I began the day with an oil painting at the Weed Patch Hill vista.
Some visitors stopped by to discuss painting materials and art projects.
The sun began to peak out by the end of the morning to reveal just the beginnings of fall color.
The art activity took place at Brown County’s wonderful visitor’s center that was also hosting their nature fair. I set up next to the butterfly display table that also offered milkweed seeds to plant.
Still promoting those water brushes on the final day of the program!
I admired the dedication of this group of artists although my knees hurt just thinking about it!
Artists were everywhere, including the gravel path next to the wildflower gardens.
Many art participants took advantage of the benches overlooking the spectacular view that makes Brown County a favorite destination, especially during the fall foliage season.
The whole family got in on the action despite the hard concrete.
I love to see everyone in the group creating art, including the adults.
The nearby picnic shelter provided plenty of tables to spread out and paint.
My first group with their finished masterpieces, holding their postcards commemorating a fun Labor Day weekend, including a pink pig!
This young super artist had fun with the colored pencils. Who says you need water to create art; drawing’s just as fun.
This group of young ladies showed off their creative pieces in front of the prolific wildflower garden that was just planted last year!
I really liked the beautiful wash of color and wildflower inspiration captured by these two artists.
We saw a lot of butterflies thanks to the DNR’s butterfly display. And this artist really captured the trees.
This was a great collection of all the different kinds of art you can create on a postcard. The possibilities are endless.
This young artist began with a waterproof Micron pen and then filled her drawing in with color. I’d love to know what’s going on inside those wonderful trees!
I loved the washes and textures these artists achieved with their delightful mushroom compositions.
If this isn’t a great example of art making you happy, I don’t know what is!
I had a nice visit with this young artist as she talked about her painting. Love her sun and tree, and the connection to earth and sky.
I was amazed at the vibrant colors this artist achieved with her watercolors.
This artist was very focused on his work. I believe Pokemon was an inspiration for this piece.
This artist kept it simple and striking in his painting of a panda.
Some wonderful examples of landscapes inspired by the beautiful park vistas.
A striking use of color and movement. This artist went with the flow and created art from what emerged on the paper.
Another masterpiece inspired by what she saw nearby. Amazing results can be achieved by painting from real life.
Lots of color and action in this artist’s work.
I love it when dads participate with their kids. Excellent landscape too!
Our glitter paint was always a big hit at the park. Here are great examples of their shine and versatility.
If you recognize this young man from earlier, you are correct. He is exploring his blue phase in a second painting.
This artist depicted his family’s tent and camping set up for the weekend.
Here’s an abstract that would make Jackson Pollock jealous! And he’s only just begun.
Good friends from Bloomington came out to participate and create some marvelous artwork!
This shy artist explored patterns and color in his painting.
These artists created wonderful paintings with very different styles and subject matter. I appreciated the contrast.
Lots of color in these amazing paintings that really took advantage of the flow of watercolor.
Another camping scene with apples on the tree. It’s that time of year. Love the clouds, too!
Here’s a beautiful sun, which was in and out that day, highlighting a purple sky and water.
This artist took advantage of the butterfly display and the wildflower garden for his inspiration. Amazing!
My Koi field watercolor kit was available for artists to try out as they painted.
Here’s a tree that makes a statement in this artist’s masterpiece.
Here’s a wonderful collection of butterflies and blue skies. You can’t help but smile.
There’s lots of texture with the watercolor crayons in this artist’s work.
This group wins most productive for the day. Here they are holding up their favorite creative pieces.
And here’s the whole collection from the previous group. Way to go!
I ended the day at Brown County’s popular Hesitation Point vista. Even though the clouds prevented a spectacular sunset, I had a chance to visit while painting my second vista with chalk pastels.
After a very busy day, I was ready to sit down on the job and relax for this final painting.
The completed pastel on 8″ x 10″ Ampersand panel.
Paints in the Parks’ last park visit to complete our 4-year project (before the art exhibit in October) took place on a busy Saturday during Labor Day weekend in Brown County State Park. Established in 1929 as the largest park in the state, Brown County is located in the rolling hills of southern Indiana near the university town of Bloomington. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps restored the cleared slopes of the park with plantings of black locust, black walnut and other trees to help stop erosion while building many of the existing buildings, shelters, roads and lookout tower.
Brown County is famous for its vistas that overlook miles of wooded hills, especially during peak foliage season in the fall. That is where I set up in the morning across from Weed Patch Hill to capture still-green leaves on the last day of August. The overcast day brought a hint of autumn chill on the breeze as I worked with my oil paints and talked to visitors who stopped by on foot or by car on this busy holiday weekend. With its 70 miles of bridle trails, 20 miles of hiking trails and 27 miles of mountain biking paths, this park has plenty to keep you busy. You can also stay at their large campground, rustic cabins or the Abe Martin Lodge after your busy day of activities.
After finishing my 8″ x 10″ oil painting (I’m getting faster after four years!) in good time, we headed down the road to the Nature Center where a nature fair was underway full of informative exhibits and fun activities for the whole family. We were lucky enough to set up our painting activity next to the DNR table with a display of butterflies and milkweed seeds to plant. Its proximity also offered excellent subject matter to paint in addition to the wildflower garden nearby still in full bloom.
We had a tremendous turnout that day with 66 children and grownups participating in our painting activity, rivaling the attendance at O’Bannon Woods State Park on a Labor Day weekend two years ago. You could find artists everywhere including the Nature Center’s outdoor benches by the overlook, the porch floor and in the gravel path! Even a brief rain shower couldn’t deter visitors from trying out the water brushes and art supplies. We were really happy with our Art in the Park program’s outreach on the final park visit, and the smiles on visitors’ faces made the ambitious schedule and 23 painting activities all worthwhile.
In the afternoon I spent a couple of relaxing hours at the Hesitation Point overlook working with a pastel on Ampersand board. The gritty texture grabs the chalk pastels nicely for more intense colors in the waning daylight. Many stopped by to talk about my painting and show me their artwork. It was a delightful and fitting way to wrap up my Arts in the Parks visits.
But we aren’t finished yet! Stay tuned for highlights from Paints in the Parks’ art exhibit and painting activity held in October at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana. Until then, happy creating in whatever way you enjoy.