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,.
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.
It was an interesting day to consider this question. The Sun was out and the temperature was perfect.
Week 4 – “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness he called ‘night’.” Genesis 1:3
What does the light reveal and what does it conceal? How does the constant change in light effect mood, colors and contrast?
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.
- 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.
You may have been asking, how is this class different than last years? Nancy Macgregor and I walked the river a couple of weeks ago and we set the locations for this year’s class sessions. We will mostly be at new locations, including the Locks area on the North end and where the Yahara enters Lake Monona on the South end. If you like water you will like these locations.
I have revised the spiritual part of the class. These reflections will show you how to use the skills of artistic observation for spiritual reflection. We will develop our eyes to see what we often only glance at. We will consider the elements of the environment and what they reveal.
- How abundant is life in our world?
- How is each life suited to its place?
- How do elements such as water and light change, and what do they reveal to our eyes?
We will consider the nature of human interaction with nature –
- In what ways is this interaction mutual?
- Which has the greater impact?
Finally we will tie each of these observations to a scriptural link. That is, how do the two books of revelation complement each other?
At the first class you will be provided with single folio book to record your reflections and observations as we travel along the river for the six weeks of the class.
Join us this June and July along the river.