The turnoff to Wallsburg is usually just a place I pass on the way to Midway. Last week, however, I took that turn. Wallsburg is a rural town tucked into a beautiful little valley full of great places to paint. At least, that's my point of view. The picture shown above is of the first painting of mine to come out of that valley. I think there will be more. The Spring City Plein Air Competition is this week. More about that in my next post!
There will always be good things to paint. I'm drawn to places out in the country and into wild places, as I have been all my life. It's not that I can't paint urban areas, that's just not what draws my interest. Even in heavily developed areas, however, one can find little patches of nature to paint. It seems like this entire valley is being developed. From the base of the Wasatch Mountains to the edge of Utah Lake; from Point of the Mountain to Santaquin. More neighborhoods are going in. More big buildings are going up. I realize there's a need for much of this, but there's less of the close by open space and stands of trees that I like to paint. There's a little pocket of Springville between I-15 and the lake where I've painted many times. It's a favorite place of mine. Ranch land there is slowly being squeezed out by businesses. A stand of big willow trees I've painted before and wanted to paint again has been knocked down and piled in a giant heap. There's still lots to paint in that area, but I feel like I'm in a race with the bulldozers. Hopefully I can keep ahead of the bulldozers for a while. There's still lots of good places to paint in that westernmost part of Springville; places like the one depicted in the painting shown above. While it's still there, I'll keep painting there.
There's a place on the otherwise treeless bench trail where a tree provides welcome shade in the summertime. For anyone venturing onto the trail during the afternoon hours, that shade is sweet relief indeed from the searing pressure of the sun's rays. The irony is, to paint that shade I had to stand out in the sun, and in front of an outcrop of pale rock that reflected the sun's intensity. During the course of the painting I emptied every water bottle from my day pack and still ended the session thirsty! But then, hot sun notwithstanding, it was good to be out painting. A passerby stopped briefly to visit and take a picture of my painting. Later that evening he sent a copy of his photo to me.
Went out painting in variable weather conditions recently. Some sun, a little rain, mostly clouds. Also hot. Passing storms, with their dark clouds and curtains of rain, changed the appearance of the landscape dramatically while I painted. It was important to establish a plan for the painting and remember to stick with it in spite of the constantly changing weather. West of Springville, between the interstate and the lake, there's a lot of good places to paint. That's where I found these hay bales stacked neatly beneath a row of tall cottonwoods. Mountains visible through the trees contributed to a color combination of blue, green and gold.