Plein Air in Piedmont Park

I’m ashamed that I have lived in Atlanta for over 20 years off and on and never walked through Piedmont Park. My daughter arranged for me to get my photo taken by Anne Almasy on Sunday as a present. Ann has taken quite a few photos of our family over the years, most notably Megan and Bo’s wedding shots. She’s an artist and a craftsman plus as I found quite a good business woman. I was supposed to meet her at the new parking deck—early at 9:30, so I was up and out of the house at 8:30 and arrived just as she was finishing her first “mini-shoot” of the day. I was number two of ten she had scheduled for the morning.  I thinking about dressing up in a blue smock with a red bow, beret and penciled in a mustache or perhaps like Joaquin Sorolla, the Spanish impressionist who painted in the summer heat in a three piece suit. Nah—I think I’ll wear  my paint stained baggy shorts and a fly fishing hat.

Certainly wish I could channel Sorolla — I set up my box, boring Ann with all the details. It was not a place where I would normally have painted, but I’m finding out that is a good thing so I made a go of it. As I was working she was too, taking a bunch of shots then leaving me to attend to other clients and chase small children around with a camera. I put one in the painting. After a few hours, both of us were near done. She left and I packed up to look for a good spot for a bigger 11 x14.

The park is really quite wonderful with a mix of old structures and modern amusements. I think the Olmsteds designed it— it has their signature blend of interesting stone stairways, looped pathways, ponds, and planed views. I had a lot of gear so I didn’t even attempt to walk the entire area. I found a spot on one of the ponds and worked at trying to capture the fantastic view of the Atlanta skyline. It was a cloudy day and the water was as still as glass with flat light so I spent most of the time working on the contrast of the very light buildings in the background and the densely wooded mid-ground. Surprising to me that everything went well so to throw a wrench in, it started to rain. Lucky I’ve stopped using those cheep cardboard panels that would have started warping immediately  and I stayed at it finishing up just before 5 pm.

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