Wurlwind weekend—Plein air at McDaniels Farm and in Helen

This weekend I had an above average activity level. I wanted to go up to my in-laws house and do some yard work and a resolve a few maintenance issues. I really don’t need to much of an excuse to go up to Helen where the Wurl’s house is, it’s one of the most lovely areas I’ve ever seen. I still yearn to finish my shop project up in Robertstown and hope to retire there sooner than later. But that’s a story for my other blog and this one’s all about painting…and painting I did.

Saturday I went back over to McDaniel Farm in Gwinnett to finish up the view from the barn I started last week. It was almost done and I only spent a few hours getting it polished up. About 2pm I walked down to the bottom of the property and set up with a view looking up towards the share croppers cabin I painted last week. I had a larger 18 x 24″ canvas with me and I like working big, but this is really big for plein air. I tend to make my small paintings about smaller views but with this size I was free to get a wide vista and some sky and lot’s of trees—Someone said a landscape painter is just a tree painter.  They are right and the Southeast has so many different species, colors, shapes and sizes that it’s good know a little botany. I worked like a slave and needed every minute until I lost the light around 5:30 to put this view down in paint. I left a lot of room for sky and had a great time putting in a big Georgia cumulus  cloud.

I loaded up the truck with all my work in between a lawn mower and an overnight bag and headed for Helen up 985. I had not been this way in many years and when I got off the main road and headed west towards Helen I got a bit lost. Gloriously lost. Every bend of every road was a fantastic view. The clouds were especially beautiful and I jotted down about a dozen mental notes for possible painting sites. I arrived in Helen around sunset and got something to eat and headed for the house. It boarders the national park near Unicoi Park and is in the woods and when it’s dark it’s really dark. I was trying to get my key in the door when it swung open! I guess the real estate agent had left it unlocked—no one was there but I had a few paranoid moments before I settled down and hit the hay.

Next morning I was up at 6 and getting my work done. A little past noon I was headed out to paint. I know the area well and found a nice quite spot along the river to catch this view. It was bright and sunny with just a few passing clouds and I set up to show a nice break from the sun into shade. As usual several folks had to stop by and take a look. Now days  it really does not bother me —I usually have something worth showing off. About 2:30 I had all I needed and hopped in the truck and headed home. 

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