Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Dance Hall

This dance hall is at Painesville Twp. Park, and has been in constant use for well over 70 years. There once was a pavilion that overlooked Lake Erie, but it fell in from the massive shore erosion over the years. The Erie shore was once dotted with small resort communities that featured amusement rides and dance halls.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chagrin River Park

I painted this in the late afternoon, looking west towards the pedestrian bridge spanning the Chagrin River.

Hogsback Ridge waterfall

This small waterfall is located on Mill Creek in the valley of the Hogsback Ridge Reserve in Madison. There is a large beaver dam a short hike upstream from here.

Lakeside cottage

I painted this last September at the OPAS annual plein air competition in Lakeside ,Ohio, a resort community that is well over a hundred years old.
I did not enter this one in the contest,having submitted another of a farm several miles away, but now I wish I had.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Helen Hazen Wyman Park

I had been to this park, the oldest in the system, several times this year in search of a scene to paint. I always went away empty handed, and now I think I know why. This park nearly always has a lot of people there, and I am reluctant to set up and paint where I'm distracted by well-meaning observers who break my concentration by asking questions.
I went there two days ago on a cloudy, bleak day, and I crossed the stream and looked back towards the road, realizing I had a good composition. Painting is 90% observation, 10% brushwork.

Concord Woods

This park, with a fishing pond and hiking trails, is located next to the Lakemetroparks offices on Spear Rd. in Concord twp. The land was formerly the farm of Julia Bystronowski, a good friend of my grandparents in the 1920s and 30s. I lived closeby, and when my friends and I were little, we had a hard time saying her last name, so we simply called her "Grandma Biscuit".

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter at Indian Point

I have painted this same scene along the cliff's edge at Indian Point in all seasons. It has, in my opinion, the best panoramic view of all the parks in the system.

New Old Barn

This barn was part of the Bushman Farm that is now park property and adjacent to Skok meadows at the Girdled Road Reservation. It was restored recently, something that is rarely done today as many of these old beauties have rotted beyond repair. I would much rather paint a delapidated barn, as one that is in perfect repair is rather boring to paint.

Eerie Ice

The Lakemetroparks recently aquired beachfront property at the end of Blackmoore Road in Perry, called Lake Erie Bluffs. It is an isolated part of the coast, with few man-made
structures to be seen.
I cautiously climbed down the steep, icy path to the beach, grabbing on to saplings to keep from sliding to my doom, as I tend to break instead of bounce at my age. I was treated to the sight of giant blocks of ice that formed on the shore after the recent snowstorm that unleashed high winds and waves upon the coast. I estimate the ice in the painting to be about 15 feet tall.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Icicle Alley

Last Sunday I hiked into the gorge at Penitentiary Glen in order to paint a set of falls, but when I saw the giant icicles lining the sandstone walls, I changed my mind. It was a strenuous trip up the gorge, climbing under and over logs, criss-crossing the stream several times, and breaking through the ice into water that was well over the tops of my boots. After painting for 1 1/2 hours, I decided to finish the painting in my studio, something I rarely do, as my feet were freezing. I carefully climbed the face of a sloping waterfall, and exited the southern end of the gorge, as I had no desire to backtrack the half-mile through the obstacle course I'd endured to get there.

Friday, December 10, 2010

No gas needed

Lake FarmPark was holding this plowing demonstration during their fall harvest festival recently. I'm only one generation removed from this type of farm work; my grandfather taught my father to plow with horses before he was old enough to start school. The farm was on Auburn Rd in Concord- the house is still there. A few years ago my brother Steve and I found a big horseshoe with a metal detector on the site where the horsebarn once stood.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Surprise visitors

I found a recently improved path down to the Grand River from the area that contains the mountain bike trails at Hogsback Ridge North. There is a great view of the river there, with a new bench to sit on and watch the current go by.
While painting this scene, a small herd of deer emerged from the woods to drink at the river. They spotted me immediately, but soon realized I was no threat to them and continued grazing.

Searching for snacks

This small wetlands area is on park property across the road from the upper parking lot at Indian Point. The Blue Heron took off when it saw me, emitting a squawk that must be similar to what an ancient pteradactyl must have sounded like.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pine Ridge Golf Course

I finally got down to the western side of Lake County to paint on the Pine Ridge Golf Course as part of my project of painting in the parks. This view is close to the first hole , looking back at the country club building. I placed my easel on the leeward side of a large tree, to stay out of the line of fire of errant golf balls. I had no idea there was so much open property left in Wickliffe, where I lived over 35 years ago. After seeing the giant old trees on the course, I wish I'd been there to paint when the leaves were in color.

Penitentiary Glen Visitor's Center

This building used to be a barn on the former Halle Estate in Kirtland, Ohio. It was converted to the visitor's center and offices for the Lakemetroparks at Penitentiary Glen about 25 years ago. I am doing a one man show here on March 19th, 2011, featuring a year-long project of painting on site throughout the park system. I will be showing about 75 works.