Posts Tagged ‘Rockford Park District’


Sinnissippi Rose Garden

August 22, 2013
Sinnissippi Rose Garden; Plein Air oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Sinnissippi Rose Garden; Plein Air oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

I was preparing for an upcoming plein air workshop. We would be based out of the Nicholas Conservatory Gardens in Rockford. The redesign and rebuild project was completed last year.  I had not been out to see the park since to construction was completed. I decided to go and get a few paintings to help me get a feel for the park.

I arrived before mid-morning to see what was here and perhaps get a small painting. As I moved around the park with my scene finder, I made numerous sketches with notes of ideas. Time flew. Before I knew it, it was almost noon.

I came back the next day with this spot in mind. Unfortunately for me, the gardeners were not working on the roses this day which would have added a nice element to the design. Also, the roses were a few weeks past their prime.

Not the best painting, but it was fun. I realized that I should spend more time painting here. Lots of good possibilities. Also, a lot of activity. There were a lot of people strolling through the gardens and there was a lot of foot traffic along the adjacent fitness path. I felt very safe working here.  Key consideration when painting on your own.

I plan to get out here a lot more as long as the weather holds and perhaps beyond.


Bank Shadows

February 12, 2013
Bank Shadows; Oil on Canvas 11" x 14"

Bank Shadows; Oil on Canvas 11″ x 14″

Getting snow out here so it’s easier to get in the right mood to create snow scenes. Very cold though. Too cold to go plein air. I looked through sketches that I did a couple years ago at one of our local forest preserves and found this design. I had created a quick, little (6″ x 8″) oil at the time to lock in my impression of the scene. I used the sketch and the small study to help me plow through this painting. Now – let’s go larger.

Speaking of Plein Air (on location painting), at the request of my contact at Rock Valley College, we will be hosting a three day Plein Air  Workshop this summer in Rockford. Wednesday through Friday, August 7, 8  & 9, 2013. Thank you to Rock Valley for all the extra work to convince the Rockford Park District to cooperate in a partnership. This workshop will be held utilizing the revamped and improved outdoor gardens in Sinnissippi Park at the Nicholas Conservatory. More information will be posted. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please drop an email to me at, and I will forward information as it is available.