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 #96 – Silver Springs State Park, Part 1

When I was driving to Silver Springs State Park, I knew exactly the scene I would paint. Having been to this park many times before, I wanted to paint the view of the famous glass-bottom boats floating over the spring. This view had the added plus of being in the shade!

I arrived at the park early in the morning. As I set up my easel and started to sketch, I was able to experience the park as it quietly woke for the day. I watched as the glass bottom boats drove out onto the spring from their overnight rests. A cormorant was chasing fish in the clear water. Fish swirled around the rocks in the deep blue cavern. A few osprey circled overhead. Then the people started to arrive. There were families of locals and tourists, all of them amazed at the blue clear water. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “look there’s a fish!”

Then the Kayakers and SUP riders paddled onto the river. Most of them had their eyes looking down in the depths of the spring as they floated above. But one lady floated in on her kayak talking on her cell phone the whole time. She just sat in her kayak yakking away oblivious to the glass bottom boat waiting for her to move out of the way. Finally the people on the boat got fed up and they all yelled together “GET OFF THE PHONE!” She put the phone down and paddled to the edge, then quickly picked it up again to continue yakking.

I really have had trouble painting springs during this state park tour! The color and water clarity is very hard to capture on canvas. And this time I was also painting a larger canvas and painting a boat that only stayed in place for a few minutes, then would drive away! Each time a new boat came over the springs, I painted a little more of the boat. It was quite comical how many men in red shirts sat in the back chair!

After visiting the springs, I headed over the another section of the park – look for part 2 coming soon!

For more information about this park, visit their website

Silver Springs Glass Bottom Boat - 12x16

Silver Springs Glass Bottom Boat – 12×16″ Oil on Linen panel Framed

2 comments on “Park #96 – Silver Springs State Park, Part 1

  1. marge drew
    August 21, 2015

    I like your painting!! You captured its essence and the scene quite well. That famous twisted tree was quite an ambitious palm.  Margé

    • FlaScenics
      August 21, 2015

      Thank you Margé!
      I am surprised that palm hasn’t broken in half yet! It sits on some supports, but people can still sit on parts of it.

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