Friday, December 19, 2008

Tennessee Christmas

This to me is what a Tennessee Christmas should look like. Too bad we had it this past week instead of Christmas. Maybe we'll get another one on the 24th.
If I don't post again, Merry Christmas everybody.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Oh my God, indeed.
I feel like I am standing in a room full of people and I am in my underwear.
I typically would not show my first attempts at plein air painting because of the quality. They were a horrible mess and I feel exposed, but there is a reason.
When I see other people start to plein air paint and their first attempts are a bit short of what they expected and they feel that they "don't have what it takes" or "no talent" or any other reason they can't, I try to convince them to be patient. Trust me when I tell you this: everyone starts at zero in plein air painting.
I too thought I would just step out there and start cranking off gallery quality paintings left and right. It has been a long gradual process. Talk to any other artist and they will say the same thing. Their first attempts were horrible and they have painted thousands and thousands of paintings that the general public will never see to get to where they are.
The paintings I have posted here were done in the first summer I started painting which was five years ago. I had no idea what I was doing and for the first three years plein air painting would just whip my ass and send me home to think about what else I could do with my life. The first thing I learned was there are no magic brushes, panels, palette colors, workshops, schools, etc., etc., that are going to make you better or teach you how to paint. It is all just equipment and information that YOU have to learn to apply and the only way to do it is paint. Paint everyday. Over and over and over. Make thousands and thousands of mistakes. Each mistake is a lesson that no one else can give you. I found that for me it was a very organic process. I just crammed my head so full of it and painted so much that I was actually just along for the ride. Your work changes and you get better and you' re doing things you couldn't do before and it snowballs and gets bigger and you wonder where it will go in 5-10 years. I remember asking John Budicin what he thought he would do with his art next or where he wanted to be in, say 5 years, and he said,"I have no idea. I never planned any of it. I just go where it takes me."
So keep painting. You may be suprised where it takes you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Painting in Gray Weather

Painted on Swan Creek a lot last week because we seemed to have had a lot of gray weather lately and the creek always has nice darks and lights when everything else gets kinda' flat and gray. Anyway, another creek painting.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I haven't blogged in a while and I think it may be due to the weather this time of year. From Thanksgiving to the last of December is my favorite time of year to be outside. I deer hunted a little around Thanksgiving and have been trying to paint when not hunting.
The coolest thing I have found lately is this great big beaver lodge on Swan creek. In all my time wading streams and creeks and ponds and lakes, all the float hours I have spent on the river, I have never seen a beaver lodge. It looks like it might be about the size of a large Jacuzzi and I would love to be able to peek inside but am afraid I would be mauled by a family of 40lb. beavers and my bones would wind up as construction material in their lodge.