Madison has a number of natural areas. I have yet to explore many of them. One morning that was sunny in the early fall beckoned me to go check out the Cherokee Marsh, which is part of the Yahara Riverway waterway. The Yahara, tamed by banks and bridges, passes close to my house, but here in Cherokee is closer to its wild state. In the late fall there were a number of flowers, such as goldenrod, thistle, black eyed Susan and Queen Anne’s lace. I took a moment while sitting on a rather artificial aluminum board walk to make a sketch of the marsh. I was trying for a looser style with the watercolor. The nearby blue jay commented on it but I don’t know whether it was complimentary or not,.
I joined Nancy Macgregor for a last fling with outdoor painting before my Fall schedule hits. The class was in Paoli, WI along a river next to the Creamery cafe and several art galleries. I was intrigued by the s-curve of the Sugar River and how it caught the light of the sky. I was working on varying greens as well
We observed that nature and humanity are very much in a partnership along the parkway. It is hard to say which predominates. If we quit mowing and trimming, Nature would predominate along the Yahara River parkway. Yet the very existence of a river instead of a wetland shows human engineering and care. The river as we see it between the lakes came about from dredging and a locks placed in 1905.
The scene I chose to paint illustrates this.
First we thought about this:
– …the universe… is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God… (Belgic Confession, Article 2)
Think of a time when you were able to hear the message of the universe and its creatures. What allowed you at that time to hear that message?
Then we painted…
Do to threatening eater, we met at the Tenney Park Pavilion and worked with the Iron Bridge there. Next week we will try the Locks. Painting outside is always an adventure.
We took a moment to consider all the life forms around us at that location. If we knew more names of plants and trees we would have a long list indeed, but out included a number of birds, people doing a variety of things, and one muskrat.
Here are some pictures of our work on the bridge. All of our “sketches” are incomplete at this point.
Here are some works from a travelling class with Nancy Macgregor. We were in the garden at the Madison Christian Community on a sunny but cloudy day. Then we were at the Memorial Union on a grey and rainy day. But we found a canopy over the bandstand for outside painting, while some chose to paint inside. So here is life and its imitation. and because it is two weeks away another clip of the Bridges Class poster.
- Admit it, you could use time to enjoy the out of doors.
- We have a rain plan.
- Mention this class at Lynn‘s of Madison and she will give you a discount on supplies (5928 Odana Rd, Madison, WI 53719)
- Nancy Macgregor is a gifted artist and instructor.
- You don’t need to know anything about painting to join the class.
- You will learn something about observing and keeping a journal.
- Every day it is different along the Yahara.
- There is wildlife to observe there.
- Meet some nice people.
- Bridges are interesting to paint.
contact Dave Carlson at email@example.com to inquire or register. See poster and registration here.
What does the world teach us? Sometimes to be patient. I have tried to catch the corner of California Poppies that bloom at the Willy Street Park for several years. Between my schedule, the unpredictability of the blooms and the weather, it is tricky. Apparently the world was not made for me. At any rate I took a little time early in the morning to photograph and sketch. What I noticed is that the flowers moved from where they were at the start. I think they follow the sun, perhaps that is they they have those long irregular stems.
Speaking of schedules, the Bridges Class is open for registration – click here.