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.
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—
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.
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.
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.