Monday, April 06, 2009

Paint NC Plein-Air Invitational

Startown, NC

This painting was done in the back seat of my car. On the way to Germanton, NC I stopped at a little town just below Hickory, NC named Startown. This sweet little church was on Startown road. As I painted this I thought this would be a perfect place for an American Idol contestant to be from.
Germanton, NC

Once I arrived in Germanton, NC I found this great farm just accross the street from the home I stayed at for 3 nights. (More on my gracious hosts in another post.) The farm, Buffalo Creek Farm, was a fun place to paint and one of the owners, Robin, shared alot of interesting farm stuff I didn't know. I painted this on a foggy/rainy day. Luckily, I found a great shelter and painted the back of the barn/house. This farm had llamas, guinea fowl, goats, rabbits, turkeys, Great Pyrenees dogs. Some animals had special duties on th farm. The guinea fowl are said to be good for controlling the Lyme Disease-bearing deer tick. The Great Pyrenees dogs protect the livestock and are rarely out of sight or hearing of his flock. It is a calm animal that moves slowly to avoid disturbing the livestock and possesses a better than average sense of hearing, sight and smell. Llamas bonds with its herd of livestock, it takes over as a protector. Friday, I "forged" their Buffalo Creek to paint their restored log cabin and one of their llamas kept his eye on me as I crossed the pasture.
I used the second shed pictured here as shelter to paint the barn/house - see my easel next to the ladder.
Friday I forged this stream to paint in Buffalo Creeks back pasture.
This llama was keeping his eye on me.

This is were I painted on Friday. If you look closely you can see my easel setup to the right. They had two outhouses which I did use. Hint: overalls are not the attire to wear when using outhouses...

The Reception
Friday night Germanton Gallery held a reception for 30+ artist they invited to be a part of this paint-out. It was a fun evening and I meet some really nice artists from all over the country. One artist, whose work I admired, was Robert Brown from Charlotte, NC.

Next post I'll put up some of what I painted while in Germanton and tell you more about my adventures.
Happy drawing & painting!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Painting NC Plein-Air Show

I am thrilled to be apart of this event. If you love to see artists in action, this event should be a great opportunity to see some great plein air paintings. The Germanton Art Gallery represents some of my favorite artists and it is my understanding some of them will be present. After the recption on Friday, April 3rd, many of us, including one of my favorite artist, Scott Burdick, will be painting in the downtown area of Germantown Saturday and Sunday. Hope you can venture up to see us. After the show I will post the plein air paintings I make during this event. Happy painting!

I am painting "day trips" into NC Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I travel to Germanton, NC to paint through Sunday. Rain or shine this should be a good time! Monday's painting - March 30, 2009. This sign is on Hwy 176 on the way to Saluda, NC. The painting, 12" x 9" oil on panel, "Valley Courts Sign", was painted on a cool and breezy day. I needed a bungee cord to keep the panel from blowing into my pile of paints.
Today's painting (March 31, 2009), 8" x 6" oil on linen panel, "That's a Dandy" was painted at FENCE. It was a very overcast day so I chose something simple. They have wonderful nature trails, which I also explored. This is a must come back to plein-air location!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sketchbook "Thumbnails"

I am painting for a May show at the Chapman Cultural Center in the Spartanburg Artist Guild gallery with Garry Turpin. The theme is 'Town & Country". I am painting urban scenes and Garry is painting "beyond the city limits scenes". This sketch was used to get my creative juices going for the 18"x24" oil on canvas painting.

The top sketch was painted on location (plein-air painting) downtown Spartanburg using a portable watercolor palette and a Moleskine sketchbook. I love this sketchbook. The paper is made for watercolor and the whole feel of the book inspires me. There are many kinds of Moleskine notebooks but for watercolor sketching I use the Moleskine Large Watercolor Notebook: Size: 5.25 x 8.25",Pages: 72 pages of acid-free paper.

If you love sketching try of one the Moleskines out. You'll love it! Happy drawing!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nu-Way Thumbnail

This example of a thumbnail sketch before I painted sort of shows my thought pattern. I was much more interested in the abstract shapes of the buildings with the vertical intersecting lines of the sign and electrical pole. I was looking at the shapes the values made. I was also awestruck by the red door shape. I'm always on the lookout for discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary.

As I painted this I kept those thoughts and feelings in the front of my mind. These feelings are what kept me excited about painting this. The Nu-Way does also happen to be a Spartanburg, SC landmark were many a drink was poured and story shared. Not the most beautiful of places to paint, but then again beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The Nu-Way, oil on panel, 16' x 20" painted 2007 "adopted" by Nan Coghill

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Recently, while looking at old sketchbooks, I noticed how important drawing thumbnails before I tackle a painting is to my creative process.

The thumbnail drawing allows me to look at shapes and values so I can (hopefully!) create a strong composition. I play around with several thumbnail design possibilities and once I hit on a thumbnail that seems to work I feel excited about starting the painting.

The thumbnail drawings above is about 5"h x 4"w. The oil painting is 16"h x 11"w.

I thought over the next few posts I'd share some of my thumbnails.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A great Evening

Dispite frigid tempatures people came out for the Spartanburg ArtWalk! My "Homecoming" reception had a steady crowd. Carolina Gallery always does a great reception. Delicious catering and the nice background music of classical guitar.
I saw alot of friends I hadn't seen in 30+ years and met some new friends. One person shared a favorite saying with me that seemed to fit.... "you can't go forward until you go back". That summed up what this show was all about.
If you couldn't make the opening reception the show will be up until mid February. They also have 2 more floors of wonderful art.
This photo shows one corner of th gallery. That's me in the salmon colored jacket.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Invitation

I just received my invitation to my art show! After a year and a half of painting the day is almost here to share what I have created. I have heard other artists say every painting an artist creates is really a self portrait and I am really feeling that thought this week.
If you are in the area, please come to the reception. The show will be up for a month at Carolina Gallery.
January 4th my local paper ran an article about this upcoming show.