Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cityscapes Anyone?

I painted this morning with Plein Air Nashville. We had set out to paint Musica but after I got there and looked at all the figure drawing required I turned around and looked behind me and saw a beautiful skyline of Nashville so I threw my effort into it. It made me realize how hard cityscapes can be. My hat is off to Anne Blair Brown and all the others who make it look so easy. I think the biggest problem I had was deciminating the info before me and trying to get rid of everything but what you actually need to make the paintng work. There is so much going on in a city that to try and paint it all in one alla prima painting is virtually impossible. I think the trick is to know what to parse down to get to the bare minimum and still have a nice painting.
Anyway here is my attempt. I think if you look at it you will notice it is not quite as finished as most of my paintings. With all I had to get down it didn't leave me much time to clean it up. I was just mixing and applying, mixing and applying.
Now I have a cityscape under my belt. On to Venice.

Another Roundbale

I thought I would show another roundbale painting since I have been painting them so much lately.
When I painted these and other roundbales I took some photos and compared them to what I see out there. There is a dramatic difference in what you see. The photos loose so much color and those real nice temperature changes, especially in the shadows. There is just so much information out there that you can't get with a photo. If you don't believe me, try it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Water Rats

This is my lovely daughter Sarah Beth on the right and her friend Neale on the left. I had intended to paint here but as you can see I thought better of it. This is the Duck River at the end of the boat ramp where the May 8 entry was painted.
I thought the water at this time of year may have been too cold for swimming, but I remember when I was a kid, and I don't think at that age the water ever gets too cold for swimming.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hay Fever

For the last few days I have been living on Benedryl, Starbucks and Repel tick spray. It is that time of year. It seems that my allergies are worse this year than previous but there are roundbales on the ground so I have to take benedryl and push through.
I have been painting roundbales in the Totty's Bend area. They have hay cut and rolled everywhere. I have been getting into the fields right after the roller and right before the fork and kind of moving with them as they move from field to field. They are trying to get it up by first of next week so the window of opportunity is small.
The painting I have posted is from a small hayfield on the Duck river. A friend of mine gave me a bit of history on the field and said that a gentleman by the name of Baird was injured in the battle of Shiloh in the Civil War and came back to Totty's bend and started a ferry that crossed the Duck river at this field called Baird's Ferry. Apparently, toward the end of the war he ferried Union soldiers across who camped here. It's hard to imagine what this field would have looked like full of Union soldiers.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Real Plein Air

Ya' know, a lot of people say they are tried and true plein air painters but their deepest foray into the wilds is stepping off their back porch and painting the neighbors garden. Not Plein Air Nashville.
I was asked to try and find a place on the Duck River for them to paint this morning and having been to Henry Horton in the winter the views were everywhere and very accessible. I knew the trees and vegetation would be a bit thicker but I underestimated the thickness at this time of year. So to get to the river took a bit of an effort not to mention the rain and mud issue.
They rolled off the river bank like Green Berets.
There was so much equipment and so many people it looked like Hannibels army crossing the Alps. Fishermen would come down the bank from time to time, look around, and then just turn around and go back up.
I think all and all there was quite a bit of very fine art created by the group today and some of it may be sold for the Nature Conservancy fundraiser we are participating in in the fall. It really is a good group to paint with. They are very laid back, skill levels from A to Z, and will apparently try anything. I think the next time I am asked to take them to a spot it is going to be somewhere that requires snake boots, firearms and machetes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Back on the Duck

This is another Duck River painting. It is actually on the lower end, around Centerville in an area called Totty's Bend. A very good friend of mine owns about 200 acres on the river there and has built a boat ramp on the river. This is the view from the end of the boat ramp. I have painted this exact view about 10 different times, some keepers and some not. What is nice is to compare the old ones and the newer ones. Sheesh, I can't believe the quality of some of my old paintings. I still have a long way to go but man, it has come a long way.
Lately when I paint I have had Bald Eagle sightings. About 2-3 years ago I used to see them regularly when I would fish and then no sightings. The last three times I have painted in the area I have seen them again. I think it is 2 mature birds and a juvenile, not sure. Haven't seen the nest yet but I saw one a few years ago at Cheatham Lake and it was bigger than most apartments.