Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Plein Air Painting

With fall setting in, we have a window of really nice weather, perfect for going outdoors and painting onsite.  Today, I went out to the French Broad River.  This river runs through western North Carolina and into Tennessee, eventually flowing into the Tennessee River and then the Mississippi.  Here in Madison County, the river flows through the Appalachian Mountains, and it can get pretty spectacular.

If you're wondering how a river can cross the mountains, it's because the French Broad is one of the oldest rivers in the world.  It was here before the Appalachians were created 300 million years ago.  When the mountains grew, the river was already cutting its way through them.  That's one hell of an old river.

I went scouting yesterday to find some potential painting locations.  I found quite a few, actually - turnouts along the road where I could get down to the riverside.  Today, I left the dogs at home, loaded up the truck with my painting gear, and headed out to the first one on my list.  It's a gravel turnout only big enough for one car, with a very steep climb down the bank.  At the bottom, there's a flat area where people have built a fire pit and apparently had a couple of parties.  I set up my easel looking downstream and went to work.  After about an hour or so, I had one painting that turned out okay.

Then I turned the easel around so I was looking upstream and painted another.  It turned out okay as well.

I didn't sign either painting.  I need a bit of distance from them to do an impartial evaluation and modify as necessary.  That may happen tomorrow.  Or later - I may go to another spot on the river tomorrow instead!  Gotta take advantage of the great weather while you can, y'know?

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