Twenty eight painters met for Saturday’s paintout at Sweetwater Wetlands, the combination water treatment facility, urban wildlife habitat, and an outdoor classroom that Tucson developed through its Reclaimed Water System. This site is well worth the occasional malodorous whiff, with 13 ponds that support a huge variety of wildlife including dragonflies, raccoons, hawks, bobcats and dozens of other species that make the wetlands their full- or part-time home.
TPAPS member Walter Porter‘s demonstration painting captured one of the beautiful ponds filled with lively ducks as he talked about beginning each work with a sketch to sort out composition issues. I set up near Lou Knight, who had driven up from Green Valley for the day of painting. Lou, a geologist, has been painting with TPAPS for about two years.
The ponds are small enough—almost intimate—to provide great viewing for birders. One visitor I chatted with told me this is one of the premier birding spots in greater Tucson. The ducks and birds made enough racket to drown out most of the urban noises, making it a beautiful way to spend a sunny spring morning in the city! I enjoyed the spot very much, and returned the next day to complete a second painting of the water reflections.