I know it’s corny but I’ve done quite few paintings of dams over the years and I still have fun with it. Saturday I had to drive out to Buford to the Tannery to pick up a painting that was in the Gwinnett Parks Plein Air show . Buford is a cool little rail side town, so typical of many here in GA. They were build right along the tracks and at one time were farming communities and small manufacturing hubs that prospered with the coming of the railroads.The Tannery is a community arts center just south of the old town and has about twenty studios with local painters and sculptors along with a gallery.
On the way home I drove up to Lake Lanier and stopped at the Buford Dam for this ominous view. I was just trying to capture the scale and power of this massive structure that holds back a 40 mile long lake and controls the Chattahoochee’s flow from here to Florida. The sun only came out for about five minutes revealing some shadows, otherwise this view flattens out a bit. I did some touch-up back in the studio on this from a photo.. The compositional choices were limited. I used the trees and roadway way up top to emphasize the scale.
Another damn painting—Sunday afternoon I drove over after lunch to Mountain Park one of my favorite spots and painted this view of the much smaller dam they have there. It was warm and wonderful and I was very careful setting this one up. As you can see from the photo I zeroed in on the spillway and spent most of my time working on that water and shadow below the bridge. Most painters would shy away from the fence in this sort of view but I have a method of painting in the darks and knocking out the lights that does a easy job of this sort of thing.I also painted the lights of the water in at the same time as the darks—against my usual methods. The figure and tree to the left were put in just at the last —I thought it needed a balance to the little mechanical shed. I did the thumbs with the trees to right but in the end realized they would cover up to much. I also used the knife for those thinner branches. It’s very light blue but actually has the feel of the day’s light and I did almost nothing to it afterward.