Nearly two years ago I was looking for places to paint and ended up at McFarlane Park in Cobb County. Since then I’ve spent many sessions recording how this quiet unspoiled landscape looks at all times of the year. With spring in full bloom and a show planned for October I went back over to this farm park to see how it looked. I was greeted by a mix of flowering trees, red bud, dogwood and cheery all in their prime.
I was attracted to the red bud, a wispy dark barked tree with intensely redish purple blooms. The white fences that surround the front acreage are quite wonderful and frame up views and accent others. I set up and worked on a view down a path to one of the out buildings, a stable like structure with white clapboard. Just a perfect bit of structure to ad to this colorful landscape. I worked on a 12 x15″ — an odd size but I love it. A bit bigger than 9 x12 and little more square, Just about everything I do this size works. The problem is framing it. I had one made at JFM with a linen mat and I used it in the Marietta show. I’ll need to buy several more before my shows in August and October.
After about three hours on this view I set up a did a 9 x12 vertical of a magnificent dogwood on the property. I love dogwoods but struggle with them because they have delicate bent limbs and are sparsely flowered. The lace like appearance is easy to cover up with too many booms. You have to be very careful to not overdue it. I’ve painted the one in my back yard many time and am still not satisfied. Later in the week I tried again on an evening after dinner. Still not sure this is successful—at least I’m aware of the problem.
The following weekend 4/11-13 I was back over to McFarlane on Friday morning with a old college friend Kathy Gray-Farthing who was in town for a Photoshop conference and had the morning off to paint with me. It was great to see her and we painted the same building from the opposite side. This time the forest floor was covered with a carpet of Blue Bells and occasional Yellow Corn Flowers— Quite mesmerizing. I got a good start on it Friday but we had no sun so when the next day it was gloriously sunny and warm I went back over and put in some more hours on in.
This next weekend begins the Gwinnett Parks Plein Air Challenge, a show that I’ve participated in twice without finishing in the money. It’s a long drawn out affair that last all summer with four sessions at parks in Gwinnett culminating with a show and final judging in September. With not much else going on locally I still was eager to give it another go. Lot’s of very good painters will be competing and a win would be a great achievement. We’ll see. I’ll post my first work from Alexander Park next week. Happy painting.