Painting requires very little. Usually paint and something to apply it with (brush, trowel, or fingers) is all you need. Creating art on the other hand requires thought and skill. When it comes to plein air painting anyone can go out and copy whats in front of them but, to create good art one has to do some editing.
Here is a recent example, another Florida painting, of editing in the field. My focus here is on creating a composition out of a lot of confusing stuff. The photo above I took in a little fishing village (just south of Marco Island) called Goodland. As you can see if I tried to paint everything in this photo I'd be painting for days and my outcome probably wouldn't be so good. What I liked about this back lit scene right away was the foreground boats and the boat in the middle ground. I knew from the start I wanted to emphasize these two elements. What I did next was squeeze the large space between the boats together getting rid of a lot of unnecessary mess. I kept a couple key shapes (or buildings) that would help give the painting a since of place. I enlarged the palm trees on the right also giving the scene a since of place. Without the palms this scene could have been painted in any harbor. Excluding these elements would've made the scene to generic. We wouldn't want that. Lastly I omitted one of the foreground posts and played with a radial pattern with the 3 remaining posts to help the viewer travel through the foreground better.