Tower Grove as Muse
I continue to learn new things painting in Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. I went back last weekend, just for a night, to treat myself after the craziness of getting my exhibition up on a tight schedule. I left Sunday morning at 7, was painting by 11:30, and did a whole new series of paintings while also getting in a dance that night. Great fun.
Above is the southern entrance to the park, just across from a gatehouse I love but couldn't get a great view of, since it's pretty socked in with trees. I might try to paint it once the leaves fall.
Below is a fountain in a lovely, quiet courtyard in the south-eastern corner of the park.
I love this pool pavilion. It always makes me think of both Fred and Ginger and the great Gatsby. There's a fountain and splash park in front, and a lovely vista down a long meadow behind. Another time I'm going to have to paint that vista more clearly.
I keep coming back to the Piper Palm House as well. This is one of the Victorian greenhouses, which is now a cafe on Sundays and a wedding venue. It sits right on a small lake with waterlilies and surrounded by lush plantings.
I tried painting a close-up of the water lilies, but I reconfirmed for myself that I am a landscape painter and not a flower painter. I need a little bit bigger scale to bring interest and depth into my compositions. This is just too close up. But it's always good to try new things.
I'm working more seriously on painting trees in watercolor. Buildings immediately were easier for me in this medium, but trees and skies (the backbone of all my previous work) were harder. I'm still not happy with my skies, but I'm beginning to feel better about my trees. These are my favorites I've done so far in watercolor. And it's lovely to have an excuse to just sit and look at the varied and lovely groves of trees in Tower Grove. The park is intentionally planted with many species, grouped into groves, and it's a charming place to walk.
Amy Williams Fowler
8/12/2012 12:39:13 am
Martha: So glad Julie shared your work. I was Associate Pastor at Buntyn PC from 1985-1991, and remember you well as a young teen. Still remember Neta and Liza with great affection and respect. Lived in St. Louis in Tower Grove neighborhood while working for the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy -- so great to see your paintings of the park.
8/12/2012 12:47:55 am
Amy, how lovely to hear from you! Thank you for taking time to say hello. It's always good to hear from people who are still carrying around happy memories of people I have loved. I hope everything is going well for you. I envy yours and Julie's time living near Tower Grove Park. I've completely fallen in love with it over the last year. What a marvelous place to get to spend a piece of your life.
8/12/2012 06:55:04 am
Martha: Could I purchase the one of the pavilion? I used to walk over the Farmer's Market there on Saturdays, so it really has happy associatations (sometimes I would see Julie there too). Also wondering about commissioning you to paint the entrace to the Overton Park Zoo -- I am real elephant fan, and Thomas (my son now age 24) and I loved the Zoo when we lived there.
8/15/2012 06:27:28 am
Hello Martha, I would really love to purchase your watercolor or a print of the trees, my wife absolutely loves the bald cypress trees in the park and i've been trying to capture it on film, but really love your watercolor! Is this possible? Thanks so much for your beautiful artwork!
8/22/2012 08:58:50 am
thanks to both of you! I'm sorry I was off the grid for a week and took longer to see these requests than I normally would. All my watercolors are for sale at $90 each (they're smallish -- 7x10" or 6x12", depending on shape).
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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