26 October 2007

In Pursuit of a Landscape in Oils in the Wilds of Indiana

Finding good scenery to paint is a lot harder than it sounds. First, it has to be close enough to a road for bringing in all the art supplies. Second, it has to have good composition potential. Third, the weather has to be good. My brother and I went looking for such a place in a couple of Indiana's state parks.

McCormick's Creek runs through a canyon, which makes it sound like it would have nice paintable scenery - but unfortunately we didn't find any. There were lots and lots of trees, but not enough clear spaces.

Brown County State Park has many tall, steep hills and it's possible to see a skyline above the trees in there. Unfortunately the places we passed lacked any good foreground subjects to put as the focus of a painting. Stahl Lake, the smaller of two lakes in the park, was the closest we came.

I was there to see trees in their full autumn glory, but the leaves mostly hadn't turned yet. My brother was looking for a wide, slow-moving creek with a rustic wooden bridge. Such a place exists - we went there many times in our youth and have the pictures to prove it. It just wasn't where we were looking. We think it's at Turkey Run State Park. By the time we thought that, though, it was too far to visit.

I took a bunch of photos of mediocre composition from the expedition. My brother ended up doing a still life at home instead.

13 comments:

Anne said...

I disagree with the mediocrity of the two pictures you posted. But, I'm a sucker for Nature in general.

MWT said...

Yeah, I'm probably being too negative. We did have a pretty good time traipsing around everywhere and chatting existential philosophy.

Nature was spectacular, actually. It's more that none of my shots were particularly good compositions. Either I cut off too much from the top or one of the sides, or I didn't wait long enough for the right sunlight to come back out, or somesuch. It didn't help that it was cloudy for much of the day. Sometimes I can fix things via cropping afterward, but I didn't leave enough room for that in any of this batch.

MWT said...

Oh and just so Anne doesn't look odd - I went back and editted it slightly after the above exchange. ;)

Anne said...

Hee! Thanks MWT.

kitten42 said...

I'll take some pics around here, I have the good fortune to live in Hobbiton only with modern buildings.

kitten42 said...

good pics, btw, can I try and draw some in graphite? And I'm adding your blog to my RSS feeds, and you can't stop me.

MWT said...

Welcome. :) And have at it - I'm all for having more readers around these here parts.

And you're welcome to draw from my photos. I have more of them that I might post in November when I'm too busy writing fiction to write blog posts. ;)

John the Scientist said...

Turkey Run is great. I used to go up there when I was a student at Rose-Hulman.

MWT said...

Ah, so you probably know what bridge we were looking for. It's the one over the river right as you enter the park. People swim in the river underneath, and I'd always thought the nearby swimming pool was redundant.

John the Scientist said...

"People swim in the river underneath, and I'd always thought the nearby swimming pool was redundant."

I guess, but a back-up is probably a good idea in case of an algae or bacterial infestation.

My introduction to rivers in Indiana was the 'Bash, and, well, that river is best described by Dr. Ying, my Econ prof at RHIOT:

"I come to Terre Haute, think 'great, I smell BIG fish market'. Look all over Terre Haute... NO fish market".

MWT said...

Heheheh.

That reminds me of an anecdote about a new professor coming to IU-Bloomington, who got all excited about the "river" running through campus and how he was going to go canoeing on it.

The Jordan River is maybe eight feet wide at its widest, three feet deep at its deepest, and during the summer large portions tend to be completely dry...

John the Scientist said...

Did you go to IU? I used to go down there to visit the Alpha Chi Sigma chapter. The only national frat I know of that both has off-campus houses (in some chapters)and accepts women (in all chapters- it's a mixed social / professional frat for chemists).

The RHIOT chapter has the distinciton of being the only frat in the history of Terre Haute to call the cops on its own party.

MWT said...

Yep, and I also grew up in Bloomington. I didn't really pay much attention to the various Greeks. One of the frats (no clue which one) got themselves evicted from their fancy campus house for hazing someone into a blood alcohol level of .5, though.