Thursday, June 28, 2012

Painting Across America, Georgia

High Falls State Park, Georgia
7" x 5"
acrylic on gessoboard

This study of High Falls State Park's Falls was my first plein air painting of our trip.  I just received the portable easel and paints from Pyar after getting the car and I was thrilled to be outdoors with the means to capture some memories.  It was a sunny day with a cool breeze and I could sometimes feel the mist off the falls.  This image is from the left bank and a smaller fall.  I enjoyed the process and the opportunity.  Within minutes of picking out this location, I was summoned by someone lower on the banks of the river to go for help and get a ranger.  I ran with my bag and left my paints and easel on the wooded boardwalk.  When I arrived at the ranger station, it was closed for lunch.  I met a former EMT in the military at the entrance to the office who went to the location to see if he could help as I called 911.  Luckily the victim got help and was deemed fine to drive himself home.  I understood from the rangers that he had skipped his medication and maybe had a heart condition.  After a rest and a few sketches, I made this painting.  
It was an incredible afternoon.  During the trip, I soon learned that finding such locations to paint would prove difficult for one reason or another - mostly inaccessibility.  Now, this painting evokes a truly perfect painting experience, great light, great weather and safe spot to let go.  

Red Top Mountain, Georgia
7" x 5"
acrylic on gessoboard

Red Top Mountain was a convenient getaway from nearby Atlanta.  The light was midday and the breeze was downright cold, but I found a fun spot to discover and play with making a painting.  I hoped to capture the tree's reflections along with the cloud's shadows and the water's movements.  It was a fun challenge and I  finished it on another afternoon by glazing the trees back and adding darks to the water.  I like the 'treeness' in this one.  

Coosawattee River, Georgia, (near Ellijay)
5" x 7"
acrylic on gessoboard

This study was a test of my patience.  The bank where I set up was uneven and soft with mud and the weather was growing warmer.  I also dealt with tiny gnats that tended to fly into my eyes and my paints with aggression.  But, looking at the painting, I think I won.  

Old Fort Mountain, State Park, Georgia (Highway 52)
7" x 5"
acrylic on gessoboard

This section was downhill from Old Fort Mountain State Park, in the opposite direction that Pyar walked the day before.  It was one of my proudest moments of the hike.  Pyar had ascended a challenge and now along the descent, I could make a place for us to enjoy lunch and make a painting.  The highway was winding and steep at points.  This turnout was a great spot.  I was initially captured when I was driving along the road by the dark brush that had hues of violet as it let in the blue sky to peer through its leaves.  I had a good time painting this one.  

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Hi Cynthia,
I hope you and Pyar are having a fantastic journey. I check in to see what is new on your blog everynow and again. I just want to say that your paintings are so beautiful! I love your use of light, color, texture & composition. They are simply luminous! Looking at them I feel transported to a lush, green, cool environment ... fantastic when I am in Arizona in 110 degree summer heat! Thanks for sharing your work ... very inspirational!
Take care,