint a great view of a path through the palms with the fishing dock in the distance. When I started painting the sun was bright and the water a great aqua blue. But then a storm cloud bubbled up to the west and blocked the sun. The lightning got awfully close and I was just about to take shelter in the nearby restrooms, but then the storm fizzled. Even though it never rained, the sun didn’t make it back out. While I waited for the storm to pass and the sun to come back out I overworked the painting.. always learning!

For more information about this park, visit their website.

Oleta River 8x10

Oleta River 8×10″ oil on linen panel

2 comments on “Park #93 – Oleta River State Park

  1. marge drew
    August 15, 2015

    Lovely painting! Beautiful butterfly and wonderful photography Sounds like a wonderful tour..glad it did n’t rain..  Margé

  2. FlaScenics
    August 15, 2015

    Thanks Marge! If it had rained it would’ve stopped me from beating up this painting!

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