Last week I got really excited about working a half day and decided to paint at the park. I knew I had a couple hours to paint before the predicted freezing temps later that evening.
That morning in anticipation for a moment in plain air I packed my travel easel, paints, brushes, and almost everything I needed into the trunk of the car. Unfortunately, in my eagerness to be one with nature, I forgot my canvas. It wasn’t until I unloaded the car and hiked about twenty minutes before I realized I had nothing to paint on.
My head was hanging low on the way back to the car when I spotted a discarded cardboard box. I was never happier to see a piece of trash. I painted for about an hour before the sun started going down… and here it is.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to visit Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum you will know that this is one of the most beautiful and peaceful location in Tennessee. For the artists out there, each direction you look there is another vision waiting to be photographed, drawn, or painted.
This past Father’s Day I had the opportunity to set up my easel, paints, and palette knives and start a painting in the Herb Garden. It wasn’t long after I set up, children and entire families came up to me to see what I was doing. It was a fun experience talking with the kids and parents about painting and art. A couple hours later I finished my painting, packed up and headed home with a piece of art that captures a small glimpse of what Cheekwood has to offer. I’m sure to be back again and again.
A couple of weeks ago my fiance and several friends of ours visited a vineyard outside of Nashville, TN called Arrington. We enjoyed a few bottles of wine, several games of dominoes, and beautiful weather. Here is a picture and a painting of that occasion.
I began a painting on this canvas that was ugly and getting rapidly worse. I started what I thought was a majestic rolling hillside with the colors of a sunrise, or a sunset, or a midday on Saturn. Either way I did not have a clear vision of what I was going to do plus color is a challenge for me do to being colorblind. If I go past using three colors on my palette I end up with shades that never existed before and for good reason. After asking what Janelle thought of my work so far, she winced then quickly said she thought she heard the timer for the oven going off and hurried out of my studio. It was bad and I needed a break.
The next morning I woke up and looked out my bedroom window to see two or three inches of snow covering my back yard. The picture that I am posting below is the revised version of my original landscape. I tossed my brushes to the side and pulled out the trusty palette knives. I threw away the old palette and began fresh with Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Natural Gray Warm, and Titanium White. You can still see some of the colors coming through but other than that I painted completely over everything. I’m very happy with this piece. Keep it simple and good things will happen.