Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heat Sissy Steps Up

I have always admitted I am the biggest heat sissy that has ever plein air painted. I'm an eskimo. So if you would have told me I would be painting outside at 2:00 in the afternoon in 96 degree heat last Thursday I would have called you a liar. Yet there I stood, painting, sweating and whining.
Anne Blair Brown had called me the night before and suggested we go downtown for a few cityscapes. We would meet at 8:00 so I assumed I would be back in an climate controlled environment by 10:00. My bad.
We painted first on Rutledge street downtown. The area I picked had one small shade tree and that was the only shade I saw in that area so that's where I set up and apparently it was the same shade that most of the homeless use. Spent an hour talking to "homeless Mike" and he actually had some very pointed questions about what I do for a living. It was 10:00 and he had just finished his first stove pipe so I noticed the questions becoming a little less pointed.
After finishing that painting and regrouping at the Farmer's Market my painting posse, Anne, Cathleen Windham and Bitsy King all turned to each other and said,"what now?" Being the only man I couldn't be the one to snivel and cry about the heat so I said "whatever". That's how I wound up standing on the bank of the Cumberland River in 96 degree heat. All and all it wasn't that bad in the shade and I got some paintings done and got to use the heat for an excuse to spend the evening with the "posse" at an East Nashville establishment for conversation and libations.
I will say this about the summer though. There is a thick humid density to the atmosphere that you don't get as well in the winter that is fun to try and paint. It creates real grey atmospheric perspective that is a challenge to try and pull off but when you stick it it looks fantastic.

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