Everglades National Park covers over 1.5 million acres! Only some of it is accessible by car. We took an airboat tour (remember "Gentle Ben" and "Flipper"?) of some of the mangrove and cypress groves and it was spectacular! Except for the part where the guide warned us of snakes in the trees. Yikes!
On land, I was especially intrigued with the pine groves and their unique ecosystems. From where we camped, I could see a nice group of trees and I studied them for a long time. Studying became sketching. Sketching became designing. Designing became abstraction.
Some of the trees were bent from the devastating 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Of course, many snapped and broke off, but some bent and stayed bent. I appreciated how their trunks created diagonal changes in the mostly vertical portion of the view.
I keep think of Hofmann's admonishment to let the landscape become the launching point for a painting design. As I look at these sketches today, I have more ideas about what to do with those shapes to move them further into abstraction.
On my morning walk around the lake, I was mindful of the ranger's warning about snakes in the ankle-high grass. I definitely didn't want to meet one of those giant Burmese Pythons everyone is worried about in Florida.
And, I was sure to walk in the morning, because, as another friend warned, "At night, there's just alligators and alligator food in the lake."
Life is good!