Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hammonasset - West Side Swan Pond - May 2015

Greetings to All,

When I arrived at Hammonasset, I was confronted with a huge expanse of construction fence beginning at the turn into our painting spot. The driveway was blocked off, so I turned into the West Beach parking area. It's just a short walk in to the pond and stream, but things were unkempt. It looked like there had been very heavy foot traffic all around the water, and there were broken branches and trash apparent everywhere. But I decided there was enough inspiration to paint, so I fetched my gear from the car. Tina and Betsey agreed, and we all set up to paint. Ultimately, we had eight painters - we three and Anne, John, Tom, Jane, and Pam. While I was talking with Pam, the pile-drivers began hammering, so she said she was heading off to paint elsewhere and would return later.

The rest of us hunkered down and tried to ignore the noise, which kept up with periodic short breaks through the morning. A swan courted us for handouts and finally found a regular visitor who came through.  The swan mounted a solid defense of the pond, driving off three geese that had landed. His mate was stolid on the nest across the pond. Anne kept imagining that the swan was about to chase us away from the water's edge, and she did a quick sketch of him keeping an eye on me as I moved around.

By 10:30, I decided I was finished with my painting, and Betsey said she was calling hers finished also. So I whiled away some time shooting photos and chatting. But the sun had pretty much gone into hiding, and the breeze was cutting up. And the noise was hammering. So Betsey, Anne, and I packed up and called it quits, leaving four artists still hard at work and forgetting all about Pam. That's why there is no group photo today, and why most of the paintings are not in a finished state.

I've not had time to think about next week yet. Maybe something in Guilford. Do you have any suggestions?

Hammonasset Swan Pond


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