Monday, January 31, 2011

Battle of Nashville

I spent the day Sunday painting with Anne Blair Brown. We started on 12th Ave., a trendy urban area with unique restaurants and shops, and ended up painting in the "Gulch", another hip upscale urban oasis. Got a pretty nice street scene out of the 12th area but in the Gulch we tried to paint some trains parked in the train yard down from the Union Station. After getting started they had to move the trains. Not sure why but I'm not a train engineer. Just got my drawing straightened out and here go the trains. They would back them up, pull them forward, move one then two, up, back, etc. Didn't look terribly productive but like I said, I'm not an engineer. Anne actually finished a nice train sketch even with the moving of the subject matter. She said it is the equivalent of painting livestock. Square, metal, graffiti sprayed livestock.
Planned on painting another but Anne had a social engagement that went late and we were afraid to start another so I headed home. On the way I spotted the Battle of Nashville Monument in a small green space along Granny White Pike and had a little time before dark so whipped in and set up. From the parking lot there you get the view above. I have seen a couple of paintings of this thing and Michael Shane Neal did one that was just incredible. So I thought I would throw my name in the hat.
Sheesh. It was a drawing nightmare. That and the fact the sun was in, the sun was out, the sun was in, etc., etc.. I did the profile because I could just set up by the truck and save time but someday when I have the time would love to go down and try it from the front. Composition is another issue that makes it tough because it is thin and tall. The portion I did is just the bronze area.
The battle that this thing memorializes is the battle that raged in the areas of town that are now Forest Hills, Green Hills, Brentwood and down streets like Granny White and Franklin Road. Areas that are now some of the most affluent areas of Davidson County. It is hard to imagine what went on in these areas when you are looking at gated neighborhoods and million dollar homes. Apparently after getting thrashed at the Battle of Franklin, General Hood moved his army up to the outskirts of Nashville. There he ran into the defensive lines of Schofield, who had defeated him at Franklin and then moved to Nashville to join his army with that of Gen. George Thomas who had been defending Nashville. When you drive through the south end of Nashville there are little metal signs everywhere you look commemorating the major areas of battle. I recently went to the area of Shy's Hill, where some of the most horrific action took place. I think it may have been one of the first areas where the confederates began to break and retreat. It sits in a tiny little space with houses and drives ways and swimming pools. It makes it hard to imagine the din and noise of the mayhem of December of 1864.


Gary Brookins said...

Hey Kevin, That's a terrific little painting . . . and I think your drawing is spot on and it's a very nice composition. Keep it up. Still got to get together and paint.

Kevin Menck said...

Thanks Gary. That one was a methodically drawn painting. I enjoy the drawing though and find when I take the time I actually enjoy drawing things that might take a little effort.
Holler' when you think you can and we'll hook up somewhere. Here, there, somewhere else entirely.
Keep paintin'!

Chris Ousley said...

I did a pencil sketch a few years ago about the same view. Remember when it overlooked Franklin Road>
View my sketch here,