Last Saturday I painted at Settles Bridge Dog Park in Suwanee. It was the third park plein air event organized as part of the Gwinnett Park Challenge. I missed the last session and there is only one more remaining so I was determined to get some good work in. The park is very large (268 acres) and has a tremendous dog exercise pen along with a skate park and basketball courts. This part of Suwanee is covered with upscale subdivisions and is quite beautiful. After a 45 minute drive and some wondering around I found the location and the sign up sheet sitting on a card table at the front of the parking lot—the event is “on your honor” and you don’t turn in your work until the end of the summer. They then will pick the best to tour the county—I’m not sure what the prizes are, or if they even have any. The purpose is to bring some attention to the parks in the county and I’ve been delighted with the two that I’ve had the pleasure to paint at.
I did not feel inspired by the dog facilities — although you most certainly could have made an interesting painting from them. I chose to wonder the paths looking for a good spot in the wood and about an hour in I finally found what I thought was an interesting spot at the edge of the park near the Chattahoochee river. I was a cut in the forest that let some light in with a small path winding up down the middle. On a 9×12 vertical I spent an hour plus working in the light on the left side an the darks opposite plus blueing the trees in the distance to try to get some depth to it. It was a good warm up and thats about it. I then retraced my steps through the deep woods and found a spot ware a large tree had fallen across the only stream in the park. I took a few shots as I worked to show the process from a charcoal sketch, to a rough in with alizarin crimson and Windsor green, to a bit more detail and ending up with some adjustments to give it some punch. This painting is 11×14″ and bit larger than the normal but I enjoyed working on in the wonderful green woods and spent nearly three hours without seeing another person. It was getting late so I packed up —with more gear and weight than usual because of the larger canvas. I headed out of the woods along a paved path but to my dismay this path ended up being the long way out. Exhausted and thirsty I finally arrived back at the parking lot and I took advantage of the facilities before jumping in the Z for a a top down cool ride home.