I met this large group at the Falls Overlook, who meet yearly for a reunion at one of the state parks. This year they picked Indiana’s oldest state park, dedicated on July 4, 1916, as part of the state’s centennial celebration.
Another painting of the many unique waterfalls and ravines in the state parks, created by glaciers that covered all of Indiana during the most recent Ice Age.
My first group found a shady spot by the nature center to paint and listen to many genres of live music that played throughout the day, from bluegrass to Cuban!
And here’s a group photo of completed artwork, happy faces and just a little horseplay.
My daughter and one of the DNR volunteers, both artists, discussed painting techniques and mediums in the shade.
Another completed artwork. I love the movement and texture in this one.
All you need is a picnic table, colorful tablecloth, simple art supplies and some time to have fun!
My set up for the day at McCormick’s Creek. With so many options to choose from, how can you resist?
Instruction on how to use the supplies. Pretty simple, and then you’re ready to go!
Artists had a choice of sitting outside at the two picnic tables or going inside the nature center to enjoy the air-conditioning. Most still chose the outside. Wonder why?
Now there’s a happy tree! I especially marveled at the way she captured the branches. That’s not easy!
Displaying mom’s completed masterpiece. Amazing composition!
I saw lots of palm trees painted that day. Must be a theme going, and so relaxing!
I really enjoyed the completely different landscapes captured by these two artists, one soft and the other vibrant. There’s so many ways to use watercolors.
And on the back, our first figure painting for the day. Great job! You can paint on both sides of the heavy watercolor paper that I supply. Makes a great postcard or souvenir of your visit to the state parks.
Some more trees and creative use of color. Can’t get enough of those smiles after creating some art.
I see lots of blue sky and sunshine in the art, on the table and with those smiles.
More trees and happy artists!
This young artist created art and provided a PSA at the same time. A perfect rendition, by the way. Watch out for that poison ivy!
I’m proud to say that the picnic tables were never empty all afternoon!
A bench commemorating Indiana’s first state park became the perfect spot for a photo shoot of completed masterpieces!
What I do most of the day — sing the praises of the water brush. There’s water stored in the handle!
Another full house while listening to some wonderful jazz piano music.
Another group shot on the bench and more trees, waterscapes, a giraffe and a shark!
Our final painters for the day lingered the longest and captured the park perfectly! I love all the details in the waterfall, trees and the nature center!
Situated near the White River south and west of Indianapolis, the deep woods and canyons of Indiana’s oldest state park rang with the happy tunes from the art fair’s soundstage along with laughter and cheerful conversations from painting participants in June. Formerly the hunting grounds of the Miami, McCormick’s Creek was dedicated on July 4, 1916 when its rugged canyons, waterfalls and surrounding acres became the first state park as part of Indiana’s centennial celebration.
Since I used to live nearby, I had visited before and enjoyed returning once again to offer my June Paints in the Parks program and stay at the beautiful Canyon Inn. Besides its picturesque natural features, the park offers a scenic stone bridge, shelter houses and a fire tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, in addition to a modern campground, nature center and swimming pool.
I began the morning’s painting demonstration at the Falls Overlook not too far from the Canyon Inn, where I painted the falls formed in the limestone by glaciers long ago while chatting with over fifty visitors. Many were making their way to the bottom of the falls for a refreshing climb on the rocks on a very hot June day. I made a good start to my painting by capturing the tricky flows of water and many colors of the rock, surrounded by all the greens in the overhanging trees.
Around noon, I made my way to the Nature Center where I shared space with the park’s annual art fair of local artists and musicians, many of whom I was privileged to meet and discuss art with over the course of the afternoon. A couple of picnic tables in the shade of the building provided a perfect spot to paint and listen to the wide variety of music floating by from the soundstage, from bluegrass to Cuban! Over forty visitors either painted or helped younger family members paint at the tables or in the nature center where displays provided more subject matter. I noted that many trees and blue skies were created on that sunny June Saturday.
In all, I interacted with over 100 park visitors and met many talented creators at the art fair. Nothing beats making art to the sounds of nature and live music. We packed up just before a big thunderstorm that had been building all afternoon hit. It was the perfect ending, I thought, to my return to one of my favorite parks, with water in another form falling to the sounds of thunder.