Yesterday was a steady downpour, but I had most of the day free before the Malaprops bookstore signing in Asheville, so I headed out to the nearby town of Black Mountain in search of a non-touristy motif.
I found an alley with a good view of the backs of the shops. There was also a convenient public restroom close by—something to factor in after several cups of coffee that morning. Jeanette wisely opted for a ballpoint pen sketch from inside the car.
I figured I had only two hours before I would be completely drenched.
Here’s how the painting looked after a quick block-in. I’m using a method recommended by Richard Schmid, where you start a tight rendering in one area of the picture, and work the area of finish across the canvas, rather than moving the whole picture loosely along.
The wind was starting to pick up, knocking over the umbrella every time I took my foot off the C-stand. By the time I had to pack up, the paint tubes were swimming in water that had collected inside the box. The lower areas of the picture are just blocked in with tone, with no attempt at rendering.
By two-thirty in the afternoon, as the thunder and lightning started up, we staggered into the Dripolator coffee shop, my old raincoat covered equally in rain and paint.