Thursday, May 24, 2007

special notice

For the next ten days or so, I will be in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota, gathering images, and most importantly, listening to loons, floating on lakes, and smelling clean air. This means that I will be far, far away from all things internet, so please pardon the gap in posts. I promise many new and exciting images upon my return.

evening field

This image comes from one of my outings in Ohio, crossing a field in the evening on the way back from a river. I really like the color and light, even if the image is somewhat abstract.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

field stream

I painted this field earlier this week as a larger piece. Lately I have been very drawn to water imagery, finding ways to combine it with both the farm landcape and the more untouched wilderness images I have been playing with for the last year or so. I love the solitude and reflection that water brings.

wayne national forest

When I was visiting my brother in West Virginia last week, we took our dogs out for an afternoon hike in the Wayne National Forest. It is a treasure, spanning large areas of southern Ohio and reaching the banks of the Ohio River. We had some fun adventures, the most colorful of which was an encounter with a drunken fisherman and his Bigfoot enthusiast companion beneath a covered bridge. Less lively but far more tranquil was this spot on the overgrown trail we chose for our hike, notable for the afternoon sun peeking through the new growth.

ohio marsh

I painted this marsh from a different spot earlier this year, but when visiting it again last week, I really liked it from this vantage point. I look forward to attempting it on a larger scale.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Last night I had the good fortune to see two of my favorite musicians perform at the Mother Church; Gillian Welch and Bright Eyes. Both of these performers have blessed my creative time for years, as I have played their CDs on a constant loop for many hours of painting. Gillian has always left me simultaneously inspired and frustrated-- why attempt any sort of music making or songwriting when someone has already said it best and in a style I could never hope to surpass? Bright Eyes' live performance was a complete of the most incredible and engaging performances I've seen, full and round and filling every cell of every body in the room. It was like a child's simple vision of heaven, all the musicians dressed in white among plastic colored flowers. He even had a live media artist creating spontaneous images on a huge screen using things like ouija boards, smoke, and etch-a-sketch. A man after my own heart! And so young...and so wise and brilliant. I felt a moment of complete connection when he sang the words, "I took off my shoes and walked into the woods/ I felt lost and found with every step I took."

morning mist

This farm is another from Holmes County, where the views are distant. In the early morning hours the mist combines with rows of hills to make quite an atmosphere. I loved this spot, and the tiny glimpse of a farm pond in the front field.

old favorite

This field is a favorite of mine, and I have painted it several times, though I don't think I've ever sold one of the paintings. Blinded by sentiment, perhaps; but I have always loved the way the tree row rests on the ridge and the clear view of the hill beyond. I was painting in this field when the twin towers were hit on September 11th (and flight 93 went down a couple of hours east), and I had no idea what was happening on that crystal-clear perfect day until I arrived home.

new field

Going to Ohio at this time of the year, I found that many of the fields had been freshly planted or were simply dormant this year. At any rate, there were many fields that lay bare, the soil vulnerable to the wind and rain, waiting for their new plants.

green river

This river scene was especially notable for the lush, grassy sandbars that crept from under the trees to the water's edge. I think it will make a great painting in a larger scale.

trees in field

One day I woke very early, completely exhausted from the strange shooting schedule I had imposed upon myself. (All photographers know that the best times to shoot are early in the morning and ust before sunset.) I drove alone to the next couny north, Holmes County, famous for its Amish population. While it is somewhat odd to see the rural, last-century lifestyle of the Amish as a tourist attraction, their farms are truly beautiful, and the land they cultivate is some of the most beautiful in the state.

ohio sunset

Finally back to Nashville and catching up on my work, I have been sifting through the many wonderful images I gathered on the trip. One evening my father and I were driving around near his house while the sun was setting. We came over a wooded hill on a gravel road to see an amazing farm that filled the whole valley. The sun was setting directly ahead over a ridge. It turned out that a coworker of his owned the place, an old family farm. I must confess, I was more than a little jealous.