1 Hour - Waleska 2

North by Northwest—Part 1, Waleska

For the past two weeks or so I’ve been exploring the Northwest of my location here in Marietta, I just get bored with trying to find new places and find it easier to drive out a bit from the suburbs to the country. It’s fairly easy heading up either 575 towards Blue Ridge or a bit further west and up 75 towards Cartersville.

Waleska - 1 Hour
Waleska – 1 Hour

On Saturday the first of March it was a bit cloudy but I decided to head up 575 and see if I could find some open farmland near Canton. I don’t like to drive around scouting because I’m always thinking there something better over the next hill. With that in mind I promised myself to stop at the first good view I could find, Going West from Canton I went thru a small town called Waleska. It’s quiet and not very big. Reinhart College is located there and I noticed a nice old store building right downtown. On the other side of town, the landscape turned more rural and I was coming around a bend I noticed a view of a small stream winding its way through a pasture. I took the next right and wound back around to check it out. There was an intersection with a few industrial buildings close by so I pulled in and finding no one around proceeded to get my equipment out. Just then a truck came out of nowhere. Guy rolled down the window—

1 Hour - Waleska 2
1 Hour – Waleska 2

What’s you do’in?

Just out painting today, do you think it’s all right to park here.

No—we don’t like folks parking here, you can go down the road about a tenth of a mile to a golf course and park there, no one will mind.

Sure no problem—thanks.

So I loaded back up and drove down to a small golf course—in the middle of nowhere. I parked and headed back with all my gear and in about ten minutes I was set up with a nice view down the little valley. I came with my new set-up of a sketching board that I tape a few small pieces of canvas to. I wanted to do a few one-hour paintings after reading a book by Kevin McPhearson in which he suggested doing 100 or so quick starts. I like the idea because I’m always spending too much time on my little 9 x12″ paintings, working them to death. This way I think I can get quicker and less fussy.

Taped next to each other I have a  fashion of working on them both at the same time. First I concentrated on the view I noticed from the car. The other I used to capture a nice scene about 50 yards to the left that included the fence that I set up next to winding up a hill to a small shack. I also used a business card that I had punched a hole in to test the colors by isolating them thru the hole. I found this to be quite useful and a good way to think carefully before you put the color down. As I said, I worked on both at the same time and some of the colors were the same so it made things go quicker. Also, I notice shifts in color —like the grass color from the one to the other. All of a sudden I realized there was someone behind me.


Sorry didn’t mean to frighten you. I was driving bye and saw you down here and wanted to take a photo, is that all right?

Well sure, I’m surprised you saw me down here. I sometimes get so carried away that I don’t notice people.

Well you know I’m a nut with this camera phone and I’m always taking shots. Hope you don’t mind.

No problem.

Back at it, I was pleased with the results and after less than two hours I loaded up my gear and headed back to the car thinking how much faster it would have been if I could have parked right across the street. No one around anyway.

I jumped back into the Z and headed back toward Waleska. I drove around the seemingly abandoned campus looking for a good spot. The had an arts building —too small, and a  performing arts building —too big. All on a fake lake and the buildings all had fake Greek columns.

Hate that stuff.

Cline's Store — Waleska
Cline’s Store — Waleska

Back in the car, I headed down the block to the crossroads of town where the only original structure I could find stood. Cline’s Store it said on the sign jutting out from the front. Nice old southern style clapboard structure with a hip roof made of metal. The upstairs windows were painted white for some reason, still, it had that look—Look that I love. So I set up across the street as far back as I could get to do its portrait. I still squashed it in a little 9 x12 board. Using my new color finder I had fun with all the whites that turned up to not be white at all. I was there for three hours or so. A few people stopped by, but not many. Human nature I guess, if they can see what you’re doing they are not all that curious but set up out of the way somewhere and you’re sure attract attention.

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