Saturday, January 27, 2007


Today was a nice break from the studio. My friend Nicole accompanied me to the opening of the Altered Vision exhibit at the library, which was a great success. The highlight of the day for me, though, was a couple of hours spent picking with Nicole on our banjos (and my new mandolin!). Sometimes it is great to take a rest from the constant visual work and spend a little time on the ears.

Friday, January 26, 2007

studio view

Another long day of painting today in the temporary studio downtown. After five straight hours of painting (and inhaling a few too many paint thinner fumes) I finally had to stop working because the sun was setting. Yesterday evening I noticed how beautiful the light was across the street at the end of the day, pinks and oranges transforming the otherwise gray urban view. I remembered my camera today so that I could preserve the color long enough to do a study of the view from my new studio window.


After working on the large piece for the Arts at the Airport project all day today, I was in the mindset of the farm where the image was photographed. I returned to the reference I shot there last summer and found this image of thistle growing in the middle of the field. I loved the way it stood alone in the meadow, a solitary splash of color.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

prayer garden

After a quiet, contemplative winter day inside, I ventured out into our prayer garden as the sun was setting. The family who owns our house and lived here for many years created a beautiful garden in the back with statues of Mary and St. Francis. It is a beautiful daily reminder of the sacred.

mountain memory

After spending most of the day today driving to Knoxville and back to deliver some paintings, I got a bit of a late start on the painting today. It was a perfect day for driving through the mountains. Even though I didn't stop to hike or photograph while I was there, the mountains were constantly on my mind and in my sight. I found this image from a camping trip that we took with my dad last fall that I have always wanted to paint. The image came very easily, and I think it will scale up well.

Monday, January 22, 2007

short mountain view

This is the view from Short Mountain coming down from the firetower. When we were there over the weekend, I was surprised at how many spots there were on the mountain with incredible views. Even though it has a lower elevation than the mountains we usually visit in East Tennessee and North Carolina, it was still a great opportunity to see the land stretching out for miles. Quite fun to paint, too.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

in the cold

Yesterday we were driving with our friend Cameron on the north loop of the interstate past the huge scrap metal piles that fill the space between the highway and the river. He commented that it was an eyesore and a blemish on the cityscape, but I have always sort of liked the giant hills of rusting metal. I suppose it is a contradiction for someone who likes to paint living landscapes with no human influence, but I have often wanted to paint the rusted, peeling paint and mysterious strong shapes of discarded industrial metal. The passing conversation must have been in the back of my mind when we came upon this collection of disintegrating cars later in the day. We pulled over into the barren field where the cars sat, cold and lifeless as the trees around them.