Thursday, March 25, 2010

Road Trip-North Carolina Coast

Last month, it was road trip time. Kevin Menck and I loaded up in his trusty chevy and headed east. Not really knowing what we were going to paint, but also not really caring. Just the excitement of a new place to explore was enough to get me fired up. Atlantic Beach, NC was the destination.
The first day was kind of a day of exploring. We were able to get a couple of keepers. Late in the day we met up with a fabulous local painter, Jimmy Craig Womble. He took care of us for the rest of the week. Great guy and we had a blast hangin' with him. Dude knows everybody in that town. I couldn't remember his name for the first day or two so, we referred to him as Jimmy Crack Corn.
Each day we seemed to explore a bit farther north each day. Radio Island was covered in some awesome old boats in disrepair. It was like a big chop shop for big fishing boats. Being from the hills of Tennessee, this was all new to me. Beaufort, was a modern, sophisticated kind of town. Great food. There were several great little harbors spattered up highway 70. Davis has a great little coffee shop, Davis Provisions. But, I think without doubt the spot for the week was at the end of highway 70. It was a bustling local harbor in Atlantic. As soon as the locals realized we were not with the fish and game, they opened up. Great people. We made off with some good paintings and great memories. Oh yeah, Kevin scored a big bag of oysters too.
Oh well, Here are a few of the paintings from the trip. Great place to explore.

My first trip to Bells Bend

Last week my good friends, Kevin Menck and Jim Frazier, treated me to my first trip to Bells Bend Park. Now, I understand what all the fuss is about. What an awesome resource. I would hate to see that area destroyed with asphalt and rebar. The views are spectacular. The painting was difficult due to the overcast day and lack of foliage. The fields are full of briars and sharp pointy things. But, when you try to paint the fields and trees they have a softness to all the edges. I try to find as much contrast as possible on days with overcast light. Not much color. Very subtle transitions. Honestly, I think I prefer to paint on days like that. I love trying to capture the small temperature changes.
I started this painting from a cool barn atop the hill. While finishing my drawing, I heard a large group of middle schoolers heading my way. Then from the other direction came "Mary Poppins" singing Barny songs to a gaggle of 5 year olds. I did the emergency 30 second pack up and run away drill. I set out past Kevin and finished the painting from a totally different view. Poor Jim took one for the team and got hung entertaining the 5 year olds. Thanks Jim.
I can't wait to return and to explore the bend.