Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Plein Air - Blue Ridge, GA

Hello , and happy Fall, y'all.

Above is a 12x24 plein air piece painted a week or so ago at Blue Ridge.  This train leaves daily for tours along the Toccoa River and is especially popular in the Fall, when the mountain area trees turn color.
For those interested, I'll relay some of the thought process while painting this.
Compositionally, it's not usually advisable to have two divergent focal areas. (i.e. the train versus the station), and yet I thought there was enough energy and relationship in this scene to make it work.  Regarding the foreground flowers; in reality there was a mixture or red and yellow flowers there. I initially put both colors in but decided it was too riotous or unharmonious, so just stayed with the yellow/orange, which is essentially a complement of the blue train and station.  This was a pretty large paintng, and one of the difficulties was that a big SUV was parked on the left nearside of the street, blocking entirely the train. So i had to do a combination of walking around it to get a view, and then just guessing what the alignment, lighting, and perspective would be.  During the last half hour of the painting, the SUV finally moved, and I was relieved to find my guesswork was pretty close.  Oh, and , the was easily 90 degrees out and quite uncomfortable.  Thus,  a very common situation of 'unknowns' when you paint plein air; you never know what you are getting in to.

Check out information on my upcoming plein air workshop in Cumming, GA,  studio workshop in Macon, GA, and my usual 6 week class starting again soon at the Marietta/Cobb museum of Art.  See you there!


  1. I really enjoyed your comments about the composition, the SUV, and other details of this lovely plein air piece. I love how you manage to get so much detail without getting fussy.

  2. Very nice painting. I am curious as to length of painting time.