Traveling and Painting
We had a booth at the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival recently in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The paintings on the booth walls are beginning to reflect our recent travels. In fact, for the first time, a framed plein air piece was publicly offered for sale. In the photo above, the three paintings in the middle column are all from recent travels, as are the two on the bottom, left. The plein air piece is the center one in the middle column.
Of course, I’ve been painting subjects from our travels since I first started painting, but it was often months later. There’s something kind of fun about trying to get a painting done, if not on location, then at least within a week or two after visiting a place.
Exploring Ash Cave was done in the last couple of days, after not painting for over two weeks. I was kind of rusty, and the painting is a little tight. It was a challenge to try to convey, in a small painting, the massive size of this place. We visited Ash Cave in a day trip to Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio last week.
Also last week, we made a trip to Niagara Falls. I don’t see a painting of the large falls themselves any time in the future, but I did take a lot of reference photos of rushing water, smaller falls, etc. This is from a photo taken from a platform at the foot of Bridal Veil Falls.
I expect The Forest at Hocking Hills to be one of many small paintings coming out of our visit to Hocking Hills State Park It’s a place full of very tall trees, amazing light and texture.
I wrote a few weeks ago that I didn’t know what direction my work was taking, only that I would be focusing primarily on small paintings and sketches. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to just paint, without trying to force the work into a tighter realism or a looser impressionism. So far, the subjects themselves seem to be dictating the approach. So for now, I suppose I’ll just continue to be a sort of documentary painter, recording the places we visit and the things we see.