First stop at my morning painting location, a family camping for the weekend and interested in art met me on Trail 3 overlooking Worster Lake across from the swimming beach.
I had the pleasure of sharing the plein air art experience with Brendan who’s heading to Ball State in the fall.
Brendan working with charcoal in his sketchbook full of amazing art.
We got busy in a hurry at the Potato Creek nature center at noon.
First masterpiece of the day was by this young artist. That colorful helicopter is ready to take off!
This artist took the opportunity to pay tribute to her favorite singer in watercolors.
This family took advantage of the mobility of the watercolor supplies to go inside the nature center to paint from observation. Lots of cool nature subjects inside!
This artistic couple also took their supplies inside the nature center to paint what they saw at the feeders from the wildlife observation window.
Now that’s a turtle having a good day! Looks like the artist was, too. Smiles all around.
I was happy to see familiar faces from my morning demonstration return to create art themselves. They picked a nice shady spot to work their magic.
A mother and daughter artist team in action and sharing their colorful creations.
Another happy participant displaying her artwork full of beautiful blues.
All ages can enjoy the sun and fresh air in their own ways. Plus make another fantastic painting!
And the masterpieces keep coming! I love the soft blending of pastels here.
Budding artists proudly displaying their dad’s cool painting of the bike racks nearby. There’s so much out there to observe and capture in your own unique way.
This young artist’s painting shows an expert application of watercolor pencil.
What a big smile, and I can’t help beaming over that wonderful painting of an osprey on display in the nature center.
Such a harmonious combination of color! I don’t know where this is, but I’m ready to go there and relax.
Another fantastic watercolor of an owl in the nature center, which is a great resource for painting subjects and observing details close up.
I really like the intense colors this artistic couple chose for their art. Their work comes alive!
When there was standing room only at the paint table, we kept the art going by providing tablecloths for comfortable painting in the grass. Gotta strike while the inspiration is hot!
This young artist shows us what watercolors do best in her masterpiece.
Doesn’t get any better than when your cool car painting matches your shirt!
This young artist tried out the watercolor crayons that are a new addition to the painting activity this year. I’d say it was a big success!
Lots of movement and brilliant color in this artist’s creation.
Eyes and trees. Do you need anything else? I sure don’t think so. Great job!
Enjoying a shady spot by the nature center to try out the waterbrushes.
And the gorgeous results from waterbrushes and a little paint, plus a fun time painting outside.
This group of artists displays not only their fabulous artwork, but also reminds us that your finished projects make good birthday cards or Father’s Day presents. Just sayin’.
More artful critters painted from the endless subjects and attractions that can be found in the state park nature centers. Plus, there was AC and wireless as an added bonus.
I thoroughly enjoyed this artistic family’s insightful questions, participation and colorful paintings, as well as having a great discussion about art!
I was in awe of this young artist’s capture of a nearby bench and architectural details, especially his use of perspective and color choices.
I spent lots of time in the company of some talented artists down at the beach for my afternoon painting demonstration. What a wonderful spot to work on a summer afternoon and talk about my favorite subject–art!
My artist/illustrator daughter attracted a crowd when she shared her artwork while sketching at the beach.
Peeking at her sketchbook as she advocates drawing for fun and relaxation.
This is rapidly becoming my day at the office. If there’s a better way to “work,” I haven’t found it yet.
Despite the ominous weather forecast, I couldn’t have ordered up a more perfect day at Potato Creek State Park, located just south of South Bend near North Liberty, Indiana. Named after the potato-like roots that were once collected by Native Americans along the creek banks, Potato Creek feeds into Worster Lake, a man-made reservoir begun in the 1930s by local conservationist Darcey Worster that covers 327 acres of the park’s six square miles. Dedicated in 1977, the park’s management programs are dedicated to restoring and maintaining Potato Creek’s unique natural areas and wetlands.
I began my visit to Potato Creek on Trail 3 overlooking a marshy inlet of Worster Lake directly across from the swimming beach. While setting up my easel to the bass tones of bullfrogs, I noted the lushness in the vegetation and trees that contrasted so well with the sculptural starkness of the decaying trunks and logs. I decided to try out an 8 x 10-inch clay panel using my water-mixable oils for the morning demonstration and engaged with six visitors, including one who arrived with art supplies prepared to join me in capturing the scene. It was a pleasure to have some artistic company and discover the same scenery through another’s interpretation.
Around noon, it was time to pack up and head toward the nature center on the other side of Worster Lake which took us through some meadows and prairie decked out in summer’s full glory. I was impressed with the size of this state park and the variety of recreational activities that its topography allows. I was informed that this particular park is a frequent location for triathlons and other outdoor challenges. As well as an extensive campground, the park offers facilities and areas for hiking, picnicking, swimming, boating, horseback riding and bike riding.
As the good weather held on, I was able to set up the hands-on watercolor activity outside in front of the nature center, where over 100 park visitors stopped by my art table, and a record 66 kids and adults tried out my waterbrushes, crayons, colored pencils and micron pens. Luckily, I didn’t run out of supplies while people spread out in all directions, including some who took advantage of the amazing exhibits inside the nature center to use as painting subjects and came back with their own renditions of turtles, owls, reptiles and even an osprey!
Several of the artists who visited me in the morning stopped by to try out my painting materials, and a homeschool family that shared my interests in art followed me to my next stop for the afternoon at the swimming beach. We settled down in a shady spot in the lawn under the trees overlooking the beach and had a marvelous discussion about various forms of art and techniques. Amazingly, the predicted violent thunderstorms stayed away as I visited with 27 park guests who were out enjoying the swimming, volleyball, hiking and bike trails. I used a regular canvas panel with oils to capture a beautiful scene on the lake, complete with a sailboat, kayaks and the bright spots of color from swimsuits and beach balls.
As we headed south in the light of a gorgeous sunset at the end of the day, I was very grateful that the weather forecasters were wrong for once, and I know that the nearly 150 park visitors I met that day were, too. As always, many thanks to the DNR staff who advertised and made me feel welcome, and the Indiana Arts Commission for helping to make painting in the parks possible.