Saturday, September 21, 2013

First Fall paint-out - Camp Chowenwaw

What: First fall paint-out
When: Saturday, October 5th, 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Well it's officially fall now. Does anyone else sense that it's coming? Sure it still gets warm mid-day. But the worst of the summer humidity is gone, there is a breath of coolness in the morning when I walk my dog. Evenings bring cooling breezes. It's getting to be great weather for painting outdoors!

So our first paint-out for the fall is now on the schedule, just two weeks away. Our plan is to meet at Camp Chowenwaw Park on the banks of Black Creek where it joins with the St. Johns River. This is a lovely park, but you have to have sharp eyes to find the turn for the park which is on Ball Road, a dirt road.

Please see the photo above. When coming south on 17 you will cross over the Black Creek bridge. As you come over the bridge the public boat ramp is on the left, Ball Road is just past it on the right - a simple green sign with white letters.  If you reach the RaceTrac gas station you have gone too far!

For those coming from the south, you will pass a traffic light with a RaceTrac gas station on the left, and a Kangeroo station on the right. Keep looking then, as just past that will be a turn for Ball Road on the left - and the boat ramp is slightly ahead on the right. If you reach the Black Creek bridge you have gone too far!

We will meet at the parking lot behind this recently restored log cabin which dates from the 1930s. Alas only the outside is available unless rented for private parties, but it's certainly architecturally interesting. The front of the cabin, pictured here, faces out to Black Creek.

There are trails and boardwalks that lead off into the woods.

And can take you to the tree houses, which are available to the public for camping.

The Jungle Trail leads through lush vegetation.

Until it takes a turn  and heads out to a fishing pier out over Black Creek, a great spot for water scenery.

So we hope folks will join us for a lovely day with fresh air and good friends. Bring a picnic lunch if you like and we can all gather after our morning of painting, and share what we have worked on.

Monday, September 9, 2013

And the Fall is now here

We had our first meeting of the season this past Saturday, and what an exciting meeting it was. The Southeast branch of the St. Johns library system has a wonderful meeting room with great light. It's easy to get to and has plenty of parking, so drew members from all around. We were all excited to see one another after the summer hiatus, and eager to hear the presentation about Caran d'Ache pastels and products.

There was a great display laid out of many of their products - dry pastels, oil pastels, pastel pencils, watercolor pencils (great for underpainting), etc.

We had twenty one attendees at the meeting, one of our best turn-outs ever, including several new members attending their first meeting.

Our speaker was Stephan Lohrer from Caran d'Ache. He was an engaging speaker, and had samples of goodies to give to all of us. Many of us were impressed with the care about health and environmental issues that Caran d'Ache puts into developing their products.

After the presentation Stephan gave us all time to come up front and play with the products to try them out.

We also had exciting news for the group. We have taken out a group membership at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, and this will enable us to have some of our meetings there, and to hold a juried show on their premises. Our next group meeting will be held there in November, and we will have a juried show there as well in 2014.

But first up for the group will be our first plein air paint-out for the season at Camp Chowenwaw Park in Green Cove Springs. The next blog post will provide more details.