Friday, February 8, 2013

Tennessee Falls

My friend Chuck Sutherland is a naturalist here in Tennessee, and a brilliant photographer.  He has been gracious enough to tell me that I can use his photos as painting reference.  I was browsing his Flickr this morning and came across this one, and it just grabbed me... this part of Tennessee is full of waterfalls (and caves, both of which Chuck shoots lots of), and I love all of his waterfall photos, but the awesome gnarly tree in the foreground of this one made me choose it to paint.  Plus, I love the green of the pool and the red Tennessee soil.  All sorts of things could be hiding in those roots, too...

Chuck's notes on the photo say this is Greeter Falls in Grundy County, TN, and from another picture he shot this amazing tree is growing right out of the river, sprawled along the rocks in the pool. 
So, since this is paint from a sketch month I sketched it out first (VERY roughly), then transferred my sketch to the canvas, which is 20x24... I have only done one other painting bigger than this one, but since almost everything I did last month was really small, I wanted to do something big.
And below, two hours plus after the sketch... I still don't have much of it roughed in.  Man, where does the time go when you paint? 
This is as far as I got today.  Time for lunch and chainmaille.

Watercolor is definitely spoiling me as far as cleanup goes!  It takes me five times as long to clean up after using bigger brushes on an oil painting.  But, much as I am enjoying watercolor, at least for now I am definitely more comfortable with oils.  This felt kind of like coming home.  I went yesterday to the gallery where my jewelry is sold, and stared at my teacher Karen's paintings for some time, and decided I definitely needed to do some oil painting today. 

I can't decide if I like doing landscapes.  Check back with me after this one ;)

Also, if you've stayed with me this far in this post, do go and check out Chuck's photography.  Then you'll understand why I love Tennessee so much.