Saturday, October 17, 2009

Painting From Lack Luster

On Thursday October 15, I headed up to Blowing Rock, NC to paint the fall colors at Cone Manor along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had a few things working against Me. For one, I forgot most of my painting panels exept for 2 - 9x12's, and secondly the weather was bad. All of this being said, I tried to make the best of it.

Carriage House at Cone Manor

The weather was overcast and misty. I was surprised how quickly the color had mostly come and gone at the 4000 foot elevation.  I was opimistic, something would be worth painting.  As I began to gather my gear the clouds and mist started to cover the top of the mountain, so I headed down to Bass Lake at the lower elevation.

Down through the woods I came upon a wonderful opening with a golden Maple tree and some blue grey mountain peaks breaking the horizon. Just as I began to paint the rain and clouds moved in.  I was fortunate the air was still and I held an umbrella in one hand and painted with the other.

One thing that intrigued me during this lack luster day, was the subtle beauty in the color of objects on a grey misty day.  You can see some of the wonderful colors in the grass below my easel.

Finished study or at least what I saw before the rain hit.


Down at Bass lake the rain had quit, but again not too inspiring.  The lily pads had turned brown and most of the color had fallen to the ground.  I only had one linen panel left so I kept walking and walking thinking there was something better around the corner.  Finally I got tired and decided to paint the trail in the overcast light.

So here's #2.  What I saw was a subtle golden light from the canopy of tall trees with some massive White Pine trees and cool high lights on the Rhododenron bushes.  When I started this study I was in the deep woods sort of speak, but continued the struggle until something emerged.  I hope you feel the overcast light in the forest.


  1. Beautiful paintings Scott!
    Are those Artisan brushes I see? Do you use regular oil paint or the water-miscible kind?
    Best wishes,

  2. No, I currently use Robert Simmons Hog hair bristle brushes, Sizes 9 & 7 brights and then an occational rigger at the end for my 9x12 inch plein air. A also use a small knife to add some texture. As far as paints I use only artist grade oils. Hey, nice art work on your site, Erik.

  3. Ok, thanks Scott. For outdoor work I use regular oils too but for my indoor painting I like the watermiscible paint.

  4. Thanks, Scott, for posting the photos and the works in progress. Fun for me to see...and these are such familiar spots for me that I enjoyed seeing what you did with them.
    Good job!