Plein Air Painting at Addison Farms Vineyard

"It does good also to take walks out of doors, that our spirits may be raised and refreshed by the open air and fresh breeze: sometimes we gain strength by driving in a carriage, by travel, by change of air, or by social meals and a more generous allowance of wine.” 
― Seneca

Hello there, hope you're doing well and Happy Holidays! Given the craziness of the season I thought I'd share a relaxing vista for you to look at and enjoy. This is a view of Addison Farms Vineyard near Asheville, NC painted late this last summer. If you feel this piece has a slightly surreal or fictitious quality, it's because I painted it mostly from memory, after having one plein-air session at the Vineyard.

Painting from recollection and imagination is at once a great technical challenge and richly rewarding. You find yourself looking at things with great care and attention to store away the necessary information. Through constantly practicing this habit, over time you can get to be able to finish painting a scene that you observed months or even years before. The mind is able to transport you back in space and time, to an extent. It's really quite fascinating. The most difficult part is sustaining that vision for the many hours it takes to complete the painting, day by day, stroke by stroke. 

This process is also heavily informed by observing the work of other artists. For me, I am inspired by many historical painters, and constantly am "riffing off of" paintings created hundreds of years ago to create contemporary work. This piece is influenced in particular by English landscape painters such as J.M.W. Turner and John Constable, and the landscapes of Flemish artists Peter Paul Rubens and his student, Anthony Van Dyck.  (Rubens painted some amazingly vibrant and lush landscapes late in his career that are probably my favorite landscapes ever painted, and Van Dyck has a few watercolor sketches that I thought about while painting this piece.)

See if you can spot my friend Paul Blankinship, a fellow painter, walking amongst the vines in the distance.

I'm pleased to share that this piece is currently showing at Greenhill Art Center in Greensboro, NC, for their annual Winter Show, a curated group exhibition surveying some of North Carolina's best artists. Six of my works are on display through January 3rd. You can see photos of the exhibit below. A special thanks go to Edie Carpenter, Erin Riggins and Toni Tronu from Greenhill for inviting me to exhibit and their excellent work with coordinating the big show!

Happy Holidays to everyone! I'll write again soon to share more news, it's been a busy season.