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

Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paint Out

This year I was honored to be invited to participate in the Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paint Out.

The paint-out was to be a whole week (October 1st thru the 8th) of 26 artists painting events in and around Canaveral National Seashore and New Smyrna Beach.


Beautiful New Smyrna Beach Sunrise

I arrived on Sunday morning with the news that a hurricane was forecast to pass far offshore Florida’s east coast. No big deal, maybe some winds, so the weatherman said! My first stop was the National seashore for a tour of the park given by one of the park rangers. He took us to see the park’s iconic Eldora house and Turtle Mound. As we toured, the mosquitos literally feasted on our arms and ankles and the storm clouds brewed over the ocean. It didn’t look pretty!  But the rain held off while we had our artist orientation and dinner that evening.


A historic house at Canaveral National Seashore


Cute little boathouse. I saw this on the first day and planned to create a painting of it. But I didn’t have time to get to it. Unfortunately it was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.

The next morning I was awoken at about 3am by thunder and a train. At least I hoped it was a train – not a tornado! The rain was crashing loudly on the tin roof of my little beach cottage. By dawn it was still dark and rainy. Many of the artists took cover to paint under a pavilion on the bay. I drove down to a little kayak launch and used my open car hatch as a roof to paint under. The painting turned out gray dark and dreary – so I didn’t even turn it in.


Dark and dreadful skies

By noon the sun came out, and so did word that the storm was now forecast to move closer to the coastline. But still not too close, so we kept painting! I painted a cute little mangrove tree along a shell lined beach on the bayside. While I painted about a half dozen manatees rolled along the shore, a few dolphin swam by, and some fish jumped around too. It was a beautiful place.



Finally – some sun! Manatee Junction

Later that evening all of the artists gathered in downtown to paint a night scene. I chose this cute little shop called The Palms. The cool breeze kept the mosquitos away and we all had a fun time.


Nocturne at The Palms

By the time Tuesday morning came the forecast was even worse – now Hurricane Matthew was a category 3 storm and the path was just 50 miles from the coast. A bit too close for comfort! But the show must go on and we kept painting! I got out early and painted the sunrise of the palm trees on Chicken Island. Then I cruised over to the beach and set up my acrylics easel to create some little beach paintings. The surf was very rough and the clouds and drizzle kept rolling in and out.


Chicken Island Sunrise. These trees took a beating from Hurricane Matthew.


Acrylics on the beach

After painting the beach, the sun was out again, so I went back to the bayside and painted some palms near a kayak launch. By this time I was exhausted and went back to my cottage to frame some paintings to turn in to the gallery.


Almost forgot to get a picture!

Wednesday morning Hurricane Matthew was forecast to be a Category 4 storm and to sideswipe all along the Florida east coast and evacuations were underway! I decided not to stay at the beach, but before I left I painted a beautiful sunrise on the beach. The sky was gorgeous, but the waves told another story.


The mean looking sky and crashing waves – Matthew’s on the way.


My last sunrise before the storm

The rest of the Paint Out was canceled due to the storm. New Smyrna was forecast to get a 5′ storm surge, but luckily that didn’t happen. (Unfortunately St. Augustine got the storm surge and thousands of buildings were damaged). The building housing our paintings did suffer roof and water damage though, and a new venue is being sought for the big Art Auction and Gala to be rescheduled in November. Check out my Facebook page for posting of the new Gala dates.

It was a sad ending to the Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paint Out. But we’ll be back for the Gala!

I wish we had more days to paint. New Smyrna Beach and the Canaveral National Seashore offer many scenic and historic places to see. I’ll be going back and painting some of the scenes soon!


The cupboard was bare! I stopped for supplies on the way home, but I got there a bit too late.


2 comments on “Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paint Out

  1. marge drew
    October 19, 2016

    Wow Sharon in spite of it all you sure got some stunning paintingsand some beautiful photos!  Sure glad though that they cancelled thepaint out and sent you all home..   My husband was sure that if thecane had not at last minute moved further out to sea near us thatwe would have no home to even come home to after the storm. Thedamage here was pretty awful..including A1A which has some washouts at edge and a couple road wash outs.. We have a DETOUR  untilthey fix it.. but from HIGHBRIDGE road (that is the road to the loop and the place they put the boats into the water) all the way to St Augustine theroad is closed to traffic.

    Flagler is a pure horror of WASHED out roads.  There were many floodsin the area and some neighborhoods looked like a war zone.  We lost power where we were staying and Paul nearly ran out of oxygen..  Finallythey opened the bridge and the curfew and let us come home..  We foundour yard quite a disaster. Structural supports in Screen house of pool brokenand tossed about..and stucco damaged.. Fences down almost entirely bothfront and back. Lg hybiscus shrub uprooted, some plants in back yard had branches gone, an out building was dumped and broken and its contents all over yard… Front lost white fence, and light attached to house and pulledout down spout and blew it into yard from the gutter.. soffits and facia pushedin and some roof damage..  but seems our home never lost power..HOWEVERIF  that storm had not turned we would for sure now not have a home..andmost of this area would be gone entirely.  YA it would have been that bad withthe storm surge at  high tide..  Now sand is way up high and if there was astorm now NOBODY would have any protection around here.  We lost waterfor awhile than had boil water order for several days..  I cannot tell you howstress ful it was esp when power was out where we were and he was running outof oxygen.. Sigh

    We are still using a detour to get home..but they are working on the washed out A1A … which by the way I saw on way home..and moved to NORTH bound laneto avoid the wash out that I saw ..but even than had NO IDEA that there was NO SAND under the lane that I moved out of to get home.. but by time we left to go tostore they had detour set up!!

    Anyhow.. glad your ok and that you got amazing paintings!! thanks for sharing  Margé

  2. FlaScenics
    October 19, 2016

    Thanks Marge! It was a fun experience, but a lot of hard work too. It’s too bad the storm cut the event short. I would have liked to paint a few more!
    I’ve seen pics of Flagler and a1a. It is a mess for sure. I was thinking about you two and hoping you had enough oxygen on hand. I’m sure that was scary for you!
    Glad the damage to your house was fairly minimal considering what it could have been!

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