On the River St. Johns

On the River St. Johns

Watercolor by Wm. J. Carpenter    1937

This scene by artist Wm. J. Carpenter depicts a tranquil setting on his favorite St. Johns River in the Palatka or DeLand, Florida area.  It was painted in 1937 in his studio in Daytona Beach for sale to the tourist trade during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  From our research we believe it was only during this short period of depressed architectural commissions that he sold any of his watercolors; all others were either given to family and friends or used to illustrate his architectural designs for his clients.

 In this small 5 X 7 frame the artist has captured the native flora of palms, cypress trees with hanging Spanish moss and water lilies; also the beautiful but invasive blue blooms of water hyacinths.  He chose not to paint the massed beds of the hyacinths packed from bank to bank of the river, as they often appeared during this era.  The charming scene includes a romantic couple in vintage clothing and canoe complete with fishing pole very reminiscent of the by-gone Victorian era of the architect’s youth in England.

 The original of this painting has faded somewhat and it has some foxing due to having been painted on common illustration board, but prints make a good companion to the “Palatka Ravine Gardens” scene we have previously mentioned and to the “Reflections-Palatka Ravine Gardens” which we will discuss here in a coming blog.

Signed Limited Edition prints of this painting are available from the Print Gallery by clickling above.




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