It was cool and sunny today with no big wind, so much nicer than yesterday for your plein air artist.
I tried to find a place in Portsmouth that was recommended to me but couldn’t find the right road so I came back to the beach and went on down to Stumpy. I walked off the path about 50 ft. towards the swamp and sat on a mossy root that was out of the muck a little and sketched. No one could see me. I wouldn’t go off the path except it’s been cold so I thought I’d be safer from things that bite.
The background trees were sunlit and the closer trees were mostly shaded. There was a little ice on the water. I stayed for over an hour to get this sketch. I might try to do a watercolor there some time while it’s still winter but I’d also like to go back to the bent tree and try again with pastels on a big paper.
I counted 4 great blue herons on my way out and an equal number of photographers. I bet Stumpy is popular with bird watchers.
It’s in Chesapeake. With a name like Paradise Creek I thought it needs a golf course. It backs up to the shipyard and the area doesn’t look very prosperous.
I think the pieces on the ground are strips of shiny metal but I didn’t go down there to get a closer look. The shiny metal cut outs of figures are to represent man in nature.
I walked on the path around the marsh. They have more paths but I didn’t try them all.
Some other people were walking but I’m not sure if it would be safe for me to hang around alone and paint.
At least I found my way over there on the first try without getting lost. I took the roads off the highway because the interstates are a little confusing and I don’t use the GPS. My car has it but you need to hook it up to a bluetooth and I don’t have that. When I want to scout a new place I Google it and try to remember the turns and roads, so I’m often lost. hahaha Well, if you’re an explorer you can’t let that scare you. Now, the interstates, yeah, scary. Why do they confuse me with 64E that doesn’t go East and then there’s 264, 464 and 664 to add to my confusion. Plus, I didn’t take my E-Z Pass and didn’t want to run into a toll.
This was good because since I’ve been at Virginia Beach for around 4 years now, I still have a lot of exploring to do and I need to find more escape routes in case of a flood or hurricane. They’re expanding the Hampton Roads tunnel which is my normal route to higher ground, but the traffic is bad. There’s a jam on that road every day, 64W.
It’s on the shipyard property, as far as I can tell. There’s a bunch of them. They’re surrounded with piles of sand or stones or maybe metal. It’s an industrial looking area all around with small houses too.
The first time I tried to find Stumpy Lake I was lost and gave up and went home. The second time I did find it in the late afternoon and it was real pretty and looks safe. Today it was cloudy and not too cold. When I was there before it was sunny and the trees were lit up kind of orange in the afternoon sun.
The other day Stumpy Lake had a ton of egrets in the trees. I counted at least 20. Today I only saw a few along the shore.
I saw a lot of ducks. I think they were cormorants, mallards and mergansers but I wouldn’t bet money those are the correct names.
Stumpy Lake backs up to a golf course so you can’t walk along the shore from the parking lot but they do have a trail through the woods that is very much covered by tree roots and runs next to a swamp.
I found a few places to sketch in my recent scouting expeditions. Normally I don’t take my camera when I go out driving around to do recon but today I did. I can’t use any of these photos for a drawing or painting. As you can see, they’re a little boring as far as photos go. I’m sure a pro photographer could show you the beauty much better but I’m planning on going back to Stumpy Lake to sketch this week. It’s going to get cold again. I’ll have it to myself.