Monday, May 27, 2013

1st Week - Paintings from Appalachia

 Greetings from the Great Smoky Mountains....Keep Scrolling Down*****************

It has been a very productive Memorial Day Weekend here at the Smokies.  I've Started five Panels the past 48 hours and I'm going on the sixth later this evening.  Each work solves a previous works problem.  I guess that's called progress.  After 2 years w/out making art I've wondered I would still be the same painter.  Signs point to yes.  Scenic isn't descriptive enough for this part of the country.  Woodsy, majestic, rugged, giant, bouldery, i think boulderous sounds better but that's not a word i guess.

I feel like the paintings become truer the more I walk and hike through the various forests throughout the park.  For example, my first drive through the smokies inspired awe so I painted w/out really knowing the ins and outs of what I was looking at.  I painted this...

When you hike through a landscape you know it more intimately, you see the leaves of every tree, the moss covered fallen trees, the rocky slopes, the small creeks and everything that is underneath what your eye doesn't see from afar.  You begin to recognize the different tree types, hemlocks, firs and birch and all their variegations.   This is the first step to painting outdoors.  Acclamation and immersion.

Since then I've done several paintings along three trails the Ramsay Cascades trail,  Alum Cave Bluffs Trail to the summit of Mt. Le Conte and the short but steep Clingmans Dome trail culminating in 5 paintings across 19miles of trail.

Hiking back from the top of Mt. Le Conte, I ran into a group of folks traveling upward.  One of them stopped to ask how far it is up to Arch Rock, I told him from where he was about a half mile.  He thanked me, then another amongst his group noticed the painting I was carrying along with me.  He asked, "is this a painting of yours?"  "Yes" I replied.  He looked at the work quizzically as I held it in front of him.  "What type of painting is it?  To which I replied, "Oil".  Again another, longer moment of disquietness.  Then, "so you want us to imagine".  I explained to him, this isn't a depiction of reality or what are eyes already see.  This mark here may or may not represent a tree.  Try not to see so much with your eyes but with your feelings and heart.  And if that sounds to mushy then see it with your spirit and if that sounds to hippie than see it with your vibes and if thats too groovy, then don't look at it.


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