Westside Park Imagery and Illustrations

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. 

A Walk in the Park (Westside), 2021. Kiera McWhinney. Watercolor & Pen on Paper. 8.5 x 11 in. One of Westside Park’s most noticeable features is a large number of trees. Past the main parking lot, a motor path wraps around the playground towards the east side of the park. Several trees and bushes help to line the path and provide access to the Westside Park baseball field.
Playground at Westside Park, 2021. Kiera McWhinney Watercolor & Pen on Paper. 8.5 x 11 in. The playground may be seen immediately upon arrival at West Side Park. Missing from this perspective is the multiple swingsets, taped-off equipment, bench swing, and dinosaur structure.
Fishing at Westside Park, 2021. Kiera McWhinney. Watercolor & Pen on Paper. 8.5 x 11 in. The White River serves as the southern border of Westside Park, parallel to the Cardinal Greenway. Trees cast shade over the water and surrounding areas, providing an ideal environment for local plants and wildlife.
Basketball Courts at Westside Park, 2021. Kiera McWhinney. Watercolor & Pen on Paper. 8.5 x 11 in. The basketball courts at Westside Park are somewhat separated from the rest of the park. They are one of the only features of the park clearly visible from the road and are next to the flying fields on the north side.
Park Restrooms (Westside), 2021. Kiera McWhinney. Charcoal on Paper. 8.5 x 12 in. There is one set of restrooms at Westside Park. Located in the shady area near the main parking lot directly across from the playground. Each room features a single open stall, with a lock on the exterior door for privacy.