DALLAS — Local artist Sue Hand has always enjoyed Harveys Lake — its color, history and sense of community.
Before Hanson’s Amusement Park was torn down about two years ago, she felt inspired to start a visual memorial to the lake and its residents.
At first, she wondered where to start to truly capture the essence of the lake.
“You have one view and you turn and you have a whole different view,” she said. “It’s everything in relationship to other things.”
The solution, Hand said, was painting from each pole, or identifying markers, on Lakeside Drive. There are 311 poles.
This weekend, Hand displayed pieces of artwork from more than 100 of those poles in a three-day exhibit at her business, Sue Hand’s Imagery, located on Main Street.
As attendees made their way through the studio, they stopped to identify landmarks or to share a story related to the art.
John Hennigan, who has a second home on the lake, lingered over one of the pieces of artwork, trying to identify his house.
“I think we live right there,” he said, pointing to a colorful display of homes lining the lake.
Hand attempted to capture not only visual images, but the atmosphere of the lake.
One painting depicts the lake on the day after Christmas 2014, still and quiet, near Jones’ Potato Pancake shop.
“It hadn’t snowed yet that year,” she said.
Joining Hand in her efforts is Charles “Woody” Woodworth, who uses colored pencil to make images of the lake come alive.
“It takes many, many strokes,” he said. “But I’ve developed a technique that makes it go a bit faster.”
Hand’s choice of mediums is seasonal, oil in the winter and watercolor during warmer weather.
“Watercolors actually freeze in the winter,” she said.
Lynn Ritts, originally from Dallas and now from California, attended the event, enjoying not only the artwork, but the chance to recall art lessons she took from Hand years ago.
“I remember we came after school and you gave us cookies and Kool-Aid,” she said to Hand.
Both Hand and Woodworth do their artwork only when on site at the lake.
“I don’t paint from photos,” Hand said. “I go to the lake, which is only about seven minutes away.”
Spending time at the lake has given Hand a greater appreciation not only for the lake but for its residents.
“People are really good about letting us set up in their driveway or near their home,” she said.
Woodworth shared his excitement about recently seeing an eagle at the lake.
At one point, he also saw a snake, which he included in his artwork.
“Sue asked me if it had slanted eyes,” he said. “I told her I didn’t look that close.”
Hand said she is careful about painting people.
“I don’t want to violate anyone’s privacy,” she said. “I enjoy just quietly painting the lake, the trees and the buildings.”
Among the attendees favorite paintings is one of “Harvey,” a sculpture depicting a man painting a picture of the lake.
“Some people didn’t believe us, but the sculpture is their during all seasons,” Hand said.
There are similar events scheduled over the next two years as Hand looks forward to completing the project during that time.
“I’ll be heading out tomorrow morning,” she said.