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Painting with Bill Guffey

September 8, 2012
Heading South…
After a good day exploring around Georgetown, KY, we made the 151 mile drive south to Dale Hollow Lake State Park, near Burkesville, KY.  Burkesville is home to artist friend Bill Guffey.  Bill and I became acquainted online several years ago through the website WetCanvas.com.  I’ve written about him before.  He worked with Google to make Google Streetview a usable, legal resource for artists, and hosts Virtual Paintout, where artists use Streetview to paint “on location” in a pre-determined country or city.  He’s gotten quite a bit of national and international attention for Virtual Paintout.  Google owns several of his paintings, he’s been interviewed numerous times, and most recently, got a writeup in the Copenhagen Post.
I saw Bill’s original paintings about 3 years ago, at a gallery in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but missed the chance to actually meet up with Bill himself.  This time, we planned our route and scheduled with Bill to meet in Burkesville.  Bill  is primarily a plein air painter, and while I’m mostly a studio painter, I’m enjoying painting with artist friends as we travel.

We settled in at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park near Burkesville, KY on Thursday, and on Friday morning, I drove down into Burkesville to catch up with Bill.

Bill in his studio

 Bill’s studio is on the square in downtown Burksville.  He says it was fine when it was just him painting, but now he’s teaching, and has outgrown the space.  He’s got his eye on another location on the square, where he will be able to more easily accomodate his adult and children’s painting classes.

Permanent display in the News’ window
Bill has worked for the Cumberland County News for a long time, and not only the front window, but an entire wall in the lobby area is devoted to his paintings.

On Saturday, Bill and I painted in the afternoon.
Bill paints outdoors almost every day.  Painting a 16×20 was just another day at the office for him.
I, on the other hand, don’t paint outdoors that often.  I stayed with a 9×12.

The Guffey Family: Bill, Kelly and Rylea Beth

It is such a treat to be able to meet online artist friends for the first time, and get to know them a little better, and meet their families as well.  On Sunday, we met Bill and his family for lunch.  We learned that Bill’s wife, Kelly, started a program for abused women and their children in Cumberland County called Esther House several years ago, and continues to run it today.  We could feel the passion she has for this work as she talked about it over lunch.  Kelly also owns and operates her own beauty salon in Burkesville.

On Sunday afternoon, Kelly and Rylea Beth showed Nell the surrounding countryside while Bill and I went to the Riddle Farm and painted.

This was Bill’s painting for the day.

And this was mine.

Bill is the only working artist in the area, which means he doesn’t get much company when he paints outdoors.  He may prefer it that way, but hopefully he enjoyed having someone to paint with these two days as much as I did.

Nell, Kelly, Bill, Me

Rylea Beth was kind enough to take this photo for us.  This life we’ve chosen is allowing us to meet some very nice people.

Our extended “artist family” is growing as we travel.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2012 10:14 pm

    Love the white house. Would you mind if I painted it? I follow your journey and am envious.

  2. Cathy permalink
    September 19, 2012 12:22 pm

    Great pictures and a wonderful story to go with it. Does Bill paint with gouache too?

    • September 19, 2012 9:02 pm

      Thanks, Cathy. No, Bill paints in oils, as do almost all of my artist friends.

  3. September 20, 2012 1:04 pm

    Hey, Ralph, so neat to see you and Bill together out there painting! Love your last one… inspired comp and the color works s well. Thanks for sharing your pix of the day.

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