Grant Park – Seven Bridges – The End of Fall

Grant Park - Seven Bridges - South Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 2013

Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park – 100 Hawthorne Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI

Fall Colors - Seven Bridges Trail at Grant Park - 2013I couldn’t let fall pass without going on walkabout with my camera to capture the colors at least once. When I had half a day to myself a couple of weeks ago, I decided to head out to Seven Bridges, one of the places I like to paint. Just South of College Avenue on Lake Drive, you will find the expansive Grant Park. This 379 acre park is the second largest in the Milwaukee County Park system, and within it you will find the famous Seven Bridges hiking trail.

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Fog in Cudahy

Today we had just the right weather conditions to generate some eerie fog along the lakefront. Temperatures inland were in the 70’s (F), which mixed with the cooler, moist air over Lake Michigan. Wind off the lake was a brisk mid-50’s (F). The fog rolled in and out throughout the day.

This is a 6″ x 8″ oil on panel, from the drive leading to Cudahy park in Milwaukee, WI. Thanks to Wikipedia, you can even see a photograph of this statue here.

Patrick Cudahy was an Irishman who moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin a few months after his birth. He worked as a meat packer in a plant along the Menomonee valley, becoming the superintendent in 1874. The owner eventually transferred the title of the company into the Cudahy Brothers, which is how it was known until 1957, when they changed it to Patrick Cudahy, Inc. after he had passed. Patrick Cudahy died in 1919.

When the Cudahy Brothers purchased a plant on Milwaukee’s south side in 1892, they moved their business to this area, originally known as the Buckhorn settlement, which was later incorporated as the Village of Cudahy. Prior to this that region was known as the “Town of Lake” which was later annexed out of existance into the cities of Milwaukee, St. Francis and Cudahy.

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Historic Trimborn Farm

I took the opportunity last week to set up at an historical farm. This location is run by the county park system, being a farm complex that dates back before the civil war. The painting focuses on a set of kilns which were used to cook limestone in to lyme for use in agriculture and construction. nearby there are two man-made rock quarry lagoons that were quarried at the time for the limestone. Had an interesting conversation with a docent, he explained a good amount of the historical significance of this farm. This location also includes the first stone building built in Milwaukee and the largest stone-foundation barn built in Wisconsin. I’ll be sure to get back here for further studies, as the buildings are all unique in different ways.

I spent a good 4 hours on this 11″ x 14″ panel, working on getting the color in the shadows of the kilns, as well as the texture of the bricks and the shingles. This outing started out around noon as a hazy overcast day, the type of gray spring days we get here in Wisconsin. By 3pm, the sun was quite direct, I managed to get some sunburn this time.

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