May Brandt steps back from the easel, ponders her latest painting and smiles. While the scene she started at Shining Light Garden the previous week is not finished, she’s pleased with the image emerging on the canvas. Lush tropical greenery and flowers surround a papaya tree with a wooden barn in the background; it captures a moment in time.
Nature’s abundant beauty never ceases to inspire Brandt, yet up until she and her husband, Fred, moved to Vero Beach 11 years ago, she primarily painted still lifes indoors. Vegetables, flowers, vases, fruit and snippets of fabric were some of her subjects of choice.
That changed when a neighbor introduced Brandt to artist Lee G. Smith, who heads up Plein Air Painters of the Treasure Coast North. Once Brandt joined the group and experienced “painting in the landscape,” she was hooked. She not only enjoyed the camaraderie, the surroundings became her muse.
Scenes from the marina, Pocahontas Park, Conn Beach and other familiar local sites line the walls of her light-filled home studio, a former bedroom transformed into an artist’s creative space.