Monday, November 17, 2008


We finally got some good color in the trees and it has just about come and gone already. I think it may have peaked last week and now they are beginning to fall, rapidly. It seems like it goes so fast.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I know it's a bad attitude to have about studio painting but all I can think about is the weather clearing and getting back out.
We have had rain and it has given me time to work in the studio. Ya' know, I knock it quite a bit but it too is a tremendous learning experience. There are techniques and things I can take my time with in the studio that I couldn't do afield. Ways I handle paint, experimentation with tools and techniques, and nice careful thoughtful drawing. I guess ultimately anytime you are painting whether outside or in it is actually good for you as an artist. So here's to studio painting! Now if the sun would just come out...

Monday, November 10, 2008


Had a pretty stiff cold front blow through yesterday with a very constant north wind. I had gone out to paint in the morning but was not prepared for the drop in temps or the wind. I can paint in most conditions but the wind is just aggravating, especially a cold one. Anyway, I got this done yesterday afternoon in overcast, cold, windy conditions. I usually get some pretty funny looks from people when they pass but yesterday they were looking at me as if I had lost my mind.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Painted with Plein Air Nashville this morning at Cheekwood and had quite a turn out. The most I have seen in a long time. This little painting would be much, much, better had SOMEbody not dropped a tripod on it.
I picked up the latest Art of the West magazine the other night and there is a layout in it titled,"Winter Wonderland."The first painting in the article is a Cyrus Afsary, followed by a Len Chmiel, a John DeMott and on to a Richard Schmid. By the time I got to the Richard Schmid I could feel my rods and cones shutting down from too much incredible art that they were trying to filter through to my brain. I am a sucker for a winter landscape and these are some doosies. I think Richard Schmid is the best at making trees "barky", rocks hard, snow soft, clouds airy, and on and on. Giving an object its inherent qualities that make it unique. You can tell what kind of tree, the softness of a flower, the age of a barn, the coarseness of a fabric through a suggestion of texture and those beautiful lost and found edges. Even though it's just paint applied to a 2-D surface you can "feel" everything in the painting, from temperature to moisture in the air. Awesome.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Autumn Colors

The fall colors I have been waiting on have arrived, I just don't remember them being this late. Maybe I'm wrong but I thought it was usually in October a little more.
Painted in Normandy again. Painted at the TWRA Fish Hatchery and again at the farm in the previous blog "On a Back Road". That farm is slowly becoming one of my favorite places to paint. The lay of the land with that farm at the other end makes some beautiful compositions.
Had a guy pull up though, and ask me if I "was a survey'n?" I said,"yep" and he said,"what fer?"I said,"a mall."
The depth and the length of the silence was stunning.
I finally snapped him back to reality by telling him there would be no mall and I was a painter.
Again, stunned silence.
I explained to him what I do for a living and I honestly believe it would have been easier to convince him a mall was coming.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bells Bend

Bells Bend is a jewel. It is an area that is about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville that is still very rural. It has remained this way because the citizens that live there have worked hard to keep it that way and it's geographical location is in a deep bend of the Cumberland river that only allows one way in and one way out. It is truly a paradise of culture and landscape. I have painted there numerous times and have only begun to scratch the surface.
And then along came the developers.
I am not sure what in a person can make them look at this and see massive urban sprawl sold as "new green development" when it just boils down to the destruction of more and more of what makes Nashville unique. What it amounts to is the destruction of quality of life in the area. WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER MALL, IDIOTS!
Anyhoo, a giant urban area with malls and office space and I am sure some condos and residential called "The Maytown Center", named after the family who proposes this, is being pitched to the city. The folks in Bells Bend have started a massive campaign to get it stopped. This Saturday they had a day of activities in the area to really showcase how special the area is. It started with a paint out followed by classes and workshops at the Bells Bend Park nature center, food and crafts and organic food vendors at the Scottsboro Community Center, and a canoe and kayak float on the Cumberland with all of this followed up that evening with a concert by Nanci Griffith with a s'mores cookout at the campground. I stayed for the Nanci Griffith concert and was impressed. She is very good and has written a ton of hits.
Having said all of that, we had a great day with perfect weather. Had a good group of painters out and picked up a few we don't normally see. I got three done and took in a concert.Yeah.
I wish the people that live in the bend the best of luck getting this stopped. For selfish reasons because it would be one less place I have to paint but more importantly it would be one more place for my grandkids to paint.