Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bringing the Mountain Home

Between shows and the One Hundred Paintings Project, I have been away too long from this blog. We returned from Blowing Rock last week after two weeks of painting and showing. The horse show paintings are on my website:

After the shows were over for the day, we would walk about 1/4 mile down the road to a small stone wall with a view of the John's River Gorge. After numerous trips of sitting and watching the sunlight and shadows and clouds move across the mountains and taken lots of photos that looked like nothing when you got home, I finally carried my easel and canvas down and set up on the wall to try and capture the view. I intended to take a small canvas to capture the light and color as it moved across the mountains. I found that I only had a 12 x 36 canvas prepped and ready to go. So it was to be a larger painting. I put them in the Honda Fit and drove down. There are no parking places at the wall so the honda "fit" just fine in what space was available. I began painting, at first getting the shapes of the mountains. Its amazing how much the camera flattens the scene when compared to what you view with your eyes. I painted until the sun was almost beginning to set. One hand holding the canvas and easel and the other shading my eyes from the lowering sun. Or maybe one hand holding the brush and the other jumping between the canvas and my eyes. A second trip would be nessecary.

The next two evenings it rained. Or was it three evenings. Time was running out. Sunday was the last day of the show and it started out foggy and raining. It cleared up by the afternoon. And the evening was looking promising. Theresa had already left with the dogs in the Honda leaving me with the big van so driving was out of the question. I left our display set up and carried the easel and canvas down to the wall. Thankfully, the weather cooperated, and I was able to paint long enough to get it on the canvas.

Thinking about it now, it was almost like painting a seascape with the ocean in slow motion. Rather than waves constantly changing, the mountains would be in sun one minute and in a shadow the next. Ridges and hollows would be there but when I looked back up from the painting, the would be lost.

Later, back at the studio, a little touch here and there and after twp years of visiting the site, I finally finished my first painting of the John's River Gorge. I envision spending a week or a month painting that location. Taking numerous canvases and changing them as the day progessed and the weather changed.

John's River Gorge
Oil on Canvas 12 x 36

John's River Gorge is available for purchase. I have a 3" gold leaf "plein air style" frame for it. Painting and frame are $1850., unframed $1650.


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