Saturday, September 12, 2009
Along the Cumberland
I have been painting along the Cumberland River at Cheatham lake and wildlife management area. The paintings above were done in an area near the dam that is a huge river bottom surrounded by bluffs on all sides. It's gorgeous the way the land lays in between the ridges. As I was painting the fourth generation owner of part of it pulled up to chat and see what I had going and told me that during the Civil War, yankee gunboats would come up the river headed to Nashville and his ancestors lived right on the river in a nice home they had built there. When the boats started coming and going they moved back up in the back of the farm in between the ridges to hide because they thought being on the river with the Union army up and down was too dangerous. When you're standing there painting with all the modern trappings of the lives we lead around you, you forget what has actually transpired on the land you're occupying for that moment and how much it has changed in those few generations. Maybe a hundred and fifty years from now they will tell stories of this "great plein air painter who stood on these acient river banks and cranked off 8x10 masterpieces...."