A cool day on Mimosa Blvd.

The last Saturday of February was chilly but I was in a great mood and packed up early arriving in Roswell before noon. Mimosa Blvd. parallels Alpharetta Street a block west. This must of been the part of the original old Roswell as many of the historic homes branch off this lovely wide road. Settled around 1830 by Roswell King, the area was dominated before the civil war by cotton fields and the textile mill on nearby Vickery Creek. While the mill was burned to the ground during the war many of the fine homes remain. Three rather famous: Bulloch Hall, Barrington Hall and the Smith Plantation are all within about a mile of each other.

I found a few less pretentious abodes at the other end of Mimosa near the corner with Magnolia St. I am a big fan of southern domestic architecture. It is simple, almost Shaker with a hint of Greek revival. As usual now, I did a few prep thumbnails before I opened the oil. My drawing box fits right on top of my pochade and contains everything I need. It’s a wonderful mahogany cigar box. The first house is Kimball Hall presently a popular venue for weddings. Right next door (823 Mimosa Blvd) was this rather neat bungalow with matching dormers and craftsman style windows. The light just got brighter warmer as the day went along. I only stopped twice, once to eat a packed sandwich and another to greet my daughter Jen and grandson Cole who drove by and noticed grandpa doing what he does—paint.      


Vickery Creek Falls

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Roswell painting since the beginning of the new year. It’s a wonderful area with lots of parks and older homes. One of my places is Vickery Creek—this is a tributary to the Chattahoochee that runs through Roswell and contains the old textile mill and a

damn with falls. The falls is about 50 feet tall and the day I was there was shimmering in the late afternoon sun. This took about 3 hours to do and nobody stopped in to say hello—a good thing.

I took a short movie on my iPad along with a few stills that are very close to what the painting looks like. I put in a light ocher under painting under all that water to warm it up a bit. There actually was a bit of a rainbow shimmering off the spray but I figured that would be to hard to pull off in such short time.

Also a photo showing my setup, a 9×12 pochade box and my very selective assortment of brushes. I usually only use 2, mostly a big #13 flat. All my paint is Gamblin and in this case I’m using a 9 x 12″canvas panel.

The lakes at Mountain Park

Another of my favorite spots to paint is Mountain Park. It’s only about 5 minutes from the house and It has a lot of charm and a lot of water. Two of my favorite things, A few weeks back I went over on a Saturday and spent the afternoon on this view. My intent was to paint the pine trees at full height and get them in the painting. This is problem I often have of running them right off the top. I really concentrated on this but the painting has so much going on that It could of been 9 ft tall instead of 11 inches. I’m over the whole tree thing now. Half of this plein air game is picking the right thing to paint.

Along the Chattahoochee

Way to many double letters in that name but a beautiful river that has a lot of wonderful painting opportunities. I must have twenty paintings of the river done over the years from the source up near Helen all the way to Atlanta.

A few weeks ago I was looking for a good view of the river and ended up near Morgan Falls north of Roswell. There are several parks along the river here and this one has to be the largest. I hiked for a least a half an hour to the river  and another twenty minutes north along a path that follows it. It’s a hard hike and I had a lot of equipment but I finally found a good place to set up. I forgot my pad so I did not do any thumbs this time but I did get a few shots along the way.

At rest in Roswell

I’ve always been interested in old cemeteries—not a view of many others. I like the old grave stones and history of the site. Roswell has quite a few older graveyards that fit the bill. This site is rite off Alpharetta Blvd., Woodstock St. runs right through it.

Again I did a few quick thumbs before getting to work on this view of a obelisk under one of the old red cedars. A few folks stopped by as usual and my daughter drove bye while I was working telling me the next day that “it couldn’t of been anyone else”

I found a web site with lots of info http://www.roswellgov.com/index.aspx?NID=1277

It’s raining at Vickery Creek

After the rainI painted this from under the covered bridge at Vickery Creek in Roswell. You can climb down to the river from the bridge that crosses the creek and follow it up or down. This day it had been raining and the volume of water was significant. The color was not it’s usual emerald green but more of a liquid chocolate.

I’ve started doing small thumbnail pencil drawings before beginning painting, I find this helps me — often my first idea is not the best or just wont work so a small little sketch can help me see problems before I commit to paint.  They are not overly attractive but they are useful. I also use a small view finder I’ve cut out of black mat board and I simply trace this on to the pad for the right proportion.

I’ve been studying several books on landscape painting and Edgar Payne’s Composition of Outdoor Painting I have found to help me quite a bit. The circular motion is brought back around by the foreground tree to left.This view is split into three distinct areas—foreground, mid ground and background. The color is quite true to the actual scene but I blued out that background a bit to push it back. All the action is in the mid ground where the paint get a bit thick and helps explain the form of the slight drop off.  The foreground has some green on the moss covered rocks that help bring them forward.

All in all I was very satisfied with this—It’s one of my best from the 100 or so I’ve done in this format over the last year.