Text and images by Kiera McWhinney
The art included in this study serves as an impression of Westside Park’s atmospheric value. Photographs are important, indisputable visual data, but the hand-drawn images tell a story beyond the physicality of the park. By simply looking at Westside our eyes tend to drift across the visual terrain and without actually seeing. Of course, general structures and layout are noticed, but little information about how it feels to stand within the scene is translated. In my five visual studies of Westside Park, one charcoal drawing and four watercolor paintings, I attempt to share with the viewer my experience of Westside Park within the format of an image. In the time it takes to construct an image by hand I am able to notice the nuances of a scene and really see what makes each location within the park unique. The combination of trees, water, and open spaces within the park create a peaceful destination for anyone who seeks an escape from the city. A community gathering place for students, individuals, and families alike, Westside Park is a recreation destination that is still very much full of life despite a desperate need for repairs. The vibrant pure hues of color in my paintings work to translate the living element of Westside Park. While the sharp energetic outlines serve to focus the viewers’ attention throughout each work. Leading lines draw the viewer inward and then back out again into the foreground. The stylistic nature of each image is meant to reflect that of a children’s storybook, warm and welcoming to anyone and everyone within the community.