Five out of the last six paintings have included a body of water, It was nice to paint this pastoral scene without water in the foreground. The parkway runs adjacent to land owned by the public and used for many things, perhaps there’s a homestead, an old farm house with barns, cattle, horses maybe some sheep just over the hill. You can imagine what you will. This area is only a mile from Price Lake and is beautiful in it’s man made order.
Archive for month: July, 2015
“Price Lake”, 18″ X 24″, open acrylic on canvas done in plein aire
Price Lake is a man made lake. The dam that created the lake is located under the bridge beside where I painted. I stood next to the rail with the water flowing beneath me. The lake was created on 4,200 acres gifted to the State by Julian Price upon his death to be used as a public recreation area.
I’ve been asked to share the size of my paintings in my posts as well as the medium. I’ve updated that information in the Gallery. He also asked why I was painting a plein aire painting on an 18″ X 24″ canvas, stating that it was to large to accomplish at one sitting.
My assumption is that many artists paint on small canvases when plein aire painting because of several reasons. They paint on small canvases because it’s easier to transport their gear to and from the painting site. They could paint smaller paintings to accomplish it in a shorter time allowing more time for additional detail or to capture the ever changing light better.
I paint most of the time where I can drive up and park my truck. I usually set up within 50 yards. I don’t have to worry about the weight of gear, the size of the canvas or how to protect it from unexpected weather changes so close to my truck. Also I’m a quick painter, as an instructor at Paint Along Studios I learned to paint quickly by painting over six hundred times, each time completing a 16″ X 20″ canvas while assisting students in three hours or less. A larger canvas simply requires a larger brush and larger brush strokes. In many ways I find that I enjoy the larger sizes because I don’t have to control a smaller detail brush while trying to stay loose.
This painting was done from the walkway under the James River bridge. It’s a beautiful place. I’m going back soon and paint a series of paintings from this location. I could paint 50 paintings under this bridge and never paint the same thing twice. I’m guessing that the bridge is 300 yds long. The James River is a 410 mile long river. It’s the 12th largest river in the country that remains within the boundary of a single state. It’s in Virginia.
I was twenty minutes from finishing painting when a Vietnamese woman vacationing from her home in Germany stopped and asked if the painting was for sale. I now have a painting in a private European collection. Sounds great doesn’t it?
Otter Lake is near Glasgow Virginia. The elevation in the area is less than 1000 ft. Otter lake is created by Otter creak and the Otters and flows in to the James River. Rudy and I sat up for an early morning painting on a rainy day. I started painting around 7:00 am and painted quickly, by 11:00 am the rain started. The rest of the day we drove around and scouted out other painting opportunities and visited a local museum.
Off the turnpike taking care of domestic issues at our Black Mountain Cottage but I found a few hours to paint this view of Lake Tomahawk one evening.
Shawn Hart a photography student at Appalachian State University photographed me painting last month at one of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was at high elevation and was windy and very cool.