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On The Beach

10/29/2013 at 5:34pm

Safety Harbor Fishhouse by David BellingPaint The Beach

One of our island’s most popular November events - 'Paint the Beach - from Sandcastles to Shrimpboats' is now in its fourth year. During the first week of November, 60 artists - both local and from as far away as Ecuador - will be found all over the island painting scenes of our beautiful town "en plein air', meaning outside. We decided to showcase two of the talented artists that folks will see November 5-10.

Randon Eddy has lived full time on Sanibel Island for 12 years after moving down from New Hampshire. She is a Master Naturalist and allows her love of wildlife to show in her paintings. She is also a children’s book illustrator of the popular book "Dillo -A Baby Armadillo’s Adventure on Sanibel Island”, and the new book, "Snowy Pea and the Ghost Crab”. In a book she both wrote and illustrated, "The Mysterious Creature”, Randon uses animals from many other lands in her illustrations to tell the story about gossip and its harm. Her works may be found in the permanent local collections of J.N. Ding Darling, Sanibel Library, and the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, and in 2008 she was nominated by the Lee County Alliance of the Arts for Artist of the Year. Randon loves to observe and enjoy the life around her, and then express what she sees through her art.

"Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy their work like I do,” she says. "Painting is my heart and soul.”

Milwaukee native and self-taught artist David Belling won last year's Paint the Beach competition. His watercolors evoke a bygone era, as Belling imbues scenes from simpler times into contemporary life - often painting things like old fishing shanties and shrimpboats from his studio overlooking the Caloosahatchee River.

"I was an advertising guy for many years, and most of the products I worked on were for use in the outdoors, like boats,” Belling told us. "I spent a great deal of time setting up outdoor photo shoots, so my eye is trained for that. Watercolorists love to paint water because of the reflections, and the fact that no one can tell you that you got it wrong,” he said chuckling.

Belling's work appears in several galleries throughout Lee County, including Frame Gallery and Gifts in Cape Coral and Crossed Palms in Bokeelia. Folks can check out his work on his website,

Look for artists painting around the island November 5-7. On Friday, November 8 an Awards Ceremony and Collector’s Preview Party will be held in the Festival Tent at Santini Marina Plaza. Tickets to the Awards Ceremony can be purchased at the door ($35) or in advance ($30) at the Fish Tale Marina office or at The original artwork will be on display in the Festival tent for public viewing on Saturday, November 9th from 11am-7pm and Sunday, November 10thfrom 10am-2pm.

A Quick Draw painting competition will be held on Saturday from 9-11am in Time Square. Winners will be announced in the Festival Tent at 1pm. Live music will be provided in the tent on Saturday from 12-2pm by the North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts Steel Drum Band. From 3-5pm take in the Jazz Café in the Festival Tent as Jo List performs with Joe McConaghy. See the full schedule of Paint the Beach events in this issue.

The Fort Myers Beach Art Association gallery is located at Donora and Shellmound. Open Monday-Saturday from 10am-3pm; Sunday Noon-3pm, the gallery will feature the Fall Judged Show from November 2-27.Beginning on November 29th the Art Divine show will begin.

Watch for "Art on the Boulevard” held November 17 from 11am-3pm at the Century21 TriPower office at 2001 Estero Blvd.Sixteen local artists will attend to discuss their work at this show of beach-themed artwork.

Keri Hendry Weeg