Risk, Surprise, Uncategorized, urban sketching

Plein Air Sketching in Frederick, Maryland

Bell Tower photo

Illustration: Photo of Bell Tower in Baker Park, Frederick, Maryland

When it seems like water may pour from the sky at any moment (as it has done for nearly the past 10 days in this area), having all your watercolor kit out in the open may not be the wisest move. So in a recent gathering of sketchers and painters in a Maryland park, when the skies and winds suggested rain, it seemed safer to stick with a pencil sketch–at first.

Illustration:  Pencil sketch of Bell Tower in Baker Park, Frederick , Maryland by Black Elephant Blog author

Illustration: Pencil sketch of Bell Tower in Baker Park, Frederick , Maryland by Black Elephant Blog author

The subject in this case was a functioning bell tower–complete with enormous bells  ringing out not just the hour on the hour, but various melodies all day.  To be working on a sketch or a painting in the open air, with breezes, and flowering trees all around, while enjoying the sound of bells ringing out even the national anthem (Francis Scott Key  of Frederick wrote the “Star-spangled Banner” national anthem in the early 1800s) is a special treat indeed.  But here we were in the midst of a well-maintained park which also features a covered bridge and a theater pavilion in the historic district of Frederick, Maryland. The bell tower dates from 1941 and is named after one of the leading citizens of Frederick, Joseph Baker, whose philanthropy helped to ensure the creation of this beautiful park.

The iffy weather discouraged many from participating in this plein air event, but those who made it were amply rewarded when the skies cleared, and the entire lawn was lit up in the colors of a brilliant spring day.

Bell Tower Frederick W:C 1

Illustration: Watercolor and pen-and-ink sketch, “Baker Park Bell Tower,” on Arches watercolor board by Black Elephant Blog south

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2 thoughts on “Plein Air Sketching in Frederick, Maryland

  1. Irving M Mintzer says:

    This is lovely, Carol.

    Now you see why I so enjoyed going to Frederick to sharpen my skills, even if it was only focused on understanding finance and sustainable infrastructure. Every time I went outside, I could not help but smile as i walked the streets of this little jewel of a town.

    Like

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