It’s Winter or stick season as we plein air painters call it. Trees are hard enough to paint let alone when they are just brown sticks in the sky. At least we have plenty of pines in Georgia to keep a haze of green in our paintings. I’m always perplexed as to where to go to paint this time of year but I think I’ve finally figured it out. The Chattahoochee near Roswell has an estuary, just like ones on the coast, a large flat flooded area where, in this case, Big Creek dumps out into the river. I paint Big creek —or Vickery Creek as some call it, a lot. In any case, this area where the creek feeds into the river is wide and low and the river spills out into the surrounding flats with many small islands and flooded areas. Without any leaves, this area is open and gives the painter long uninterrupted vistas that the light and atmosphere can have an effect on.
I’ve had some luck over the last few weeks here and up the creek a bit. Water is always a good thing when there is little sunlight and with all the rain lately, it amplifies what little light there is. I started along Willeo Rd. at the park near the fishing platform and progressed north up the road near the Chattahoochee Nature Center. You can park in the nature center without paying a fee but you can not go onto the boardwalk there without paying. If you have not been there, go ahead pay and check it out but the views are obstructed for the most part so you are better off along the road, just be careful to set up near an open view with enough space that you are not too close to the road. There are several “holes” where you can get a good view, one right near the center entrance. A few Saturdays back I parked at the corner of Azalea Dr. and Willeo in the St. Francis school parking lot there and hiked south towards the nature center. Just past the intersection is a great view North/East and I was able to catch a good sunrise on a small 8 x 10 board and then a longer 8×16 about an hour later.
The next Saturday I parked at Willeo Rd. Park and sat on the hill behind the parking lot for this view of the sun rising over the ridge. Afterword I was fortunate to notice the sunlight showing off the view up the hill right across the road—two for one! Hey, if you’re around and want to paint just contact me. Happy painting.