White's Creek is an area just outside of Nashville, quite rural and home of a popular tourist destination, the Fontanel. Just a couple of miles down the road from this is the beautiful landmark home of the late mother of Vicki, a good friend of mine. Vicki invited me to paint my heart out there before it was sold and so I did!
I began with the tractor shed, filled with rusting equipment and boards, tools, (and possibly snakes!). I started the painting with the old fuel tank in the foreground, but decided it detracted from the darks and lights of the shed interior that had caught my eye.
The second painting was of the grand old house. My drawing skills are still developing so I made the decision to work out the drawing from earlier photos the night before, being sure to get the lines and perspective accurate enough to please the eye. It was a dream to start the plein air painting from that pre-drawing and it was such a beautiful Tennessee morning to paint in!
I returned a third time to the homestead to paint the fascinating barn. What a history I uncovered through the internet! It was built in the mid 1800s as a solid, 2 story paper mill structure, constructed of handmade bricks on the bank of a branch of White's Creek. You can still see the cut limestone block abutments on the sides of the stream below that served to direct the water needed for the boilers. If you want to learn more, click HERE.
I hope I have captured not only the representation of the house and buildings, but also the beautiful natural setting they are aging in. I invite the viewer to consider what lives and hopes and dreams took place here, what history was occurring, what changes have come in the century and a half since it was a thriving paper mill.
Three finished paintings:
What insurmountable thing gives you fear and trepidation? Whenever I reach for a brand new blank canvas my insecurities start to bubble up and I begin to question whether or not I'm up to the task. It's my earnest intention to enter the studio humble and God-dependent, but, you know...the project takes over the consciousness and intentions are lost.
This good man brought freshly caught shrimp to our resort every morning in Mazatlan. We could watch the shrimp boat lights out on the water at night from our deck. We bought a couple pounds of large beautiful shrimp from him during our stay and prepared them ala Bubba (Forest Gump) style through the week.
So I wanted to try painting him. Very intimidating! And I wanted to do it using the skills I've learned in the last couple years: good drawing, large shapes, values, shape relationships, perspective. Though there's no rule against them, I wanted to forgo shortcuts like tracing his outline. I wanted to make myself really see what I was looking at. Of course, I was looking at a photograph and a purist might give a thumbs-down to that. Live figure drawing might be my next frontier.
Doesn't he have such an interesting face? And that hat! Is that even ok to have the Pope on a hat??
So here is my painting and I had so much fun doing it! What do you think?
It's that time of year again! The Tomato Festival is right around the corner...August 12th. Time to get the paintings ready. My biggest hurdle is finding a whimsical note to my work. It just isn't in me to paint tomatoes walking hand in hand...or Godzilla tomatoes climbing tall buildings. Here's what I came up with this year:
Aaaaand for the "up and coming" fruit/vegetable? This may qualify as whimsey:
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...