Gardens-Palatka City

Reflectiions-Palatka Ravine Gardens

Gardens-Palatka City


Painted by Wm. J. Carpenter, AIA


Daytona Beach, Florida 1937


5 in. X 7 in. watercolor



Gardens-Palatka City completes the trilogy of Northeast Florida’s Palatka Ravine Gardens scenes created during the Depression days of the 1930s by Wm. J. Carpenter, AIA.  While capturing the tranquility of the natural gardens they created a sense of escape and rest for the patrons of his studio in Daytona Beach.

This reflection pond, encircled by tall cypress and palm trees is near the end of the road tour of the gardens and is meant to send the visitor on his way with a lasting image of the natural beauty of the Park.  The gardens had been created only a few months before as a WPA project under the supervision of Captain T.  B. Gillespie.  Mr. Carpenter was one of the first artists to ever paint the Palatka Ravine Gardens.

 The artist “mass produced” these paintings by lining up several pieces of illustration board on an easel along a wall of his studio at the same time and moving from one to the next, painting similar details in each to avoid having to clean his brush of different colors.  The result was similar views, but all with different details, not as produced by modern printing methods. There are three of these similar paintings in the family collection.

 About 1920 Mr.  Carpenter had moved his family from Pittsburgh to Florida.  Prior to making that decision he had traveled extensively in the United States and Mexico and decided of all the places he had seen he preferred to make Florida his domicile.  He loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting and looked forward to enjoying the natural outdoor beauty of Florida.  Access to nature is manifest in his architectural designs and especially in residences designed to allow vision and access to the outdoors and open-air living.

 One print of this painting that we have seen displayed in a special 3D frame accentuates the depth so skillfully captured by the artist.  It seems to invite the viewer to join the lady at the end of the lake before returning to the pressures of everyday life.

 Now that you have seen all three of the paintings available as Limited Edition prints you may want to acquire one or more of them to hang in your Wm. J. Carpenter designed building.  For more on their availability visit the Print Gallery.







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