I arrived at the park around 11:30 a.m. and scoped out the park and beach. I had been hiking in the park about twenty years ago and remember some beautiful vistas along the trails although the property manager informed me later that no vistas are being maintained along the trails at this time. However, Skyline Drive has some great vistas. I didn't remember the beach and was pleasantly surprised to see the huge, sweeping sandy beach maybe 1/4 mile long. The day started off cool, in the sixties, but warmed up nicely as the day progressed.
The beach was spacious to say the least and I loved the shade trees that bordered it. A large swim area was roped off and marked with buoys. At the deep end, the water was a about four feet deep, still shallow enough to touch the ground.
I commandeered a picnic table to stash my gear and set up my easel and pochade in a shady spot with a great view. I started blocking in the dark greens of the distant shoreline first.
Then I added the sky using the same colors reflected in the water as well.
A gentleman, his girlfriend, and her son were enjoying the beach with their two fur friends, a chihuahua and a pit bull puppy.
I mixed up a sand color using Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red and a touch of violet mixed from the blues and reds to block in the beach. I started adding in the people on the beach with quick gestural movements. I use palettes knives 99% of the time but used some brushes to capture the gestures of some the fast moving people.
A vacationing family who was camping in the park over the weekend, stopped to check out the painting. Most visitors were from Seymour, Columbus, and Indianapolis.
This young lady was delighted to see herself in the painting, digging in the sand.Here's a picture of the painting and the beach when I finished it up. Because the beach is so big, it looks like there aren't that many people in attendance but that is a deceiving perception. There were lots of people coming and going! Here's the finished painting:
"Starve Hollow SRA Beach", plein air oil painting on panel, 12" x 16", by Charlene Marsh.
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"This activity is made possible with support by the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources OR Name of appropriate State Historic Site."