Driving through the timberland in Bradley County, I saw this big copse of trees out in the middle of piece of land that had been cut a few years back. The sapling pines provided an almost sea-like surrounding and made me liken the big trees to an island.
I think I came to know about Charles Burchfield via an article in a magazine I was reading at a book store one time. I was instantly struck by how innovative this guy was and that someone who was so innovative was so little known. In Insect Chorus, Burchfield tries to give us his interpretation of the cacophony of insects in the summer time. The varying linear forms are his language for different sounds. Down in the lower left we have crickets with a sharp raucous call while in the trees, cicadas drone on with swirling forms that seem to wind around each other, starting and restarting within a larger, persistent structure. This is genious at work. He developed an entire logical structure of form language for this piece. In other pieces, he did much that same but with feelings such as joy and, more commonly, fear and foreboding. I would really urge you to check this guy out. He did some really special work.
The Big Dam Bridge crosses the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock just east of I-430. It was said at the time it was constructed to be the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. I believe it has been surpassed now by some bridge in China but it is still very impressive for a city the size of Little Rock. It is the lynchpin of the Arkansas River Trail which is a multiuse paved trail system 14 miles long that is very popular with runners, walkers, and cyclists.
This was a plein air nocturne from a few weeks ago that needed just a few finishing touches in the studio.
Warren was probably my favorite town I visited during my trip. It had lots of great buildings and a surprising rolling landscape that gave really nice views of the downtown area which is built up on a small rise. I set up by the local historical society and painted for far too long again.
One interesting thing to note, while painting both in Warren and Rison, I had people stop and ask if the painting would be in the newspaper. I thought that was kind of strange.
I am very pleased to announce that my painting "La Voie de Triomphe" was accepted into a show called Bike Art at The Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, CO. This show happens to run concurrently with the 2014 Cyclocross National Championships in Boulder so there will be a ton of cyclists and cycling afficionados in town for this event. Very exciting stuff!
This was my third plein air from Day 2 of my recent SE AR trip. Inspired by some of the paintings and photography that I had been seeing on Facebook from fellow Arkansan Norwood Creech, I was hoping to find some cotton fields to paint. Finally, just as I was about to leave the Delta behind and go back into the Timberlands of south central Arkansas, I ran into some cotton fields. Some of the first ones still had leaves on the plants and some other fields were either already harvested or in bad shape without the big fluffy bolls I was looking for. But then, there was the field I had been searching for!
This is my 55th county meaning I have only 7 more to go to complete my goal of 20 for the year.
This was my first painting of the second day of my southeast Arkansas trip and my first ever plein air nocturne. One of the great things about "camping" in a van is that it really eliminates a lot of setup and takedown effort so one can get into the campsite later and get out earlier. I made it to Lake Chicot State Park a little after 6PM the night before and tried to get in a sunset painting but did not have near enough time to get the composition set up before the sky colored up and the sun vanished behind the far shore line. So resolved to myself to paint the following morning before sunrise. I set my alarm for 5AM but was already awake when it went off. So, in the low 40's of the predawn, I went down to the boat launch and got set up and was painting by 6AM with a lonely owl in the woods behind me to keep me company.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a two day paint/camp trip to the southeast corner of the state. It was an effort to close out a large chunk of my project in a short period of time. My overall goal was to get very solid starts on paintings in 6 out of the 8 counties in that region for which I had no photo reference material and to get photo reference material for the remaining two. I fell just short of that goal in that I got solid starts/completions for only 5 of the 6 but I did get photo reference for everything. Now, my goal is to fully close out that southeast corner of the state by year's end. It's going to be hard but I do have a solid start and it is feasible.
This was the second painting from my second day. The first day, I made the mistake of doing two street scenes (which I said I wasn't going to do but I have a hard time not painting those!) and also doing them at 8X10. The first painting of that first day I started at 9:30 and finally stopped working on it over 2 hours later. Not the way to make great time but it turned out to be a good painting.
I'm starting my documentation of this trip with this painting because it was the most complete of all of them. All I did in the studio was add a few indications of tree trunks in the far trees and sign it.
I have a lot more things from Desha County I want to paint, including enlarging this one to a 30X40!