Monday, July 27, 2009

Grassbed Green

Friday, I spent all day painting and this is all I have to show. I started one that I tried to save over, and over, and never got anything out of it that I was happy with. It had this early morning backlight to it that was gorgeous but I just couldn't get it luminous enough. The trouble areas were grassbeds. When light hits a grassbed it turns this wonderful bright green that I have had trouble with in the past. It's a very bright translucent green that I can't translate to the canvas. Next time I'll take my slingblade and cut the grassbeds out before I paint. There, problem solved.
This painting is on Swan Creek again, about 10 yrds. upstream from the previous post.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Cutbank on Swan

I have art that I have done in the past that is so bad, to look at it would detach your retina. And I am not afraid to post it.
The watercolor painting is one I did back in '99. I used to carry a watercolor pad and equipment in my turkey vest when I would turkey hunt and if the hunting got slow I would watercolor paint. Or so I thought. I was plein air painting and I had never heard the term at that point. Who knew it would become what it has.
Yesterday afternoon I painted with Jason Saunders and we painted at Swan Creek on the Derryberry property that I have leased to hunt. When I got home with my painting I started trying to remember how many years and how many times I have painted in the creek at this cutbank. Then I remembered I had this painting somewhere, I just had to find it. Ouch, and I did.
That is the same cutbank in both paintings. It is also the same one you will see posted on my website. It has changed quite a bit over the years (so has my skill level) and has moved into the farm maybe 10-20 yrds. but is still my favorite place to paint. It always has some interesting shapes, colors, values, etc., etc. so you can always get a painting there. Plus, no gawkers. I don't mind gawkers because my philosophy is,"gawker today, customer tomorrow." But man, that peace and quiet sure helps the creative process.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Yep, punkins'.
I went in to Totty's Bend looking for these big dramatic, sweeping landscapes of farm scenes or overlooks and found....punkins'.
As I was driving around a friends farm I passed his garden and the sun bounced off a pumpkin so I pulled over to check it out and found out I really enjoy painting gardens. There is a lot of drawing to get all the different shapes but it was cool weather so I had the time today. He has beans, tomatoes, squash, and pumpkins so I am sure I will have more garden paintings in the future.
Just goes to show you there are paintings everywhere.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back on the Cumberland

First off, a quick shout out to the new Plein Air Nashville "coffee girl". Thanks for the coffee.
It's amazing how much better you are with a cup of coffee in your hand. If the Indians would have had coffee we would all be sleeping in teepees.
Plein Air Nashville painted on the greenway bridge again this morning and I think the biggest challenge there is going to be getting a different view or different composition each time. It's river upstream and it's the same river downstream. We've been 3 times and I have made it work so far by painting the bridge the first time but I think the next trip will require a bit more creativity to get something unique, especially of the river from the bridge.
Love a good challenge.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I painted in "the bend" this morning and the area I painted used to be notorious for wild camping and partying and fishing and mass numbers of hoodlums. It sits on the Duck River so I assume people thought it was public access. The guy who owns it decided enough was enough after having called the police for the last time and gated it and locked it and made very sure no one was allowed on it. This morning as I was painting he didn't recognize my truck and pulled up along side me with a very determined look and a loaded shotgun. After he realized who it was both he and the shotgun were downgraded to DEFCON 1. We haven't seen each other in a while so it was nice catching up and trying to remember the last time we were all together for something and you just don't realize how fast time is flying until you sit down and do the math. I couldn't remember the last time I saw his kids who are both in college. From this point on I am just going to quit doing the math.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Still Life!

I painted a still life. The first one in about 5 years. It's great! No bugs, rattlesnakes, poison ivy, rednecks, blazing heat, chiggers.....nothing.
We have a group that Jason Saunders rounded up to paint in his studio every Wednesday night. He has this wonderful studio space that he sets up maybe 6-7 different still lifes in the center and you can rotate around the room and paint as many as you want. We had around 12 people there and it was an experience of painting out of my comfort zone. But I can learn to love this still life stuff. Jason has his studio climate controlled by this wonderful invention called Air Conditioning. I didn't have to apply any chemicals to ward off the effects of vermin or deadly UV rays. Nobody approached me in a beat up pickup truck and walked up and said,"Hey, you ever seen that Bob Ross guy on T.V.? Man, he's good." And the best part? THE LIGHT DIDN'T MOVE. Not an inch. The light was the same when I finished as when I started. I could have painted all night and it would have been the same. No ducking behind clouds, no setting, no haze. No moving or changing at all! Sweet!
Yeah, that plein air painting is for chumps. The only issue I will have to deal with is after painting the rugged wild back country of Tennessee for so long I found painting little pink flowers a bit emasculating. But if they sell, I'll paint 'em in a dress and make-up if I have to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First of July

These are two more from last week. The top one is Duck River where we fished at the camp and the bottom one is the Cumberland River at the greenway bridge at Wave Country off Briley Parkway that I painted with Plein Air Nashville on Saturday. We had a good group show up and the only misfortune was when I dropped my paper towels and they rolled off the bridge and unrolled about 30 ft. to the river. I happened to be able to put my foot on them as they went over the edge so I reeled them back up but I did lose the last two and the cardboard core. I had no idea a roll of paper towels could roll out that far.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Christmas in July

In the new Art of the West magazine there is an article on Matt Smith. Anytime I find a magazine on the newstand of someone I admire I get as excited as if it were Christmas eve. I sat in the parking lot at Davis Kidd with the motor running until I could memorize every stroke, color, value, etc., etc. I bet I used a half a tank of gas sitting there. I know, it wasn't a very "green" thing to do but it was Matt Smith. I mean, come on, Matt Smith. The Polar bears are just gonna have to suck it up a little.
The piece I posted is from last week while my family was away. I have determined I am better with a family than without. I got very little done last two weeks and seemed to have been a bit scattered and unfocused. However, I did find time to do a little fishing so it wasn't a complete bust.
I will post more from last week as soon as I get good photos.