Friday, June 04, 2010

Plein Air Study: Sheldon Lake

Sheldon Lake, with "Duck Island" in the foreground.

5 x 7 inches
Watercolor on 140lb cold press paper*
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Today I went with my friend to paint at Sheldon Lake -- better known as City Park Lake. This familiar body of water was originally dug up to make an artificial pool for John Sheldon's sheep ranch in the 1870s. The resulting pile of dirt to the east now forms Knobb Hill (a.k.a. Fire Cracker Hill).

As kids, my brother and sister and I would take bags of stale bread to City Park to feed the ducks and geese, which were so numerous that the grass had been nibbled down to a fine stubble. Now feeding the birds is forbidden, and the city landscaped the edges of the water with native reeds and grasses. It certainly looks nicer, and is probably much more sustainable, but some part of me really misses the honking, quacking cacophany that once characterized the place.

*Why I painted this scene in watercolor instead of oils: My traveling easel setup is in the shop for a repair.

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