Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bedford County

Spent the last two days painting in Bedford County. Fridays, I pick up my daughter at Webb School so I usually spend Friday's painting in the Bell Buckle area. I painted a barn that I have painted numerous times. I like painting it because no matter what time of day, it seems to always have "good light".
Then this morning, Plein Air Nashville painted in the Fisherman's Park in the heart of Shelbyville. It is on the Duck River and we were trying to get a few more paintings for the Nature Conservancy show the Chestnut Group is having in a couple of weeks. It is a great place to paint. Easy to get to the water and great views of the old corn mill and dam. I think in the later years they actually generated electricity with it.
The only issue I had was one of the "locals" walked up right when I started and stood right over my left shoulder about three feet away the entire time I painted. Two hours this guy stood there and didn't miss a brush stroke. If I can find out who he is I think I am going to send him a "workshop fee".

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Land Trust

Here in Tennessee we have a land trust that Tennesseans can put their land in and it keeps it from being developed for perpetuity. I would like to personally say thanks to anyone who has done it. It is a great gift to Tennessee and to generations that will be here long after we are gone.
Having said that, Jason Saunders is having a one man show at Leiper's Creek Gallery the month of October that is of the Natchez Trace and land trust properties. He knew I had an aquaintance that had a farm in Hickman County that had been put in the trust and wanted to paint it for the show. The farm is owned by Bill McEwen, a gentleman I used to buy bird dogs from when I quail hunted. He was more than gracious and took us all over the farm and told us to help ourselves. We did.
There was just too much there to paint. It is a magnificent piece of land that has been in the family for generations. There are views and little intimate landscapes everywhere. It has little rolling hills and lots of character to it.
We painted all day and I painted three with one being a scraper. I knew when I started it, it wasn't going to happen. Some paintings you just start wrong and you know it. I have a tendency to try and save them when I should just stop and start over. What a waste of time to try and save one that never got off the ground from the start.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Architectural Fatigue

Everytime I paint a cityscape or something architectural I am completely drained mentally at the end. I think it is all of the editing, deciding how to handle what seems like a billion little angles and perspective issues plus the lack of experience with these subjects that wears me out.The above painting was no exception.
Painted with Plein Air Nashville on Saturday morning and we painted in Edgefield, one of the older areas of Nashville that is being remodeled and is actually a very nice area, especially architecturally. Lots of nice homes. We painted from East Park and I tackled this little church. It was a foggy, damp, thick kinda' day with clouds and no sun. This painting did not come easy for me and I was very dissatisfied with the result. It was about to be "scrapped off" but was spared and taken home. After looking at it for a while I actually saw some things in it that I am quite pleased with even though it will never see the inside of a frame. Ya' know, 2 years ago if I had done this painting I would have been doing backflips. Now, it was almost scraped.
It is so rewarding to go back and look at what you were doing a year or two ago as an artist. You never feel like you are getting better until you look back. Getting better has been a very organic process of just painting so much and ingesting so much information it just happens. I don't think I will ever be as good as I want to be but it is nice knowing if I continue to work hard it will be dramatically better than it is.