Monday, September 27, 2010


As I write this I am sitting in the city of Charleston, SC. Last week a friend of mine who loves a road trip as much as I do, called me Wednesday and said "I'm going to Charleston, you in?" Hell yeah I'm in.
The first day was spent with friends of my traveling compadre where we were able to acquire a 19ft center console sea going boat with a 115 outboard. It was nice. We put in on the Bohicket river and ran down stream to the Atlantic Ocean where after pulling out into the ocean decided it might be a little rough for comfort so we stayed in the wetlands and river channel.
The most amazing thing about the area was the wildlife. Bald Eagles, Osprey's, ducks and migratory birds of every kind. But what astonished me the most was the number of dolphins that were in these brackish water areas. They were everywhere. The whole time. And they would get soooo close to the boat it felt like you could just reach out and touch them. I tried to photograph them but you never know where they will surface so by the time you get the camera pointed in the right direction and the trigger pulled they would be gone. The one's I have here are lucky shots out of about 10,000 attempts. Two of them started playing in front of the boat and would leap out of the water 4-5 feet. Incredible creatures.
Today was spent gallery hopping due the day long rain they had here. I saw 10-11 galleries and enjoyed my time at the Sylvan Gallery talking to Joe Sylvan and then at the M Gallery, probably my favorite of the bunch, talking it up with Maggie Kruger. Had a great time picking her brain and before it was all said and done she has asked me to send her a few paintings when I get back. Sweet! It always feels good to be associated with someone like Maggie who gets it and knows quality art and has and runs a high caliber gallery. I am looking forward to doing business with her.
Hopefully tomorrow it will quit raining long enough to paint a little. Either way, this town has enough to keep me busy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tennessee Dinosaurs

I went to Radnor Lake last week with Anne Blair Brown to start painting for the Chestnut Group Radnor Lake exhibit in November and as we were looking for a spot we came across this "dinosaur" you see in the photo above. It was one of the largest Snapping turtles I have seen. It was huge.
The Chelyda Serpentina, or Snapping Turtle is one of those creatures that evolution got to a certain point and then just blew right by. These are the closest thing we have to dinosaurs. They got to a point millions of years ago and haven't changed much. Haven't had to. They are like the shark and alligator, perfect at what they do. Eat, breed, repeat. Sounds like a pretty good routine.
When I was a kid my brother had a Boa Constrictor and used to win the pet show at Central Elementary grade school every year. He had one more year to win on the challenge trophy to get to take it home. About a week before the big show I caught a snapping turtle out of the creek about 100 yards from the school and entered him in the pet show. Guess who didn't get to take the challenge trophy home? That's right. I beat him with a creek turtle I caught the week before. When he would pull that snake out of the cage the crowd would oooh and aahhh. When I pulled the turtle out I got nothing.........except a big fat blue ribbon and my name on the challenge trophy. Caused a bit of a "stir" in the family. And this story gets more surreal by telling you that the judge that year was Huell Howser. He was a weatherman in Nashville at that time and was the closest thing to a celebrity we knew. He went on to do a show I see from time to time called California Gold. Google him.
I guess snapping turtles can do three things. Eat, breed, and kick your little brother's ass in a pet show.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hazards of Cityscapes

I painted in Germantown with Anne Blair Brown again this morning and as we painted a gentleman walked up and asked,"Can I take your picture?"
"Sure" we replied and off he ran only to return with this professional grade camera over his shoulder and one of the Channel 4 weathermen in tow."Can we shoot you for the weather segment for tonight?" Dang. Kinda' wish I would have spent a little more time on my "look" this morning. I have to say though, I am usually dressed and prepared for a day in the woods and fields, as I was today, and I have not yet had anyone run up to me in those woods and fields and ask, "can I take your picture?"
Just one more hazard of painting cityscapes.
We also painted this afternoon with Bitsy King and Diane May at the Farmer's Market and if you have never painted there it is a plethora of color and pieces and parts and values and movement. It's overwhelming for someone like me. As most of you know, I will chase a detail like a dog chases squirrels and the Farmers Market is all details. I squinted and squinted and squinted and still got pieces. Baskets of fruit and vegetables and pumpkins and people, flowers and awnings, etc.. And it was all in shade. As easy as pulling your own Wisdom teeth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Close to Home

I got this painted in a slow on and off drizzle yesterday. It's one of those places that I pass constantly on my way to other places to paint and it's within 10 minutes of my house. Sometimes I think I need to slow down and look a little harder around my area. I believe I could find a ton of things to paint without the gas investment.
By the way, I am not sure what happened to the copy on the post below. I re-posted some of the images and my type must have been erased so make up your own captions.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey, Hey, Hey... OPA!

This piece was juried in to the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Show at Walls Gallery in Wilmington, NC. Typically I mail these to the galleries for the shows but I think I may drive this one out there. Greeeaaat excuse for a road trip. The fact I love the country between here and there doesn't hurt either, especially the western side of NC.
I also noticed a couple of other Tennessee artists got in. Jeff Jamison and Tarron Parsons, both personal friends and fabulous artists. Congratulations guys.