Last week, I dropped off some art at a hair studio in a town 1/2 hours drive from home. I was near Santee State Park, so I decided to go there and paint that afternoon. I heard the State parks are charging to get in now, so I was a little upset before I even got there because I don’t think public parks should charge admission. But when I saw the sign said $2 per car I felt much better. I could afford that much.
I drove on for miles after passing the sign, then finally arrived at a little store and boat dock. I went in and told the elderly man at the counter I wanted to paint a picture here this afternoon. He said, “Well, let me give you a free guest pass, go hang it on your rear view mirror”. I was so pleased, there are still some places and some people that appreciate art. I went to get a candy bar, and he almost shouts, “I mean it, go put it in your car right now or a park ranger may drive by and give you a ticket!” Well, I guess I’m not as honored a guest as I thought. 😉 I did as he instructed then got my candy bar and went looking for a place to set up my easel.
I decided to paint right next to the parking lot by the boat dock. I didn’t have to walk far to get where I wanted to paint and there was a picnic table situated perfectly for holding my paints. Quite a few people came and went on the dock, boaters and fishermen, but no one bothered me at all. I think it was the first time I set up in a public place and didn’t draw observers. I don’t know if I should be flattered or annoyed, maybe state park visitors are used to artists painting on site.
I set up my things, looked around and started painting the far left tree’s that were on the other side of an inlet. Obviously, I made those trees too large. An amateur mistake, but we all have bad days. I went on and painted for only about 2 hours. I’m getting faster…my goal when I started this 8×10″ landscape series!
A couple of days later, I decided to take advantage of the flexibility of oil paints and rework the treeline. Here it is after a little editing with turpentine and oil paint.