Friday, July 24, 2009

Exploring--Right Near Home--Hanna Park

In my April 23 post, I wrote about the curious fact that many of us neglect interesting destinations near our homes. When we travel, we seek out the parks, botanical gardens, historical homes, birding sites, or whatever other types of attractions most interest us. Yet, we let our home lives get "too busy" to play tourist in our own cities, parks, countryside, and historic places.
Here in Jacksonville, Florida, we are fortunate to enjoy visits from a number of house guests who are eager to see the fascinating history and varied natural beauty the area offers. Entertaining visitors provides the perfect excuse to play tourist right here at home. As a painter of local landscapes, I explore often--with or without visitors. Of course, I carry a camera on these outings, alert for possible subjects for landscape paintings. I have written about the joy of exploring near home in several previous posts and have another lovely spot to show you today.
When my husband's youngest brother from Wisconsin came in March, we went to Hanna Park, which I had not visited before. Maintained by our city, this lovely park provides 450 wonderful acres to explore for an admission price of just $1. Its ocean beach, fresh water lake, trails, wildlife, and wonderful vegetation were just waiting to show off for us. The day we visited, this stately great blue heron stood watchfully at the edge of the lake. I was able to snap a few quick photos out the car window from a couple of different angles. Although they were not carefully composed photos, I believed that a painting might emerge from these quick snapshots. The photo above became the main reference for a painting I have almost finished. Note: remember that you can always click on a photo in the blog to enlarge it. 
In the next post, I will show you the painting that resulted. In the meantime, I will leave you with a question like one I posed on June 12 about choices in the artistic process.
Question of the day: If you painted, drew, or more carefully photographed this scene, what elements in the photo would you use? What elements might you feature, change, or delete? 

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