Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Fine Creek Morning" (oil on linen; 9" x 12") sold


On the fourth day of Gregory Packard's workshop, which was last Thursday, the sun has returned to Richmond, VA.  The workshop organizers had kindly arranged a plein-air painting opportunity for us.  Following our fearless leader, Greg, we trekked for half an hour to the Mill at Fine Creek in Powhatan, VA. Yes, there were the romantic mill ruins, which have become an outdoor dining area and wedding venue.  But the real surprise was the creek itself.  The name apparently comes from General Robert E. Lee, who said that it was a fine creek.  I have never seen anything like it in Virginia.  The entire creek bed was rocks!

The romantic mill ruins at Fine Creek

Fine Creek

Workshop participants painting away

I decided to paint a scene facing the other way.

"Fine Creek Morning" half finished 

There was no shortage of beautiful sceneries: garden flowers, quaint houses, the mill ruins, the creek, etc.  But I didn't feel motivated.  Shocking, isn't it?  Kim Stenberg, a painting addict, not motivated in such a stimulating environment?  I didn't know it at that time, but I was coming down with a bad cold.  So I took a picture of the above scene that caught my eye and seemed "easy" to paint.  Unfortunately, by the time I was finished setting up my easel (it takes at least 15 minutes to set up the outdoor oil painting gear), the sun disappeared for the rest of the morning!  It actually rained a bit. Dang.

Do you know what I, a sick puppy, did?  I painted the scene from the LCD screen of my camera and memory!  Greg wasn't terribly impressed with my efforts; I wasn't either. The biggest problem with the half-finished painting was the composition.  If you look at it carefully, it is divided into a series of rectangles.  What's up with that?

I called it quits (good for me!), had a sandwich lunch with my new friends, and successfully persuaded Greg into doing a plein-air-painting demo.  I even helped him to unload and carry his painting gear.  He said that he was rusty because he hadn't painted outside for a year.  Tough.

On Monday, I worked on "Fine Creek Morning," focusing on correcting the compositional error.  I am pleased with the final painting.  Please leave comments about what you think!


  1. I like the way you showed the light and the composition.

  2. When creating a painting the artist needs to know when to quit. An artist can sometimes just overwork or in some cases underwork their creation. Looks like you met a happy medium as surely one should like what is being done or not do it.

  3. Both versions are lovely. The first is softer, delicate and looks like earlier in the day; the second is much warmer and robust. THe yellows are very strong in the second; the first one more neutral. Both are great. looks like a fun workshop. Opposite ends of the country - we were both doing workshops last week. We're lucky.

  4. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments!