Friday, October 31, 2008

On a Back Road

Found this farm a while back but never made the effort to stop until this morning. It is somewhere between Normandy and Wartrace along the Duck River at 3 Forks Bridge. It was a beautiful fall morning and everything just clicked. I love it when that happens.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Gaggle of Painters

Painted this morning with a group. Roger Brown and Beverly, Brett Weaver, Gary Young, Erin Jones, and myself painted at Radnor Lake. Weather was perfect. It is not often I paint with a group (except Plein Air Nashville) but I actually enjoy it. It's not that we learn a whole lot from each other or even talk that much. When the painting starts it gets incredibly quite. It is actually a very solitary pursuit. I painted with Anne Blair Brown once and when we were leaving she said,"I enjoyed watching you paint from afar." The interaction was "good morning"...paint...paint...paint..."good bye." I think I enjoy it because you are with like minded people, people who appreciate the work, dedication, and effort that we all put into this and they know what it means when you say the word "struggle".
The other painting of the cornfield is at Derryberry's and it is the first 10x12 I have ever painted. I ordered a bunch of 10x12 panels from Sourcetek to give it a try and give myself a new compositional challenge. Not sure how I like the format yet, will keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This was done Saturday evening after the cemetary painting that morning. It was the same cornfield in my previous blogs and yes, by the time I left it was full of "critters". For whatever reason, we have had very little color in the trees so far this year. Typically by now the woods are ablaze. I am not sure if it's late or if it is going to happen at all but it has been a very brown fall so far. It's hard to believe it's already the end of October.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Plein Air Nashville painted in the City Cemetary to get in the spirit of Halloween. If there was such a thing as ghosts I would be in the City Cemetary. The stories you could get there would be awesome. It is full of the first settlers in Davidson County. The most notable one I saw was the first settler James Robertson and his family. Apparently, Davy Crockett is in there somewhere but I didn't find it. There is just too many there to see them all and still get off a painting.
I have painted in cemetaries twice now and it is very difficult painting. There are no large masses. It seems like every direction you look it is tons of little shapes and pieces and values and lots of drawing. The painting I did has been simplified and you can see there is still a million little planes and value changes. I suppose you could do a very intimate, small area of maybe one tombstone or something but some of the other ghosts might feel slighted and the last thing I would want to do is piss Davy Crockett off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I don't get the chance to paint cattle much because they never hold still in the field long enough. If I do paint them they are usually just kind of a suggestion of a cow or I paint in the studio where I can spend a little time with the drawing.
Had some studio time this week so I painted cattle. Had trouble with the anatomy a bit because the cattle proportions have to be pretty accurate. If you miss them slightly it quickly becomes a goat and if you miss them far enough, a big dog.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Skiing Weather

Painted downtown again where I painted the little fire boat a couple of weeks ago. The little boat actually sits right to the left of the edge of this painting. I almost painted it again but opted for this pedestrian bridge instead.
As we were starting to paint I heard the roar of a boat engine coming around the bend in the river. It was a ski boat with 5 guys in it and one barefoot skiing. He drops right at the bridge, they pick him up and then park where we stood to paint. Then, again, another ski boat with a team and skier. This continued until there were 9 boats and 9 teams of barefoot skiers. These guys barefoot ski race. They have teams from all over the country that travel around and do this. We actually were fielding a team from Nashville in this race.
They started at Old Hickory dam and raced to downtown Nashville. When they got there they blasted off in a line and raced back to Old Hickory then turned around and did it again. It takes exactly one plein air painting worth of time to race to Old Hickory and back. Bear in mind while they were doing this a pretty stiff cold front had blown through and it was a bit windy and never got out of the low 60's. You would think this was a young man's sport but most of these guys were my age or older and some appeared to be 60ish. Rock and Roll.
It has been a long time since I water skiied but I remember no matter how young or in shape I was I would always feel like I had been hit by a bus the next day. Sore in places I didn't know I had. Now, I can trip and fall in my den and be crippled for weeks and these guys were tearing it up at their age. Score one for the old guys.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Corn Fairies

If you have ever watched a combine work, it's like magic. The stalks, johnson grass, sticks, etc., etc. goes in the front and out comes this beautiful golden kernel corn, almost ready to eat. It is as if thousands of little corn fairies are busy inside cleaning, husking, and kernelling corn. I pictured it like Willie Wonka's chocolate room. It's an amazing piece of technology.
Well the one pictured in my blog broke down last week and I got "Tim the Corn Guy" to explain and show me how they work. I have seen it and I still don't understand. There are augers, sifters, belts, pulleys, tumblers, and other things I just did not recognize. Again, who ever came up with it was a genius.
Last week they were busy at the farm I have leased to hunt on getting up the corn. I have been painting in the fields as they were there and after they finished. The neatest thing about painting in it now is the amout of wildlife that is coming into the field at dusky dark to pick up the corn that is left. I stopped yesterday afternoon and looked around and couldn't count the number of deer and turkeys that had crept into the field. Nature show.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fire Boat

For those of you who may have noticed I posted this on Sunday when I painted it and then saw it on the computer screen and decided it needed a few minor adjustments. They look so much different on the computer.
I painted downtown Sunday morning in the greenway between the football stadium and the river. Plein Air Nashville had planned on painting there on Saturday morning but "Race for the Cure" had also planned on having their event there and they look like they outnumbered us about 5-6000 to one. As soon as I crossed the river I hit gridlock. It took me about thirty minutes just to get back out of the stadium area. The area we were supposed to paint was actually closed to traffic so I don't know if anyone made a painting attempt there but if you did you're a better man than me.
I went back on Sunday morning and there was only one other person there besides me and it was an elderly black gentleman that spent most of his morning trying to teach me how to fish the Cumberland River. It was a great place to paint. Stuff everywhere. I bit off this little fire boat that sits there all the time. Hopefully we will check ahead of time for downtown activities and barring any will paint there again soon.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Corner Market

Painted this little market/cafe yesterday in a little community in Rutherford County called Christiana. Apparently it serves a pretty good lunch because by the time I finished, the parking lot you' re looking at was covered up. When I started, no one. I pass this building everytime I go to Bell Buckle and everytime I pass I tell myself I am going to paint it. Finally.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cold Front!

Finally. A good solid fall cold front blew through and the temps stayed in the low 70's. Perfect day. Rest of the week looks as good.
Painted this barn in Williamsport about lunch today and I noticed the greens are starting to lighten up and colors are starting to change to fall just a bit. Won't be long.