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Nygren Week 4

August 30, 2010

Path to Raccoon Creek, Oil on Canvas 16" x 20"

Submission date for the Nygren Wetlands Plein Air competition is fast approaching. I was given an opportunity to spend time Saturday morning to get one last painting completed. I arrived shortly before 8 am and was told that I was the only artist present this day. The front gate would be closed while I painted to prevent other people from entering through the main entrance. I expected to be the only person in the nature preserve and proceeded to  scout a spot for painting. I ventured about as far as I could in my car to the savanna by Oxbow Lake. Although several possibilities appealed to me, I settled on the view looking towards the footbridge which crosses Raccoon Creek. I set up my easel in the path and worked facing my subject with my car a few feet behind me.

Although I missed the security I feel when I am painting with Clawed Monet, I enjoyed the solitude. As I worked, the sounds of nature surrounded me. Leaves rustling in the wind, birds calling from the trees and bushes, frogs along the shoreline, an occasional critter scurrying through the brush. The only sound that I could attribute to humans was that of an outboard motor boat troweling  Raccoon Creek and later Oxbow Lake. That is, until I was shocked when I received a greeting from a man that was standing by my car. For a brief moment I thought that I heard dueling banjos, but it was just my heart skipping a few beats.  Turns out that this fellow had parked his car by the observation tower and was hiking the park to obtain some photographs.

My breathing returned to normal, my hands steadied and I returned to working on my painting. Now I took a quick peak whenever I heard sounds just to ensure that it was nature and not another human surprise.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to spend time painting at the Nygren Wetlands Preserve. This facility would offer great subject matter throughout the changing seasons. Now the hard part. I have completed eight paintings at Nygren, but can only submit two for consideration by the review committee. I have until September 10 to choose my works.  Decisions, decisions.  I hope that I choose the right ones. Any suggestions?

By September 14th, I will let you know if my works passed the review committee and are selected for this exhibition. Wish me luck.

Site photo for my painting.

First stage of my painting. Yeesh - what a mess. Or is it?

Stage 2 - A little over an hour into the painting.

Painting Stage 3 - Coming together

Path to Raccoon Creek, Oil on Canvas 16" x 20"

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