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.