Southern Delight

Painting Like a Mad Man

River Life
River Life

Sometimes I just overdo it. You can just get over-excited and I find that my personality is a bit that way. This Saturday I pulled a three painting marathon on Saturday. I drove down and parked my car near the corner of Azalea Drive along the Chattahoochee. I’ve been up early so I can get out before it gets too hot and get more work done. I saw a spot close to this parking with a view of the river as it flattens out and floods a large area but when I got to the spot the light just did nothing and I decided to walk farther north to a park just about a mile down the road. I need the exercise so off I went with my box and pack and my umbrella case…

I set up for a view of the river looking north from the park and got to work right about 9 AM. The river was covered with a low fog that I knew would burn off pretty quickly but I’m a sucker for the effects and rushed to paint the cool green background before it changed. With a 12 x 24 you have a lot of ground to cover so I worked quickly and intensely to get some paint down. The composition is king and I thought that this long view was composed well with a lot of foreground to the left instead of sky and water. I was interested in the geese that are always here and they make their presence felt mostly in the shadows but I did stick one out in the light. I set up my umbrella mostly to shield my eyes from the glare. If you paint outside I think you should get one. Kind of a pain in the ass to lug around but it pays off in comfort, especially on a hot sunny day. Mostly it’s to keep the direct sunlight off your work but I sneak under that shade as much as I can.

Clouds on the Chattahoochee
Clouds on the Chattahoochee

Around noon I started another. A view of a big tree hanging over the river and a sky filled with clouds. The clouds in GA are pretty awesome and I should paint them more often. It’s not an easy task though, they change minute to minute and you just have to get in the zone. Again, I should do just a few that are dedicated to all clouds—great practice. It was hot and getting hotter as I finished this up around 2:30. I was in a very busy area of the river with loads of rafters and scull boats rowing past but even though the parking lot was full, not many people were in the park so I only talked to a few folks the whole time. I loaded up my equipment and headed out for the mile walk back to the car now with the addition of two wet paintings. I can get a few on the box if they are the same size but I had no place for the 11 x 14″ so I had to carry it like a waiters tray.

I was lucky there was no wind and I trounced off up the runner’s path toward the car. When I got back to the spot I passed up in the morning the sun had changed it into a glorious view. It was close to three in the afternoon and I was already worn out but I pushed it and set up once more. Again, I got out my umbrella more as a shield than anything else. The light was from the back now and everything was so well defined and simplified. I rushed to get the form in and the water reflections. While I was there quite a few joggers stopped by along with a delightful young lady who lived across the street and told me that this spot was spectacular at sunset— especially in the Fall. Well, I’m going back, no doubt about it.

The River Flats
The River Flats

Sunday I was longing for some house painting as I do on occasion so I drove to Mimosa Drive in Roswell, to paint a view of the house right next to the Scroggin’s Law office that I’ve painted before. A nice white southern charmer with great Victorian details. I was there right around church time and lucky to get a parking spot right next to the place I set up. This view, framed through the trees inspired me and I finished up the 11 x 14″ in just about three hours. I brought an 18 x24″ of the Bulloch house near bye that I started several months ago on a grey day. I thought I might just ad some light to it but as I drove up and parked near the house the skies clouded over and it started to rain. It was probably a good thing, I’d have worked another three hours and might have even started another. Sometimes nature just says—Enough!

Southern Delight
Southern Delight

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