My day started out with a calm morning painting the perfect reflections on Sand Lake before the breeze picked up and changed everything!
Interpretive naturalist Kaitlyn Sproles stopped by my morning painting demonstration with her Nature’s Color Hike group who were each given a paint chip to match with things seen along the trail. Great idea!
I had tough competition with the nearby swimming beach for my painting activity, but park visitors were able to create art and swim before and after! Can’t think of a better combination.
Chain O’ Lakes provided plenty of picnic tables in a shady area for art outside on a lovely holiday weekend.
This view never gets old! I love a long line of artists creating along the lakeshore.
My first artist with her completed masterpiece! I love all the colors and both the smiles!
This young artist tried out the water brush and the water crayons for two completely different expressions.
Great to see all that green and the big smile! Perfect representation of that day.
There’s a happy tree for you! I can see it dancing.
I observed a whole new application for watercolors. What a great way to decorate a bandage!
Always good to see the grownups having fun with art!
Beautiful colors on the horizon for this artist!
Lots of rainbows and waterscapes were showing up on Saturday!
This young artist was even captured on video trying out her first water brush. The next Bob Ross perhaps?
Despite the tempting black rat snake demonstration in the background, this couple bravely continued to complete their gorgeous landscapes that truly took advantage of the watercolors.
Another great team of artists painting puppies and dramatic landscape. Doesn’t get any better!
Our first gallery for the day commemorating all the sights and sensations of Memorial Day Weekend.
The picnic table painters are displaying their final masterpieces full of flowers, water and sparkles!
Our second paint gallery featured scenes from the lake and fun memories of the day. I think Minnie approves!
I was thrilled to see this creative combination of an intricate design done in Micron pen that doesn’t run or smear on top of a watercolor background.
This artist used watercolors to illustrate her wonderful vision of the gateway to Heaven.
This young artist is multitasking watercolors with water swimming! Sun, rainbows and animals complete the fun.
This artist worked with water brushes and water crayons for the first time. I’d call this a fantastic success!
This artist was camping for the weekend at Chain O’ Lakes extensive campgrounds and looked forward to painting in the park. She choose some of my favorite colors.
Another fabulous waterscape with my same subject matter for the year! I love her trees and sun, too.
It’s fun to have lots of colors and media to choose from! I bring all sorts of supplies on my park visits, from pencils to paint to pens to crayons.
I had a great time visiting with this young artist, who came to the park specifically for the art activity. I was honored that he shared his artwork with me and tried out some of my art supplies in his sketchbook.
And here’s a wonderful sampling of all the art supplies I brought. Great job!
I finished the day with a painting demonstration at the historic Stanley Schoolhouse, built in 1915 overlooking the Finster Lakes, where I met and painted with Hannah from Fort Wayne. What a lovely ending to another great Arts in the Parks event!
My buildings still need some work, but you get the picture (in pastels).
The first painting event of my third year focusing on waterscapes at Indiana’s state parks began with a bang over the 2018 Memorial Day weekend. Located in lake country a little northwest of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the park’s feature attractions are based on a series of nine connected kettle lakes formed by the action of Ice Age glaciers.
Dedicated in 1960, the park wins the prize for most unusual shape based on those kettle lakes (two miles wide and four miles long). Within its 2,718 acres, there’s plenty to do, including hiking 23 miles of forested trails, boating and fishing the lakes (electric-motors only), touring the historic one-room schoolhouse, exploring the nature center, swimming at the park beach or camping at the large 400-site shaded campground.
I spent a very pleasant morning on the shores of Sand Lake in between the fishing pier and the nature center painting the perfectly calm water with glasslike surface reflections. Of course, all that changed within an hour or so, when the breeze picked up and many kayaks and canoes began to paddle through, touring nine of the 13 lakes carved from rivers of water from the glaciers’ melting ice thousands of years ago.
By the time I was ready to move on to the painting activity, I had enough work to show the hiking group led by interpretive naturalist Kaitlyn Sproles, who provided all the hikers with color chips to match items seen on their nature walk. I give Kaitlyn all the credit for an inspirational idea that I really appreciated later on when many of the participants from the hike joined my painting activity and applied their morning’s color observations to their artwork at the shady picnic area! Around fifty painters, parents and supporters participated in the watercolor activity while the swimming beach and an informative snake demonstration outside the nature center gave park visitors plenty to do.
In the afternoon, I set up in the picnic area next to the historic Stanley Schoolhouse, built in 1915 overlooking the Finster Lakes. A watercolor artist named Hannah from Fort Wayne joined me to paint the building and chat about art, my favorite topic. And another creative named Grandpa Dave stopped by to describe his ever-evolving Christmas Carny train set and carnival that is truly an artistic labor of love. Check it out on YouTube if you get a chance. You’ll be amazed by all the carnival rides and Christmas characters!
All told, I engaged with over 130 park visitors and saw many happy artists take home mementos from a truly memorable Memorial Day weekend. Many thanks to the Chain O’ Lakes staff for their hospitality and support. Indiana’s lake country is unique and full of beautiful waterscapes. I look forward to painting there again soon.