Sunday, January 07, 2007

"Bell Creek Park -- January 7, 2007" -- plein air on 16x20" canvas
Normally I paint on smaller canvases for plein air studies, but this morning I knew the light would hold for a couple hours. Maybe I felt reckless as well! It took me a good hour to draw this composition in (I use a big brush with thin paint). Lots of wipe-outs until I got it right. Last night I'd been driving up Beech Road and knew I had to come back today to paint it. We've had lots of rain and the creek was high and the surrounding fields were soggy and flooded. I loved these big, old black willow trees that were hanging over the water. Many had fallen into the water, blocking the flow. Maybe in the spring I will find oyster mushrooms on some of the willows. There were also mulberry, box elder and dead ash trees. Dozens of wild mallard ducks were swimming along and I saw a muskrat. When I got there around 9 this morning, the grass was covered in light frost. It was supposed to be a sunny day but it was bleak -- the usual cloudy drizzle. I imagine this little park is quite lovely in the spring and summer.