Friday, March 31, 2017

Landscape Painting -- "On the Jones Creek Trail"

"On the Jones Creek Trail"
 My newest acrylic landscape painting, "On the Jones Creek Trail", on 16" x 20" gallery-wrapped canvas, was inspired by lovely walks in the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens with my husband and little Shih Tzu dog. The memories and photos used as reference material (one of them shown below) span several visits, and this painting is a composite of scenes along one of the trails, which weaves in and out of a woodsy area, with many views of Jones Creek. Here in coastal North Florida, natural vegetation can grow so thick that I need to "clear out some underbrush" to create a pleasing, balanced composition for painting. However, what is included in the painting is truly growing near the creek in this amazing park within Jacksonville, Florida. 

     Our city is blessed with a wealth of parks, preserves, and nature trails. The arboretum was rescued from unused land owned by the city (which had acquired it after a mining company had strip-mined it for materials used to make titanium). Although illegal dumping and the residue of mining had compromised the area, some citizens could envision its future as an arboretum and natural recreational site. You can read more about the delightful park it has become and see photos here. My husband, a master gardener and member of the North Florida Native Plant Society, worked on clearing and planting projects with many other volunteers. My previous posts about visiting the arboretum also show its uniquely North Florida beauty.
One of the reference photos used in painting
     I used a mostly cool palette for this painting because it represents a transitional season toward the end of winter, when vegetation here is more subdued in hue than in spring and summer. The acrylic paints used include cobalt, cerulean, Payne's grey, lemon yellow, yellow ochre, burnt umber, and titanium white with a few touches of naphthol red to temper and vary the greens.

     I hope you enjoy taking a walk in the arboretum with me.

Question of the day: What kinds of natural environments have been restored and preserved in your area?