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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Great Chattahoochee Paint Out

This will be a long blog post. There is so much to show you and also to tell!

Last Thursday and Friday, I was involved in a paint out sponsored by the City of Roswell, GA and the Chattahoochee National Park Service. We applied about a month or more ago, and were then sent instructions about where we could paint officially. There were five different places in and around Roswell GA along the Chattahoochee River and its feeder creeks, the Chattahoochee National Park and Roswell City Parks.

I drove over to find the headquarters which was in the beautiful Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area at Island Ford. I'm glad I did, because I would have been in trouble trying to find a place to paint if I waited until the morning I was to paint. The gave us three days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to paint from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM each day. On Saturday morning from 9:00  - 10:30 AM we could turn in two of our pieces to be judged for the competition and the reception to be held that evening.

Here are some photos of locations we could paint.
View from Chattahoochee River National
Recreation Area at Island Ford
Vickery Creek Falls at the Roswell Mill

Covered Bridge at Roswell Mill / Vickery Creek

Willeo Park

Now what did I do?

So the first morning I was able to attend was Thursday and I went to the Willeo Road Park. It was 8:00 AM when I arrived and there was only one place left to park -- everyone got there before I did! Darn! But, guess what the place I wanted to paint was in the sun and no one wanted it. Here is a shot of my easel with the first painting of the day and competition. The mist was still there when I started but was leaving fast.

I painted one, then a second painting and then a third one before I decided the water dripping off my face was driving me crazy. I packed it up and headed for the bridge on Riverside Drive underneath I-400. I did not see anything I wanted to paint, so I headed to Island Ford so the sun would be behind me and I would be shaded along the river bank. But, when I got there and trekked down the hill with all my supplies, I decided I did not want to paint there. I carried it all back up, put in car and headed over to the Roswell Mill. Now, I had it in a backpack, and so it was heavy, but not really too bad . . . just dang hot!

Here are the three paintings I did that morning - they are all pastels. The painting I did in the afternoon did not get finished before the long shadows got me and the hot day too! I thought I would return the next day to finish it.

Painting No. 1:  "Willeo Park Misty", 16" x 20"
Painting No. 2:  "River Entrance", 14" x 11"

















Painting No. 3:  "River Sentinels", 12" x 9"




I did go back on Friday to Willeo Park and painted the same scene I did the first day, but in oil. It is not as successful, but worth keeping for reference for a larger work!

Day 2:  Vickery Creek Falls, 12" x 9"












Now I did go back to the Roswell Mill Park and hope to finish the painting I started the afternoon of the first day . . . but there had been rain somewhere upstream and Vickery Creek was much higher and muddy. It covered the rock I had been standing on to paint! So . . . I scouted out another location and decided to paint the falls.

Here is the painting from the Vickery Creek Falls. Oh, I forgot to show you I had a visitor and he watched me for about an hour -- a vulture (and then a friend of his also flew in to watch). I was a little nervous, but they kept their distance. Here is a photo:


Now, I submitted two of these paintings to the competition: Willeo Park Misty and River Entrance. I decided these were the two best of the four pastel paintings. I did not consider entering the oil since I really didn't feel like it was a finished painting worthy of framing. You know, they don't all turn out, not even half of them normally. So, I had to have them there on Saturday morning and then we went to the reception that evening at 7:30.

When we arrived, I was greeted by a friend who said "Congratulations"! I was surprised, but thought I had won an award. She immediately pointed in the direction of the painting across the room and you could see it above the heads of people . . . and it had this big bright blue ribbon! I had won Best in Show / First Place! Yahoo!!


The painting is shown here with me standing by it, but there is a reflection from the lights in it. But you can see it above -- Willeo Park Misty! I felt I had done a good job, and also that I left the painting before I did way too much to it. I left some of the scene for the viewer to fill in -- let the viewer's brain have an active part in looking at the painting, filling in some of the detail I left out.

So, though I was dreadfully hot and dripping, I managed to produce four paintings worthy of framing and one of them won Best in Show. And, my birthday was the next day -- what better way to start celebrating that. And there was prize money to boot! What more could I ask for -- beautiful places to paint, friends to paint with, four worthy pieces, and a ribbon!

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