Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back in the Groove...But Out of My Comfort Zone

I got some painting done this week. Painted with Cathleen Windham on Tuesday evening in a rain storm and had to fend off hostile donkeys but got the barn above done. Then Anne Blair Brown took me out of my comfort zone this morning. She challenged me to a swap of palettes and technique. I would be Anne Blair Brown for a painting and she would be me. Her palette had a couple of extra colors on it but the biggest issue I had was her painting method. Anne underpaints and she infuses her paintings with a lot of luminosity by the color she uses in her underpainting. When I would try to underpaint I lost my values. Once I got my color down my values were off and as a value painter I just lost it. Came unravelled like a cheap suit. She on the other hand nailed a couple of nice one's with a strictly three color palette. That's either a statement on her ability or my methods.
Ultimately, I think it's good for us as artist's to get out there and try something else from time to time. Out of the comfort zone. If I think about it though, I have been out of my comfort zone every second I have been doing this.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again.....Kinda'

This is the first painting I have done in over a week. The week before I only did demos. I did two for a day long workshop I did for the Chestnut Group and two for the student body at The Webb School in Bell Buckle. I also slipped off with Jean Gauld Jeager after the Chestnut workshop to paint in the Glen Leven garden. For the last two weeks, that's it.
This painting was done with Plein Air Nashville Saturday morning at the Mount Olivet Cemetery and I have to admit I felt a bit rusty, clumsy. There is a "groove" or rhythm to this. You have to do it on a pretty regular basis for it to stay intuitive and less trying and from time to time life will knock you out of your groove. Hopefully this week I can get back into my groove.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The amount of damage caused by our recent flood here in Nashville and surrounding counties is overwhelming. There is debris and mud everywhere you look.
The photos I have posted were the few I took while it was taking place. My first incident started right at the end of the Harding Art Show when I went to my truck to get trash bags to cover my art and as I rounded the corner of the school saw my truck sitting in the artists parking lot in knee deep rising water. I ran, jumped in the water and then wading to the truck got in and drove back through the water and out, the whole time talking to my truck. "Alright, you gotta start. You gotta get us outta here. Let's go sweetheart."I then got my truck parked, ran back in the school and got keys from Helli Luck to get her vehicle out but within 10 minutes the water had risen so high and fast I couldn't get close. The rapidity with which the water jumped up was stunning. And the speed with which it fell was just as stunning. It was all over that evening in about an hour and a half. When that was said and done we lost around 7-8 vehicles in the parking areas.
The next morning was the deluge that created most of the flooding and damage. The street scene is from my driveway early Sunday. After the rain that morning I got out to see how much damage had been done and was stopped by an ocean of flood water right down the street from my house. I knew at that point this was very, very bad. I had never seen anything like it and hope never to again.
Right now, in the aftermath, the worst part for me is driving through these areas every day and seeing the possessions of their lives, from antiques to their children's toys to beds and furniture thrown out in these huge debris piles by the road. HUGE debris piles that contain everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Most don't have flood insurance so I think this catastrophe is just beginning for most and you almost feel guilty for being able to go about you life in the midst of this. Again, I hope I never see anything like this again.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


As I write this my community and the city I live in sits and soaks in a septic, toxic stew of sewage and god knows what chemical mix after a record "flood" that has engulfed everything around us. I have "flood" in parenthesis because I really don't think that word or any word I can think of does the magnitude of this justice. I saw rushing torrents of water where there should be no water and cars floating and bobbing like corks.
Other than a bit of inconvenience due to power outage and isolation due to our location on the backside of the Harpeth river my family is fine. Unfortunately, a large number of my fellow Tennesseans can't say the same.
When I get phone service back I will take the time to post some of the photos I have and a few more stories.