This beautiful park is the last stop for the Gwinnett Parks Plein Air Challenge. We have been painting the parks around the county all summer and this last location is a true gem. It’s right off Norcross Rd., only about a half mile from the Gwinnett Mall. I worked over in this area when I first moved back to Georgia and I was surprised that such a nice spot escaped my exploring nature. I arrived late as usual..I prefer the afternoon sun. I was surprised to find a 134 acre site with a completely restored 1930’s farmhouse and out buildings. The McDaniel house itself is a handsome structure with a gabled ends and a large columned porch with an impressive brick and stone chimney. The out buildings include a large barn and several sheds that have been restored and set up with tools and farming equipment, even a vintage tractor. The grounds are equally impressive and well kept. You can easily imagine yourself in a rural 1900’s setting walking around these pristine fenced pastures with idyllic views.
I was determined to do two paintings this time so I set up with a view of one of the out buildings with the thought of doing a larger 11 x14″ of the farm house as the light improved in the afternoon. I composed the 9 x12 with an off-kilter gate that leads the way to this small share cropper cabin. I worked fast with a charcoal drawing and a dark lay-in trying to catch the midday shadows as they quickly moved from the left side to the wood shingled top. I’ve been having some problems with too dark shadows and I had to go back in after everything was finished and color them up a bit. The light is good in this one though and after about two and a half hours I was done.
I walked around the rest of the farm and took some photos trying to frame up a view for the larger painting. I finally set up around 2pm in the barn looking out towards the farm house. This was a bit challenging but I kept it dark and loose on the inside with a minimum of detail and opened it up to very high key view of the house. I had to eliminate a lot of details and quickly simplify the scene with my flat bush. It was coming along pretty well when a young lady came by and told me the farm closes at 4PM! Yikes…I had fifteen minutes to wrap it up and get out of there. I did my best but still had to ad in the sky in the parking lot.
I very much enjoyed the location and with a a rain date thrown in next week I hope to do a few more here before the judging and show take place in September. With a three painting limit I’m going to have a hard time deciding which ones to enter.