Two of my friends, Elaine and Clint, got married the past weekend in Tyler, TX. I lived there for nearly 10 years and I consider this my “home town”. When I’m away, I’m wondering how my friends are for real, and not just what I read on Facebook. Its truly a beautiful area with tall East Texas pines, green grass, a spring fed lake at Tyler State Park and rivers/creeks everwhere. There’s a very real “pull” to find a way to live there again. This was a great weekend to get in a couple plein air sketches or paintings, which ever there was time for. Rose Redmond is a lush green park in the middle of Tyler. It’s has about 3 mile of paved track that’s popular with runners, bikers, groups walking, etc..
On Friday, I took the art pack on the track and quickly found a small bridge over a creek with a small pavillion and bench in the background. I had about 2 hours before my friend got off of work to play our traditional 80’s video game that has become a strong tradition on each visit. The ladies hate it; it’s a guy thing. Here’s the first color sketch below:
On leaving I heard two young women walkers yelp, followed by an “AWWWWWWW.”. Looking about thirty feet down the path, I saw a baby raccoon about the size of small football moving slowly trying to find help. We went into “team save-a-baby-raccoon” mode corralling it with shoes, backpacks, purses, even cell phones. It impressive how people coordinate without question. I kept it from going into the forest (to die) pushing it back with a Gatorade bottle. It’s would rear back with hair raised and try to hiss and look mean, only to attract more “AWWWW, how cuuuute” from the ladies. Ha. Poor little fella.
Animal rescue came and said it treats them all the time, so this little guy will have many trashcan raid in it’s future. Always an adventure. It was really busy until Tuesday when I had a few hours before driving back home. I’d wanted to paint the Southside Park at Rose Redmond, which is the most poplar area of the trail. In the mid-morning light, the background trees are shades of blue-gray with a hint of green and the foreground trees really stand out. Plus, it’s a great change to plug in people in the painting. It took about 4 hours to finish enough to add the last minor touches back home. Storm clouds were rolling in that changed the lighting continuously, but I think I captured the light in the sun and the feel of this much loved park.