Ocean & Ahern

Lifeguard Station at Ocean & Ahern

“Ocean & Ahern”, by Robert Leedy, watercolor on Arches Cold Press paper, 19 x 28 3/8″

Located at the end of Ahern Street, the lifeguard station in Atlantic Beach, Florida is a very familiar landmark. Playfully designed by architect William Morgan, the structure has all of the self contained necessities for lifeguards and is built to withstand high storm winds and storm surge. The building is snugly tucked in between One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa (I still refer to it as The Sea Turtle) and the beginning of the oceanfront residences that run north on Beach Avenue.

This little spot also has significance for local surfers as it is the first beach access off of Atlantic Boulevard with a view of the surf – by the comfort of your car – if you are arriving from work in the evening or making a run for coffee and a newspaper in the morning. When predicted ground swells are due to roll in at any time, it is a convenient stop to check for their arrival during your coming and going’s and you will most likely share the no-parking zone with someone else doing the exact same thing – or at least a vendor’s truck delivering produce, liquor & wine or laundry to the adjacent loading dock of the hotel.

As the perspective shows in my painting, “Ocean & Ahern”, you don’t see the ocean until you are all the way up to the lifeguard station. It’s a short little half block of anticipation if you are anxious to see what the surf is up to.

Cerulean Blue dominates the composition as it is a cool blue to juxtopose to the warmth of the sunlight. Spots of bright color here and there add a lot of visual interest. I had fun painting this watercolor. This is an easily recognizable Atlantic Beach scene and I hope it provokes a smile to all who have experienced that “short little half block of anticipation”.

Here’s a time lapsed video of the painting’s progress:

I am excited to announce that “Ocean & Ahern” has been chosen to be included in “Splash 14”, a coffee table art book devoted to the best of watercolor worldwide. It is an edited selection of a hundred or so artists that is published every two years. I am thrilled to be a part of this group!  The book will be released in the Spring of 2013.


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